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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Why don't stars re-emit the photons they absorb, thus restoring a continuous emission spectrum?

If you shine white light through a gas, electrons can absorb sufficiently energetic photons to reach higher excited states. This produces gaps in the spectrum and it's how Helium was discovered. So ...
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1answer
41 views

What causes damage to interference filters?

I am currently working on a UV detector meant to be mounted on a CubeSat satellite. To select the bandwidth, I consider using an interference filter placed between the detector and the source. However,...
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1answer
43 views

What size of object does the peak of the cosmological power spectrum correspond to?

The title almost says it all, but to flesh it out more, what is the size a sphere corresponding to the peak in the cosmological power spectrum (Figure 2: https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Sept11/...
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1answer
24 views

Precision orbit parameters: Is it possible to determine the position of orbiting exoplanets after eg. 50 years?

Is it possible to determine the position of orbiting exoplanets after eg. 50 years? Many parameters of the orbits have large estimates eg .: Tau Ceti f: Orbital period (P) = 642 ± 30 days. It is up to ...
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1answer
31 views

Synthetic Photometry - Calculating a colour index

I have a theoretical black body spectrum, described by plancks law. I also ave the bandpass sensitivity function for various filters. I would like to calculate a colour index from this information, so ...
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97 views

From how far away could Earth's telescopes detect Earth like radio signals?

The Earth has been broadcasting human generated radio signals for about 100 years now. If a nearby civilization were broadcasting similar radio signals, could we detect them with our own radio ...
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58 views

What could this star-like object in the morning sky have been?

At sunrise this morning and yesterday morning, around 6:45 am in Chicago, a bright light appeared in the eastern sky over Lake Michigan. It twinkled like a star, but it was much larger and brighter ...
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38 views

Negative Parallax

I am constructing a Hertzsprung-Russel diagram for stars within a radius around Pleiades and have repeatedly come across stars that have negative parallaxes. For example, http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/...
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49 views

Are there any models for distribution of asteroid sizes in a belt?

Question: Is there any function that can describe the distribution* of asteroid diameters expected within an*' asteroid belt? *: distribution as frequency of occurrence within the asteroid belt or ...
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31 views

I have a fits file. I need to find the brightest pixel?

When I use astropy.fits to read the data of the fits file, I get a numpy array of values of shape(64,32,32). I am not able to understand what does this array contain. Ofcourse they are not RGB values ...
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1answer
25 views

What is the possibility of using the ionosphere or van Allen belts as a source of propellant for ion engines especially for orbital station keeping?

Just like how a jet engine uses the air it moves through to propel it self forward. In this case energy for ionizing the propellant won't be needed because we already have ions. How viable is my ...
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42 views

Light curve analysis: how to estimate temperatures of Binary star system

I'm stuck at a binary star system lightcurve analysis. I have to set initial values for the bodies temperatures and then improve their accuracy by fitting. I know that the system type is WUMa. How ...
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26 views

Where can I find data for the masses/component velocities of galaxies in the Local Group?

I am trying to run an N body simulation to see how galaxies in the Local Group gravitationally interact for my thesis, but I can't find any data for the masses of the galaxies in the Local Group, or ...
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1answer
60 views

Does solar eclipse have impact over increase of earth's temperature?

Does a solar eclipse have an impact on global temperature? Wired theory : When I jump, does the Earth recoil? Yes, the Earth has to move in some way for momentum to be conserved. However, since ...
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37 views

What are the main issues limiting resolution of gamma ray detectors?

Current gamma ray detector resolution is far from diffraction limited. For example, Swift's Burst Alert Telescope has a resolution of 1-4 arcminutes for gamma ray bursts (Wikipedia:Swift). My ...
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1answer
185 views

Calculating telescope detection rate

I am working through a paper from Inoue et al. 2013. In section 6.1, pg 18 it states, ... assuming a whole sky rate of ∼ 600 GRBs/year, a 5◦ diameter FoV and a 10% duty cycle, the telescopes ...
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49 views

Current length of the solar day?

