Questions tagged [astrophysics]

Questions involving the physics of the universe, especially the nature of astronomical objects, energy fields, and/or regions, rather than their positions or motions in space.

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How well conserved is etendue in extreme gravitational lensing scenarios?

This excellent answer to Could dark matter exist in the Universe in the form of sufficiently dense objects? includes the following image and description: Light from the background galaxy circles a ...
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Is a Hertz ratio to 65M ☉ proof that Betelgeuse had a core collapse in 1491 from a gravitational wave on January 14, 2020? [closed]

By analysis of gravity waves GW150914 to S200114f when compared to a ratio from the Black Hole merger of 65 M ☉ at 260 Hz with Betelgeuse frequency of 64.698303 Hz the gravitational release on January ...
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How can a black hole have a charge, or be charged?

So-called 'hairless' black holes (no-hair theory, or theorem?) , which is what real black holes are, can be described by just three characteristics: Mass, spin, and charge. It is easy enough to ...
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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 ...
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3answers
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Learning astrophysics from zero

I'm a liberal arts student, an undergraduate English student who out of the blue, started getting interested in astronomy and physics, searching for facts all the time, googling about some theories, ...
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Error of bisector method

How to determine the error of bisector velocity span? I have found the article below, but I do not know what all quantities mean. What is the number of lines in the mask? How to find out x? How to ...
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1answer
266 views

Degrees of freedom in restricted circular coplanar three body problem

How many degrees of freedom does a mechanical system consisting of three bodies, the Sun, Jupiter and an asteroid, have in the restricted circular coplanar problem of the three bodies? I know that if ...
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What is the sun's maximum influence on a magnetic object?

How much magnetic repulsion could the sun's magnetic field produce on an magnetic object? Consider the object is ideal: It could be flat, to create more resistance, balanced, to stay on the opposing ...
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Role of power laws in astronomy?

I often see astronomers fitting data to power laws. What about power laws makes them so useful in astronomy? Why are so many astronomical observations well-fit by power laws? I know it's a relation ...
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Relationship between 3 quantities : Density Matter power spectrum, Density Matter angular power spectrum and Temperature angular power spectrum

I take over another post that is going to be deleted since I have none answer. Summary: I would like to go deeper in the relationship between Matter power spectrum and Angular power spectrum. From a ...
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Looking for analytical expression of Cosmic Variance - Poisson distribution?

I have an expression of Matter Angular power spectrum which can be computed numerically by a simple rectangular integration method (see below). I make appear in this expression the spectroscopic ...
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Is the dark matter just regular matter out of the observable universe?

Could it be that darkmatter is actually the gravitational influence of regular matter that is situated out of the observable universe?
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Does black hole singularity really exists with respective to relative frame of reference? [duplicate]

How can one describe this phenomena? What are the factors that we should consider for solving such a problem?
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How do astronomers know that distant galaxies aren't actually nearby star clusters?

When reading about the recent release of data from the Dark Energy Survey, and the 'pictures' of well over 200 million distant galaxies, I got to wondering: How can they know that a small, faint, ...
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Basic, learning examples of applications of CFD and MHD in astrophysics, and current research directions using these techniques?

I am an undergraduate in Physics, and I have an opportunity to work with a some of my seniors to learn Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). I would like to choose my ...
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1answer
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If Proxima Centauri goes supernova will it negatively affect the Earth? [duplicate]

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to the Earth (besides our Sun). If it went supernova, would such an event negatively affect the Earth? Can Proxima Centauri negatively affect the Earth in some ...
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Shot noise in cosmology : Expectation and Variance expression

I am trying to express the Shot noise in cosmology context, mostly the Shot noise expression into error on a $C_\ell$ If this would be only for myself, I would take $$\text{Variance}(Shot\,noise) = 1/...
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1answer
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Can a neutron star ever be less than about 1.44 solar masses (the Chandrasekhar limit)? Why not?

