# All Questions

871 questions with no upvoted or accepted answers
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401 views

### What are Kepler's laws (as he wrote them)?

There are of course many, many sources that quote Kepler's laws of planetary motion. This is preventing me from finding out what I really want to know: which is - what are Kepler's laws as he wrote ...
0answers
195 views

### How small can a spiral galaxy be?

The smallest observed spiral galaxies I can find are NGC 2976 and NGC 4605, both with a diameter of 20 kly, but I don't have anything like an exhaustive source to search. I've also found a mention ...
0answers
275 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 ...
0answers
487 views

### How to determine scalar-to-tensor ratio r from CMB polarization spectrum?

CMB polarization spectrum can tell us about the primordial scalar and tensor perturbation. By analyze B and E mode angular spectrum power spectrum and temperature power spectrum we can determine the ...
0answers
66 views

### The compatibility of the Grand Tack hypothesis with the “core-warping impact” theory of Jupiter's diffuse core

In recent years, the Juno mission revealed that Jupiter's core was much more diffuse than astronomers had expected. One theory is that "within a few million years" of its formation, Jupiter ...
0answers
217 views

### What is the limiting abundances of elements at the end of the stelliferous era?

Is there any reputable published source on expected elemental abundances at the end of the era of stellar fusion? I am here interested in the contents of galaxies; much of intergalactic gas will be ...
0answers
207 views

### Planning to revisit Arthur Eddington's experiment from 1919

As the fateful day draws closer, the United States will host a celestial event that comes once in three generations. I plan to witness this first hand at the exact center of greatest eclipse. In the ...
0answers
133 views

### How does the gravitation of Jupiter or other big planets affect Kepler's third law?

Does anyone know any good reference on this? I remember reading once about how Jupiter's gravitation can be treated as a perturbation, but I cannot find it again now. I think they expanded Jupiter's ...
0answers
239 views

### What fraction of a star's hydrogen store will be fused over its lifespan?

A main sequence star will fuse some of its hydrogen, but not all. In massive stars ($>1.5M_\odot$) the core is convective but the rest of the atmosphere radiative and hence does not mix much: as it ...
0answers
78 views

### How can maser emission be unpolarized?

I was reading that: However, unlike Galactic sources such as W3(OH), the emission is unpolarized and the 1667 MHz line is stronger than the 1665 MHz line. but how is this possible? Does not the ...
0answers
116 views

### Estimating the tangential and cross component of the galaxy's shear using Gnomonic projection

I would like to know how I can estimate the tangential and cross component of the galaxy's shear using Gnomonic projection of the right ascension and declination ...
0answers
49 views

### What are the 4 candidates for Planet Nine reported in 2017?

From Wikipedia Planet Nine#Citizen science: In April 2017, using data from the SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, citizen scientists on the Zooniverse platform reported four ...
0answers
105 views

### Error propagation methods for orbit parameters

Recently I've encountered an article in our local astronomical popularization magazine. It is about a well known task of Sgr A*-black hole's mass estimation. The article is written as a step by step ...
0answers
185 views

### Is the wind's intensity on Mars similar to Earth?

I've read that in Mars' poles, the winds can be as fast as 400 km/h, when the poles are exposed to sunlight because the frozen $CO_2$ sublimes. I know that the Martian atmosphere is much thinner than ...
1answer
119 views

### Does Saturn raise tides on Titan's lakes?

Titan is the only body in the Solar System other than Earth to have large bodies of surface liquid. Since Saturn is much more massive than the Moon, I would expect for tides, if they're present to ...
0answers
149 views

### problems finding rise set and transit times at high latitudes using Meeus' algorithms

I am implementing Jean Meeus' algorithm from his book "Astronomical Algorithms", 2nd ed. for rise, set and transit times in Swift. It seems to provide very good results (no more than 1 minute ...
0answers
67 views

### Is there work underway to push the long baseline capabilities of the Event Horizon Telescope to sub-millimeter wavelengths?

The Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy's press release Something is Lurking in the Heart of Quasar 3C 279; First Event Horizon Telescope Images of a Black-Hole Powered Jet shows a stunning ...
0answers
96 views

### Why aren't there blue elliptical galaxies or yellow spiral galaxies?

Elliptical galaxies are universally old and yellow; about three-quarters of all ellipticals have no significant star-forming gas or dust left, and even the quarter or so of ellipticals that are still ...
0answers
121 views

### How many meteorites have been found some place other than Earth? Where is an authoritative list maintained?

Backgound: After seeing this tweet by astronomer Kacper Wierzchoś about our not-so-new but at least newly-discovered "mini-moon" I scrolled down and saw the tweeted image below. The object is the ...
0answers
65 views

### Color index B-V of the dimming Betelgeuse

Using AAVSO light curve generator I have plotted V and B magnitudes of Betelgeuse in the past 150 days to see trend of B-V color index. If dust would be the cause of the recent drop in the star ...
0answers
82 views

### Why would a black hole have a disk, but not emit x-rays?

There's a recent paper in Nature about LB-1, a B-class star orbiting a massive black hole. I don't understand how these two parts of the paper can be reconciled. On page 2, the authors argue that the ...
0answers
90 views

### How are the atomic clocks synchronised between worldwide VLBI telescopes?

I know that VLBI needs precise synchronised atomic clocks to calculate the baseline distance between the radio telescopes at cm level. But i cant´t find any information how the atomic clocks are kept ...
0answers
95 views

### What alternative facilities would be available in the event of JWST being destroyed?

Unfortunately, space launches can and do go wrong. Suppose that after all the delays and budget overruns, the launch of the James Webb Space Telescope fails and the telescope becomes a cloud of very ...
0answers
128 views

### Is Spherical Astronomy by W. M. Smart a good book on positional/spherical astronomy?

I'm a math undergrad, but I'm really interested in learning positional astronomy; However, the only well-referenced textbook I've come up with is Spherical Astronomy by W. M. Smart. I would like to ...
0answers
90 views

### Do mixed type remnant collisions produce anything interesting?

The recent detection of a binary neutron star inspiraling and colliding raises an interesting question in my mind. Type Ia supernovae are believed to be caused by white dwarf/regular star pairs and/or ...
0answers
199 views

### When the Moon formed and early on, did it orbit over the Earth's equator?

Or was it always at about 5.14 degrees inclination or has the inclination changed over time? See diagram. James K's answer to this question got me thinking about this, and I don't mean to call him ...
0answers
106 views

### What is the farthest reported distance from observer from which a solar system body has occulted a star?

I originally wrote "...farthest distance from Earth..." but changed to "observer" in case the occultation was observed from a space telescope. It may not matter much but I didn't want to over-...
0answers
117 views

### Semimajor axis variations in co-orbital moons

I've been playing with simulations of co-orbital bodies similar to Saturn's moons Janus & Epimetheus- horseshoe orbits where the two bodies are of comparable mass- and I'm seeing some very odd ...
0answers
429 views

### What are the analysis steps in taking raw data from Kepler to a planetary system determination

I wish to get a concise list of the analysis steps required to take raw light data from a Kepler data set of a star through the steps needed to get to an analytical determination of the existence of a ...
0answers
99 views

### Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves?

Why can primordial tensor perturbations of the CMB be ascribed to gravitational waves? Is this attribution unique, or are there other mechanisms that could lead to the excitation of tensor modes? In ...
1answer
307 views

### The most feasible hypothesis about Theia

The formation of the Moon had many hypothesis over the years, most of them involving a Mars-sized body called Theia, which presumably collided with the Earth. But even within the Theia hypothesis, is ...
1answer
167 views

### What if there was an asteroid belt with the mass of a planet?

In the past, the asteroid belt was thought to be the remains of a shattered planet. Of course, that was all pseudoscience, the mass of the asteroid belt being 4% of the moon. I've been wondering, what ...
0answers
30 views

### What is the role of the mesh on which dipole elements of the MWA antennas are placed?

I was reading about the radio telescope - Murchison Widefield Array (MWA) situated in Western Australia. Antennas of this telescope are quite unique and different from the usual dish radio telescope. ...
0answers
62 views

