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40 votes

What was the large green yellow thing streaking across the sky?

There was a fireball visible in VA at about 10pm EDT on the 28th of July https://fireballs.imo.net/members/imo_view/event/2022/4424 Other observers suggest it lasted about 3.5 seconds and was as ...
James K's user avatar
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35 votes
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Does this photo show the "Little Dipper" and "Big Dipper"?

As mentioned, these are the Pleiades, and the belt of Orion. These are visible in the South at this time of year. The Big and Little Dippers are in the North, so turn around. The best way to find ...
James K's user avatar
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30 votes
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Which planet is this (if any)?

Stellarium shows the Moon and Mars very close together in the sky tonight (Saturday, 3rd October 2020), so yes, it was probably Mars that you saw. Moon and Mars on 2020/10/03 (Stellarium) Stellarium ...
Mick's user avatar
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25 votes

Line of lights moving in a straight line, with a few following

Given the date and timing, this could be most like the Starlink satellites in their "stacked" configuration. They are currently in a line, but they will later move to separate orbits. Dr Marco ...
James K's user avatar
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24 votes
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What caused this mysterious stellar occultation on July 10, 2017 from something ~100 km away from 486958 Arrokoth?

There were three attempts to measure Arrokoth by occultation, and the June 3rd attempt didn't detect anything. The July 10th attempt had a tiny blip, that appeared to be in the "wrong place"...
James K's user avatar
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23 votes
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What is this "Table of astronomy" about?

Fig. 1 and many others on that page seems to be diagrams of various trigonometric relations, used e.g. to convert between coordinates of celestial objects. But I'm not sure about this particular one. ...
pela's user avatar
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18 votes

What telescope is Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski holding in this April 1964 photo at the Jagiellonian University Observatory in Krakow?

I believe this is a 20 cm Grubb refractor with a focal length of 248 cm. This page mentions some of the telescopes at the Jagiellonian Observatory in 1964: In 1964, a jubilee 600 years of ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
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17 votes
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Can you tell me which star this is?

"Nearly straight up" suggests Vega. At that time and location it is only 5 degrees from the Zenith. It is a notably bright star, much brighter than any which are nearby. Vega is a bright ...
James K's user avatar
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17 votes
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What is this bright blue object taken by the Webb telescope?

That is Triton, Neptune's moon. The colours are false, since the JWST is an infrared telescope. Triton is an unusual object and probably didn't form with Neptune. Instead, it is likely a captured ...
James K's user avatar
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15 votes
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What Constellation Is This? (Photo Included)

If it was rather small, I suppose you were looking at the Pleiades, which is an open star cluster (not a constellation). Take a look at this web application: https://stellarium-web.org/ You can set a ...
theWrongAlice's user avatar
15 votes

What Constellation Is This? (Photo Included)

Yes, those are the Pleiades. The form corresponds exactly to the photo below: (source: Star-Gazing - the disk below the Pleiades is Venus, this is a photo from April) As @theWrongAlice says, they're ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
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14 votes
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How did they make a video of the center of the galaxy, and what is it exactly that's flashing there?

Question: How are these images obtained? Later in the video the narrator says they took the images using ESO's VLT. 03:40 [Narrator] 14.​ Making these measurements pushed the power of ESO’s Very ...
14 votes
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Which telescope's model is being shown to Albert Einstein in this file footage? What event might this be?

I'm pretty certain it is the 200inch Hale telescope at Palomar Observatory. There is an image galley of the 200 inch telescope. According to Richard Preston's book First Light: The Search For The Edge ...
astrosnapper's user avatar
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14 votes
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Identify T-shaped constellation

From in-the-sky.org's Planetarium function for London on said date and time, we can see that Orion's belt is about 17° above the horizon in the west-south-west. @Greg Miller's comment is close: That'...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
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What am I looking at here at Google Sky?

It's a star with pretty strong diffraction spikes. To find out which one it is, you can just look up its coordinates in databases like SIMBAD. Then you find that it is the star Xi Cygni. You can also ...
SpaceCore's user avatar
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13 votes

Does this photo show the "Little Dipper" and "Big Dipper"?