I learned about the Chandrasekhar limit as being the UPPER limit, in terms of mass, for a white dwarf... But, I have never heard of a neutron star being BELOW that mass, so I have wondered, recently, ...
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What new instruments “so sensitive that we can see (large circumgalactic winds) have only been on telescopes for a few years”?

The Rhodes College press release Prof. David Rupke and Team of Astrophysicists Make Major New Discovery About Galaxy Evolution links to Astronomy Community/Nature.com: The Making of Makani; The story ...
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What is the application of pseudorandomness in astrophysics?

What are the advantages of using pseudorandom numbers in Monte Carlo simulation instead of random numbers? What are other applications of pseudorandomness in astrophysics? Many thanks.
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Any examples of a gas object temperature from Doppler broadening along one axis turning out to be wrong because velocity spread was not isotropic?

Discussions under Mass of the stellar cluster (not the whole galaxy) lead me to mention that when an actual temperature is inferred from a Doppler-broadened line profile (rather than just a linewidth ...
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1answer
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Is **Voyager I’s** reduced data transmission rate as described in [this article][1] because of the distance or because its transmitter getting slower? [closed]

Is Voyager I’s reduced data transmission rate as described in this article because of the distance or because its transmitter getting older & slower?
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Orbital Angular Momentum of a Binary Star System

Let's say you have a binary star system, consider the orbital motion of that binary star consisting of two solar-like stars separated by 20 stellar radii. How would one calculate the angular momentum ...
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1answer
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What exactly is space-time fabric?

I have heard about space-time fabric but I can't understand its definition. Is space-time fabric a physical thing or did Einstein imagine it to assist him with general relativity?
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1answer
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Spectra: What is that Supposed to Mean?

I've found this website (click here for the link), the link leads you to a problem about the velocity Andromeda is going towards the Milky way galaxy, and you can try three approaches. I like to ...
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1answer
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Virial ratio behaviour

I think I didn't understand something about virial theorem for an $N$-body system, for instance the behaviour of virial ratio $T/\Omega$, with $T$ kinetic energy and $\Omega$ gravitational potential ...
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1answer
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Resource Recommendations to systematically develop a foundation via Self study in Astrophysics/Astronomy?

I am a high school senior (Grade 12) with a passion for Astronomy/Astrophysics. I already searched quite a bit here on the other questions on resources, but I couldn't find any that shows a concise, ...
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Astrophysical particle spectroscopy; narrow-line particle sources (charged or uncharged) for things other than photons? Have any been detected?

Is Cosmic Ray Astronomy a thing? Is there an equivalent of the red shift effect for cosmic rays? have got me thinking and under this answer I've commented: That's a good point; there aren't as many ...
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1answer
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What exactly is “the rotating lighthouse model” in the context of a double pulsar?

The introduction to Testing the rotating lighthouse model with the double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B (open access) says: The double pulsar system PSR J0737-3039A/B was discovered by Burgay et al....
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What's the minimal argument I can give to reject The Geocentric Universe?

I'm new to Astrophysics, So pardon me if you find it silly to ask. I was just started reading about the basics of astrophysics. I read about the Greek Tradition, the concept of a geocentric universe. ...
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How much more mass would Mars need to currently have enough pressure for liquid water and oxygen?

My question is whether Mars just about failed to meet the threshold or missed it by a lot. It's been dry for 3 billion years. How much bigger would it have needed to be to buy it that extra time? Let'...
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Why did astronomers believe most or all stellar black holes had masses no greater than 15 solar masses?

The so-called 'mass gaps' for black holes, according to theoretical models, are between 2-5 solar masses and 50 to 150 solar masses. (Actually, I have read that there is no good theoretical reason ...
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How to determine the age of a star using asteroseismology?

