Questions tagged [mass]

Questions regarding the property of astronomical objects that determines their inertial resistance and gravitational interaction with other bodies.

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6 answers
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What is the minimum mass required so that objects become spherical due to its own gravity?

Is this minimum mass known? or maybe, is it given in terms of density? If so, how much density is the minimum to have an spherical object due to its own gravity?
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9 votes
1 answer
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Are planets moving away from the sun?

I saw on the tv show Through the Wormhole (hosted by Morgan Freeman) that the planets in our solar system have been continuously moving away from the sun for millions of years. however, when I try to ...
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13 votes
2 answers
1k views

Mass of black holes compared to parent star

What is the range of percentage mass of parent star left in a stellar black hole directly after its formation? What factors determine this number for a specific case?
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is there an upper limit to the mass of terrestrial planets?

The exoplanet Kepler-10c has a mass between 15 and 19 times the mass of the Earth (making it comparable in mass to Neptune), and yet is thought to have a density of about 7g/cm3 and to be a ...
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6 votes
2 answers
987 views

Why does the Chandrasekhar limit affect white dwarfs differently?

The Chandrasekhar limit is the maximum mass of a stable white dwarf star. Beyond this, a carbon-oxygen white dwarf will typically explode in a type 1a supernova, due to the nuclear reactions at those ...
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4 votes
1 answer
124 views

How do OGLE-III and GAIA measure the mass of free microlensing black holes?

What is the "hypothesized lower mass gap" between 2.5 and 5 solar masses? eventually links to Constraining the masses of microlensing black holes and the mass gap with Gaia DR2. The angle of ...
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21 votes
4 answers
11k views

Is Jupiter made entirely out of gas?

I heard that Jupiter is made out of gas. But in school I learned that Jupiter has gravity which is 2.5 times that of Earth (Gravity that can tear apart a comet) and gravity is proportional to mass. ...
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6 votes
2 answers
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Relation between black hole mass and radius, and our universe's [duplicate]

Is there a graph of known black holes, with their estimated mass in the X axis and their estimated radius in the Y axis? If so, where can we find it? I would like to know if a black whole with the ...
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25 votes
1 answer
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Why don't (or can't) stars be more than 325 or so times the mass of the sun? What limits their size?

Is there a particular reason why stars cannot grow as massive as they want to? And why doesn't this limit apply to supermassive black holes?
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5 votes
1 answer
870 views

Stellar mass limits for Neutron Star and Black Holes

Don't hate on me if I am asking a very basic and straightforward thing. I have a few questions about black holes and neutron stars. What is the mass range (in terms of solar masses) for a main ...
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5 votes
2 answers
694 views

GW190521 black hole merger total mass calculation and missing mass, how does this happen?

I have just read an article about that black hole merge event (it's in Italian): Sette miliardi di anni fa, due mostri si unirono What made me curious is that the article tell that a 66 solar mass ...
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4 votes
2 answers
331 views

How much more massive would Pluto have to be to clear its neighborhood?

How much more massive would Pluto have to be to clear its neighborhood?
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3 votes
1 answer
179 views

Why don't we detect planets around OB stars and no terrestrial planets around A or early F stars?

Looking at an exoplanet database, I noticed that there are very few planets detected around main-sequence OBA stars, and most of them are gas giants/brown dwarfs. Why can't we detect low-mass planets ...
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2 votes
2 answers
212 views

Why doesn't smashing larger and larger bodies incrementally into a rocky planet create a star?

Let's start with a stationary Earth. If we smash a few Mercury-sized objects into the Earth, the Earth begins to accrete mass. Repeat this step with larger and larger objects, until we start impacting ...
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2 votes
1 answer
204 views

How did they estimate the mass of Sgr A*'s companion G2 without knowing what it was?

Gizmodo.com's Astronomers Spot Unprecedented Flashes From Our Galaxy's Black Hole mentions Sgr A*'s companion gas cloud G2. That Wikipedia article says: First noticed as something unusual in ...
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26 votes
5 answers
4k views

Does a planet's mass or gravity affect the height of it's mountains?

According to this Wikipedia page, the top five highest mountains on Mars (and the highest on Venus) are all taller than Mount Everest (and Mauna Kea as measured from the ocean floor). Does a planet's ...
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  • 527
20 votes
1 answer
3k views

Why are most discovered exoplanets heavier than Earth?

Looking at all discovered exoplanets (4393 exoplanets), I found than only 17 of them (less than one percent!) have masses less or equal to Earth's mass. Why so? Is it because it is very difficult to ...
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  • 203
26 votes
3 answers
4k views

Is the sun's volume shrinking currently?