The group of stars circled at the top of the photo is a star cluster named Pleiades. The Pleiades are in the constellation of Taurus. The group of stars circled at the bottom of the photo is part of ...
JohnHoltz's user avatar
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13 votes
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What is the bright orange star?

The best match in SIMBAD appears to be the red supergiant W61 7-8. Though it stands out in this near infrared image, in visible light you would need a 30cm or larger telescope to see it (V=13.6). The ...
Mike G's user avatar
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13 votes
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Are these images of the same nebula?

Yes, sort of. But the Chandra image is of just a small portion at the centre of the Spitzer image. Astronomical objects often have different appearances at different wavelengths. In the case of the ...
ProfRob's user avatar
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12 votes

What caused this mysterious stellar occultation on July 10, 2017 from something ~100 km away from 486958 Arrokoth?

According to Wikipedia: A preliminary analysis of all collected data suggested that Arrokoth was accompanied by an orbiting moonlet about 200–300 km (120–190 mi) away from the primary. It was later ...
Pierre Paquette's user avatar
10 votes
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Is there a chance that UFOs could be messages from other planets?

No. The purpose of sending a message is to have someone else read it. It defies logic to send a message over light years of space and then have it do anything but broadcast its presence very clearly ...
Nuclear Hoagie's user avatar
10 votes
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What cluster of stars is this with a "dark donut" to one side?

OK, having (finally) actually looked at the video, it's clear that Szymanek is looking at the center of M33. There is in fact a nuclear star cluster in the center of that galaxy; not knowing the field ...
Peter Erwin's user avatar
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10 votes
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Exposure details for this now (in)famous image from Lowell Observatory?

I was the one operating the telescope at the time! I was using our 11 inch telescope fitted with a 1 MP MallinCam camera. The image was taken at 9:21 pm with a 25 second exposure.
Victoria's user avatar
  • 116
10 votes
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What is the story behind this supposedly incredibly detailed image of the disk of Proxima Centauri attributed to the JWST?

Apparently it is a fake, in fact a picture of chorizo sausage. See https://amp.cnn.com/cnn/2022/08/05/europe/scientist-space-image-chorizo-intl-scli-scn/index.html for example. Sigh…
Jon Custer's user avatar
10 votes
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What is this yellow star?

The "incredibly bright" star is actually TYC-1786-970-1, a 12th-magnitude star at a distance of 160 pc. From its colour I would say it looks like a late-G-type or early-K dwarf. Bonus: The ...
ProfRob's user avatar
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9 votes

What have I seen in the night sky

I took the liberty of looking a bit closer at your image and annotate several features. If you look closely, you see that several of the brighter objects in your image do the exact same random walk. ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
9 votes

Is a wavy path possible for a shooting star?

I saw a zig zag meteorite in Bukuru, Northern Nigeria, when I was about 13 in 1959. That started from small to increasing swings, then went out near the horizon. For many years I puzzled about this, ...
Chris Barnes's user avatar
9 votes

Why does this Lowell Observatory telescope have so many knobs? What do they all do?

I contacted Dr. Danielle Adams, Deputy Director for Marketing and Communications at the Lowell Observatory. She was kind enough to reply, and generously provided the following (lightly edited for ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes

What Constellation Is This? (Photo Included)

In such situations, I find Astrometry.net particularly helpful. Feeding it your image, I got this result: Of course, the stars Pleione, Sterope, and Taygeta are enough to identify the Pleiades. While ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar
8 votes
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What is this elliptical orbit?

That second picture is not an elliptical orbit (at least, not as elliptical as depicted). It is a roughly circular orbit viewed from the side. Any orbit that appears as such (elliptical, but with the ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 4,155
8 votes
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"Table of Astronomy's" depiction of the solar system models

Ptolemaic system Planets In Ptolemy's system, the two missing symbols are Venus (♀) and Mars (♂), respectively. The arc in the bottom of the Venus symbol actually belongs to Mercury below (☿). ...
pela's user avatar
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