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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18
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4answers
9k 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. ...
17
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3answers
2k 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 ...
13
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1answer
169 views

Mechanisms of binary/multiple star formation

What are mechanisms of binary/multiple star formation in different mass ranges (low, intermediate and high stellar masses)?
12
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4answers
9k views

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?
11
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1answer
1k views

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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2answers
791 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?
9
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1answer
3k views

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 ...
8
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3answers
249 views

Can “rogue” supermassive black holes be made this way?

Could two galaxies (one big and one small)intersect at a velocity to allow the smaller black hole to escape but not the galaxy around it?
8
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1answer
432 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). ...
8
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2answers
795 views

Are there upper or lower mass limits for black holes?

Natarajan & Treister (2008) describes a practical upper limit for black hole masses at $\sim 10^{10} M_\odot$. This is all due to the black hole's interactions with nearby matter. However, is ...
8
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1answer
275 views

How can I measure the mass of eclipsing binary stars?

Is there any method to measure the mass of eclipsing binaries without using Doppler shift effect?
8
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4answers
2k 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 ...
7
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3answers
650 views

Is there a flaw with the newer purposes and correlations attributed to the HR diagram? (And would a third axis of mass correct the enclosed flaw?)

When I was younger, I was looking at HR diagrams, and began to experiment with the HR diagram. I was looking at plotting different groups of stars on the HR diagram when I found RV Tauri stars. ...
6
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
6
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4answers
3k views

What is the exact mass of the Sun?

I am having trouble finding data on this. So far, I have found at least seven values: ...
6
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1answer
636 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 ...
6
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1answer
124 views

Unbelievably high masses/ densities in NASA website data

In May, I did my own amateur analysis of Kepler data that was supplied here. This was a table of all confirmed "Kepler planets" to date (April 1, 2015). This table had some unbelievably high masses/...
6
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1answer
781 views

How are the masses of celestial bodies determined?

I was scrolling through the list of moons of Jupiter and I wondered how astronomers where able to determine the masses of those objects. When I tried to google it I meanly found results of people ...
6
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2answers
441 views

Weight of a celestial body

How do astronomers find out the correct weight of a planet even though there isn't any direct means to weigh them? What technique do they use? Just curious!
5
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2answers
839 views

Why do certain massive stars leave no remnants?

Mass and metallicity are the two main determinants for a star's fate. This is simple enough. What's more complicated is how exactly these determine the star's fate. For example, you can see in this ...
5
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2answers
732 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 ...
5
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1answer
4k views

How do star densities work?

If we take a look at stars more massive than the Sun, their densities vary a lot. UY Scuti is an extremely low-density star that's only 8.5x more massive than the Sun, but is 1000-2000x its size. ...
4
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1answer
54 views

Relation between molecular cloud mass and galactic mass

Would it be true to assume that the mass of a galaxy is approximately the mass of all molecular clouds detected within it, let's say, through CO observations and then converted to H$_2$?
4
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1answer
618 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 ...
4
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2answers
248 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?
4
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2answers
962 views

What's the mass of the interstellar neighborhood of the Sun?

What's approximatively the mass of the interstellar neighborhood of the Sun ? (for example the neighborhood of radius 50 light-years). Remark: The mass of the observable matter should be completed ...
4
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2answers
203 views

What type of star does theory predict should be the most massive?

The most massive known stars are Wolf-Rayet stars. However, as Wolf-Rayet stars do not appear to be the first stage of any star's lifecycle, I infer that whatever these Wolf-Rayet stars used to be ...
4
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1answer
461 views

From what distance can one object influence gravity of another object?

Each object in the universe has its own gravitational influence on all other objects in the universe. What distance do they have to be from each other to create only one gravitational influence? ...
4
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1answer
350 views

What type of energy is escaping from black-hole's poles?

