57

You do, but it's too small to really notice First, it's not correct to say that we don't feel Earth's rotation because it's rotating at a constant speed. Think about driving a car, or riding in an airplane. Whether you're cruising down the road at 90 kph, or soaring through the air at 900 kph, you don't really "feel the speed". However, When you take a ...


56

The light from the Sun spreads, at least initially, in an isotropic fashion into the universe. As it gets further from the Sun, some of that light will interact with the interstellar medium (ISM) and therefore some of the energy emitted by the Sun will be used to excite atoms and molecules or even ionise some atoms. This will be the fate of almost all the ...


48

In a similar way, we could ask... No beams can be exactly 1 meter long. No beams can be exactly straight. The material making up a beam cannot be truly isotropic. So why should we bother calculating the stress in a 1 meter straight beam having isotropic material? Because knowing how to perform this calculation is a building block for doing more ...


47

All models are approximations, we judge a model on how useful it is. Understanding the collapse of a non-rotating star to a black hole gives insight into the nature of gravitational collapse. Much of the physics of collapse does not depend on spin. The formation of an event horizon, for example. Models can be refined, and in this case, considering ...


38

There are three main space weathering processes that will affect the surface of the marble. Cosmic rays, high energy particle from the sun and beyond, will hit the surface. This can change the chemistry of the surface. Solar wind particles, hydrogen and helium, can become implanted in the surface Micrometeoroids will impact the surface, causing small ...


38

We don't know in general but to the extent we can measure, the laws seem to be the same, even if conditions are not. For example radioactive decay: We know how fast various elements decay, and we can observe the results of radioactive decay in distant supernovae. The conclusion is that, for at least some elements, the rate of radioactive decay is the same ...


34

You want nature to be frugal and efficient. You want all the energy of the sun to have a purpose. However what you want nature to be like has no bearing on what it is. The light from the sun is a colossal amount of energy in human terms, but very minor in comparison to the rest of the universe. The light that didn't fall onto anything left the solar system ...


33

All models of gamma-ray bursts involve extremely energetic phenomena: particular types of supernovae, the coalescence of binary compact objects, strong magnetar flares, or tidal disruption events. It turns out that these events are quite rare - so rare, in fact, that GRBs would be expected to occur in a low-redshift Milky Way-like galaxy at a rate of only ...


32

The moon is so big that the processes that circularize and reduce the equatorial inclination would take much longer. The moon is big because of how it formed: a huge collision in the early solar system. (Unlike, say the Galilean moons that probably formed along with Jupiter, or Triton, that looks like a captured TNO) The other fact that makes its orbit ...


32

There is basically an upper limit to the mass of a star because their luminosity is so great that the radiation pressure prevents the accretion of further mass. However, the upper limit depends on the composition of the accreting material. This is because the effect of the radiation depends on the opacity of the material - stuff that is more metal-rich is ...


28

No more than the observation of light waves disproves quantum mechanics. Light has properties of both a particle and a wave. At low energies, the particle nature of light is hard to detect: radio waves are made of photons, but individual radio wave photons are pretty hard to detect. I'm not sure that we have directly detected individual photons with ...


26

EDIT I'm leaving the original, highly upvoted answer below, but I've had a fundamental rethink about this, prompted by questions from Keith McClary and a helpful clarification from a Physics SE question. The original answer I gave is the reason that we can detect gravitational waves (GWs) at all. Their coherent nature as single oscillators, means that ...


25

Different education systems differ, however At school you would take maths and physics courses, at least covering calculus. As an undergraduate, taking (or majoring in) physics. Also probably doing some more maths and perhaps some astrophysics courses. As a postgraduate doing Masters study in astrophysics leading to PhD research in astrophysics. By now ...


24

Firstly the speeds are massively different (about 1000 mph (1610 kph) on the equator for Earth's rotation and 70,000 mph (112,654 kph) for the revolution), so the change is not large. Secondly, the green line is far straighter than it appears in your picture (because the orbit is so large) so Earth's motion around the Sun is pretty close to motion at ...


22

A neutron star must have a minimum mass of at least 1.4x solar masses (that is, 1.4x mass of our Sun) in order to become a neutron star in the first place. See Chandrasekhar limit on wikipedia for details. A neutron star is formed during a supernova, an explosion of a star that is at least 8 solar masses. The maximum mass of a neutron star is 3 solar ...


