52 votes
Accepted

How precise are future Solar eclipse timing, path and dates, what could change timing/path?

For the past few decades, the best eclipse data has been produced by Fred Espenak, aka Mr Eclipse. Fred is a former employee of NASA's GSFC. He's retired now, but he still maintains an excellent ...
PM 2Ring's user avatar
  • 14.5k
29 votes
Accepted

Is it possible for the Milky Way and Andromeda to get ejected upon colliding instead of merging?

A full merger may not occur on that timescale. The encounter in 4.5 billion years will take place but the galactic centers may be far enough apart that it is a "glancing blow". Regardless, ...
ProfRob's user avatar
  • 152k
24 votes

"Next Generation Arecibo Telescope (NGAT)... would combine a 314-metre-wide platform with a swarm of 9-metre dishes on top" What would that look like?

There are a few diagrams in the original white paper (Anish Roshi et al. 2021; see Fig. 11) and the revised NGAT-130 proposal (Anish Roshi et al. 2023; see Fig. 3), depicting the basic arrangement. ...
HDE 226868's user avatar
  • 36.6k
23 votes
Accepted

How bright will Alpha Centauri A be from Earth when it becomes a red giant?

First of all, by the time Alpha Centauri A becomes a red giant, it will no longer be this close to the Sun due to the orbit of the stars around the galaxy so it probably wouldn't be visible. But let's ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 6,653
10 votes
Accepted

Is the Earth going to evolve towards Mars' fate or Venus' fate?

If you are asking about short-term effects related to human's effect on the climate, the answer is (obviously) unclear. But in the very long term, Earth is likely to evolve to a more Venus-like state. ...
abeboparebop's user avatar
10 votes

Is the Earth going to evolve towards Mars' fate or Venus' fate?

Either or neither. It's impossible to tell from the present. If runaway climate change occurs, then yes, the conditions on Venus could be a potential analogue for the kind of environment on Earth due ...
christopherlovell's user avatar
7 votes
Accepted

What will be the impacts on the planets' orbits from Gliese 710?

It'll have basically no effect on the planet's orbits, except perhaps on the theoretical planet 9 and even then, not very much. As close as it's expected to get Gilese will till be too far away to ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 24k
6 votes
Accepted

Winter in June in the future for North hemisphere

The book is incorrect. The calendar is designed to keep track of the seasons. What will happen in 13000 years is that the Northern Hemisphere summer solstice will still occur near the end of June, but ...
David Hammen's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What will the universe be like in a googolplex years time?

That is nearly long enough to reach heat-death, which is estimated as about $10^{10^{120}}$. What that means is rather speculative, since it depends on various events that we have never observed, such ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
6 votes

Is the Earth going to evolve towards Mars' fate or Venus' fate?

This is a question that cannot be accurately answered. However, the closest to a honest and accurate answer would be that neither, since the Earth is going to "evolve" (curious choice of words) ...
Zbyněk Dráb's user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

Will the Sun fall into a black hole? If so, when and which one?

Particles in galaxies can exchange energy by two-body gravitational interactions, like gravitational slingshots. Such an interaction results in one particle gaining energy, so that it rises to a ...
Sten's user avatar
  • 4,644
5 votes

How bright will Alpha Centauri A be from Earth when it becomes a red giant?

In 1 billion years Sol and Alpha Centauri will have travelled about 4 times around the galaxy on different paths, so it could be 100k light years away. It's moving at 22km/s relative to Sol.
bandybabboon's user avatar
  • 4,250
5 votes
Accepted

If an asteroid was to collide with Earth, how much warning would we have?

Asteroids come in all shapes and sizes, and generally the bigger they are the easier they are to detect. Small asteroids, from a the size of sand grains (properly called meteoroids) to a few meters ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
5 votes
Accepted

How can we use hypervelocity stars to determine the origins of the Universe?

How can we use hypervelocity stars to determine the origins of the Universe? First and foremost, I should clear something up: our knowledge of the Big Bang is incredibly limited, and so we don't even ...
Sir Cumference's user avatar
5 votes

What are the present, and potentially the future roles of data scientists in Astronomy?

