# All Questions

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### When do Mercury/Venus reach greatest elevation at sunset/twilight for a given location?

On what day does Mercury reach its greatest elevation (in degrees from the horizon) at sunset a given location? The obvious answer is the day of Mercury's greatest elongation from the Sun, but, ...
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### If the expansion of the universe is speeding up, how long until everything nears the speed of light, and what would happen?

Since dark energy is causing everything to speed up infinitely, wouldn't everything near the speed of light? And since it's nearing the speed of light, wouldn't all kinds of strange things start ...
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### What causes jets from newly born stars?

Newly born stars often have bilateral jets of gas ejected from them at high speeds (hundreds of km per seconds), often ending in Herbig-Haro objects. As I understand it those jets would have something ...
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### Are ascending node of sun, the point of intersection of prime meridian and equator and center of earth all collinear?

I did a bit of googling but couldn't find the exact answer, so are the following 3 points collinear or not ? 1_center of earth 2_ascending(or descending) node of sun 3_point of intersection of ...
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### Where does the solar system end?

This is a question I've heard many times in the past, and a quick search of the site says it hasn't been asked here, so I figured I might as well ask (and answer) it. I know that it is rare for ...
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### How do I find the RA of sunset and sunrise in a specific location?

I want to make some observations with a telescope in Hawaii on Mauna Kea but I am living somewhere else (not Hawaii) and I want to plan a night's viewing on the Hawaiian telescope. How do I find the ...
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### Why can't the surfaces of stars be observed?

If I'm correctly informed, only three stars: Sol, Betelgeuse and Altair have surfaces which have been resolved by telescopes. All other stars are only point sources of light, even in the greatest of ...
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### Composition of planets' core

It is often possible to find a list of the materials that compose the cores and the mantle of plantes (often they are iron and/or nickel). How can these materials be determined in our Solar system? ...
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### Sky Glow calculations

I am leading a project for my High School NASA Club, and am looking for some advice. The goal of our project is to use a Raspberry Pi to control a camera that takes photos of the sky, and uses the ...
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### What is it like at the edge of the universe? [duplicate]

If the universe is expanding, then if you were to be close to the edge of that expansion, what would it look like? What would be happening? Would it be chaotic? Would objects be appearing or ...
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### Can Space-Time Itself Have Energy Qualities Like Momentum?

Hypothetically, if space could be moved or scaled, what would happen to everything inside? I'd like to know if an element of momentum could be transferred to objects by contorting space-time. Other ...
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### How did scientists determine an estimate of the number of planets greater than Sedna's size to exist in the Inner Oort Cloud?

In the article, New Dwarf Planet Found at Solar System's Edge, Hints at Possible Faraway 'Planet X' (Wall, 2014) where they report on research and observations performed by astronomers that discovered ...
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### Would bacteria on incoming meteors burn before impacting?

I was watching an old Ancient Aliens last night and there was a whole episode dedicated to how the "Gods" (aliens) were spreading disease/plagues. A good portion of the show was dedicated to how ...
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### I know when the human history ends. Or not?

If you think that we born on 1920...2000 and knows that the sun will explode 4 to 5 billion years from now. you will say that the time is a strange thing. I can not say that i will die before i know ...
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### How could we observe Dyson spheres? [duplicate]

Hypothetically, if Dyson spheres were already present, how could we observe them? My layman understanding of the reason we believe dark matter exists is that our current estimates of the total mass of ...
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### What current evidence is there that disproves the Big Bang Theory? [closed]

The Big Bang Theory has been described as follows: "Somewhere between 10 and 20 billion years ago, (this number of years has changed many times) all of the matter in the universe was compressed ...
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### Which galaxy is receding from the Milky the fastest? What is known of the mechanism behind its recession?

Galaxies are always in motion relative to the Milky Way, my question is, which galaxy is receding the fastest from our viewpoint? What is the theorised mechanism that causes this?
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### Long term effect on rocks of high pressure and temperature?

The mean surface temperature of Venus is about 460 C and the pressure is about 92 atmospheres. Assuming this situation (or similar) has prevailed for millions of years what changes (if any) would ...
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### Are there large underground caverns on Mars?

Scientists talk about the possibility of life underground on Mars, and I assume they are talking about microscopic life that can live in small gaps in the soil or rock. But is there any evidence that ...
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### Milky way: How do we know its appearance? [duplicate]

How can we know how does the Milky Way look like if we are in it? Sorry if the answer is evident, I am not an expert.
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### What is the size of the universe.is it infinite? [duplicate]

What is the exact size of the universe.is it infinite?
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### Formation of Cosmic Microwave Background

It is said that the cosmic microwave radiation (CMB) was formed when the universe was 379,000 years old. How is this calculated?
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### Maximum Amplitude of a Lissajous Orbiting Object in a L4 or L5 Position

I stumbled on The Lagrangian points during some wikipedia reading. After looking at the gravity contours, I naturally come to the conclusion that the L4 & L5 should have a wave pattern and then ...
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### Planetary gas giants

I've read that a gas giant, like Jupiter, doesn't have a rocky surface. But planets must start as a rocky conglomerate of flotsam. Is the interior so hot that all the material is molten and there ...
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### What is the shape and size of a gamma ray burst?

