Unanswered Questions

10
votes
0answers
234 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.
9
votes
1answer
183 views

How can astronomers determine the difference between “hydrostatic equilibrium” and “just happens to be spherical”?

This is relevant for the definition of a dwarf planet. I presume the answer will be, well, if we can tell the mass of the body and guess the material. I don't find this very satisfactory because ...
8
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
219 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
31 views

How frequently does a comet drastically change its orbit in the Solar System (like 67P did in 1959)?

Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko flew by Jupiter at only 0.05 AU distance in 1959. This encounter lowered its perihelion from 2.7 to 1.3 AU (almost becoming an Earth crossing comet). Since it happens ...
6
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
76 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
197 views

What is the bluest narrow band filter mounted on ground based telescopes?

If we want to check a QSO's lyman alpha narrow band image, could a ground based telescope do that? I mean under the circumstance that its lyman alpha shifts to 3300A.
5
votes
1answer
170 views

How can one explain the apparent motion of the Sun from a heliocentric point of view?

From a horizontal frame of reference, the path of the Sun looks like a part of a circle in a tilted plane, as shown in this picture: ...
5
votes
0answers
60 views

How thick can planetary rings be?

This arose from a comment on Worldbuilding. We have data from four planets in the Solar System with rings, which doesn't make for a very good sample size. Observations of exoplanets could change ...
5
votes
0answers
43 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 ...
5
votes
0answers
41 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
64 views

At what size to objects burn up in the atmosphere when falling from orbit?

As the title suggests, I am wondering the maximum size an object can be so that it will completely burn up when entering and falling through earths atmosphere. I'm focusing on man made objects, not ...
4
votes
0answers
45 views

Oldest Reference to Astronomical Seeing

I'm writing a paper on astronomical seeing. Sir Isaac Newton identified both the phenomenon and origin of astronomical seeing in his Opticks. He writes: ...
4
votes
0answers
49 views

What are the best candidates for solar lensing of exoplanets, and what would the results be?

If we were able to send a probe to 550AU from the Sun, which exoplanets could be examined, to what resolution, and what form would the examination take? It is radio telescopy only, or would it be ...

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