7
votes
0answers
119 views

How has the Earth's orbit changed over hundreds of millions or billion of years?

First, I know that modeling orbital mechanics of 8 planets is hard, but there are some theories out there, for example, Jupiter is thought to have moved in towards the sun then started moving away. ...
6
votes
0answers
178 views

Magnetic fields of peculiar HgMn A type stars

Do HgMn (peculiar A type) stars really possess global magnetic fields? See, for example, this paper by Hubrig et al. from 2012.
5
votes
0answers
65 views

Are stars NML Cygni, UY Scuti, VY Canis Majoris and VV Cephei near the ends of their lives?

Are the three stars mentioned in the title stars that are going to go supernova, or are they stars that are in mid-life, like our Sun, but just happen to be so much larger than our Sun?
4
votes
0answers
41 views

Could the James Webb Space Telescope detect biosignals on exoplanets?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) which is slated to launch in 2018 will bring us a better view of exoplanets, but will it be sufficient to detect signs of life on at least some of those worlds? ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

Is it accurate to compare comets to clouds and rain?

I'm trying to avoid an opinion-based question, so before I outline the comparison I'm proposing, I will qualify the specific facts that yield this comparison. By focusing answers on the relative ...
4
votes
0answers
67 views

Can there be an object with planetary discriminant between Ceres and Neptune?

The planetary discriminant is a measure of how dominant a body is within its region of the solar system. For (true) planets, it is >10000 and for dwarf planets it is <1. See this answer for more ...
4
votes
0answers
56 views

Does CIBER Experiment from Caltech suggest that there can be lots of stars which are not in any galaxy?

My question is about the implications of the observations recently made by the Cosmic Infrared Background Experiment, or CIBER, from Caltech. I've read at Caltech web site: "The total light ...
4
votes
0answers
35 views

Going from the second moments of an object to its ellipticities and half-light-radius

I am studying ellipticity distributions of galaxies and am having trouble moving from the second central moment matrix (covariance matrix) to properties for an object such as its half-light radius. I ...
4
votes
0answers
25 views

Any new info about solar flares hitting the Moon added by the LADEE mission?

This article from 2011 mentions simulations about the sputtering effect caused by a solar flare hitting the Moon: "We found that when this massive cloud of plasma strikes the moon, it acts like ...
3
votes
0answers
34 views

Orbits in a binary star system

I know of three sets of stable orbits in a binary star system: orbiting closely around star A, orbiting closely around star B, or orbiting distantly around both stars (and their mutual center of ...
3
votes
0answers
52 views

How to calculate the moon phase

I need a way of to calculate the moon phase. Do you know resources for research the theory from behind this? I basically have searched in Google, but the results were not very satisfactory. Exists a ...
3
votes
0answers
36 views

What implications does younger volcanism have on the Moon's thermal evolution?

In the paper Evidence for basaltic volcanism on the Moon within the past 100 million years (Braden et al. 2014), suggest that features such as Ina (image below) represent a far more recent age of ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Why are there no stars on New Horizons images of Pluto

I followed the New Horizons Mission a little, and saw among others this image of Pluto: I wonder, why you can't see any stars on it. As far as my very basic knowledge in astronomy goes, I think you ...
2
votes
0answers
67 views

Why are retrograde orbits more stable than prograde ones?

Regarding solar system dynamics, i.e. planets in stellar systems and moons in planetary systems, this is often mentioned in the literature, but it is difficult to find a good analysis/explanation of ...
2
votes
0answers
30 views

Are trojans in L5 more likely than in L4?

Mars has much more trojans in L5. Does it reflect a common pattern?
2
votes
0answers
69 views

How Does Black Hole Evaporation Look From the Inside?

Imagine you're inside a black hole event horizon. The curvature of spacetime is such that the direction towards the singularity becomes timelike, as reverse movement becomes literally impossible. How ...
2
votes
0answers
43 views

How can you determine the initial volume of a planet's atmosphere?