As I understand it, a gamma ray burst is created when a massive star collapses into a black hole. The poles of the black hole eject a massive burst of energy which we know as gamma ray bursts. So my ...
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### Is there a paper on galaxy mergers in clusters of galaxies?

I'm looking for something to cite about galaxy mergers in clusters of galaxies. I need numbers on the frequency of mergers in the outer parts of galaxy clusters vs. the cluster center. In the center ...
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### Why can't we detect water on Mars in the same way as in exoplanets?

Often I see news articles claiming astronomers found exoplanets with water. If we are capable of detecting water on such distant objects, why don't we employ similar methods to find water on Mars or ...
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### Why isn't the star that created the black hole a black hole?

If the mass of a black hole is creating so much gravity that light cannot escape, why isn't the mass of the star that created the black hole (before it went supernova) trapping light as well? By all ...
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### On (minuscule) dark matter production in supernovae

It is believed that dark matter is made of particles, which interact with matter only weakly and gravitationally. One common candidate for dark matter are so called WIMPs. WIMPs, specifically, are ...
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### What is the Fundamental plane for Elliptical Galaxies?

An alternate explanation rather than from wikipedia is preferable.
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### Using Tully Fisher to measure Distance Problem

Can anyone explain by looking at the solution in the pic, how did the cos (i) came about? I guess they are getting this from the major-minor axis info in the question, but I am not sure about the ...
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### What was the greatest spatial extent of the Asteroid Belt prior to the Late Heavy Bombardment?

Reading the article On the asteroid belt’s orbital and size distribution (Gladman et al. 2009), there is an interest point made: asteroids a few kilometers and smaller in size are recent ...
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### Did the Late Heavy Bombardment Period Happen Because of a Stellar System Collision?

I was thinking about the impending collision between M31 and the milky way galaxy, and I've heard that since a galaxy is mostly space most of the contents of both galaxies would be just fine. Could a ...
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### Do meteorites streak across the sky in the same direction?

Once while camping with my family as a child we all watched a meteor shower in the summer (in the month of August). All the meteorites streaked across the sky in the same direction. Obviously, this ...
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### Is the expansion of the universe greater than the speed of light?

If the rate of expansion of the universe is increasing , won't it eventually become greater than c? Also, after inflation, did the rate of expansion slow down and then start to accelerate again?
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### By putting a mirror in space, would we be able to see into the past?

I only ask this because of how fast light travels. The question remains in the title. Why, or why not, would this work?
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### Spotting the International Space Station (ISS)

Recently, I visited the NASA website which provides sighting locations to see the International Space Station (ISS). As we all know, we can even see ISS with the naked eye in a clear sky as a passing ...
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### Why are (Type II) supernovae so bright?

The vast majority of energy from a supernova is emitted as neutrinos and high-energy radiation, both of which being invisible to the naked eye. Yet a supernova can outshine its galaxy in the visible ...
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### Earth's gravitational pull on ISS

How do they make International space station to orbit the earth beyond earth's gravity acting on it? We all know that ISS is rotating at an altitude of just 350km away.How could ISS escape earth's ...
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### How can light reach us from 14 billion light years away?

One thing that I can't quite wrap my head around is how light is traveling to Earth from 14 billion light years away, aka the beginning of the universe. The way I see it, the universe itself was very ...
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### What is the galaxy M87 doing these days?

The massive elliptical galaxy M87 in the Virgo cluster is 53,490,000 light years away. It also contains one of the largest, heaviest supermassive black holes in the known Universe. But it's also my ...
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### Why natural satellites (moons) of all Planets are Solid?

Why the natural satelittes (moons)of all planets including moons of Gas Giants are are Solid or Rocky and not gaseous like them?
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### Are there standard algorithms and procedures for creating unique sky maps based on latitude/longitude/date/time?

I am trying to build an astronomy app that will use the user's latitude and longitude, along with the current date and time, to create a 3D view of the celestial sphere as seen based on that data. ...
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### Requesting book references for a non-expert person with math background or just a non-expert person

I've just finished my masters degree (to be exact previous week ^_^). And I'm completing my collection of applications of my studies. During previous year I started reading about Robotics and Coding ...
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### During an eclipse, does the size of the moon and sun match perfectly?

During a lunar or solar eclipse, from our perspective when we look towards the moon and the sun is behind the moon, does it fit exactly? Has anyone calculated the sizes of each in a relative ...
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### How certain are we about the universe's flatness?

The universe is thought to be flat: $\Omega = 1 \pm 1\%$. As I understand it we can determine this by measuring triangles against the CMB. Yet during inflation dark energy made the universe grew ...
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### Is there matter forming in the inflationary space?

Following the answers and the line of thinking from here Is there enough hydrogen left after a star dies so another star will have enough to light up? I was wondering if is there any possibility to ...
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### Can you explain the pattern of Hill sphere sizes of the objects of the Solar system?

I found this image on calculations of Hill sphere for planets/dwarf planets of the Solar system. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hill_sphere_of_the_planets.png I found it interesting that ...
### Did cosmological inflation occur at speeds greater than $c$?
If cosmological inflation occurred at speeds less than $c$, wouldn't we see the CMB right in front of our noses (or not at all) instead of at 13.7 billion light years? And if it happened faster than ...