Questions tagged [distances]

Questions regarding the amount of space between two objects, the units, or measurement thereof.

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36 views

Photometry templates — what are the templates of?

Redshift measurements from photometric data can be determined using template-fitting (Cosmos website, SDSS photo-z). What does it mean to fit a template to determine redshift? What is the template of?
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How to find the scale factor on given time in the future if initial distance between source and destination is known

Assume the received redshift $z$ of a photon is known. We then can calculate the initial distance (when the received photon was emitted), the light Travel Distance, the current Distance (proper ...
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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?
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52 views

Comoving Volume Calculation

Suppose I have data from an astronomical survey at redshifts in the range $z = [2,3]$. Suppose that, on average in this range, the data covers an area on the sky of $A=1$ $\mathrm{Mpc}^2$. How would I ...
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1answer
98 views

Nearby galaxy distances

Type Ia supernovae are extremely useful in measuring the distance of remote galaxies. It is known that type Ia supernovae always reach the same brilliance at their peak. Like Cepheid variables, they ...
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2answers
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How can I find the distance of the tower while standing at my roof?

Whenever someone starts telling about finding distances in astronomy, it all starts with a parallax. The example they give is straightening your hand and see how your thumb changes its location while ...
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4answers
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What's the difference between minutes and arcminutes?

I read in trigonometry class that 1 minute is equal to 1/60 degrees. So, 'minute' is an angular unit. But also 'arcminutes' are used to measure seperation between celestial objects and also equals to ...
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2answers
64 views

Will the night sky ever be more stars than darkness? [duplicate]

Given enough time, will enough light from distant stars reach Earth so that our night sky will be more than 50% stars?
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127 views

Converting parsecs to light years in the dumbest way possible

I have to convert 132 parsecs to light years and I'm struggling to get the expected result. Here is my method: $132 \text{ pc} = 132'' = 2,2' = 0,03(6)°$ I have an equation for stellar parallax which ...
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How to compute for Distance Modulus' uncertainty/ies?

This is rather a short question. As we know of; Distance Modulus (DM) $\mu = 5 \log d - 5$ If $d = 168_{-14.9}^{+27.5}$ pc ($3\sigma$ value), how can I possibly compute for $\mu$'s uncertainty? P.S. ...
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102 views

How can you find the distance to a galaxy using right ascension and declination?

For example, Galaxy NGC 3689 has the right ascension of 11:28:11 and declination of +25:39:40.0. Using these values, how can we find the distance to the galaxy? If it helps, its radial velocity is ...
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Since Proxima Centauri orbits the other two Alpha Centauri stars, will it eventually be farther away from us than they are?

And, if so, will we have to change its name to Distal Centauri ;-) ? Granted, its orbital period around the other two is about 550,000 Earth years, so we have some time....
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Converting equatorial coordinates to Cartesian coordinates for extragalactic distances

I'm trying to search for galaxy clusters with the friends-of-friends (FoF) algorithm. I have the equatorial coordinates ($\alpha, \delta$) and redshifts ($0.5<z<2.5$) of galaxies that I wish to ...
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How do you calculate comoving distance and light's travel distance? According to the formulae below?

According to Wikipedia, Distance measures (cosmology), Comoving distance: $${\displaystyle d_{C}(z)=d_{H}\int _{0}^{z}{\frac {dz'}{E(z')}}}$$ Light-travel distance: $${\displaystyle d_{T}(z)=d_{H}\int ...
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How long does it take for a galaxy (or other object) to disappear behind the cosmic sight horizon?

After looking at this question, I am wondering, how long does it take for a galaxy or other space object, to disappear from our view from the Milky Way due to the expansion of the universe? Assume GN-...
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How reliable is it to use globular cluster lumniosity function as a distance indicator?

I have seen many research suggesting that GCLF can be used as a secondary distance indicator for extragalactic objects. However, this method seems to be only reliable when the GCs in use come from say,...
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Which celestial body is able to come closest to Pluto?

Other than Pluto's moons (including Charon), which known body comes closest to Pluto, and how close? Neptune doesn't come closer than 16 au. What about Orcus, whose orbit is similar to Pluto's, or ...
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1answer
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Approximate spectral type and luminosity given apparent magnitude and distance

I am looking at the data acquired from the Gaia DR2 survey. I found that most of the stars had their distance and apparent magnitude catalogued, but not their spectral type and luminosity class. Is ...
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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 ...
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How do you correct the Period-Luminosity relationship for metallicity?

Refer to the link: https://www.astro.utoronto.ca/DDO/research/cepheids/cepheids.html Tha author has used the relationship $M_V=-2.902log(P)-1.203$. It is mentioned that this is not corrected for ...
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1answer
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SIMBAD TAP queries seem to indicate there are no distance measurements for a great many nearby stars, including Alpha Centauri or Barnard's Star

I'm attempting to create a map of all objects within 50LY, including main-sequence stars, binaries, planemos, etc. As such, I'm trying to do it all from first principles, building a micro-ETL to ...
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1answer
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How precisely we know the Gaia spacecraft baseline? [Question related to Planet 9 and the cosmic distance ladder]

The European Space Agency mission Gaia is performing an outstanding job by measuring the parallaxes of almost 2 billion stars, many of which are thousands of light years away from the Sun. For this ...
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How is it that Jupiter and Saturn appear the same size in the sky?

