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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3
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2answers
60 views

How are the distances to the most distant $\gamma$-ray bursts measured?

This question came to my mind when I read on NASA's website that an explosion (gamma ray burst, GRB 080913) took place 12.8 billion light years away from us. How do they measure such large distances?
1
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2answers
131 views

Is redshift a reliable means to know how fast an object is moving away or towards an observer?

Does wavelength change with distance? How do they know that the change in wavelength can only be caused by the change of speed of the object to the observer? What if it is an intrinsic property of ...
2
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0answers
28 views

What's the evidence, if any, for some local concentration(s) of dark matter in some region(s) smaller than a galaxy?

What's the evidence, if any, for some local concentration(s) of dark matter in some region(s) smaller than a galaxy? Galactic-sized--or larger--gravitating halos seem to get all the attention. I'm ...
6
votes
1answer
366 views

BBC radiation: What is it?

I'm reading articles about blazars, and in a discussion about models concerning Blazar SEDs (Spectral Energy Densities) there are mentions of different processes: Sychrotron scattering, inverse ...
0
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2answers
286 views

Day/night cycle in Greenland

I have heard that in Greenland there is day for 6 months and night for 6 months. Is this true? If so, how does it happen?
0
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1answer
33 views

Prior binary star system as possible explanation of high-velocity Type II Supernovae remnants

From wikipedia(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supernova) :- "A long-standing puzzle surrounding Type II supernovae is why the compact object remaining after the explosion is given a large velocity away ...
4
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2answers
124 views

Optically thick media

What does "optically thick media" mean? Does this property depend on the length of an enclosure? Why is the diffusion approximation for the radiative transfer equation applied to optically thick ...
2
votes
3answers
98 views

Drake's equation

Some years ago i read about this equation that helps us estimate the number of active, communicative extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy. Now, i am wondering if there are results ...
4
votes
1answer
57 views

Absorption lines in the context of identifying elements in far away celestial objects

I understand that absorption lines are used to identify elements but how are individual absorption spectrums identified in the light that is received by a telescope?
0
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0answers
24 views

Mathematical calculation of probability of existence of planet similar to earth [duplicate]

Having a layman level of logic about probability ( read about it 10 years ago, so pardon if it's still not right completely) what i know that the calculation requires some knowledge about the number ...
12
votes
1answer
320 views

What are the alternative theories of dark energy? ($w \neq -1$)

There has been a lot of related questions about dark energy around here but these are usually 2-4 years old and the closest question to mine hasn't really been answered, so I am going to proceed. ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Would it be possible to detect nuclear explosion on exoplanet?

How strong would have to be nuclear explosion on exo-planet that orbits some other star for it to be detectable outside of that system. Or it would be impossible due to amount of radiation coming from ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

Can a point source be located more accurately out-of-focus or in-focus?

Let's say I am taking a picture, and I know a priori that the image is of a single ideal point source of light at infinity. With a perfect imaging system in focus, the image shows an Airy disk. I ...
0
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0answers
24 views

Recommendations regarding high-energy astrophysical objects (AGNs, jets, etc.)

I know basic astronomy and I know a few good textbooks for general astrophysics (eg. "Introduction to Astrophysics" by Carroll and Ostlie). I also have a strong background in theoretical physics and ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

Why 21cm line observations is more helpful compared to other radiation?

Why 21cm line observations is more helpful compared to other radiation? Is it only because of its abundance in whole universe or anything else?
1
vote
1answer
59 views

How stellar aberration is measured?

A simple calculation shows that stellar aberration due orbital motion of earth is roughly 20 arcseconds. My questions are: Practically how this small value is measured? Does this value is in the ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Are galaxies “disk” shaped?

When you look a sphere from a fixed observation point, you can easily mistake it for a circle, so I was wondering: are galaxies really "disk" shaped or we just don't have the means to detect the ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Any cheap (less than 100 euro) telescope for observing Jupiter? [closed]

The moon is not challenging. I would like to observe the big planets and their rings.
1
vote
1answer
107 views

Why is the earth shaped like a sphere and not any other shape: cube, prism? [duplicate]

Why is the earth shaped like a sphere and not any other shape: cube, prism?
0
votes
1answer
20 views

How does intensity differ from apparent luminosity in the context of photometry?

Context: photometry in astronomy. Background: The total luminosity $L$ of a star is the energy that radiates in all spatial directions in all wavelengths and is given by the following formula, where ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

Absorption line detected with a significance of $2.2\sigma$

What do we mean by the following statement? The SV $\lambda$ 786.46 line is detected with a equivalent width of $W = 22.7\pm10.2$ corresponding to a significance of $2.2\sigma$ How does one ...
1
vote
2answers
55 views

Redshift 1+z - CMB Temperature lower?

I know that $\frac{\lambda_2}{\lambda_1} = 1 + z$ Suppose a galaxy had redshfit $z=3$. Does this mean that the wavelength becomes $4\lambda$? Then by wien's law where $\lambda \propto \frac{1}{T}$, ...
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Calculate the maximum variation in brightness of a star due to the presence of a planet in orbit

Background: As a planet orbits around a star, the star's brightness periodically dims as shown in the following picture. By measuring the variation of brightness, we are able to deduce information ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Question about Hubble's Law - expansion vs receding velocity [duplicate]

The distance to the galaxy NGC3198 is found to be $15.9 MPc$ and recession velocity is $680km s^{-1}$. What value of Hubble Constant is implied? If $H_0$ is in fact $72 km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}$, what ...
2
votes
1answer
41 views

Current map of galaxies' z's and distances?

