Questions tagged [astrometry]

Questions about the measuring the position of stars, and the techniques used to do this.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
0 answers
121 views

Positional astronomy - Speed of the sun in sky

Let $\vec{r}$ be the position of the Sun in the sky, from Earth. How could I estimate the magnitude of $d\vec{r}/dt$, to measure the rate of change in time of the arc it traces? I suppose it would be ...
4 votes
1 answer
77 views

How can I replicate AstroImageJ's pixel to RA/Dec algorithm in my own code?

EDIT: solved, thanks to Eric Jensen's suggestion (in a comment on his answer) that I include the correction to my right ascension value as a function of my declination. All other comments were helpful ...
1 vote
0 answers
28 views

Calculating the angular momentum of stars from Gaia archive (Gaia DR3)

I am trying to calculate the angular momentum for a subset of stars from Gaia DR3. I have scanned the available fields in their database and could only find out the below fields that specifies the ...
2 votes
1 answer
153 views

Celestial coordinates of every pixel in the image

I am solving starfield using Astrometry.net, an amazing piece of software I must say. After solving the starfield, Astrometry gives celestial coordinates of centroids of every star in the image, as ...
3 votes
0 answers
37 views

Is there a website or app that can add declination and RA grid to an existing photo?

For a few years now, I've been shooting photos of the night sky with just a tripod and my Nikon DSLR. After extensive post-processing to mitigate light pollution, I usually submit the final results ...
4 votes
0 answers
113 views

Airy's Water Filled Telescope: help required to fully understand the calibration procedure followed

I am reading/studying the instrument description of Airy's Water Filled Telescope (Airy, G. B., "History and Description of the Water Telescope of the Royal Observatory, Greenwich", ...
15 votes
2 answers
1k views

What will it finally take to accurately measure the distance to Betelgeuse?

Comments below What is the maximum distance measurable with parallax? discuss challenges associated with parallax measurements of Betelgeuse and link to Wikipedia’s Betelgeuse; Distance measurements ...
3 votes
1 answer
232 views

Practical ways of measuring the sun-earth-moon angle?

I learned as a child (and a common tale), that Aristarchus gave a method of measuring the sun-earth-moon angle to estimate the ratio of the earth-moon distance to the earth-sun distance. Indeed, ...
4 votes
1 answer
116 views

How often are radio telescopes used to measure parallax? When was this first done?

The abstract of A magnetar parallax (also in MNRAS) says: TE J1810-197 (J1810) was the first magnetar identified to emit radio pulses, and has been extensively studied during a radio-bright phase in ...
2 votes
2 answers
654 views

What exactly is the orbital period value of Sirius binary star system?

My Textbook An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics 2nd edition (2017), page 557 mentions that the modern value is 49.9 years. But Wikipedia mentions 50.1284±0.0043 years. Which is correct? Or, has the ...
1 vote
0 answers
97 views

Relationships between G magnitude, Johnson V magnitude, and spectral type of stars?

I'm simulating a population of binary stars for a summer research project. I'm adding uncertainties to my simulated observables such as angular position and radial (line of sight) velocity. I'm using ...
4 votes
2 answers
359 views

How to actually obtain the parallax angles that are used to determine distances of stars?

I’m trying to understand how to measure the distance to nearby stars using the parallax method. My question is: how do you get the value of the p angle?
2 votes
0 answers
410 views

How do you find the positions of celestial objects in the sky?

I want to write a program which, when given a date, a time, latitude and longitude, returns a list of the planets, Messier objects and NCC catalogue objects what are visible in the sky at that time ...
3 votes
0 answers
42 views

Tools and algorithms for angles-only orbit estimation

I've seen discussion threads where amateur astronomers estimate a satellite's orbital parameters from angles-only telescope observation. Are there any community tools or algorithms to help with this ...
4 votes
2 answers
506 views

Plotting Equatorial coordinates to X,Y plane (simulating telescope/camera view)

I would like to simulate a telescope camera view, projecting (RA, Dec) coordinate sets to a 2D plane. So effectively the need is to convert Equatorial coordinates to (x, y) coordinates, when we can ...
4 votes
2 answers
220 views

What is the mean separation between a star and its closest neighbor in the Milky Way halo?

My question is inspired by this previous question, Are there any stars that orbit perpendicular to the Milky Way's galactic plane?. In the great answer posted by @ConnorGarcia, one commenter said he ...
1 vote
2 answers
403 views

In Orion, how close in local distance are the closest of the member stars?