Saturn is twice as far as Jupiter is from Earth according to a quick Google search. But I needed to understand why do they appear as if they are the same size. I mean as if they are not far apart. For ...
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Computing the over-density of Lyman-alpha emitters

Let's assume that I have observations of $N$ galaxies in a projected area $A$, within a redshift range $\Delta z = z_{max} - z_{min}$. What is the correct way of computing their number volume density? ...
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Minimum distance between planets

In our solar system, MOIDs (minimum orbital intersection distance) of different planets reach a minimum of ~30 million miles (Mercury and Venus). However, other star systems have more compact planets. ...
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How to find the distance between two galaxies from ra and dec and redshift [duplicate]

I have ra and dec and corresponding redshift of galaxies. I would like to calculate the distance between two galaxies. I did like this to find the nearest neighbour galaxies. Suppose I am trying to ...
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1answer
93 views

Type II supernovae as a distance indicator

Could someone explain in brief exactly how type II supernovae could be used as distance indicators? as in simply the formulae used and how they are employed? I know there are certain methods based on ...
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1answer
54 views

How to improve the precision in a star's distance

When I use the Gaia star catalogue, the parallax values often have large uncertainties which, therefore, leads to a large uncertainty for the distances to the stars. If you were interested in the ...
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3answers
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What's the farthest point humans have explored?

By using powerful telescopes on land and space, what's the farthest point humans have explored or viewed?
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1answer
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How do you go from transit times to Earth-Sun distance?

In the early 18th century, Halley described a method to determine the value of the astronomical unit by observing a transit of Venus from multiple locations on Earth. How do you go from the transit ...
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1answer
88 views

How were the distances to stars measure before parallax?

A comment under When was the distance to a star measured for the first time without using parallax? mentions that the distance to stars was measured before parallax was possible. How was this done?
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How did we determine the distance of the CMB?

The cosmological microwave background (CMB) is the oldest electromagnetic radiation in the universe. How do we know how far away the CMB is?
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When was the distance to a star measured for the first time without using parallax?

This is somewhat of a follow-up to When was the parallax of a star first measured? Once the distance to the nearest stars was determined, it was possible to discover physical properties of stars (such ...
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Why is WISE J0521+1025's distance so uncertain?

If you look at the Wikipedia page List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs , you'll notice that all stars mentioned in the list have a very precise value; all are $\pm0.02$ ly (except for GJ 1005, but ...
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From what distances do the atoms in you come from?

If the atoms of a human come from stars, comets, nebulas and magnetrons, then what is the greatest distance that two atoms of a human can possibly have been away from each other previously? Perhaps ...
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What is the distance from Alpha Centauri to Barnard's Star?

Alpha Centauri AB is the closest star system to Earth (4.366 ly), followed closely by Barnard's star (5.988 ly). The closest star system to Alpha Centauri is Luhman 16 (3.8 ly from α Cen). So I am ...
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98 views

Transverse Comoving distance

I don't understand the link between the comoving distance and transverse comoving distance : how can they be equal ? Here an example of definition that I have found : Angular Diameter Distance : The ...
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1answer
375 views

How can you determine the distance of a star using the magnitude equation?

In high school we are undergoing a short course about astronomy. It is stated that you can use the apparent and absolute magnitude (m, M) to get a distance (D) of a star, with the formula $$m - M = 5 \...
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1answer
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What instruments are used to measure the distance to the Sun?

In the 18th century, the distance to the Sun was measured using the transits of Venus. Nowadays, the timing of radar pulses is used to measure the distance of things in our solar system. What ...
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Before the 1761 transit, what was our best estimate of the distance to the Sun?

In 1761, many expeditions were launched to determine the distance to the Sun using parallax during the transit of Venus. Prior to the 1761 transit, what was the best estimate for the Earth-Sun ...
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Units of angle in comoving transverse distance calculation

For two objects at a redshift $z$, I know that the proper distance between them is given by $\delta \theta d_M(z)$, where $d_M(z)$ is the transverse comoving distance. What are the units of the angle ...
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Calculating distance from center of mass of two stars in a binary system

I am confused on how to calculate the distances for each star in a binary system to their centre of mass. I am trying to solve it from a book I am reading which shows the solution but I do not ...
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How did Eratosthenes know that the sun is far away?

The famous measurements and calculations done by Eratosthenes around 300 BC are very widely known. He concluded correctly that the circumference of the Earth is about $252\,000$ times the length of an ...
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What error bar / confidence level is generally reported in galaxy distances?

In reporting distances of galaxies, what are the typical error bars and associated confidence levels?
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Software apps for calculating distances between planets

Are there somewhere any software apps for calculating distances between any planets in our solar system?
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How close would a Sunlike star have to be in order to be dangerous to look at it through a spyglass?

Alpha Centauri A which has an about 50% higher luminosity than the Sun is obviously undangerous to look at through a handheld telescope, at about 4.4 ly distance. How close would a yellow dwarf have ...
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How to calculate how much of the Earth's (or another planet's) surface is visible? [duplicate]

My latter three questions remain unanswered but I won't wait with this one, I'd like to learn the formula and hope this question gets an answer. As you're going higher respectively farther away from ...
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1answer
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Where are the two recently confirmed unusual brown dwarfs?

The News report of two confirmed unusual T-type brown dwarfs but they don't tell where in space or on the night sky they were found or how far they are from the Earth/Sun. The brown dwarfs are WISE ...
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1answer
138 views

At what distance wouldn't the Sun cast a visible shadow anymore? [closed]

How far from the Sun would a (dwarf) planet have to be so that the Sun is dim enough that it doesn't cast a shadow when you're standing on the planet? What magnitude is the border in brightness beyond ...
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Were radio spectroscopic observations ever used to first measure a distance successfully?

Usually, especially for an extragalactic object, its redshift is determined by optical spectroscopic redshift. But the angular resolution of early radio observations is poor and an optical counterpart ...

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