Community Digest

Top new questions this week:

Solar Analemma - but with a star instead

We (homeschool students and I) are trying to find the answer to this question. Does a star also create Solar Analemma figure 8 when photographed daily for a year? Has anyone published an experiment ...

amateur-observing  
asked by user2065003 19 votes
answered by Tim Campbell 9 votes

Can lightning occur in stars like the Sun?

In the Wikipedia article about lightining, the following explanation is given about the electrification process in clouds: The details of the charging process are still being studied by scientists, ...

star the-sun brown-dwarf stellar-atmospheres  
asked by ksousa 10 votes
answered by eshaya 22 votes

Can New Horizons be used to measure the distance to Betelgeuse (despite its fickle photocenter)?

The New Horizons spacecraft is almost 50 AU from Earth and near-simultaneous images taken by its telescope and one on Earth have demonstrated parallax without relying on the movement of Earth in it's ...

observational-astronomy artificial-satellite parallax betelgeuse  
asked by uhoh 6 votes
answered by Rob Jeffries 7 votes

Why Trojans haven't merged into moons

Jupiter's trojans are located in the L4 and L5 Lagrange points. These two points are stable, so why don't all the trojans have already merged into small moons? And since it's not the case, what ...

jupiter trojan-asteroids  
asked by Nereid Regulus 5 votes
answered by David Hammen 6 votes

What if the two Black Holes spiraling around each other are evaporating via their Hawking radiation?

A non-technical explanation In a Gravitational Wave event, the point is that in this event when Black Holes are spiraling around each other, they will cause the very fabric of Space-time to ripple and ...

black-hole gravitational-waves hawking-radiation  
asked by Spin Foam 4 votes
answered by Rob Jeffries 20 votes

How is the height of the Great Red Spot measured?

This answer states that the Great Red Spot is getting taller. This means that we are able the determine the spot's height. How do we do this?

observational-astronomy great-red-spot  
asked by usernumber 3 votes
answered by Nilay Ghosh 3 votes

Luminosity of Neowise

So, I have been trying to figure out the bolometric luminosity of the comet C/2020 F3 (Neowise) on the 22nd of June, 2020. At that time, Neowise was $1.4$ AU away from Earth and had an apparent ...

observational-astronomy comets luminosity  
asked by space nerd 3 votes
answered by Rob Jeffries 4 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Why is the Moon's orbit so complicated?

I like to think I have a good enough understanding of astrophysics but there's still one thing that I just can't explain. Why does the Moon orbit the Earth the way it does? Many other moons in the ...

the-moon astrophysics orbital-mechanics  
asked by ChristieToWin 22 votes
answered by antispinwards 9 votes

Does the Sun belong to a constellation?

Each new star we find is generally considered to be part of the constellation it is nearest to. Our Sun is obviously a star, just much closer. Is our Sun part of any constellation? If so, which ...

the-sun constellations  
asked by RhysW 22 votes
answered by Jon Ericson 36 votes

When was it worked out/discovered that our sun can't go supernova?

As the title says, when did we realise with reasonable confidence that our star is not going to be going out in a supernova blaze of glory? I ask because a while ago I read The Songs of Distant Earth ...

the-sun supernova history  
asked by Wiggo the Wookie 20 votes
answered by Rob Jeffries 33 votes

Can this picture of the moon directly above the sun from the horizon be real?

I recently saw this image, but somebody told me that it is fake, possibly photoshopped. The moon and the sun appear to be on the same perpendicular from the horizon. Is there any way to tell if this ...

the-sun the-moon  
asked by Ali Ph 16 votes
answered by Dr Chuck 33 votes

Why does Jupiter have so many moons?

Jupiter has a great many moons - in the hundreds, and they're still being discovered. What is the current theory for where all these moons came from? Are they rocks flying through space captured by ...

jupiter natural-satellites  
asked by Undo 33 votes
answered by SF. 23 votes

Why do sunspots appear dark?

Sunspots, such as this one, appear dark: Why?

the-sun sunspots  
asked by Undo 27 votes
answered by Undo 26 votes

If two black hole event horizons overlap (touch) can they ever separate again?

Hypothetical question based on my understanding that two event horizons that overlap (touch) can't ever separate again: Imagine a 1 billion solar mass black hole (so the event horizon is massive and ...

black-hole supermassive-black-hole event-horizon  
asked by Loadwick 55 votes
answered by Mads Aggerholm 54 votes

Can you answer these questions?

What is preventing cave formation on Mercury?

The answer to this question suggested cave formation on other planets in the solar system especially on terrestrial planets. There are suspected lava tubes on Mars, Venus and Moon where lava flows ...

mercury volcanism  
asked by Nilay Ghosh 1 vote

SDSS - getting separate u, g, r, i, z frames from SWARP tool and astropy

I am following this paper to extract the u,g,r,i,z image frames from the SDSS image fits files. I have the fits files downloaded (using the bulk data download option from SDSS) and tried to run the ...

galaxy-center astropy sloan-dss  
asked by Hiba Jamal 1 vote
answered by Peter Erwin 0 votes

Does lightning on Venus affect the chemical composition of the clouds?

It is established that lightning occurs on Venus due to the presence of sulfuric acid clouds. Does this constant electric discharges and possible electrolysis affects the composition of the clouds on ...

atmosphere venus astrochemistry  
asked by Nilay Ghosh 3 votes
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