16
votes
1answer
274 views

How distances are measured in the Solar System, in the Galaxy, and in the Universe?

Distances in our universe can be calculated in several ways: Stellar Parallax Standard Candles Redshift How are these methods linked, and how they are actually used to calculate distances are ...
7
votes
2answers
85 views

What is the current estimation for how much time the Sun will function properly?

Eventually, the Sun will run out of fuel, go dark, and other bad things will happen. About how much long is it predicted that we will have a sun functioning as it is currently?
6
votes
1answer
77 views

What are the main differences between solar flares and coronal mass ejections?

Specifically, what causes them, what sort of damage can they cause, and what are the differences in their composition?
11
votes
1answer
56 views

What is the naming convention for newly discovered objects?

Often, a newly discovered star is identified by a seemingly random string of letters and numbers. I'm sure that there is some order to it, though. What is the naming convention for newly discovered ...
8
votes
1answer
171 views

What is the current accepted theory for Neptune's immense wind speed?

According to "Neptune: The Other Blue Planet in Our Solar System" (Choi, 2010), Neptune, despite its great distance from the sun, is the windiest planet in the solar system, with winds reaching ...
10
votes
2answers
142 views

What is the upper and lower limit of temperatures found on stars?

What are the most extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) stars have been detected at? Is there an upper and lower limit for the detected temperature of stars?
13
votes
4answers
202 views

What is Gravitational Lensing?

What is the effect known as gravitational lensing? How does it work? What objects would be able to cause this effect?
11
votes
2answers
161 views

Will an observer falling into a black hole be able to witness any future events in the universe outside the black hole?

I know someone or something sucked into a black hole could not survive, but is the bending of light so immense that an observer falling into a black hole will be able to witness any future events in ...
6
votes
2answers
105 views

If nothing travels at the speed of light, except light, how can a black hole also pull light into itself?

Is it because it has super massive gravity and energy? Or is it some sort of an anti-light component in it because it used to be a star?
8
votes
2answers
81 views

Do the orbits of planets change sometimes?

Do planets sometimes wobble and get off their paths? What if an asteroid were to hit it?
16
votes
3answers
738 views

Do all the objects in the universe exert force on all other objects?

Do all the objects in the universe exert force on all other objects? Like a type of gravity; also, how much does it decrease as it gets farther away?
7
votes
1answer
91 views

How many stars can stay close to each other without collapsing?

Is it possible for two stars to exist close to each other? "Close" is relative; let's assume that two stars are close to each other if they are at the center of the same solar system. It's ...
10
votes
1answer
88 views

How hot can a planet be?

Given that some exoplanets, particular "Hot Jupiters", orbit very closely to their parent star, how hot can these planets become? What is the hottest exoplanet discovered so far?
7
votes
1answer
48 views

How would the pocket cellular clock work?

In a museum in Lviv, I saw a pocket cellular clock. I don't have a photo, but it was a small disc that had 2 or 3 filaments in it which were pointed at the stars (one of them was Andromeda, I think). ...
16
votes
1answer
249 views

What causes a star to become a pulsar?

What processes does a star undergo to become a pulsar? Does it take a very specific star with a certain set of qualities such as "Just the right mass, diameter, and composition," or is it a freak ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

How to calculate the movement of the object passing near other object in space?

Assume object A is moving through the space and is passing near the other object (B). Assume the gravitational influence of other objects can be ignored. How to find the equation describing the ...
11
votes
1answer
189 views

What is the accepted theory as to why Uranus' axis is tilted so severely?

The planet Uranus is another solar system anomaly, where according to the NASA profile has an axial tilt of 97.8 degrees, also considered to be retrograde. This NASA summary "Uranus" suggests the ...
9
votes
1answer
108 views

Navigation using moon phases

How to navigate with possible maximal precision using moon phases? The Moon is the brightest celestial body seen in the night sky, and it is possible to find even through moderate clouds. So it's a ...
13
votes
4answers
241 views

What are the differences between a Black Hole and a Supermassive Black Hole

From what I understand, the mass of a black hole should be nearly infinite, how much more massive can something get? Is the name to be literally interpreted such that a Supermassive Black Hole just ...
8
votes
1answer
98 views

Can any information leave a black hole?

Referring to this question, is there any information that can leave black holes? Are they causing a permanent information loss in our universe?
11
votes
1answer
198 views

What is the current accepted theory as to why Venus has a slow retrograde rotation?

According to this NASA overview, the planet Venus is unique (amongst the major planets), Venus has a slow retrograde axial rotation, taking 243 Earth days to make one rotation (which is longer than ...
25
votes
6answers
597 views

How are black holes found?

Black holes have so much gravity that even light can't escape from them. If we can't see them, and the suck up all electromagnetic radiation, then how can we find them?
30
votes
5answers
1k views

Why is only one side of the Moon visible from Earth?

Why do we only ever see the same side of the moon? If this is to do with gravity are there any variables which mean we might one day see more than we have before?
9
votes
4answers
201 views

What is the most extreme weather found on another planet?

On Venus, there is really inhospitable weather, as well as within the gas giants in our solar system. Are there examples of even more extreme weather on planets found in other solar systems than ours? ...
5
votes
1answer
67 views

Are astronomers researching or trying to find signs of worm holes?

In many movies and in the popular culture wormholes are often referenced, as well as "faster than light travel", which seems almost to be the same thing, is possible. Are astronomers seriously ...
14
votes
3answers
519 views

Could someone explain RA/dec in simple terms?

The equatorial coordinate system isn't too complicated. However, for people new to this, it seems rather intimidating at first. Is there an easy way to explain it?
17
votes
3answers
468 views

Why can't light escape from a black hole?

I've heard that light can't escape from a black hole. Can it? If not, why?
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do sunspots appear dark?

Sunspots, such as this one, appear dark: Why?
17
votes
2answers
163 views

Amateur observing targets for binary star systems?

Are there any easily resolvable, binary star, observing targets visible from ~N40°? I'd like to be able to show, in one observing session, Mizar and Alcor (naked eye resolvable), another with ...
12
votes
1answer
85 views

How are the compositional components of exoplanet atmospheres differentiated?

How are exoplanetary atmosphere compositional spectra distinguished from those of the parent star(s), from the composition of the planetary surface or any other factor? Is it actually possible to ...
19
votes
2answers
303 views

How do I calculate the inclination of an object with an amateur telescope?

Suppose I would like to calculate the inclination of a satellite from the ecliptic. Would it be possible to do this with an amateur telescope? How would I go about doing so? Note: A good answer ...

15 30 50 per page