I keep reading that a standard way to determine the age of a star is asteroseismology, and I tried to learn more about it. I am wondering if somebody could help me to describe the method in simple ...
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1answer
142 views

Keplerian Elements

So, I've been doing endless research, and I've found a bit of information, all in different places, that is. Now, I'm getting really confused about it; I can't keep up with it all anymore, so, now, it'...
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Is there software to calculate/plot decomposed rotation curves from observational data (FITS, etc)? [closed]

I have observation data of galaxies (in FITS format). From the FITS data, I want to calculate & plot the decomposed rotation curves as pictured below. Is there a software package that will do that ...
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2answers
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How massive does a moon have to be to have a stable magnetic field?

Is there a minimum mass or other minimum properties necessary for a body to have a strong, stable dynamo to create a magnetic field conducive for life? For example, would it be possible for Titan to ...
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Why isn't most hydrogen in the universe molecular (diatomic), instead of atomic (monoatomic)?

Similar questions have been asked before; but, why? Is the monoatomic hydrogen left over from the Big Bang? And hasn't had the opportunity to collide with other hydrogen atoms yet? Or are hydrogen ...
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1answer
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What are detached black holes?

I understand what black holes are, and how they form, but I was recently introduced to the topic of detached black holes. What are they and how are they different from standard black holes?
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1answer
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Can the energy transport by radiation occur in the convection region of a star?

I am new to stellar astrophysics and trying to understand the energy transports in the interior of stars. Can the energy transport by radiation occur in the convection region of a star? Here are my ...
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1answer
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Has lunar opposition surge ever been observed from Earth? From Earth orbit?

This thorough answer to How long does lunar opposition surge last? Are there measurements of the full Moon getting suddenly brighter? details observations of lunar opposition surge by the Clementine ...
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Is there any theory suggesting the expanding universe may be coupled to another shrinking universe

Our Universe is supposed to be expanding. I was curious if there was any theory suggesting the expanding universe may be coupled to another shrinking universe?
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1answer
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How long does lunar opposition surge last? Are there measurements of the full Moon getting suddenly brighter?

Wikipedia's opposition surge is a short article and forwards shadow hiding and coherent backscattering as proposed mechanisms, but it doesn't really explain how much the brightness of the Moon ...
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Has anyone back-calculated previous close encounters between the Apophis asteroid and Earth?

The Apophis asteroid was only discovered in 2004, and shares an orbit similar to Earth's orbit, leading to many close encounters on the scale of decades. Most of the stories about this asteroid are ...
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How do we know that spacetime is fabric? [closed]

I have started learning about astronomy as it amazes and inspires me. I have a question. What led us to believe that spacetime is fabric? What is the evidence shows this, and is it considered proven? ...
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Spectrograph Arrangement, Noise, and Fourier Domain [closed]

If the transform of a line profile extends out to the Nyquist frequency such that we cannot see the noise level, what could we change in our spectrograph arrangement that would allow us to see the ...
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How can astronomers pinpoint the location of the source of a neutrino?

In the popular press, in recent months, we have heard a lot about high-energy neutrinos from far outside our solar system reaching our detectors.... But I wonder... If a single neutrino from a great ...
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1answer
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How much does the equivalent width of a line change by the introduction of 5% scattered light?

How much does the equivalent width of a line change by the introduction of 5% scattered light? We know the equivalent width is defined as $W = \int_{-\infty}^{\infty} \bigg(\frac{1-F_{\nu}}{F_c}\bigg) ...
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Why are CMB peak heights sensitive to the physical densities

A very simple question: why should it be that the CMB power spectrum allows constraints to be placed on the combination of parameters $$\omega_c = \Omega_c h^2$$ $$\omega_b = \Omega_b h^2$$ as opposed ...
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What is sonic transition of an astrophysical fluid?

My notes mention sonic transition of a fluid. Is it where the speed of the fluid elements cross the speed of sound in the medium they are located?
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How to calculate the luminosity of a quasar?

Is there a relation between the distance ($d$) and the apparent bolometric magnitude ($m_{bol}$) of a quasar and its luminosity ($L$) in watt? If so, what is that relation? Thanks in advance!

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