22

The impact of this measurement on the status of quantum gravitation is exactly zero. The proper statement of the incompatibility of general relativity and quantum mechanics is that the quantum field theory of general relativity is not renormalizable. Renormalizability essentially means that the theory is well-defined at all energy scales, which seems like a ...


20

Just to focus on one part of your question. Whilst it might be possible for a neutron star to accrete material, or for two neutrons stars to collide, in order to form black holes, this kind of event must be quite rare (although see below) The distribution of measured neutrons star and black holes masses can be fitted with an estimated true distribution. Here ...


20

In addition to the answer of James K, who outlines the most straight forward way into astrophysics, there's many paths. Some others include: There are people who did a BSc and/or MSc in Engineering subjects (rocket science of course being a favourite one), and then changing into astrophysics via instrumentation - or just simply switching to astrophysics ...


19

Another question, how can we identify the ripple's origin (let's say that if it's the result from the big bang or another big event)? (I'm just answering this part of the question, as James has already answered the main part about GR vs QM.) LIGO have produced an image which shows their best estimate of where these two black holes were: All they can say ...


19

Of course you would need to specify who the person is - an Olympic athlete? Let us assume so and then you can scale downwards accordingly. So an Olympic high jumper can jump hard enough to raise their centre of gravity about 2m off the ground. Let us assume this is a ballistic problem. The athlete actually gives themselves sufficient upward speed to get ...


17

Another consideration is that the physics that describe a rotating black hole was much harder to develop. The maths describing the Schwarzschild (uncharged, non-spinning) black hole was developed in 1916. This was expanded to charged, non-spinning black holes in 1918 (The Reissner–Nordström metric) It wasn't until 1963 that the Kerr metric for uncharged ...


16

The total entropy actually increases, as the molecular cloud shrinks under gravity. It may seem that as the molecules are getting closer, they are more ordered, which means less entropy. That is however only one part of the process. The second (important) part is: when the molecules are closer, they also have higher kinetic energy (since they descended into ...


16

OK, the reason we don't get flung off the surface of the Earth is that the rotational forces are not large enough to do it. Keep in mind that Earth formed because material was pulled together by it's own gravity. If Earth rotated so quickly, that material would be thrown off and Earth, as we know it, would not have formed. That's a bit simplistic, but it's ...


16

If you measure the gravitational waveform from an inspiralling binary, you can at any point measure the amplitude, instantaneous frequency and the rate of change of frequency. The last two give you the "chirp mass", which is related to the product and sum of the binary component masses. The amplitude of the gravitational wave then depends on the chirp mass ...


16

This is the Newtonian model of gravity. It is a very good model, it is used for accurate calculating the motion of objects in the solar system to a very high degree of accuracy. However, for very strong gravitational fields you need to use Einstein's model, which accounts for things like the constant speed of light for all observers. I'm not going to go into ...


16

Possibly you are labouring under the misapprehension that the number of photons is somehow a conserved quantity? That isn't true, there are more photons at any given wavelength when you are deeper into the star, because there is a temperature gradient. Cooler material further out is less emissive because fewer atoms are in excited states. The temperature ...


15

That sounds very much like a 22° halo. It's not an astrophysical phenomenon; it results from the refraction of light by ice crystals in Earth's atmosphere. If this is what it is, it should be a fuzzy but regular circle centered on the Moon, with a radius of about 22 degrees. If you hold your fist out at arm's length with the thumb extended, the angular ...


14

No. There is no consensus. The discrepancy between the predicted big bang nucleosynthetic abundance of Lithium 7 and the measured value can be summarised as follows. If we take what we know about the the baryonic mass density of the universe and the Hubble constant, we get a self-consistent picture between the cosmic microwave background, observations of ...


14

The answer to this is certainly tidal forces, but that doesn't explain the exact mechanism for how tidal forces result in tidal locking, i.e., an orbiting body showing the same face to the central body as it orbits due to the rotation rate and revolution rate being equal. I'll describe this mechanism using the Earth-Moon system so I can be specific, but it ...


12

The Sun will never run out of Hydrogen. This is a common misconception. At this moment the Sun is fusing Hydrogen into Helium. This fused Helium remains at the core until it will reach a critical mass. At this point the core will begin to collapse. This collapse increases the temperature and pressure around the core where Hydrogen is being fused causing the ...


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