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Application security specialist and developer, focusing on efficient designs and model-driven architecture. Pro tem moderator on Space Exploration Stack Exchange, a beta Q&A site for spacecraft operators, scientists, engineers, and enthusiasts.

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    Space Exploration


1d
comment Why is iron responsible for causing a supernova?
@Jeremy First a small clarification, iron is the last element that produces a net release of energy by nuclear fusion. Any fusion of/with iron into heavier elements consumes more energy than the process releases. Some sources: NASA Universe 101 on The Life and Death of Stars or Wikipedia on Supernova nucleosynthesis (where you might find other sources in references and suggested reading sections).
2d
revised What is the term for a star swallowing another star?
added 85 characters in body
2d
revised What is the term for a star swallowing another star?
added 9 characters in body; edited tags; edited title
2d
revised What is the term for a star swallowing another star?
added 85 characters in body
2d
revised What is the term for a star swallowing another star?
added 85 characters in body
2d
answered What is the term for a star swallowing another star?
2d
comment Why is the solar system always shown as a 2D plane?
@Stu I believe what was meant are retrograde orbits with an inclination over 90° (below 90° are prograde and around 90° polar orbits), e.g. Saturn's Phoebe that's suggested might be a captured Kuiper belt object and in 173° orbital inclination to the ecliptic. Those orbits are sometimes called "negative" or even their inclination marked as negative degrees to the polar orbit. E.g. Sun-synchronous "frozen" polar orbits are often said to be at around -1° (or better said 360°/365.25 days in a year, clockwise, so negative to prograde anti-clockwise).
Apr
10
comment What is the name of that which exists beyond the Universe?
English is weird. :)
Apr
10
comment What is the name of that which exists beyond the Universe?
BTW I was answering the question in a generalized sense, and not exclusively from the astronomy point of view, like it might seem now after the migration. The question was originally posted on Space Exploration under terminology tag. As much as I like astronomy, it will always be interested in a physical universe, which, as much as we know might not be all there is. And FWIW I'm not a native speaker either, but I do speak quite many European languages, and they all make this distinction, albeit they might use other words, like Cosmos.
Apr
10
comment What is the name of that which exists beyond the Universe?
@DrCopyPaste Please read all of my answer. You'll see that I'm not even discussing much how anyone defines "a universe", I'm trying to answer the question up top and explain what's the difference with "the Universe". A universe can be anything you want it to be. The Universe is everything it is, where adding to it that it also "was" and "will be" is just semantics. I would also like to remind you that Stephen Hawking is not necessarily even trying to explain (and by no stretch of imagination trying to define) the Universe, but a universe that has an effect on us in one way or another.
Apr
10
comment What is the name of that which exists beyond the Universe?
@AndrewThompson That's correct. A sun is any parent star around which a planetary system revolves. A star without planets isn't a sun to anything, so it cannot be called a sun. It would be like calling all men parents, yet not all are.
Apr
9
answered What is the name of that which exists beyond the Universe?
Mar
16
revised Is there online data on asteroid axial tilts?
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Feb
24
comment Why does e.g. Hubble's secondary mirror not block part of the picture?
Some references wouldn't go amiss in your answer. For example, you can find a lot of information on these pages (and its links): HubbleSite: The Telescope - Hubble Essentials
Feb
16
reviewed No Action Needed strange moonset around 10 pm (3.2 2014, NZ) - explanation?
Feb
16
reviewed No Action Needed Would it be possible to calculate the expected frequency of impact craters of all sizes on Earth
Feb
15
reviewed Leave Closed Integral calculus for the Olympiad?
Feb
15
comment Could I create a staircase to the moon and walk to it?
It's completely impossible to build an Earth reaching space elevator with current technology, we simply aren't aware of any materials with required tensile strength that could support even its own weight at tether lengths required (GEO is at 35,786 km above mean sea-level, and a counterweight beyond GEO would be required), let alone attach anything on it to make it useful. And there's a few other minor issues with it, such as atmospheric drag, gravity anomalies, vibration, electric current, solar radiation pressure, space debris, tidal forces, and a hundred more. And if it snaps ...
Feb
15
comment Could I create a staircase to the moon and walk to it?
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about Physics and has nothing to do with Astronomy
Feb
14
revised What are the concrete technical arguments supporting the idea that the wave function of the universe can be written as partition function?
removed repetition (possible copy/paste artefacts) in the title