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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42 views

Do stars produce spatially coherent light? Why?

If I understand correctly, the existance of astronomical interferometry implies coherence of light produces by stars. The temporal coherence can probably be achieved by wavelength filters. But what ...
2
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2answers
90 views

What's the point of looking at distances beyond $13,7$ billion light years?

Question: Provided that the age of the universe is $13.7$ billion years, but the actual radius is $48$ billion ly, what are we really going to see if we built a telescope powerful enough to reach ...
3
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1answer
108 views

Did dark matter cause the formation of the Solar System?

This question is related to my previous question on Solar System Formation and is a pure thought experiment, with as few as possible assumptions made. From my previous question, I learned that stars ...
1
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1answer
100 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?
9
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4answers
1k views

Names, maps for Milky Way dust clouds?

There is a nice image of the Milky Way, labeled with constellations, at 360°x45° panorama with constellations: It leads me to wonder how much we know about the Great Rift, Coalsack and other ...
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0answers
25 views

Solar time correction due to longitudinal difference

I've been always calculating the correction in solar time due to difference between observer's meridian and the meridian on which the local standard time is based using the following formula "Design ...
3
votes
1answer
539 views

What is the future of gravitional lensing? [closed]

What do physicists expect to find or accomplish with gravitational lensing in the next 15 years? Is there a specific type of object, or a concept that they are looking for?
8
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3answers
7k views

How fast will the sun become a red giant?

I've read many accounts of our sun's distant fate, but what I've never heard is on what time scale these events occur. For instance, when the sun runs out of hydrogen, I presume it doesn't just WHAM! ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Observed gravity of Venus aside from the Magellan probe

I have been searching but cannot seem to find it. I would like to know what the surface gravity of Venus has been observed to be from different missions/probes that were sent to Venus on separate ...
3
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2answers
104 views

Could some astronomical objects have superconducting properties?

The colder it is, the more efficient the superconductivity process works. And as we know, if there is no star nearby, space gets pretty cold. I do appreciate that many condensed, burnt out, stars ...
2
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2answers
87 views

Is it possible to build an optical system that increases the perceived surface brightness?

So is it possbile to build a system from lenses and mirrors that can make faint gas nebulas brighter or can be used as nightvision? If you increase the size of the aperture of a telescope it will ...
1
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0answers
59 views

Does the Earth's moon have a moon of it's own?

Out of simple curiosity, does anybody know if any searches have been done to check on the possibility that the earth's moon has a moon of it's own? Excluding man made objects, of course. I would ...
0
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2answers
281 views

Next crescent moon?

How do I find the date of next crescent moon on Wolframalpha or any other site which tells the appearance date time of next crescent on a specific location? I am searching for it to look for 1st of ...
2
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0answers
143 views

Precession of Mercury (Python simulation)

I was trying to simulate the precession of Mercury based on the perturbed solution, and my questions about its implementation in python can be seen here: ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Would the Hubble Space Telescope be of benefit for optical astronomy at Lagrangian L5 point?

The Hubble Space Telescope will enter a decaying orbit in 2024. This is a physics based question, so I don't want to get into the engineering details more than necessary. Just for background, the ...
1
vote
1answer
60 views

Do Massive Twin Quasar Jets Condense into separate Spiral Galaxies?

I was looking at a quasar, radio image of “Cygnus A”. Do the massive twin quasar jets condense into two separate galaxies? Do the average twin quasar jet emissions, plasma, condense, turn into ...
0
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2answers
101 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
129 views

What is the reason we originally and still use the non-SI unit, the Jansky?

The Jansky is the unit for spectral flux density. It is defined as $$1 {\rm \ Jy} = 10^{-26} {\rm W \ m^{-2} \ Hz^{-1}}$$ in terms of Watts per square meter per Hertz. I've never quite understood ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Standardising shadow length on sundials

The sundial is fundamentally flawed in that the length of each hourly shadow changes with the seasons. If the base of the sundial was engineered to move cyclically on an anual basis however, the ...
0
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0answers
29 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 ...
1
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0answers
45 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 ...
14
votes
3answers
988 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 ...
0
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0answers
27 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
283 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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5answers
4k 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?
4
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1answer
178 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. ...
0
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0answers
17 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?
2
votes
1answer
22 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/ ...
7
votes
2answers
7k 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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0answers
29 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
121 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
92 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
35 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
285 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 ...
11
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3answers
6k 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 ...
10
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2answers
18k 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?
0
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0answers
31 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
122 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? ...
0
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1answer
98 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 ...
0
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0answers
19 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?
7
votes
1answer
269 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.
1
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1answer
535 views

How does color of galaxies explain their distance?

Why do distant galaxies have different colors than closer ones?
0
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1answer
139 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
30 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 ...
1
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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?
7
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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?
4
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1answer
72 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
268 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
514 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
90 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? ...