Questions tagged [star]

Questions regarding large spheres of plasma undergoing fusion.

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8
votes
3answers
221k views

Star like light moving in the sky, what could it be? [closed]

I was camping this weekend away from the city, so my friends and I decided to spend one of the nights watching the sky, since it's impossible to see anything around where we live. After a little while,...
11
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3answers
1k views

Is there enough hydrogen left after a star dies so another star will have enough to light up?

A star consumes quite a lot of hydrogen in its life, and is pretty much "vacuuming" everything in its vicinity. After it dies (eventually by supernova which will spread all its composition over light ...
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3answers
4k views

What exactly is the “paradox” in Olber's Paradox?

To the extent of my understanding, Olber’s paradox states that if the universe was static and homogeneous, we should see a star at every point in the night sky and therefore the night sky should be ...
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5answers
2k views

Does the Sun turn around a big star?

The Moon orbits the Earth. The Earth orbits the Sun. Does the Sun orbit another bigger star? If so, does this star orbit, in turn, a very big star? ... etc ... What are all the intermediate ...
11
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6answers
7k views

Where can I find a catalog of all stars in the Milky Way?

Is there a catalog of all known stars or brightest stars in our galaxy? Preferably with some sort of galactic coordinates instead of just night sky coordinates (right ascension, etc.) I'm trying to ...
24
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3answers
10k views

Is there a theoretical maximum size limit for a star?

Some stars are simply huge. Eventually, though, wouldn't there be simply too much pressure or mass for the star to sustain itself? Wouldn't it eventually collapse into a black hole? Is there a ...
8
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1answer
3k views

What are the chances of a star colliding with another during a galactic collision?

My specific example for the question is the future collision of the galaxies Milky Way (our own galaxy) and Andromeda in a couple billion years. The star in question is obviously the sun in this case. ...
6
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1answer
190 views

Requesting book references for a non-expert person with math background or just a non-expert person

I've just finished my masters degree (to be exact previous week ^_^). And I'm completing my collection of applications of my studies. During previous year I started reading about Robotics and Coding ...
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2answers
2k views

Why does iron consume more energy in the fusion process than it produces?

I understand that once a star starts fusing iron, it's doomed to collapse because iron fusion requires more energy than it releases in the process, allowing the opposing gravity of the star to cause ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Why are orbits elliptical instead of circular?

Why do planets rotate around a star in a specific elliptical orbit with the star at one of it's foci? Why isn't the orbit a circle?
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3answers
1k views

Are we made of the stuff of one star or more stars?

[T]his coincidence enabled stars in the late stages of their lives to turn helium into carbon, oxygen and most of the other atoms that you and I are made of. [...] [W]e're made of star stuff. Max ...
20
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2answers
2k views

How often do stars pass close (~1ly) to the Sun?

Interstellar exchange of massive objects is difficult across several light years. But as the stars orbit the galaxy the distances between them change. I don't find data for neighbor star distances ...
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3answers
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Calculate Distance To Stars

I was just watching a lecture from Carl Sagan. He talked about figuring out the distance to the stars; it got me interested in learning more about the subject. As far as I know, the Inverse square ...
26
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1answer
900 views

Why are there no green stars?

There are red stars, and orange stars, and yellow stars, and blue stars, and they are all understandable save the fact that there is a 'gap': There are no green stars. Is this because of hydrogen's ...
24
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6answers
21k views

Is the light we see from stars extremely old?

Our nearest star Proxima Centauri is 4.243 light years away from Earth. Does that mean we are seeing light that is 4.243 years old everyday?
30
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3answers
5k views

What is this web on the surface of the Sun?

I was going through my Social Media Feed and found the attached post too frequent. The caption reads this is the best image of our Sun. Just as an example, the Universe Today's This is the Highest ...
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2answers
2k views

Does any iron fuse in stars before they go supernova?