So, here's a diagram with some galaxies. I realize there are 500 billion galaxies out there (likely many more), but is there are fairly up-to-date diagram of all the galaxies, or a representative ...
5
votes
2answers
140 views

Abundances of the light element of the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

This question is related to the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis of light elements, more concretely I do not understand some features of the graph Why do the $^3$He and D abundances go down with ...
3
votes
3answers
178 views

How does the evolution of a solar system not break the second law of thermodynamics?

Please forgive: I am a layman when it comes to physics and cosmology, and have tried finding an answer to this that I can understand, with no luck. As I understand it, the solar system evolved from a ...
2
votes
0answers
31 views

Milky way rotation data

Can anyone tell me where I can download sample rotation curve data for the Milky Way in csv format?
4
votes
2answers
70 views

What is the error in the measured value of the Hubble Constant?

I've found on the internet that the Hubble constant has been measured to be about $2.3\times 10^{-18} \, \mathrm{s}^{-1}$ Does anyone know what the current error bounds are on this value?
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Size of objects and variations in brightness?

My textbook says talking about Cygnus X-1 (the first black hole to be identified as such) has variations in brightens of the order of 0.01 seconds and that this means that it's dimeter must be on the ...
5
votes
2answers
500 views

Are there any astronomical objects at night that are dangerous to look at (through a telescope)?

Are there any astronomical bodies that would be dangerous to my vision to view through a telescope? Obviously the sun is dangerous, but are there other bodies at night I should avoid?
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Factors in predictions for Tolman's Surface Brightness Test?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tolman_surface_brightness_test It says: In a simple (static and flat) universe, the light received from an object drops inversely with the square of its distance, but ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Approaching of Milky way to M87

The Andromeda Galaxy is approaching the Milky Way at about 110 kilometres per second (68 mi/s). What is the velocity that Milky way is approaching M87 ?
0
votes
2answers
90 views

Quick question on astronomical units

I'm trying to solve for $\frac{M*}{M_0}$ and $p''$ using these two equations: Here is the lecturer's working, I worked it out several times and I got a different answer! Surely when you use ...
0
votes
1answer
62 views

Quick question on parallax and parsec

I know that 1 parsec (pc) is the distance of star at which 1 AU subtends 1 arcsecond. so $1 pc = \frac{1 AU}{1"}$ Now, if two stars in a binary with a separation of 3" and have a trigonometric ...
5
votes
1answer
139 views

Hubble time and its derivation? [duplicate]

I know the derivation of Hubble time goes something like this (I am an a-level student so this may not be the actual derivation): Two galaxy that is moving away from each other at speed v are now D ...
4
votes
1answer
36 views

No tremendous neutrino-flux for SNIa?

Why do neutrino account for 99% of the energy release for a SN II, while it is not expected to be the case for SN Ia? Is it because the densities are not high enough to induce inverse beta-decay? ...
0
votes
2answers
31 views

Are combined masses in space, such as galaxies, considered to be uniform bodies? *In addition, a related question about force

If we were to calculate the force that one galaxy exerted onto another, would we consider the individual masses within the galaxies, or the masses of the galaxies as a whole? Do the individual stars ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

Why are other universes in the picture of Dark Flow?

It seems to me that the popular suggestive explanation of dark flow is another universe interacting with ours. Isn't there other alternative explanations?
0
votes
2answers
80 views

The reason(s) of seasons on earth

This maybe simple and usual question, although there is a lot of confusion about it over internet and even in some books, so I want from an astronomer / astrophysicist to fill the gaps for me ...
2
votes
3answers
126 views

Astronomical Constant in Astronomical units?

I'm doing a computer simulation of the solar system and I'm having trouble working with big numbers (implementation specific problem). So what would be the Newtonian gravitational constant $G$ in ...
8
votes
1answer
69 views

Why are no CMB experiments able to measure the whole range of multipole moments?

Have a look at the following diagram: This shows measurements of the CMB by various experiments, with multipole moment $l$ on the x-axis and the temperature of the corresponding moment on the ...
-12
votes
2answers
248 views

if the universe is flat does it mean it exists only in our mind as math? [closed]

My dad, who is a retired mathematician, has this attitude, which I think we all have as kids, that ultimately reality is made of stuff. End of story. If you look around yourself in the world, ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

If the universe has a shape, what is the surface? [duplicate]

Since the idea of the universe was that it was expanding, is there a way to know the surface area of the universe like the growing 3D object it is illustrated? The idea was that the universe was ...
0
votes
1answer
61 views

How can we know that a black hole exists? [duplicate]

How can we know that a black hole exists if it attracts both matter and light, and to prove that it exists would need to observe it? It's a very common question but I don't know the answer.
3
votes
2answers
92 views

Direct rocky planet formation without protostellar disk?

Inspired by this question, which sort of asked what I'm asking, but emphasized a different point (and the answers accordingly addressed that). Can a rocky planet form directly from the collapse of ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Could compression of electromagnetic waves cause red shift

One argument against "tired" light as a possible cause of red shift is that supernovae judged to be closer to us, based on luminescence, appear to be moving away from us faster than distant supernovae ...
2
votes
3answers
88 views

Is it possible to extract energy from mass rotating in space?

Consider a single isolated rotating mass (for example planet), is it possible to extract energy out of its rotation? If yes, how could that theoretically be achieved?
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Correlation between large-scale galaxy structure and CMB fluctuations?

During a relatively non-technical astronomy seminar the other day, the speaker displayed the famous WMAP full-sky image as an aid to describing what the CMB is, the scale of its fluctuations, etc. ...
0
votes
1answer
221 views

Our universe the surface of a 4-dimensional sphere?

The cosmic microwave background that we observe uniformly around us is usually explained by assuming that our universe is the surface of a four dimensional sphere. That way the uniformity makes sense ...