All the members of Orion are within the Milky way, and some of them look pretty close to a neighbor. And could the bow* be an effect similar to the Radcliffe Wave? *shield
2 votes
1 answer
89 views

Can angular information be known more precisely than the diffraction limit?

The diffraction limit deals with the ability to determine if two things are separate. I am interested in the ability to find the the centroid of a single object. Imagine a star with no near ...
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

How (the heck) does Astrometry.net work?

What magic is this? This answer to my question Astronomy detective question: what part of the sky are these photos of? What are a few of the stars? nails it, and the output (linked there) contains ...
8 votes
1 answer
564 views

Are we less safe now that Arecibo is no more?

update 3: uhoh! Source: Reddit update 2: Sadly, parts of the dish have collapsed, several cables have snapped, and the Arecibo radio telescope is now decommissioned and demolition has been ...
0 votes
0 answers
55 views

Setting specific CENTER coordinates coordinate in SWARP

The SWARP Documentation specifies that we first set the CENTER_TYPE to MANUAL and then in the CENTER parameter we specify either one of the equatorial coordinates (RA, Dec). This is specified in the ...
3 votes
1 answer
130 views

What measurements helped us in understanding 'Oumuamua's location and speed?

What measurements helped scientists understand 'Oumuamua's location and speed? I wanted to know how it was achieved and with what accuracy if possible.
1 vote
1 answer
196 views

In the 1950's how were radio-astrometric positions with portable dishes so precise they could be assigned to their dim optical counterparts (Quasars)?

In my question Why are quasars so far away that they couldn't be optically resolved in the 1950's? I included the following short paragraph, but then added strikethrough to the second sentence ...
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

how to plot sky map like www.nakedeyeplanet.com with dates tags with planetary motion path

I am curious how to plot planetary motion star chart with date tags like on www.nakedeyeplanets.com by Martin J. Powell. Is there any way to generate images similar like that. What software should ...
0 votes
0 answers
213 views

Position Angle Relative to North

I am trying to find the position angle of a star whose Ra and dec are known. I have already looked at the 'Measuring misalignment between two positions on sky' question and answer, but the answer ...
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

How was the Messenger spacecraft used to measure Mercury's orbital precession to such accuracy? Could this have been done using radar?

This comment under an answer to Path of Mercury and general relativity mentions that the Messenger spacecraft was used to measure the precession of Mercury's orbit to such accuracy that the tiny ...
0 votes
1 answer
977 views

RA and Dec of the Sun at J2000

I'm in the somewhat awkward position of asking something that, despite me thinking there should be hundreds and hundreds of web pages and datasets showing this particular value, I've been unable to ...
8 votes
1 answer
125 views

Anecdote of an astronomer looking for correlations in antipodal pairings of stars; what am I remembering?

The question Are the stars distributed in uniform distribution, on the celestial dome, with respect to brightness? brings to mind a different study that I vaguely remember hearing about a while ago, ...
5 votes
1 answer
181 views

How could one use the transit of Mercury to try and find the Astronomical Unit?

I am trying to use the transit of Mercury to estimate the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or 1 AU. I know that I need to observe mercury from two antipodes, but I do not understand any of ...
2 votes
0 answers
241 views

Right Ascension, Declination from pixel coordinates

I have an Excel spreadsheet that will take certain keywords from a FITS image header. Image centre RA, Dec, rotation, x centre, y centre, x scale, y scale. I enter the pixel coordinates of an object ...
2 votes
1 answer
104 views

How to interpret error of absolute magnitude of a star given data from wikipedia?

This Wikipedia page contains information about the star Spica in the rightmost table. A small snapshot of this table is below. In this table, the absolute magnitude is given as ...
4 votes
3 answers
698 views

Measuring misalignment between two positions on sky

Let's say I have the (RA,Dec) for two positions on the sky. I want to measure the position angle between these two positions. In other words, if I had the Cartesian coordinate vectors for these two ...
4 votes
1 answer
408 views

How did they measure the distance to the center of our galaxy to 0.3% accuracy?

The abstract of A geometric distance measurement to the Galactic center black hole with 0.3% uncertainty (Open Access) says: We present a 0.16% precise and 0.27% accurate determination of R₀, the ...
1 vote
0 answers
78 views

What exactly is a Right Ascension clock and how was one (mounted on a telescope) used in practice, historically?