Following this article, it is stated that: As a star drifts too close to a supermassive black hole, intense tidal stresses rip the star to shreds. As this happens, the shredded material will ...
4
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1answer
950 views

Sum of the Masses of All Moons in the Solar System

I'm looking for the total mass of the moons in the solar system in Earth Mass this would be include the 67's moons of jupiter, the 62's of saturn, the 27's Uranus and the 14's for Neptune. it's a ...
4
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2answers
114 views

Galactic mass estimation from apparent magnitude and distance

Can we estimate the order of the total mass of any galaxy from the apparent magnitude and its distance to us? Just like \begin{equation} M_{galaxy}=c\times 10^{8}M_{\odot }, \end{equation} where $c$ ...
4
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2answers
97 views

Is it true that we can estimate the mass of a star more accurately if it has a companion star?

I remember I hear a theory that if a star has a companion star, we can know the mass of the star more easily, is that true? if it is true, while I understand that by measuring the period of the ...
4
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1answer
557 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 ...
4
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1answer
271 views

How would I define mass in a space

I always heard that mass is a measure of inertia during my school days. Is this applicable to bodies which are in space ? Suppose there is space craft in a space; how would I define mass ? I read ...
4
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1answer
56 views

How can I estimate the M/L ratio from a fitted SED on a galaxy?

This answer (here in the forum) provides background to my question: https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/a/5953 I am trying to understand the process in which a stellar population synthesis (SPS) is ...
4
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2answers
156 views

Why does mass naturally move closer toward's the center of other masses?

If general relativity is understood to mean that mass curves space such that objects are still traveling in a straight line, why does mass naturally move closer toward's the center of other masses?
4
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2answers
1k 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 ...
3
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3answers
3k 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 ...
3
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1answer
872 views

How do I create a galaxy stellar mass function?

Suppose that I have an array of stellar masses of tens of thousands of galaxies, and that I also already know what the total "survey volume" is (in Mpc^3) within which all of those galaxies are ...
3
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1answer
105 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 ...
3
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1answer
60 views

How come moon's difference in thickness between sides does not create an unbalance on its mass?

I've just found out that moon's dark side is 30 miles thicker then the closer side to the Earth. So I'm wondering about moon's mass. How come it's still balanced? Supposing the far side is indeed ...
3
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1answer
84 views

If we've only observed Oumuamua as a single pixel, how can we know its shape?

On a separate Oumuamua question (Oumuamua alien space junk?), I was confused how shape could be inferred from a single pixel, per another user's (@Uwe) comment. It was suggested I ask this question ...
3
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1answer
31 views

Comet mass loss

As the comet orbits around the Sun, I gather that its tail loses mass due to solar wind and tidal waves. Approximately, from what distance (with respect to Sun) will the mass loss begin?
3
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1answer
991 views

Milky Way mass fraction breakdown review

I'd like to know a breakdown of the mass of the Milky Way, by the major categories. So, something like ...
3
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1answer
338 views

How massive can a star be at birth? [duplicate]

We have discovered some incredibly massive stars. R136a1, the most massive known star is estimated to have 265 times mass as our Sun. Yet it has been burning for at least a million years, and must ...
3
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2answers
3k views

What are the masses of the two stars (given the information provided)?

If anyone would at least be willing to point me in the direction of finding the answer, or help me solve it I'd appreciate it. I don't know how to go about this, and need to know how to solve this on ...
3
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1answer
165 views

How to determine the mass of a galaxy?

I am having a slight disagreement with my professor. We can measure the mass of a distant star cluster from: A.Its color B.Its radius C.Its metallicity D.Smearing of lines in ...
3
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0answers
231 views

How does the size of a naked black hole effect its photon sphere?

What effect does the size of a black hole have on the size or density of the photon sphere and it's proximity to the horizon? For example: A person is in space looking at 2 black holes, one of them ...
2
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3answers
311 views

Why are black holes that massive?

Today known most massive star, R136a1 weighs approximately 256 times the mass of our sun, how did supermassive black holes, with a mass of 10 billion times the sun form? I understand, that when a ...
2
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2answers
252 views

Can any stars ever form supermassive black holes?

I heard that most supermassive blackholes are not formed by stars – in fact, we aren't even sure how they're formed. But could a star, with enough mass and low enough metallicity, form a supermassive ...