Astronomer is moving towards the big(ger) data era because of many sky survey technologies. The coming ones include, e.g., LSST, JWST, and WFIRST. By the meaning of survey, it normally means ...
Kornpob Bhirombhakdi's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

The orbital period of Jupiter and Europa billions of years later

When the Sun becomes a red giant there will be some mass loss, making Jupiter's orbit wider and slower. The extent is fairly small during the initial expansion, but about 50% of the mass at the end. ...
Anders Sandberg's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

In 31.5kyr, Epsilon Eridani and Luyten 726-8 will be < 1ly close; but how distant from the Solar system?

These stars are currently moving away from us, in the case of Epsilon Eridani, at 15.5 km/s. In 31500 years they will be further away than they are now, the distance can be calculated by applying ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
3 votes
Accepted

Will the stars dim in the future because of the expansion of the universe?

Actually not everything is moving apart. On a scale of millions of light years gravity dominates and there isn't metric expansion of space. This is why (for example) the Andromeda galaxy is moving ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
3 votes

How are the Extremely Large and Thirty Meter Telescopes coming along ("planned 2027")

The ELT looks basically on track. It’s scheduled to start scientific observations in 2028 and is now half-completed. See https://www.eso.org/public/news/eso2310/ The TMT’s fate is less positive, ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar
3 votes

What is the evolutionary leap in the great filter?

The great filter hypothesis is one of the proposed answers to the Fermi paradox, which asks "where is everybody?" (referring to intelligent alien species). The great filter hypothesis is ...
David Hammen's user avatar
3 votes

Is the Earth going to evolve towards Mars' fate or Venus' fate?

Since the Sun's temperature will continue to increase and it is estimated that in ~2 billion years it will be so hot on Earth that life will be impossible, I'd say it's going to evolve more toward ...
Scottie's user avatar
  • 2,042
3 votes

What are the present, and potentially the future roles of data scientists in Astronomy?

I'm an astronomer and I get lots of job offers to retrain as a data scientist, but it might be more tricky to go the other way. Astronomy is definitely a field in which 'big data' is important, and ...
FJC's user avatar
  • 1,324
3 votes
Accepted

How long before Phobos reaches the Roche limit of Mars?

Sometime before now and "tens of millions of years". Phobos currently orbits at a radius of about 9400km The theoretical Roche limit is different for rigid and fluid bodies. If Phobos were ...
James K's user avatar
  • 122k
2 votes

Winter in June in the future for North hemisphere

The diagram from Astronomy magazine is correct; the book excerpt is a little confused. Winter solstice is not when the Sun appears opposite certain stars, but when the Sun appears farthest from the ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.7k
2 votes
Accepted

What would stargazing be like at the edge of our galaxy?

Here is a render of what an observer might see near the edge of our galaxy. The "edge" itself being rather fuzzy, let's assume that we are in an area of the edge dense enough where a few occasional ...
FSimardGIS's user avatar
  • 1,006
2 votes

What are some notable bets Astronomers place on Astronomy, e.g. Mike Merrifield's on Mars; is there a list of them?

Three different bets between noted astronomers about astronomy/astrophysics so far: Mike Merrifield vs. the marketplace's on-line bet about evidence of higher life forms on Mars discussed in the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.9k
2 votes
Accepted

"Holy grail" future observation to confirm presence of neutron stars in the centers of massive, otherwise conventional stars? (Thorne–Żytkow objects)

Primarily it is thought we will confirm/deny them based on detecting unusually large amounts of certain nuclei in the spectra. Things like lithium and calcium which are hard to get in "normal&...
Rob's user avatar
  • 2,035
2 votes

Where will all atoms on the Earth end up when the Sun engulfs the earth?

According to NASA: "Recent modeling suggests Earth probably won’t make it out intact." (https://exoplanets.nasa.gov/life-and-death/chapter-6/#:~:text=%22Earth%20won't%20be%20habitable,so%...
Astrovis's user avatar
  • 465
1 vote

How precise are future Solar eclipse timing, path and dates, what could change timing/path?

The variation in the Earth's rotation rate provides probably the biggest error for the eclipse prediction. Not only is the rotation rate slowing down (due to the interaction with the Moon) but it also ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 3,456

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