9
votes
1answer
169 views

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 ...
9
votes
2answers
353 views

How do we know Milky Way is a 'barred' spiral galaxy?

In reference to the question, "How can we tell that the milky way is a spiral galaxy?" The answers there clearly sum up the question asked. But Milky Way is not just a spiral galaxy. It is further ...
9
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
191 views

What is the current accepted theory for the fate of hot Jupiters?

It is well established that one main feature of many hot jupiters is their close proximity to their parent star, usually the equivalent of being within the orbit of Mercury. So, these planets are gas ...
9
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the current theory for the formation of the Earth's Moon?

Given that the Earth and Moon are often said in the literature to have very similar geochemistry, what is the current theory as to how the Earth's Moon formed?
9
votes
1answer
91 views

Are any Pluto-sized objects remaining to be discovered in the Kuiper Belt?

An object approximately the same size as Pluto, Eris, was discovered only 8 years ago (in 2005). Are there any Pluto-sized objects remaining to be discovered, and if so, how far away from the Sun ...
9
votes
2answers
120 views

How do stellar temperatures vary?

The temperature of the surface of the Sun (photosphere) is between 4500° - 6000° Kelvin. Inside the core, it's around 15.7 million degrees Kelvin. In other types of stars (neutron stars, white ...
9
votes
1answer
187 views

How do scientists know that a rock found on Earth came from Mars?

There are many documented cases of meteorites being reported as from Mars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allan_Hills_84001 While I can understand that it's possible to know if a rock originated as a ...
9
votes
1answer
169 views

Where is all the antimatter?

The universe supposedly started off with equal parts matter and antimatter and they are said to annihilate each other. Also, nature is famous for it's balance between everything. So all we see is ...
9
votes
2answers
82 views

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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
327 views

How do we detect if a planet has a liquid core?

In case of Earth, we have many hints about the internal structure of our planet, from what I know, the most important of which is analyzing seismic waves. Do we have any instruments to detect if ...
9
votes
1answer
77 views

How was Io not torn apart by tidal forces during its formation?

Jupiter's moon Io is arguably one of the most volcanically active bodies in the Solar System. The reason, according to NASA's page Scientists to Io: Your Volcanoes Are in the Wrong Place is believed ...
9
votes
1answer
117 views

Is the surface of TrES-2b actually dark?

The exoplanet TrES-2b is known as the darkest planet ever found, reflecting <1% of the light that hits it. What does it mean in respect to the surface? What would we see below the atmosphere of ...
9
votes
1answer
79 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 ...
8
votes
6answers
887 views

Why don't we have 2 Summers and 2 Winters?

Due to Earth's elliptical orbit, its distance from Sun varies by almost 5 million Kilometers (147 million Kilometers at closest point & 152 million Kilometers at farthest point, i.e. almost 3% of ...
8
votes
2answers
402 views

What was the length of year 1 million years back?

We know that the universe is gradually expanding and this indirectly means that the gravitational force between sun, earth, planets and other stars (roughly anything in the universe) is gradually ...
8
votes
3answers
184 views

Why is the interstellar medium so hot?

On this link, it states the following: "large assemblies of galaxies that are permeated by even larger amounts of diffuse gas. With temperatures of 10 million degrees or more". How are these ...
8
votes
5answers
302 views

How do you define the diameter of the Sun

That is, it's twice the radius where the radius is from the centre of the sun to some edge. But what is that edge?
8
votes
4answers
1k views

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?
8
votes
3answers
688 views

Is the Jupiter-Sun system considered a binary system of some type?

Since Jupiter is very massive, it is the only planet (in our solar system) that has a center of mass with the Sun that lies outside the volume of the Sun. (Source) If Jupiter was a star, they would ...
8
votes
2answers
146 views

Moon orbits crossing each other

Some planets, such as Mars, have 2 or more moons. Giants, like Jupiter of Saturn have a lot of moons! How likely the orbit of one crosses another one's orbit? Is it possible for two moons to collide? ...
8
votes
3answers
270 views

Is the rotation of the Sun and the rotation/orbit of the Moon around the Earth a coincidence?

While looking at sunspot information in connection with Amateur Radio, I found that the Sun rotates on a period from 27 days to 31 days. Its rotation is differential, at the equator it spins at a ...
8
votes
1answer
247 views

Why are there no green stars?

There are red stars, and orange stars, and yellow stars, and blue stars, and they are all understandable save the fact that there is a 'gap': There are no green stars. Is this because of hydrogen's ...
8
votes
2answers
218 views

How are black holes doors to other universes?

I'm watching MIT OpenCourseWare lectures on general relativity and not too long into the first lecture the professor stated that the Kerr Black Hole solution allowed for travel between universes. How ...
8
votes
3answers
591 views

Why can you see the space station on some days but not on others?

In my area, from December 17th - 26th, you can see the space station every day, twice But from December 27th - January 6th, you can only see it twice My question is, why does it appear for ...
8
votes
2answers
397 views

Why is the observable Universe larger than its age would suggest?

The age of the Universe is estimated at 13.8 billion years, and current theory states nothing can exceed the speed of light, which can lead to the incorrect conclusion that the universe can't have a ...
8
votes
2answers
433 views

Why haven't Earth and Venus got any tiny moons? Or have they?

Why haven't some meteoroids gotten caught in Earth's or Venus' orbit? AFAIK most meteors are tiny fragments from comets. Shouldn't some comet tail sometime have passed Earth orbit at velocities ...
8
votes
2answers
213 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?
8
votes
1answer
716 views

What causes the dimensions of a star increase when its hydrogen fuel is exhausted?

What causes the dimensions of a star increase when its hydrogen fuel is exhausted? For example, the Sun is expected to increase its radius 250 times. What causes this if its temperature is expected to ...
8
votes
2answers
104 views

How were the designations of “North” and “South” applied to the hemispheres of Mars?

How was it decided which hemisphere was North and which hemisphere was South on Mars? Clearly, the designations "North" and "South" apply only to the hemispheres which contain the axis of rotation at ...
8
votes
1answer
118 views

Appearance (frequency) ranking of stars?

Is there some ranking / statistics that shows how common given type of celestial objects is? A table that would allow the answers to questions like: What type of star is most common per volume of our ...
8
votes
2answers
281 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
118 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?
8
votes
1answer
160 views

Which is the closest exoplanet to Earth?

The closest star to Earth (after the Sun) is well-known: Alpha Centauri, 4.3 light years away. But what about the closest exoplanet to Earth, outside of the Solar System?
8
votes
2answers
531 views

Why all the photos from 67p are black and white?

I was wondering why every picture we saw on internet about Rosetta's landing on 67p just black and white ? Is there something i should know ?
8
votes
2answers
233 views

Why are most lunar maria on the visible side?

Is there any reason why the Earth side of the Moon has enormous plains and mountains, while the far side contains just few small ones inside largest craters?
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Could Venus be a source of Earth's water?

I've watched documentaries about the solar system, where it is suggested that Venus once had oceans of liquid water similar to those that cover most of Earth today. Venus is now in a period of ...
8
votes
1answer
173 views

Changes to Earth's orbit

Any time a spacecraft comes in close proximity to a planet and if the spacecraft has the right angle then it is able to use the planet's velocity to move itself further into space. According to ...
8
votes
1answer
134 views

How fast do we travel through space?

Could someone give the rough estimates of speeds of our travel through space? I can easily find the two nearby ones: Earth's own rotation - depending on latitude, up to 40,075 km/24h = 463 m/s ...
8
votes
2answers
100 views

What are the Earth-like features of Titan?

This NASA site says that hidden beneath the smog of Titan are Cirrus like clouds and This space article describes how Titan's atmosphere is similar to Earth's too. What other features does Titan ...
8
votes
1answer
67 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 ...
8
votes
2answers
260 views

What Causes the Large Radiation Fields Around Jupiter?

I had heard that the large radiation belts around Jupiter may be formed by liquid metallic hydrogen in (or around) Jupiter's core (which Wikipedia says haven't been observed in labs yet due to the ...
8
votes
1answer
471 views

How do people measure the distance between the earth and the moon?

How do people measure the distance between the earth and the moon? What methods were used? Where can I find the official data?
8
votes
4answers
268 views

How would we detect an Earth doppelganger planet?

With our current technology, or technology available in the near future (up to 2025), how would we detect a planet exactly like our own, and how close would it have to be to be detectable? Which ...
8
votes
1answer
69 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?
8
votes
3answers
263 views

Planets and Pluto? Neptune?

If one of the rules to be a planet is that it needs to clear ALL objects from their orbit, does this also make Neptune a non-planet? Since it has thus far failed to clear Pluto (and based on an answer ...
8
votes
1answer
66 views

Do we make predictions in our time, or local time?

I was scrolling idly through the Wikipedia article on Orion when I read: Orion will still be recognizable long after most of the other constellations—composed of relatively nearby stars—have ...
8
votes
2answers
396 views

Do black holes die?

I know of stars actually dying (exploding as a supernova) but I have never heard of what happen to black holes. Do they continue to live forever, waiting there for more matter to absorb? Do they ...
8
votes
1answer
148 views

Any possibility for life on moons of planets in our Solar System

We all focused on our moon, to find water or life, or any thing related to life. But my question is, is there any chance for life in moons of other planets in our solar system, others have too many ...

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