Since the surface pressure of a planet is determined by the mass of the column of gasses above it one would surmise that to determine the pressure you must know the volume and mass of the atmosphere. ...
2
votes
0answers
84 views

Total solar eclipse, supermoon, and spring equinox all happening at the same time: anything special about this?

Today (March 20, 2015) is seeing a rare combination of the spring equinox, a total solar eclipse, and a supermoon. I am wondering if there is anything special astronomically about all three of these ...
2
votes
0answers
72 views

Is there a cosmic, rather than technological, upper limit to what a telescope can resolve?

Space radio interferometers could have a baseline of millions of kilometers, but is there a point where a larger baseline doesn't improve the resolution anymore because the photons observed are ...
2
votes
0answers
86 views

Questions about a fictional binary system, and habitability

Note: Questions are at the bottom. The rest had simply been written in a format to better organize my thoughts. The formulas used to construct this fictional solar system, had been borrowed from ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

What is the cause of the variation from high and low mean obliquity periods of Mars?

It is reasonably well known that Mars has a greater obliquity range than Earth, due to Mars lacking a stabilising influence of a large moon. However, the Martian obliquity seems to have gone through ...
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
55 views

Mapping selenographic coordinates onto a sphere

I have a 3D rendering of the moon, which is represented as a sphere with a radius of N pixels. I also have selenographic coordinates. For example, the coordinates of the Apollo 11 landing site are ...
2
votes
0answers
25 views

Does the radius of the Universe correspond to its total entropy?

I heard a claim that due to holographic principle, the surface area of the cosmic horizon corresponds to the universe's total entropy. As such the initial state had zero surface area and later ...
2
votes
0answers
20 views

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, ...
2
votes
0answers
51 views

What are the biggest problems about the numerical, finite-element GR models?

As I know, for example the modelling of the collapse of a neutron star (to a black hole) wasn't done correctly until now. Why? Yes, I know, the Einstein Field Equations aren't really easy to solve. ...
2
votes
0answers
71 views

Sedna, VP113 and the likelihood of the PX/Tyche/Thelistos hypotheses

Crosslisted question from http://physics.stackexchange.com/questions/131876/sedna-vp113-and-the-likelihood-of-the-px-tyche-thelistos-hypotheses The recent discoveries in exoplanetary science ...
2
votes
0answers
44 views

Are there sufficient observational data to measure non-Newtonian perihelion advances of any Asteroid and Comet orbits?

Anomalous (i.e. not predicted from Newtonian theory) advances of the perihelion direction have been observed for many solar system planet orbits and have been accounted for by Einstein's General ...
2
votes
0answers
32 views

Estimating the tangential and cross component of the galaxy's shear using Gnomonic projection

I would like to know how I can estimate the tangential and cross component of the galaxy's shear using Gnomonic projection of the right ascension and declination ...
2
votes
0answers
66 views

Intrasolar planetary surface temperature change divergence from Earth

Considering the vast amount of insulating gas emitted by human activity on Earth without a coincident release on all other planets in the solar system as well as the phenomenon that planets in a solar ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

How exactly can the hypothetical conformal invariance of the CMB spectrum be established by analyzing tensor modes?

In the introduction of this paper at the top of p11, it is mentioned that a hypothetical enhancement of the scale invariance of the CMB spectrum to conformal invariance could potentially be ...
2
votes
0answers
52 views

Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves?

Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves? Is this attribution unique, or are there other michanisms that could lead to the ecitation of tensor modes? In ...
2
votes
0answers
53 views

need data-point: actual counts per second with APD (avalanche photodiode) detector

I'm designing a sensor system to perform specialized [astronomy and space-sciences] experiments, and need a "reality check" to support or adjust my theoretical calculations. What I need is the ...
1
vote
0answers
3 views

Available energy for potential life on Titan

There is an interesting discussion about whether there could be life on Saturn's moon Titan. The life could use reaction of hydrogen and acetylene which are being produced by photolysis in Titan's ...
1
vote
0answers
12 views

Could evaporating hot Jupiters have metallic hydrogen on their surfaces?

