Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

How is Uranus' north pole defined?

The rotation axis of the planet Uranus is tilted by 98° compared to its plane of orbit. This means that the north pole of Uranus is "under" the ecliptic compared to the north pole of other planets. ...

rotation uranus  
asked by usernumber 29 votes
answered by antispinwards 24 votes

Why can't we see a solar eclipse every month?

In every lunar revolution around Earth, the Moon is at a point between the Earth and the Sun. Then why can't we see a solar eclipse once every lunar month? Is it because of a tilted orbit of the Moon ...

solar-eclipse  
asked by Akshat 12 votes
answered by Eric Lippert 5 votes

Why do planets in red dwarf star systems tend to have a higher probability to get tidally locked?

I have read about about the habitability of red dwarf systems on Wikipedia, as well as some web articles on similar topics. The problem is, it does not explain why and how it happened. Google search ...

gravity exoplanet tidal-forces tidal-locking red-dwarf  
asked by Yudhi G. 8 votes
answered by antispinwards 16 votes

What is the most appropriate way to estimate the helium composition of a star?

Say we have to estimate the helium content in Proxima Centauri. We begin by calculating the content of helium in the Sun (source): $24.85$% of $2.10^{30}$ kg. Mostly all the energy is generated due ...

star luminosity helium  
asked by Sunit Gautam 7 votes
answered by James K 12 votes

Size and mass of comet ATLAS (C/2019 Y4)

I read some news about this new comet and some unreliable sources said it is twice as big as Jupiter. I tried to find a reliable estimation of its size or mass, but I couldn't find anything. Would you ...

jupiter comets mass size  
asked by Mehdi Abbassi 6 votes
answered by James K 12 votes

What is the furthest star for which we can measure the diameter?

If a star is close enough that we can measure its parallax and that it doesn't appear point-like, then we can deduce its diameter. Can we measure the diameter of all the stars for which we can measure ...

star parallax angular-diameter  
asked by usernumber 6 votes
answered by Rob Jeffries 12 votes

Sun, Moon: Relative Distance from Crescent?

This is more a question about the history of astronomy. It recently occurred to me that you can estimate the ratio of earth-moon and earth-sun distance in the following way: We can look at the ...

the-sun the-moon history  
asked by Toffomat 5 votes
answered by James K 5 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Is it possible to achieve a stable "lunarstationary" orbit around the moon?

Is there a stable geostationary orbit around the moon? My feeling is, that the orbit would collide with earth, because of the moon's slow rotation.

orbit the-moon  
asked by Christian 40 votes
answered by zephyr 66 votes

Can our Sun become a black hole

Does every star become a black hole? Is there any probability that our sun can become a black hole? If yes then is it on its way to become a black hole? what is the current state of sun as per the ...

the-sun solar-system black-hole  
asked by Strikers 32 votes
answered by Bobson 40 votes

Could the dinosaurs have seen the asteroid that killed them?

Wikipedia says the Chicxulub impactor is thought to have been a 10-15 km diameter object. Would it have been visible to a (human*) naked eye before impact? And if so, would it have appeared like a ...

asteroids comets history naked-eye  
asked by Robert 71 votes
answered by Rob Jeffries 89 votes

How long does it take to produce a star? Why does it take that long?

I wonder, why stars take a really long time to become stars? Is it because it needs to gain mass? Or heat up? Something like that? And could it be sped up at all?

star formation  
asked by Timtech 7 votes
answered by MBR 7 votes

Can a magnetic field of an object be stronger than its gravity?

Can a planet, star or otherwise have a magnetic field that is stronger or have more range than its gravity?

gravity fundamental-astronomy magnetic-field stellar-astrophysics stellar-dynamics  
asked by Muze the good Troll. 20 votes

Why do the planets orbit in the same direction?

Theoretically, planets would have an approximately equal chance of going one way in their orbit or another but in reality, this is not the case (at least in our solar system). Why is this?

planet orbit solar-system  
asked by Mobal 22 votes
answered by Sir Cumference 38 votes

How to calculate the expected surface temperature of a planet

I'm writing a program to generate solar systems but I'm having trouble calculating the expected temperature of a planet. I have found a formula to calculate this, but I haven't been able to get a ...

planet  
asked by Eegxeta 9 votes
answered by Irigi 8 votes

Can you answer these questions?

Python interface for DMK 23U274 USB camera for astrophotography

I have access to a monochrome USB camera (DMK 23U274, The Imaging Source) and I'd like to record focal plane images from a small telescope with a python script that would control it by setting ...

amateur-observing photography python  
asked by uhoh 1 vote

Why is rotational motion absolute, is the universe spinning?

When considering any object, one can say its translational movement is relative, depending on the point of view or reference frame adopted. If it moves at 1/4c relative to some observer, one might say ...

universe rotation general-relativity apparent-motion  
asked by qq jkztd 1 vote

Detect sources near image edge with python photutils

As my question suggests, I 'm trying to use a python library photutils in order to detect sources from MUSE cube. MUSE (Multi Unit Spectroscopic Explorer) is an instrument which provides cube, i.e. an ...

observational-astronomy coordinate python deep-sky-observing  
asked by Giuseppe Angora 2 votes
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