2
votes
0answers
27 views

How is the distance from Earth to distant celestial bodies calculated? [duplicate]

It's difficult for most people to grasp how distances between the Earth and distant celestial bodies are calculated. For example, when someone tells me that a given star is 100 light years away, how ...
6
votes
1answer
449 views

How far is the Earth/Sun above/below the galactic plane, and is it heading toward/away from it?

How far is the Earth/Sun above/below the galactic plane, and is it heading toward/away from it? We know the Sun is orbiting the galactic center every 225 million years. But how far are we from the ...
5
votes
3answers
112 views

Is there a natural process by which hydrogen is generated from heavier elements in the cosmos?

we know that stars fuse hydrogen into helium starting at 3 MK; 13 MK in the Sun's core; carbon fusion starts at above 500 million K, and silicon fusion starts at over 2700 million K for comparison; ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Does gravitational lensing cause a black-hole to be the main 'source' of light in a given area?

Light gets bent around high-gravity sources, such as a black-hole. A source of light, say A, is directly observed in its 'true' position and some of its light is bent around the black-hole, X, which ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Why do black holes have jets and accretion disks?

If supermassive black holes possess the gravity required to prevent the escape of photons and other mass particles, why do jets and accretion disks form? They seem to indicate that something is ...
9
votes
2answers
102 views

What is radiation pressure and how does it prevent a star from forming?

This is a follow up to: Is there a theoretical maximum size limit for a star? The answer there talks about the radiation pressure preventing a star from forming. What reaction is causing this ...
4
votes
1answer
49 views

How much did we know about asteroids at the beginning of the 20th century?

When was the nature and size of asteroids discovered? I was under the impression that it was not until the 1980s or 1990s with deeper space probes and Hubble imagery that we learned the nature of ...
-2
votes
1answer
216 views

Is it possible the Nebular Hypothesis and Planetesimal Theory are not correct? [closed]

For almost 3 centuries now the Nebular Hypothesis and Planetesimal Theory have become the preeminent explanations for how the Solar System and Planets evolved. Yet there is still no explanation for ...
8
votes
1answer
612 views

Finding the solar noon based on longitude and latitude?

Please could someone advise the best method of finding the solar noon based upon location? http://pveducation.org/pvcdrom/properties-of-sunlight/suns-position The stuff on here has been helpful but ...
6
votes
1answer
49 views

What does observational evidence say about the number of protoplanets believed to exist in the early solar system?

Currently, the solar system has 8 major planets, a handful of dwarf planets and a plethora of asteroids, comets and natural debris, and of course, a rather locally dominant star (the Sun). There are ...
22
votes
2answers
312 views

Two species of dark matter?

At this point in time, evidence for the existence of dark matter has accumulated in many ways: it affects galactic rotation curves plays a major role in cosmology, and the evolution of structure in ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

Are we still in the Solar Maximus stage? Will this winter 2013/14 be a good aurora-viewing season?

I remember reading in 2011 that 2013/2014 would be the peak of the current solar maximus, but I want to confirm whether that is still ongoing. Will the upcoming winter season be a good time to see ...
7
votes
1answer
55 views

Dealing with damp and dew whilst stargazing at night or in the early morning

Sometimes when using my telescope late at night or early in the morning, especially in the more humid of seasons, I notice i sometimes get dew buildup on the lenses. How can I minimize damp buildup ...
7
votes
1answer
53 views

How can I clean my lenses without causing scratching or damages to the lens surface?

Sometimes you can be trying to observe very faint or very small objects in the sky and it wouldn't pay to have these obscured or marred by a scratch or dust on the lenses. I keep to good practices ...
12
votes
3answers
160 views

How can I safely observe a Solar Flare?

Solar Flares obviously release extreme amounts of energy and extend thousands of miles out into space. Because they are so big I would like to be able to observe some of these events through a ...
6
votes
1answer
55 views

What might cause a planet to have a significant tilt in their orbit?