I understand that iron and all heavier elements consume more energy to produce than they make, and that is what eventually leads to a supernova. I also understand that a lot of the heavier elements ...
14
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3answers
1k views

Statistically, what would the average distance of the closest black hole be?

The closest confirmed black hole is several thousand light years away from earth. Our galaxy has about 100 billion stars. I didn't find any reliable information on the black hole count of ratio versus ...
17
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2answers
743 views

Will new stars stop forming at some point of time?

New stars keep forming in the universe thanks to all the nebulae. Now, we need Hydrogen to form stars and there would a time when all the hydrogen will get exhausted, and no more star formation will ...
13
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2answers
986 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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5answers
530 views

Without using absolute magnitudes or isochrones, how might we tell a star's age and evolutionary status?

Usual methods of estimating stellar ages involve isochrone approximations. It can also help to estimate a star's radius by correlating its absolute magnitude with effective temperature and apparent ...
8
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2answers
878 views

Why are there no stars on New Horizons images of Pluto

I followed the New Horizons Mission a little, and saw among others this image of Pluto: I wonder, why you can't see any stars on it. As far as my very basic knowledge in astronomy goes, I think you ...
8
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2answers
7k views

Where do the heavier elements come from?

Partly inspired by this question, the end result of stellar fusion is Iron-56 (eventually, after some decay). Then it explodes. How/where then to the heavier elements come from. The answer here ...
8
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1answer
200 views

Is it possible to determine an observer's position on Earth from a photo of the night sky and the time of the shot?

To my knowledge, this question can be related to celestial navigation on one hand and to attitude (or orientation) determination from stars direction on the other hand. However the combination of this ...
45
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2answers
12k views

How can 'HD 140283' be older than the universe?

Scientists have known about the star HD 140283, informally nicknamed the Methuselah star, for more than 100 years, since it cruises across the sky at a relatively rapid clip. The star moves at about ...
19
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1answer
18k views

How many stars and galaxies can be seen by the naked eye?

How many of the luminous dots that we see naked are galaxies and not stars from our galaxy? I imagine that the majority of the luminous points that we see naked eye during the night, are actually ...
28
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2answers
2k views

What causes a star to become a pulsar?

What processes does a star undergo to become a pulsar? Does it take a very specific star with a certain set of qualities such as "Just the right mass, diameter, and composition," or is it a freak ...
13
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0answers
294 views

What was the absolute limit to the possible sizes of the first stars formed from “primordial material with no metals”?

This answer to Why don't or (can't) stars be more than 325 or so times the mass of the sun? What limits their size? includes the following: ...The upper limit you refer to is for compositions similar ...
13
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1answer
1k views

How can neutron stars have gaseous atmospheres?

Neutron stars can have small atmospheres. However, they also have extremely strong gravitationally pulls. Shouldn't the all the gas molecules be drawn to the star's surface, and become solids under ...
5
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3answers
3k views

Can there be an infinity of stars in the Universe? [duplicate]

I have a mind puzzle. Can there be an infinity of stars in the Universe ? I have 2 opposed reasonings, yet I don’t find any flaw in them. Can you help me here ? Answer A : No, the number of stars ...
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2answers
642 views

How many stars can stay close to each other without collapsing?

Is it possible for two stars to exist close to each other? "Close" is relative; let's assume that two stars are close to each other if they are at the center of the same solar system. It's ...
19
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4answers
919 views

Metallicity of Celestial Objects: Why “Metal = Non-metal”?

Metallicity of objects refers to the amount of chemical elements present in it other than Hydrogen and Helium. Note: The other elements may or may not be actual ...
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2answers
3k views

How much mass will the Sun have when it becomes a white dwarf?

In 4 billion years, when our Sun sheds all of its outer gas layers and turns into a white dwarf, how much mass will the white dwarf have compared to what the sun has today? Will the planets still ...
7
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2answers
1k views

Do/Can Ringed Stars Exist?

