-2
votes
1answer
731 views
3
votes
1answer
76 views

Why does Jupiter break comets apart?

I understand that there are magnificent tidal forces that come with getting too close to Jupiter, but what is causing comets like Shoemaker-Levy to get torn apart? I wouldn't expect that the ...
0
votes
4answers
209 views

Is the Drake Equation an accurate way of finding the probability of life on planets?

I was interested in finding out if there was life on any planets or moons. I saw ReNiSh A R's question, and I saw the answer about there being life on Europa, but it didn't accurately answer what I ...
5
votes
1answer
190 views

Could we fly/drive through Jupiter?

If Jupiter is made of gas, could we fly or drive through it or would its center be too dense?
6
votes
1answer
123 views

Why does this graph for sunlight intensity on land has a steeper slope during sunrise as compared to sunset?

I got this image while checking weather data for a city in North India using Mathematica's Wolfram Alpha query I noticed one feature in the graph which i could not explain . Why does the encircled ...
1
vote
1answer
74 views

Companion Sun the cause of comet impacts with Earth

On television, I heard a scientist who believes that our Sun has a companion (brown dwarf) Sun, that is responsible for comets destroying life here on Earth every 26 million years. He proposed the ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

How would Special relativity explain past-present-future if thinking about 13-billion-light-years distanced objects

Halo. I'm interested in how would Special relativity comment on this: Suppose there are 2 objects, A and B. They are 13 billion light years away from each other. When the light from the B object ...
-3
votes
1answer
144 views

Black Holes, how do they form?

Do black holes form by when the massive star dies and all the gravity falls in on itself, or something else. Please let me know, I'm really desperate!!
2
votes
3answers
123 views

What happens to photons that don't interact with something?

Say a photon left one of the first stars ever created in our universe. This photon has been traveling for 13+billion years through the vastness of space without ever hitting anything. Sure, it's ...
5
votes
1answer
149 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
82 views

Python 2D Jean Instability in Spiral Galaxy Simulation

I have ~1000 snapshots of a spiral galaxy simulation (from Molecular cloud perturbations t=0 to t>1Gyr. What I need to do is determine whether any position at any of the snapshot times meets criteria ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

What will happen to our solar system if the milky way collided with Andromeda galaxy, would any planets survive? [duplicate]

Is there a chance if any planets in our solar system survive when the milky way and Andromeda collide?
2
votes
1answer
109 views

What causes the bright white area in this photo of the earth?

Regarding the photo of the earth described here, I know that the green tinge on the left hand side is to do with the aurora borealis. What's causing the bright white light on the right hand side?
9
votes
2answers
129 views

What is the current accepted theory as to why Titan has retained its atmosphere?

Titan (moon of Saturn) is unique in that it possesses a very thick atmosphere. However, Titan is certainly is not the largest of the moons - Ganymede being larger. What is the current accepted ...
2
votes
0answers
65 views

How to determine scalar-to-tensor ratio r from CMB polarization spectrum?

CMB polarization spectrum can tell us about the primordial scalar and tensor perturbation. By analyze B and E mode angular spectrum power spectrum and temperature power spectrum we can determine the ...
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Is it conceivable that the presence of chlorophyll (or similar) could be distinguishable from other chemicals on an exoplanet?

If an Earth-like exoplanet had a sufficiently extensive plant biosphere (i.e large forests, aquatic algal mats etc), is it at all conceivable that scientists could spectroscopically detect the ...
4
votes
1answer
110 views

Evidence behind Giant Impact hypthesis

The giant impact hypothesis is a theory to explain how the moon was formed. What evidence is there that supports the theory and led us to find the current theory?
11
votes
1answer
293 views

Do we get any benefit from being in a galaxy?

If our solar system were to somehow be created outside of a galaxy as a single star in the vast nothingness between galaxies, would life on Earth change any? Does being a member of a galaxy actually ...
3
votes
1answer
193 views

Viewing a solar eclipse through a leafy tree

Viewing my Facebook feed today, my local news station posted regarding a solar eclipse taking place today: Note the line about using a leafy tree as a filter: Scientists say NOT to directly ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

What is the ratio of “real” stars in the sky?

When you look at the sky without any utilities like binocular or telescope, what is the rough ratio of "real" stars to other objects like planets, the moon, asteroids, satellites? 90% stars - 10 % ...
5
votes
2answers
246 views

Statistically, what would the average distance of the closest black hole be?

The closest confirmed black hole is several thousand light years away from earth. Our galaxy has about 100 billion stars. I didn't find any reliable information on the black hole count of ratio versus ...
1
vote
2answers
93 views

Is there a standard mapping of symbols to terms for celestial and orbital mechanics

Is there a standard mapping of symbols to terms for celestial and orbital mechanics (and physics in general)? For example here are some ambiguities Angular Momentum: L, H, J, $\Gamma$, Orbital ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

How are stellar elemental abundances quoted?

Close to the bottom of page 4 of this article (marked as page 164 in the upper left corner) states Values are given in the logarithmic scale usually adopted by astronomers, A$_{e\ell}$ = log ...
1
vote
3answers
97 views

Mass of sun's core

It is estimated that the sun's core is about 1/5 of the radius of the sun (from Wikipedia). I know that the density of the plasma increases substantially the near the center, and that the volume of ...
1
vote
3answers
50 views

Does naked eye miss a lot between local stars and distant milkiness?

When I look at the night sky I seem to resolve points which are local stars and milkiness at further regions of the galaxy. But what is between? I think there must be a lot of stars which are too ...
3
votes
1answer
213 views

Pictures of a curious astronomical phenomenon

In a recent holiday, a friend made the following picture. It contains a curious green "thing" in the nightsky. The picture was made in Ladakh, India, 6weeks ago. The "thing" only appeared in one of ...
2
votes
2answers
879 views

What is the angular diameter of Earth as seen from the Moon?