### Why is the great red spot shrinking?

The Great Red Spot is an anticyclonic storm on Jupiter that is bigger than the Earth. Based on the Wikipedia article, it has been shrinking in size for the last 400 years, going from 41 to 16 thousand ...
0answers
71 views

### How strong are the strongest Ioquakes?

Jupiter's moon Io is the most geologically active celestial body in our system. It has the strongest volcanoes and quakes. Of course in practice these quakes wouldn't be as dangerous as on Earth for ...
0answers
118 views

### Could a star have a Saturn-like ring?

Saturn's rings will never clump together, because they are within the Roche limit. Which makes me wonder if a star could have rings that are kept from clumping together due to tidal forces. Have any ...
0answers
75 views

### How do radio astronomers avoid having their receivers burned out by ground-imaging radar from satellites?

After about 34:00 in the 9th press conference of AAS 235, radio astronomer and NRAO's spectrum manager Harvey Liszt talks about Radio Astronomy in a New Era of ...
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150 views

### Formation of the First Stars

I've got a few questions about the first stars to form in the universe. First off how might metalicity have impacted the formation of the first stars and also what effect would the absence of metals ...
0answers
53 views

### Water vapour in space

This question is inspired by, but different from, What happens if an ice cube is left in space? Mark's accepted answer says "…if you stick your ice cube out in the Oort Cloud, it'll grow: the mean ...
0answers
99 views

### Is there any difference between M87's image and predictions?

Today, the EHT released (somewhat blurry as compared to simulations)images of M87 blackhole. Did the image contain anything which might lead to a correction to General Relativity or were all the ...
0answers
67 views

### Can anyone explain this odd Galactic dust filament near the LMC?

Perusing the Planck 353 GHz polarisation Aitoff projection I noticed an apparent magnetically driven dust filament rising abruptly from the Galactic ß-field in the Chameleon-Mensa S polar region. It ...
0answers
73 views

### Is the Ordovician meteor event detectable in the lunar cratering record?

Approximately 468 million years ago there were a large number of L-chondrite meteorites falling to Earth. This is called the Ordovician meteor event and was probably the result of a large collision in ...
1answer
115 views

### Can Jupiter's nightside be classified as spectral type Y?

As far as I am aware, the latest spectral types that have been assigned are around Y2, for objects like WISE 0855-0714 that have temperatures around 250 K or so. I've also seen several directly-imaged ...
0answers
58 views

### How open is China in sharing data from the Chang'e 4 mission?

It's really good to see that man (well, machine) has gone back to the moon again. Chang'e 4 is studying potential mantle material from the lunar depths and will be conducting radio astronomy in ...
0answers
82 views

### Does the orbital decay of Triton affect Neptune's rotation?

Just a quick question regarding Neptune. Because Phobos is spiraling in towards Mars, Mars' rotation speeds up. Does the same thing happen with Neptune's rotation?
0answers
50 views

### What is the relation between the saros (18 years, 11 days, 8 hours) and the period of lunar nodal precession (18.6 years)?

I am wondering. I am sure that they are related. How can we derive one from the other?
0answers
78 views

### How does ALMA produce stable, mutually coherent ~THz local oscillators for all of their dishes?

The ALMA (Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array) radio telescope's band-10 capabaility is now operational, per this answer. That's confirmed by NRAO's First Science with ALMA’s Highest-...
0answers
199 views

### Gravitational eddies across the galaxy?

I read about natural gravitational eddies that travel in a wave that black holes have. They also have a strong magnetic field. Does those eddies follow magnetic field lines of the rotating black hole? ...
0answers
93 views

### Need help understanding stellar spectroscopy data from ESO

The European Southern Observatory webpage has a web page that has tabular spectrogram data from A. J. Pickles, University of Hawaii. There are over 130 .dat files there. Each one represents a ...
0answers
50 views

### Did the Juno mission locate Jupiter at the same precision as Saturn (4 km)?

Juno's low perijove should be great for measuring Jupiter's gravitational effect on Juno's orbit. Cassini together with VLBI has measured Saturn's location to within 4 km. Will Was Juno be able to ...

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