The other night, while playing Elite: Dangerous, I came across a rather strange celestial body - one I never imagined possible. It was a Brown Dwarf star with a very large ring. Is something like ...
6
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3answers
164 views

What is the spectral reflectance of starlight in a close binary?

Ignore the Blender Monkey! (from here) In a close-orbiting binary pair, a small but significant fraction of the light from each star falls upon the other, and the result has to be carefully modeled ...
5
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1answer
367 views

3D Positions of Nearby Stars

I have come across a number of star catalogs that list stars by right ascension and declination, along with other data such as magnitude. Is there a star catalog that lists the 3-D position of stars (...
4
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2answers
504 views

What would happen if a Sun-like star were to consume a Jupiter-like planet?

A substantial number of discovered exoplanet systems are likely contain more than one gas giant with distances far closer to the star than in our solar system. It is known that in solar system ...
4
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1answer
363 views

Brown dwarfs and planets

As far as I know, a brown dwarf is a 'star' whose core never underwent a fusion reaction, so it never became a star. So I was wondering if, apart from orbiting a star, is there any difference ...
2
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1answer
159 views

Distance of extra-galactic Classical Cepheids

There have been many questions and answers about finding the distance of a star from the earth. But as I did some research on the net, I found that we have specific approaches for finding the ...
2
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5answers
2k views

Stars in constellation patterns by catalogue number?

I need a resource that can tell me the stars that make up a constellation (pattern), preferably by Henry Draper or some catalogue number? All i can find is lists of every star in a constellation (area)...
2
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2answers
1k views

What is the minimum size of a ball of gas to become a star?

I know there are two criteria to meet in order for nuclear fusion to occurs. High temperature (many times temperature at Sun's core) High pressure (protons are very close to each other) [Goal] ...
19
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2answers
3k views

Why do stars appear to twinkle?

Sometimes at night you will look up to the stars and they will appear to twinkle, getting brighter and darker in bursts. Why does this happen? Is this because of our atmosphere? Would they twinkle ...
9
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3answers
4k views

Why are stars so far apart?

So, this is mere musing, but it seems that stars are quite extremely far apart. I tried to determine the mean distance between nearest neighbors for stars (in just our galaxy) but I'm not sure what it ...
5
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3answers
3k views

What causes horizontal and vertical lines coming out of pictures of stars?

What causes the horizontal and vertical lines coming out of pictures of stars, instead of them simply appearing as circles? For example, this picture from Wikipedia: .
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2answers
831 views

Are sulfur and phosphorus also created in the nucleosynthesis of big stars?

There are as far as I know two fusion reactions by which stars convert hydrogen to helium: The CNO cycle (for carbon–nitrogen–oxygen) and the proton–proton chain reaction. The elements created in ...
5
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1answer
159 views

South-eastern sky above the tree line just now, NE Cape Cod, I saw a very bright, twinkling “star”

I live in New England, Cape Cod to be exact. I saw a very bright, twinkling object. I watched it for several minutes and it never moved. It was in the east just above the tree line, what might it be?...
5
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2answers
591 views

Why are stars more metallic closer as you move closer to the galactic bulge?

As I see it, most of the stars in the galactic bulge are Population I stars. However, as one moves farther from the galactic bulge, star metallicity decreases. In fact, halo stars are almost entirely ...
4
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2answers
483 views

Why don't we see purple stars

I know that we don't see green stars because in blackbody radiation star doesn't produce one spectrum. The stars that have peaks in the green spectrum produce other spectrum in nearly same amout. ...
3
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2answers
185 views

Best way to simulate star sizes to scale in celestial sphere

Using the Hipparcos catalogue, I am trying to create a celestial sphere. As all the stars are a fixed distance from the centre of this sphere, the only way to differentiate the distances and magnitude ...
2
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1answer
6k views

Moving lights in the sky looks like they were moving coordinated [duplicate]

I was out with a couple friends a night and we looked up to the sky just watching the stars. I noticed what looked like a star moving then told my friends and they saw it too. After we saw the one ...