Hot answers tagged

106

The Sun is immensely loud. The surface generates thousands to tens of thousands of watts of sound power for every square meter. That's something like 10x to 100x the power flux through the speakers at a rock concert, or out the front of a police siren. Except the "speaker surface" in this case is the entire surface of the Sun, some 10,000 times larger than ...


106

You are correct that the axis of the Earth's rotation is tilted with respect to the plane of its orbit by 23 degrees. But it is incorrect that the direction that the axis points changes by a large amount (it should be 2*23 degrees) over a 6 month time span. Your assumption: If axis it pointed at Polaris at (1), then it should be pointed at a different star ...


65

The oldest light in the universe is the cosmic microwave background. Roughly 380,000 years after the Big Bang, protons and electrons "recombined"1 into hydrogen atoms. Before this, any photons scattered off the free electrons in the plasma filling space, and the universe was essentially opaque to light. Once recombination occurred, however, photons were able ...


51

The Earth takes 23 hours 56 minutes to rotate once. But that is not relevant to most people. Sure, the stars will be in the same position again after 23 hours 56 minutes, but the sun will not be in the same position. It is far more important, for most people, to measure the time from noon to noon. And the average time from noon to noon is 24 hours. This is ...


49

Still new at stellarium but here are some quick capture gif lasting one month. Sorry about the quality- limited to 256 colors for smaller gifs. Date on lower left corner. By the way the sun is of course the brightest and i use it as reference for recording (start record when sun is in frame then stop when it appears again in the same position which is ...


42

You are correct. The Earth would always appear in approximately the same location in the sky, when viewed from a point on the lunar surface. And it would be seen to spin, the continents coming in and out of view over the course of an Earth day (24 hours). The sun would make it's way across the sky, from one horizon to the other over a period of about two ...


42

That's what it really would look like if you were there with DSCOVR. The albedo of the Moon is only about 0.136, about half of the Earth's average albedo. Of course the part with clouds is higher. I was shocked too, but it was explained in written copy that accompanied the release of the original image. Shouldn't the Moon appear as bright as a full ...


41

The answer is ironic: Without good instruments, there is no evidence. The people who thought that the Sun went around the Earth were perfectly correct as far as the actual evidence went until the early 1700s and mid-1800s when two lines of evidence opened up that showed that the Earth moved. Aberration of Starlight Wikipedia has a correct but over-...


39

There are a few incorrect assumptions in your post, so it is difficult to answer as asked. But I can address the misconceptions. 1. The seasons are not caused by our distance from the sun The seasons are caused by the 23.5° tilt in Earth's axis. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun (summer), the Southern Hemisphere is simultaneously tilted ...


38

Yes, it is not only possible, but has almost certainly happened on Earth. The asteroid that killed the dinosaurs is thought to have produced these high velocity fragments on the order of one-thousandth of the mass of the impactor according to Poveda and Cordero [2008]. In fact, they estimate the volume of escape velocity ejecta from the Chicxulub event as ...


37

They do, but due to the ratio of masses being vastly different, they seem like they would not to do so as moon seems to rotate just around (the centre of) Earth. The ratio of Earth and Moon's masses is $\frac{M_{Earth}}{M_{Moon}} = 81.3$ whereas for Pluto and Charon the same ratio is $\frac{M_{Pluto}}{M_{Charon}} = 8.09$. Because the ratio for Pluto and ...


37

It is a matter of exposure and dynamic range. A sensor like a camera can only handle inputs in a certain range of intensities, and much of photographic skill (or smart presets) is about mapping the outside light onto this range so the details you care about show up rather than turn into white or black. If you take a picture of a brightly lit scene, in order ...


35

Ptolemy's epicyclic, geocentric model, in use until the Renaissance, was very accurate in terms of predicting the positions of planets and the times of eclipses. What it couldn't account for were things like the correlations between apparent size and phase of Venus, or to properly account for the variation in brightness of the planets. Thus the reason for ...


32

The coincidence isn't so much that they appear very similar sizes from Earth, but that we are alive to see them at the point in time in which they appear very similar sizes. The moon is slowly moving away from the Earth, and at some point in the future the moon will be unable to totally eclipse the sun and conversely, if you could step far into prehistory, ...