...today I must have left my brain home. I know it's a simple calculation but I keep failing simplest calculations today. What is the angular diameter of Earth as seen from the surface of the Moon?
-1
votes
2answers
55 views

Do extraterrestrial landscapes or planets count as nature?

If I am talking about the surface of Mars, is this still nature, comparable to uninhabited places on earth, or does nature exclusively describe not man-made things on earth. I am asking this ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Is it accurate to say that we have a gravitational attraction towards all objects in the known universe?

Its probably small, but is there a theoretical gravitational attraction between all objects in the universe? Light can move pretty far, so does that mean gravity can as well, and is the gravity ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

Is Mars expected to go through the tail of Comet Siding?

This question will likely be answered "in retrospect" in about 8 days. So it's a great opportunity to "lay it out there" and then let reality prove you right/wrong. On the 19th of October, Comet ...
2
votes
1answer
462 views

What would be the dynamics of a double-planet system, similar to Earth / Moon, but with both bodies nearly Earth-sized?

Researching a sci-fi story involving a "twin-planet" system. Is such an arrangement (however unlikely) physically possible? And if so, must they be tidally locked with each other, similar to the moon, ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

Is there light on the surface of Venus?

A simple question: is there light on the surface of Venus?
5
votes
2answers
94 views

How did the Mars satellites “take cover” from the recent comet flyby?

After comet Sliding Spring's Oct. 19, 2014 close flyby of Mars, NASA reports that All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars ...
11
votes
1answer
219 views

If we count Avogadro's Number of stars that are closest to Earth, how big that space would be?

I posted this as a question to Scientific Imagination (Area 51 proposal) a while ago. And it was suggested that this question "is perfectly acceptable on Astronomy SE", since "it's about stellar ...
3
votes
4answers
484 views

Where can I find a catalog of all stars in the Milky Way?

Is there a catalog of all known stars or brightest stars in our galaxy? Preferably with some sort of galactic coordinates instead of just night sky coordinates (right ascension, etc.) I'm trying to ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Is early life required for life?

I was watching the new Cosmos and Neil DeGrasse Tyson said something that made me go hmmm... He mentioned that the only reason that the Earth did not experience the runaway greenhouse effect like ...
4
votes
1answer
141 views

What is the correct ratio of Newtonian to General Relativistic gravitational effects for Sun + single planet orbital system

For a hypothetical orbital system (Sun + single planet) the Newtonian model and the General Relativity (GR) model produce different expressions for the gravitational effect of the Sun on the planet. ...
1
vote
3answers
101 views

How near to Earth do comets pass?

Siding Spring now passes about 10 Earth diameters away from Mars. What are the estimates of how often comets fly by Earth at different distances? Are the distances to some famous historical comets ...
10
votes
2answers
158 views

Might Oort cloud comets be exchanged between solar systems?

Considering their distance from their parent stars, might Oort cloud object such as comets be exchanged between passing stars (assuming that other stars have similar Oort clouds)?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Diameter of any galaxy

I've been trying to figure out how to find the diameter in kpc of any galaxy given that one knows the distance to it in Mpc (d) and also the angular diameter/size (A) in arcsec. I had a formula before ...
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Do all stars have an oort cloud or is it a rare occurance?

Do all stars have an oort cloud like ours that will be filled with comets and other objects? If not, why are they not around every star?
12
votes
3answers
512 views

How do we know that the speed of the influence of gravity is instant?

When I was in college, I posed to my astronomy professor a thought experiment that had been puzzling my mind for some time: "If the sun magically disappeared, instantly, along with all its influences, ...
0
votes
4answers
163 views

Question about the Sun's Motion

My name is Chris, I am a junior and I'm taking an Astronomy class in my high school. For a homework assignment, I have to explain how the Sun would move across the sky from September 1st through ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Star class according to initial mass

Studying the stars classes for my homework (school) i learned that stars are classified by the spectral types (Harvard) and luminosity class (MKK) .. So the sun is a star class ...
1
vote
1answer
143 views

Time-density and time-temperature functions of the Universe since the Big Bang

I am looking for these... functions. I want to be able to say, "at a 1873. second there were around 54230000000 K temperature and 0.00435 kg/m^3 density". On the net I could find only tables or ...
1
vote
3answers
440 views

How much would you weigh if Earth stopped orbiting the Sun? [closed]

I have a curious question. The reason why astronauts are weightless in space is because they are orbiting Earth. If they suddenly stopped orbiting they would fall directly into Earth. Earth is doing ...
2
votes
5answers
117 views

Evolution of Life

Since life evolved here on Earth does that mean that life had to have existed before or in the future elsewhere in the Universe or could it be a one time only freak accident ?
5
votes
1answer
290 views

What is the difference between Sphere of Influence and Hill sphere?

Wikipedia's definition of Hill sphere is: An astronomical body's Hill sphere is the region in which it dominates the attraction of satellites. To be retained by a planet, a moon must have an orbit ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

why do we look at dark energy as an energy?

We call dark matter dark matter, because of the way it acts on galaxies, but why do we look at dark energy as an energy? With $E = m c^2$, can't dark energy be mass as well? Why dont we look at dark ...
1
vote
2answers
147 views

How can a planet not rotate at all and yet have 1 year that is day and 1 year that is night?

A mercury day if you consider its solar day is 2 mercury years. Now if you consider just 1 half of mercury, in 1 of those years it is facing towards the sun and in another one of those years it is ...

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