The Sun loses about 5.5 million tonnes of mass every second, does this mean Sun's volume is also going down? If so can we tell by how much every year? E: "by how much" I mean can we tell if ...
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  • 479
4 votes
2 answers
2k views

Stellar mass of galaxies

Given the magnitudes (in the i-band) of certain galaxies, I would like to calculate their stellar mass (in terms of solar masses). So far, I have calculated their absolute magnitudes and gotten to ...
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34 votes
2 answers
5k views

How was the mass of Venus determined?

The mass of Venus seems rather complicated to determine to me: Venus doesn't have any satellites, so you can't just apply Kepler's third law (like you would with Jupiter or Saturn for instance) to ...
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12 votes
1 answer
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Can dark matter be found in the shape of planets, galaxies etc.?

If dark matter has gravity just like normal matter, does that mean it can also form planets, solar systems and so on? Any answer will be appreciated.
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9 votes
1 answer
724 views

How is the total mass of all the Solar System's small asteroids and meteoroids estimated?

This diagram from wikipedia (shown below) graphs asteroid Diameter against Number of asteroids, for the Solar System. (Graphic is courtesy of the Marco Colombo, DensityDesign Research Lab). ...
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5 votes
1 answer
817 views

Why is metallicity important in the death of stars?

I always thought that mass was the sole determinant of a star's fate. Then I saw the table here. So why does metallicity influence a star's ability to become a black hole or neutron star? Does it have ...
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11 votes
4 answers
4k views

Does the mass of the observable universe ever change?

First do we have anyway to even estimate the mass of the entire observable universe? And then is there any data that shows mass being gained or lost? Would we ever know if someone was playing with ...
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6 votes
1 answer
275 views

Would gravitational waves be subject to external gravitational perturbations?

Given that the gravitational wave detected by LIGO was a very weak echo of a very distant event, could it have been "deviated" and distorted on its way here by a sufficiently massive black hole in ...
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3 votes
1 answer
358 views

What if a primordial black hole went through the Sun?

How much mass would the Sun lose to a primordial black hole that (initially) has 10 Earth masses, passing through or close to the center of the Sun at solar escape velocity? How massive would the Sun ...
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  • 293
2 votes
0 answers
84 views

How big can an object get before its core becomes degenerate?

I am wondering, what is the most massive object we know of that does not have a degenerate core, and what is the least massive object that does have a degenerate code? We know that Jupiter has a core ...
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2 votes
3 answers
5k views

How small would you have to crush an object for it to become a black hole?

I was wondering how much you had to crush an object for it to become a black hole. Recently I learned that anything could become a black hole (even you) if it were crushed down small enough, for ...
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2 votes
2 answers
434 views

Calculating the mass of star

I am doing a project which requires that I have data for the mass of several stars. However, the data for mass of stars is obviously not readily available as it's really hard to calculate. In such a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
296 views

Is Earth losing orbit? [duplicate]

Is the Earth losing or gaining distance from the sun overall? Could asteroids over time add weight to the Earth and push it farther from the sun more than having a degrading orbit around the sun? Does ...
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  • 1
1 vote
1 answer
224 views

If a black hole has a mass similar to a star, why does it have a different gravitational pull?

Say there is a black hole with 1 solar mass, having the sun's mass, it would have the same gravity as the sun, right? But it still has an event horizon, so why does it have such a strong gravitational ...
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1 vote
0 answers
68 views

Is is possible for a main sequence star to have 0.77 solar masses yet only be 0.54 solar radii?

I know ordinarily a star's mass and radius tend to be proportional, so a 0.5 solar masses star tends to be about 0.5 solar radii and have a density of 4.82 g/cm³, 3.42 or about three and a half times ...
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1 vote
1 answer
75 views

How does the Eddington limit make the gravitational field of stars asymmetric?

This answer to Is the gravitational field of the sun uniform? says: Very large stars are asymmetric due to being close to the Eddington limit. The Sun is too small of a star to have the kind of ...
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1 vote
0 answers
77 views

Which KBOs would one have to merge in order to have more than half the Kuiper belt's mass?

I wonder how many and which Kuiper belt objects' masses would one have to merge so that the resulting mass is more than half the Kuiper belt's mass. The total mass of the Kuiper belt is reportedly ...
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-2 votes
1 answer
859 views

How does space time differ between galaxies? [duplicate]

Does the gravity wells differ enough between galaxies to have different speeds in space time? How much slower in space time would the biggest galaxy have compared to the Milky Way?
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