31

First, we need to decide which definition of "day" to employ. There are several types of days: Apparent solar day: the time between two successive culminations of the Sun (apparent Noon) from an fixed Earth-based observer; Mean solar day: a more uniform, averaged solar day without seasonal variations; Stellar/Sidereal day: the time needed for the Earth to ...


31

The short answer is no; there is only one barycenter. Yes, you can count the Sun/Jupiter barycenter or the Sun/Saturn barycenter, or whichever barycenter you want, but the net effect of all Solar System bodies is to be considered when you calculate the actual barycenter of the Solar System. (And yes, that would include counting all the small asteroids and ...


30

While Sir Cumference's post is a very intriguing answer, but I'm afraid it's wrong. The sun's surface is clearly in motion, but that does not necessarily result in the radiation of audible sound, even if the sun and earth where in a fluid medium (such as a air) that would allow sound transfer. To explain why, we can actually apply the same line of analysis ...


30

We have "days" because the Earth is rotating. The shape of the orbit has little effect on the daily cycle of light and dark. The length of the day is determined by the tilt of Earth to the orbit of the Earth around the sun. When the Northern hemisphere is pointed away from the sun, then the sun is low in the sky and is below the horizon for longer. So the ...


29

L1, L2 and L3 are saddle points in the effective potential of the gravitational field in a rotating frame of reference. That is if you combine gravity (of Earth and Sun) with the centrifugal force on an object that is moving around a point at one orbit per year you find that there are three saddle points, and these are L1, L2 and L3 If an object is in orbit ...


28

As HDE 226868 noted in his answer, the Sun is not going to go supernova. That's something only large stars experience at the end of their main sequence life. Our Sun is a dwarf star. It's not big enough to do that. It will instead expand to be a red giant when it burns out the hydrogen at the very core of the Sun. It will continue burning hydrogen as a red ...


28

We teach the students: Sidereal day: In 23 h 56 min the earth rotates 360° Solar day: In 24 h the earth rotates 361° You should not teach your students that. You should instead teach your students that it takes the Earth 23 hours and 56 minutes to rotate 360° with respect to the remote stars. So why do we use a 24 hour day? The reason we use a 24 hour day ...


28

There's a few parts to this question so there's more than one answer. Earth gets knocked a little bit out of its orbit all the time by gravitational influence of other planets in our solar system. Jupiter and Venus are the primary two, but all the planets have some effect. These are called orbital perturbations and they tend to alternate, not add up. They'...


27

I come from a similar latitude and enjoyed the night skies and two things that can add to "the amount of light in the sky" that I can think of. The first is the near-full moon as mentioned above, and the second is unusually low clouds. Being near Toronto and outlying communities, there is a great deal of light produced, and some goes up. On nights ...


26

What you're asking, basically, is whether there are any proofs for the heliocentric model of the Solar System. A literal naked-eye observation of the Earth revolving around the Sun would be rather difficult, since human beings have never gone to another planet yet, and have only been to the Moon briefly, decades ago. Here are several proofs; some of them ...


26

There is currently only one planet known to be capable of supporting human life, and you're on it. Several planets have been found in the region in which we expect water to be liquid on much of the planet. Of these, only one fits the criteria of being Earth-sized and well placed in the habitable zone: Kepler 186-f However we know nothing about it's ...


25

First up, the tilt is exactly 23.45 degrees. The reason for Earth's tilt is still not yet really proven, but scientists at Princeton stated on August 25, 2006 that planet Earth may have 'tilted' to keep its balance. Quote: By analyzing the magnetic composition of ancient sediments found in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Princeton University's ...


25

Not strictly satellites/moons, but certainly companions are 2010 TK7 with a diameter of ~300 m, an Earth trojan at the L4 point, and the ~5 km 3753 Cruithne in a peculiar orbit locked to the Earth's.


23

The chance happenstance that Earth happened to be floating along and got captured is minuscule. How did Earth wind up floating through space? There's no established mechanism for terrestrial planets to form on their own. As far as we know, they need a host star to form around. So if our Sun captured Earth, it must've formed around another Star, got ejected ...


23

To add to @Planetmaker's concise yet complete answer: In order to keep at least one satellite in the sky over Russia (or any other high N or S latitude area) at all times, the Molniya orbit was invented. source It is not stationary or even synchronous, but with a period of exactly 1/2 sidereal day it is repeat-ground track. It will appear to linger for ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible