The science dealing with objects and phenomena located beyond Earth. In particular, this applies to observations and data. At its core, astronomy is the physically informed cataloging and classifying of the contents of the universe in order to better understand what is out there.

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How is “little h” measured in cosmology? The dimensionless parameter from the Hubble constant, H_0

Hubble's law has been well-know for close to a century now. It is written as $v = H_0 d$ where the Hubble constant $H_0$ is the constant of proportionality between recession speed $v$ and distance ...
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17 views

Magnification: Microscopes Telescopes

What is the difference between the way a microscope magnifies say a star and a telescope say a cell? Why is it, that the eyepiece of a telescope magnifies stronger when it is smaller and with a ...
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29 views

Structure formation: growth of density perturbations in sub-horizon vs super-horizon scales

I've always had difficulty visualizing how sub-horizon scales work versus super-horizon scales. Inflation causes perturbations due to quantum fluctuations. These are under-densities and ...
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3answers
780 views

How many observations are needed to determine a comet's orbit?

Based on the following facts: We have Kepler's laws of planetary motion. We have a good knowledge of the positions and orbits of the gravitationally significant objects in the Solar System. We can ...
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21 views

observational-astronomy

I am looking for the current location of the line of apsides in tropical astrological coordinates; I tried using the sun's position at the time of earth's perihelion, but the results vary too much. ...
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70 views

Drift of Earth's orbit?

How much has Earth drifted (inwards or outwards) from its orbit about the sun? Or has Earth has not moved at all, compared to, say, 1000 years ago? 10,000 years ago?
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40 views

Explain relationship between angular diameter distance and luminosity distance, Etherington Theorem

I have a question relating to the Etherington Theorem. The luminosity distance is defined by the equation for flux, i.e. $F=\frac{L}{4\pi D_L^2}$ where flux is in units energy per unit time ...
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16 views

Have we any reliable means of predicting solar flares or CME's

Helioseismology is the study of solar waves (and not solar seismic activity), as per Wikipedia. My question is: Can sound waves within the sun be correlated with flare activity or solar mass ...
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1answer
270 views

Is it feasible to measure the energy of cosmic ray muons with a consumer Digital Single Lens Reflex camera?

I have read this article SIBBERNSEN, Kendra. Catching Cosmic Rays with a DSLR. Astronomy Education Review, 2010, 9: 010111. and it talks about estimating the muon cosmic ray flux by means of a DSLR ...
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3k views

Where can I find public domain astronomical pictures?

Where can I find public domain astronomical pictures of nebulae, stars, etc. that can be freely used?
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140 views

Mass and distance of the bodies of the solar system?

This might be a bit of a historical question in nature. Obviously given that we know the constant G, the mass of the sun, and the distance between a solar body and the sun we can calculate it's mass. ...
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15 views

How do I compute the galactic cooridinates of the Earth for a given date?

The question is simple enough, but I wasn't able to find any tools online. Does anyone know of one, or a simple formula?
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10 views

numerical galaxy morphology classification scheme

For an assignment, I've been told to divide up the galaxies with a Virgo Cluster Catalog number into early and late-type galaxies using the GOLDMine database, http://goldmine.mib.infn.it:8080/ ...
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2answers
5k views

How could scientists know how far a star or galaxy is from us?

How do astronomers measure how far a star (or galaxy) is away from the earth? How would they know that it has taken 13 million years for light to travel in space before it reaches us?
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22 views

Can you explain in mathematical term of how the moon makes the earth spin stable?

I heard that our moon keeps the earth's rotation at the same angle. This is, as the Science Channel explained, is essential for regular seasons on earth. I am not interesting in the fact why it is ...
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1answer
55 views

What is the precise definition of “cadence” in astronomy?

I'm finding it difficult to find a precise definition of "cadence" in astronomy. This term is commonly used to describe the data of astronomical surveys. For instance, one of the data products for the ...
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2answers
64 views

Olbers Paradox Solution

Olbers’ Paradox says that in an infinite universe every line of sight will end on a star. Surface brightness is independent of distance (moving a star further away makes it smaller and reduces its ...
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27 views

How accurately do Airy discs need to be superimposed in an optical interferometer to create fringes?

In an astronomical optical interferometer, what is the largest amount of error in the alignment of the Airy disks of point source star images from different arms of the interferometer that will still ...
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2answers
201 views

How were the ratios of distances between planets and the Sun first calculated?

I was reading some literature and I found that long before the actual distances between other planets and Earth or distance between Sun and Earth were known, physicists had calculated the ratios ...
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3answers
4k views

What is the farthest-away star visible to the naked eye?

My girlfriend and I were watching Cosmos, and something Carl Sagan said got us wondering what the farthest-away visible star is. Obviously "visible to the naked eye" is a fuzzy concept that might have ...
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1answer
81 views

Mass-to-light ratio and rotation curve from brightness profile

This should probably be basic but I've been looking for days and I can't find how to (I'm probably over complicating, but still). I want to calculate a rotation curve for some spiral galaxies. From ...
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2answers
15k views

How is distance between sun and earth calculated?

How has the distance between sun and earth been calculated? Also what is the size of the sun?
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30 views

Need help with which books I should buy [duplicate]

I need some help with witch books i should read. I would like to study science, physics, quantum physcics, astrophysics and all other kind of physics. Hit me with the best books inside of thoes ...
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2answers
81 views

How do we measure distance using parallax?

This is a quick mock-up of how stars are measured using parallax method. My question is : How on earth (literally) do we measure the anfle $\theta$? Is theta measured from the zenith of Earth? ...
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90 views

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes?

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes on practice? What is the accuracy of measuring distances using this method compared with distances based on HIPPARCOS ...
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2answers
139 views

Is there a confirmation of dark matter signal?

Dark matter, as we know does not emit light, so confirmation of its presence is indirect. Are there any recent indirect confirmations of dark matter. A place one would look for in detecting dark ...
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13 views

How do I calculate the right ascension of the ecliptic at the points where it intersects the horizon?

Given an observer's location on the Earth's surface, and time, how do I calculate the right ascensions of the points along the ecliptic where it intersects the observer's horizon?
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246 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
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1answer
479 views

How does color of galaxies explain their distance?

Why do distant galaxies have different colors than closer ones?
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1answer
94 views

Resolving power of ultra-telescopes [duplicate]

Assuming we could create and orbit optical telescopes of arbitrary size, perhaps starting with (say) inflatables or active membrane of 100m diameter what kind of resolution in imaging extra-solar ...
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0answers
25 views

Accretion disks on neutron star binaries

Why does hydrogen gas from accretion disks not constantly get sucked onto/into a neutron star or into a black hole? I understand that some gets sucked into the black hole and some may come down and ...
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0answers
24 views

Who orbits who? Earth or Sun [duplicate]

We always say that the earth orbits the sun, but how can we prove this? Could we not say that the sun orbits the earth or that the earth orbits Mars?
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3answers
5k views

How are Cepheids used to evaluate their distance?

Cepheids are used to evaluate distances. What is the math and physics behind their use?
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1answer
59 views

Can you use pulsar observations to determine absolute time? How long can you go without anything else?

In this old answer of Steve Allen's, he quotes this nice passage Imagine for a moment what would happen if, just as a practical joke, someone found a way to stop all atomic clocks, just for a ...
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2answers
252 views

Need help buying binoculars online for astronomy (10x50) [closed]

After reading much online I've decided to by a 10x50 porro prism Binoculars. The one I have in mind http://www.letsbuy.com/celestron-upclose-10x50-p-34652 has BK7 prisms. The one I would like to buy ...
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3answers
485 views

If time standard clocks and any memories about the time standard are destroyed, can we recover the time standard again?

Assume the time standard clocks and any memories about the time standard are destroyed. Can we recover the time standard again exactly? Recovering the time standard again means we can determine the ...
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1answer
68 views

Do the arms of a spiral galaxy spin around like a candy bar in long spirals?

Because the arms of a spiral galaxy have a linear center, perhaps they rotate around their center same as a candy bar spiral or a spiral of smoke? Have similar movements within galaxies been measured? ...
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4answers
9k views

How do astronomers measure the distance to a star or other celestial object?

How do scientists measure the distance between objects in space? For example, Alpha Centauri is 4.3 light years away.
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1answer
90 views

Do we actually measure distances in light years?

The cosmic distance ladder has a wide range of length scales, which are quite difficult to measure and to conceptualize. These distances are commonly quoted, particularly in less technical articles, ...
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2answers
38 views

Color of objects in Yellow sun

The sun appears yellow but the objects on the earth appear as if they have been illuminated in white light. Are all objects that we see in sunlight actually in a yellow shade, and would appear ...
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5answers
2k views

Why is the sky of the moon always dark?

Why is the sky of the moon always dark compared to the sky of the earth, doesn't it have day and night like earth?
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26 views

Perturbations of planetary Orbits

I have, for years, been an Astronomy and physics nerd. For the first while, I was a total astronomy nerd. Then I slowly transitioned into physics and have been, for less than a year, a physics nerd. ...
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1answer
90 views

Is there a map which shows all the black holes in our galaxy?

I am looking for a map which shows all black holes in the Milky Way. See this exoplanet map for what I mean. If it is not existing (yet). Is there at least an online catalogue which summarizes for ...
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8answers
22k views

Why CAN we see the new moon at night?

I understand that the Moon's phases are determined by its position in orbit relative to the Sun. (See: Full Story on the Moon). The "shadow" is not cast by the Earth (a common misconception - this is ...
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2answers
58 views

Mass of NGC 1097 Galaxy

I've been looking all over the internet for this and can't seem to find a reference. Can anyone refer me to a paper citing the mass of NGC 1097 based on luminosity?
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1answer
39 views

Why is the lyman alpha line asymmetric at high redshift?

If someone could explain this to me I'd be very grateful, thanks.
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1answer
92 views

Using nuclear bombs to detect near earth orbit objects

This question is based on an article written some years ago by A. C. Clarke, in which he attempted to solve two problems with one solution. His idea was to remove the Earth's stockpile of nuclear ...
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1answer
56 views

Redshift of supernova light curve

I am trying to understand how the width of a supernova light curve depends on the redshift of its component frequencies. Let us make the simple assumption that the light curve is Gaussian. The ...
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0answers
34 views

Which technique is used to measure huge astronomical distances which are in terms of billions of light years? [duplicate]

I know what a "light year" means. However, I am very curious to know about the technique through which scientists are able to calculate the distance of various astronomical bodies from earth which are ...
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1answer
55 views

Where else is there fire?

Apart from on Earth, where else does fire occur in the universe? I'd hazard a guess that it is quite rare for oxidation to occur naturally, could someone elaborate on this?