Most of the planets in our solar system all orbit along the same plane, supposedly because of the almost flat dust clouds that formed the planets. But some planets, such as the one featured below, ...
7
votes
1answer
80 views

Timescale of ignition of a protostar?

What is the timescale of start of nuclear fusion as T Tauri type star transforms into a Main Sequence star? Wikipedia article on T Tauri type stars mentions: Their central temperatures are too ...
5
votes
1answer
121 views

What effects do other planets have on the solar system?

For instance, Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. Due to it's gravitational mass it can deflect meteorites and protect Earth from the Oort cloud. While these are positives, the ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Why does Astronomy still use the Anno Domini system for Time Synchronization

Since Time is such a valuable variable in the calculation of Astronomic movement why does the Astronomy Community still rely on the the 6th Century Anno Domini system developed by Dionysius Exiguus to ...
5
votes
1answer
160 views

How much of an effect does the moon have on Earth's liquid mantle?

The gravitational pull of the moon is enough to create tidal forces of large bodies of liquid, i.e the sea. I was having a conversation the other day about how to terraform Mars, and someone ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

How old is our sun in galactic years?

A year is measured as the amount of time it takes Earth to orbit the sun once, a galactic year is the time it takes our sun to make one full orbit of the center of the galaxy. In galactic years, how ...
6
votes
1answer
160 views

Why does Pluto's Orbit underlap Neptune's Orbit

Why does Pluto's Orbit underlap inside of Neptunes Orbit. Clearly Neptunes Orbit is not overlapping on Pluto's. Yet, they fail to maintain the symmetric banding appearance all the other Planets ...
4
votes
2answers
75 views

What is the furthest object in the observable universe?

My question is about furthest object in the observable universe except Сosmic microwave background.
8
votes
1answer
67 views

How Does Cosmology Constrain the Number of Neutrino Species?

I've asked this question already on the Physics SE, but I felt it would be worth posting here as well. I know that based upon theories of structure formation cosmologists can constrain the sum of the ...
11
votes
1answer
733 views

How does neutron star collapse into black hole?

We know the spectacular explosions of supernovae, that when heavy enough, form black holes. The explosive emission of both electromagnetic radiation and massive amounts of matter is clearly observable ...
3
votes
1answer
29 views

Is there any evidence that the Gas Giant planets in our solar system are experiencing orbital migration?

Planetary migration is defined by Lubow and Ida (2010) in their article Planet Migration as the process by which a planet’s orbital radius changes in time. The main agent for causing gas giant ...
5
votes
2answers
109 views

Why are some planets so close to their star?

"Kepler-10b orbits its parent star once every 0.84 days, which means it is more than 20 times closer to its star than Mercury is to our sun" space.com Are there any accepted theories that ...
8
votes
3answers
209 views

How to detect emission lines in optical spectra?

Is there any handy module to detect emission lines in a spectrum like one we get from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS)? You can see there are many emission lines like Ha,OI in the spectrum below. ...
13
votes
1answer
238 views

How dense are Saturn's rings?

I assume that the A ring is the densest, but I might be wrong. Nevertheless, I failed to find any explicit information over the net about the minimum and maximum of densities for the different rings. ...
7
votes
1answer
58 views

Sources of Turbulence in the ISM

What sources of turbulence exist within the Interstellar medium (ISM)? Which ones are physically the most important for newly forming stellar systems?
5
votes
1answer
40 views

How can I observe the Orionid Meteor Shower?

I would like to see the orionids sometime this week (October 20-26, 2013). What is the best way for me to observe them by naked eye? Also, would I be benefitted by trying to look at them with a ...
7
votes
2answers
422 views

How long until we cannot see any stars from other galaxies?

Since all the galaxies are moving further away from each other at a faster and faster rate, eventually we won't be able to see stars from other galaxies. How long until we can't see stars from other ...
7
votes
1answer
53 views

Crab Nebula Time Period

I've learned that the time period for a rotating neutron star, i.e., a pulsar is very accurate and can be used as an interstellar clock. But according to Walter Lewin's 8.01 Lec 19 on classical ...
10
votes
1answer
105 views

Which came first: black holes or galaxies?