Jupiter is believed to have metallic hydrogen in its core. And gas giants that migrate to become hot Jupiters are believed to evaporate, have their atmospheres blown away by their nearby star. Can ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

How to find the distance between two quasars

I want to calculate the distance between two quasars of which I know the angular position and the red shift. Let $Q_1=(\alpha_1,\delta_1, z_1)$ and $Q_2=(\alpha 2,\delta 2, z_2)$ and suppose $z_2 > ...
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Any freely available large stellar spectra catalog?

For a non-astronomy personal project I would like to have a large set of optical stellar spectra combined with absolute magnitude when available. I search for a dataset that contains 10k - 10M ...
1
vote
0answers
34 views

Is the Tombaugh Regio on Pluto visible from Earth?

Is the Tombaugh Regio on Pluto discernably visible from Earth ground based or Earth orbiting telescopes? And more generally, can surface features seen in Hubble images be matched with images from New ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Available data on the Milky way around 1920

In a book by Alexander Moszkowski, there is an Einstein quote about a hypothetical size of the universe (100 million Light years). Moszkowski claims that Einstein had deduced that from the ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

How to calculate geocentric conjunction time and moon altitude at a given time

Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia determine the new moon if these criteria meet at 29th day: The geocentric conjunction occurs before sunset. The moon sets after the sun. I've got the formula ...
1
vote
0answers
19 views

What more could be learned from a rare astronomical event if we knew precisely when it would occur?

This is actually related to a question I recently asked on Worldbuilding, but seemed more appropriately asked here. To keep this from being too broad in scope, let's assume that someone figured out ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

Focusing light through plastic cable to extend telescope viewer

This question will seem out of place here, my explanation is that I want to build a system to view my telescope without being uncomfortable, as of now I have to stand up and bend over to view the eye ...
1
vote
0answers
27 views

What are the analysis steps in taking raw data from Kepler to a planetary system determination

I wish to get a concise list of the analysis steps required to take raw light data from a Kepler data set of a star through the steps needed to get to an analytical determination of the existence of a ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

What is the reason for the dispute over the variation of core mass with heavy metal abundance?

In Metal-Poor Stars IV: The Evolution of Red Giants, Rood writes The differences in the results of these papers are large enough to introduce appreciable uncertainties into the study of the ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

If we built one hundred 3m telescopes and point them to a single star what would be the final resolution?

We'll mount all of them in a same location and connect them to each other (like VLT) so they will combined all the results and will produce some staggering images however my question is, would they be ...
1
vote
0answers
25 views

Spectral analysis of AGN (velocity dispersion of galaxy absorption, doppler shifts)

I was wondering what parameters I need to know/measure to calculate the velocity dispersion of a galaxy, specifically an AGN. Also, I have spectra where there are blueshifted and redshifted ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

How long until the stars are no longer visible by the human eye due to light pollution?

I was curious to how long it will be until the stars are not able to be seen due to light pollution. I started wondering this after reading Yummie's Flash comic Knite.
1
vote
0answers
42 views

Is there any astronomical phenomena that could emit strong radio waves with multiples of a discrete frequency?

In the New Scientist article Is this ET? Mystery of strange radio bursts from space, it is reported that several times since 2001, astronomers have detected fast radio bursts that seem to have a ...
1
vote
0answers
16 views

infrared telescopes, magnitude and observations

Currently 22-23mag could be the limit to make a spectrum for ground based 10m class telescopes, 21-22may may be easy for them. 4m class telescopes could handle 20mag? I am not sure. 2m could be ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Variables in the Instability Strip

I was thinking about the possibility of determining what phase of evolution a variable star is in when it is located in the instability strip (say, a Cepheid object). Can you differentiate whether it ...

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