@MikeG's answer to Why does this Lowell Observatory telescope have so many knobs? What do they all do? explains that item #6 labeled in the image there (and cropped version here) is likely to be a "...
1 vote
1 answer
290 views

How can GAIA's accuracy for position, parallax, and annual proper motion for a given star be the same number?

Per Wikipedia's Gaia (spacecraft); Objectives: Determine the position, parallax, and annual proper motion of 1 billion stars with an accuracy of about 20 microarcseconds (µas) at 15 mag, and 200 ...
2 votes
0 answers
130 views

How was the astrometry of the famous 1919 solar eclipse confirmation of General Relativity calibrated and verified?

The new New York Times article The Eclipse That Made Einstein Famous describes several events and discussions on the hundred year anniversary of the the 1919 solar eclipse and verification of the ...
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

How did ancient astronomers know to order the planets from the closest to the farthest from the Sun?

If we assume a geocentric model of the universe (like ancient astronomers did) how could we ever find out (again, like ancient astronomers did) the right distances of the planets? For example, how did ...
1 vote
2 answers
432 views

How do they know how far out Farout is? (2018 VG18)

The Carnegie Science article Discovered: The Most-Distant Solar System Object Ever Observed begins: Washington, DC— A team of astronomers has discovered the most-distant body ever observed in our ...
2 votes
1 answer
116 views

At what latitude could Orion's belt and Aldebaran be ~10 degrees above the horizon at the same time?

In his appearance on television contained in the video The Mystery That Keeps Neil deGrasse Tyson Up At Night, in the backdrop behind astronomer and educator Neil deGrasse Tyson and the talk-show host,...
6 votes
1 answer
173 views

Determination of High-Accuracy Distances of Terrestrial Planets from the Sun

I understand how in olden days the Sun-Planet distances were estimated using:- (i) measures of planet orbital periods ($T$) from analysis of observations over several centuries; (ii) Kepler's 3rd Law $...
1 vote
0 answers
88 views

How can you estimate distance of an object by its redshift? [duplicate]

Is there a way to take the red shift of an object and, from that, calculate a rough estimate of its distance from us (in parsecs, preferably)?
2 votes
0 answers
142 views

How to calculate the various properties of a star?

I am wanting to plot a velocity profile (a plot of velocity against the star's distance from the galactic core) from the Gaia DR2, but so far my efforts have been disappointing. The information I ...
5 votes
4 answers
698 views

Measurement uncertainty of the computed center of gravity from pixel image

Establishing the position of celestial bodies (stars, and other objects) is based on imaging technology. Depending on the resolution of the imaging sensor used, an object is identified by a group of ...
0 votes
1 answer
52 views

What are these "nonstandard format" lines in Distant Artificial Satellites Observation circulars?

Mike G's great answer clued me in on how to find the collection of astrometric observations of spacecraft which is maintained by the Minor Planet Center. I've noticed that there are nonstandard ...
6 votes
1 answer
587 views

Where might astrometric observations of the Roadster spacecraft be catalogued?

above: (see small red lines near center of image) Tesla Roadster. 18 Feb. 2018, 11:28 UT. The image above comes from the average of ten, 300-seconds exposures, remotely taken with the 16”-f/3.75 ...
2 votes
3 answers
1k views

Calculating the distance of objects using the Gaia DR1

The Gaia DR1 was released middle of September with ~1.1 billion objects. The schema contains right ascension, declination and parallax, which could be used to calculate Cartesian co-ordinates (xyz). ...
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

What resolution is needed to see a quasar through the galactic center?

The center of the galaxy is densely packed with stars and obscured by a whole lot of dust between us and it. For those reasons, groups that study the motion of stars around the super-massive black-...
3 votes
1 answer
341 views

Why does Sirius proper motion "wiggle" with a 1 year period, when Sirius A and Bs binary orbit is a 50 year period?

Some stars, if observed repeatedly over time, show a perturbation or "wobble" in their proper motion. If this is a periodic occurrence we can infer that the perturbation occurs due to the ...
1 vote
1 answer
567 views

What's the difference between GSR and Grf

I note there are two terms about Galactic rest frame in literatures: Galactic Standard of Rest (GSR) and Galactic Rest Frame (Grf). Are they the same frame? If not, what's the difference?
0 votes
1 answer
757 views

Moving-Cluster method for determination of the distance of Hyades. A starter problem

I am currently following a class of observational astronomy lab. I will present a brief description of the method in first and then proceed to the question, so anyone is welcomed to read the entire ...