In other terms, did galaxies grow around black holes at their center?
9
votes
1answer
43 views

Loss of atmosphere on Mars

If the atmosphere on Mars was once much thicker, how was it likely lost? Was it due to interaction with the solar wind, the small size of the planet, both, or something else, and approximately how ...
8
votes
2answers
165 views

Why is the Earth's center still hot after millions of years? [closed]

Why didn't the center of the earth cool after millions or billions of years? What keeps it hot?
4
votes
3answers
258 views

Very bright star in the east at northern hemisphere. What it is ?

From some time now (few weeks as far as I can remember), there is a very bright star in the eastern sky. I first thought it was Venus, but according to this link, Venus is in the western sky and ...
4
votes
1answer
101 views

How can we tell if the asteroid 2013 TV135 will hit Earth in 2032?

Some astronomers in Ukraine have estimated that there is a small likelihood (1 in 63,000) that the asteroid 2013 TV135 will strike Earth in 2032. (source) Don Yeoman of NASA JPL says: with more ...
6
votes
2answers
153 views

Why don't Neutron Stars form event horizon?

Trying to compare density of Black Holes and Neutron Stars I came up with the following: A typical neutron star has a mass between about 1.4 and 3.2 solar masses1[3] (see Chandrasekhar Limit), ...
5
votes
1answer
297 views

Why does Titan's atmosphere not start to burn?

If Titan has a methane atmosphere and seas of methane, then why doesn't some meteoroid / chemical reaction ignite and blow the whole thing?
1
vote
0answers
43 views

Is the moon rotation at complete standstill? [duplicate]

Moon always faces Earth with one side, its spin period equal its orbital period - this is what we learn at school. But I know Nature rarely operates in absolutes. I'd find it hard to believe Moon ...
7
votes
1answer
237 views

What reason is there to doubt the existence of the hypothesised planet Tyche in the far distant solar system?

Please note, I do not necessarily believe in its existence, just after a scientific (hence, non-Wikipedia) reasoning to doubt the planet's existence, other than the "we would have seen it" argument. ...
5
votes
1answer
142 views

Are Barlow lenses stackable for bright objects?

I'm back to the refractor that I own, and I want to maximize the zoom capacity. I realized today that I own more than one barlow lens, and I was wondering if I could stack them together for looking at ...
5
votes
1answer
44 views

Who or what will the Arecibo message reach?

The Arecibo Message was aimed at the globular star cluster M13, but as far as I read, M13 will move out of the original position and thus not be able to receive it. So, who or what will be able to ...
8
votes
1answer
69 views

When will we be able to detect Earth-sized exoplanets?

I have heard that the only planets able to be seen outside the Solar system are Jovian-sized planets with the occasional detection of planets three times the Earth's size. But, as far as I know, we ...
6
votes
1answer
140 views

In what timeframe is W26 expected to go supernova?

All the news-articles say that it is expected to "eventually" explode. Which doesn't really tell me much. When is "eventually"? Also, considering this is the largest star in the known universe and 16k ...
6
votes
1answer
51 views

How does interstellar matter density vary?

Answer to my question partially answers this one, about density of intergalactic matter and matter within galaxy: But it is mostly a hot, ionized void. How void? The density of the intergalactic ...
7
votes
1answer
40 views

Does the Reflection Method for Looking at the Sun Work For Refractors?

I own a newtonian reflector and occasionally use it (using the reflection method with paper) for looking at the sun. I happen to also own a refractor, but I'm not exactly sure if the reflection method ...
9
votes
1answer
136 views

How Does a Refractor Telescope Work?

As I understand it, the difference between a reflector and a refractor is that a reflector uses mirrors on the back to reflect the light to the secondary mirror then the secondary mirror reflects the ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

Age of the universe

We know that the universe is approximately 13.7 billion years old. What methods did we use to discover this? How sure are we about its accuracy?

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