As can be seen in this diagram, the length of the solar day has varied Question considerably the last century. But the diagram is incomplete and doesn't show the very last years. Can anyone tell me ...
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0answers
40 views

Why In Thermosphere is He and O divided as measured? [closed]

If we look Thermosphere a bit closer. we found out that Helium and Oxygen is divided peculiarily. This picture below shows the Earth looked below the south pole. So the orbiting direction is shown in ...
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0answers
45 views

Gravity difference on earth?

Would gravity on earth be any different if the earth were in intergalactic space rather than interstellar space?
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13 views

How much pressure would be on Mars if the icecaps melted?

I was wondering, The martian polar ice caps are made of water and CO2. All documentaries say that melting the poles can add pressure. How much pressure would there be? I know that every summer they ...
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0answers
18 views

Relevant Archemidan Spiral Theorems: An Enquiry

Basically what I'm doing is investigating the solar wind's outflow. As part of this investigation is included a fairly crude application of a more complex outflow solution to that of basic archemidian ...
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3answers
131 views

Gravitational wave detection and electromagnetic counterpart

Background Referring to this article on Fermi EM signal, 0.4 s after the gravitational wave detection by LIGO, FERMI detected an electromagnetic signal (poorly localized) with a false alarm ...
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0answers
29 views

Light pollution and visibility of Milky way [closed]

Say, 1000 years ago, when there was (almost) no light pollution or air pollution, would the milky-way galaxy have been visible at night, anywhere on Earth?
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1answer
49 views

How can one tell how much light is blocked by a secondary mirror in a reflecting telescope?

I've been reading about reflecting telescopes and I understand how the secondary mirror doesn't cause any obstruction to the image itself, but I've read that it does dim the image by blocking the ...
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2answers
34 views

Redshift Versus Luminosity

I understand that there is a relation between the proper distance of a cosmic object and its "measurable" redshift, i.e. once you know the value of the redshift parameter z, then you actually know how ...
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1answer
138 views

How many galaxies could be the source of the recent LIGO detection?

The recent LIGO detection is pretty exciting, and a lot of people are asking whether there is a chance of optical detection of the black hole pair that created the signal. From a cursory reading of ...
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82 views

Why do we assert Hulse–Taylor binary system's orbital decay to gravitational waves and not radiation?

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PSR_B1913%2B16#Star_system The Hulse–Taylor system's orbit has decayed since the binary system was initially discovered, in precise agreement with the loss of ...
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3answers
109 views

How do we determine the pressure at the surface of a star?

Is there any means to do so? I know there are some means to determine the surface temperature.
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0answers
24 views

solar energy on a specific location

How to find the amount of solar wattage in any specific place on earh in a monthly manner? by solar wattage I mean the energy recieved from the sun in a squared meters.
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23 views

photometric redshifts - the origin of 1 / (1+ zspec) in photometric accuracy

i have a training sample of sources with known spectroscopic redshifts ($z_{\rm spec}$) and i run a photometric fitting code that uses a template to determine the photometric redshifts ($z_{\rm phot}$)...
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21 views

Trouble using my Celestron Astromaster 130

I am having trouble viewing objects clearly. I can find them but they look the same as with the naked eye. I have tried a few different lenses. Sometimes when I zoom I can see the reflection of the ...
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2answers
71 views

Why are Lunar Eclipse more common than Solar Eclipse?

Why are Lunar Eclipse more common than Solar Eclipse? Chapter from Light My thoughts; Eclipse can only occur at new moon and moon orbit is inclined at an angle of about 5 degrees to the earth's ...
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1answer
74 views

Can an absorbed photon be emitted as two photons?

I am taking an intro to astronomy class, and have touched upon absorption and emission lines and etc, the prof asked this question in class and got me thinking. I would want to say no, because one ...
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16 views

Would we expect the space between different Oort clouds to be empty?

If we consider a few solar systems to be like to image below (yes, I know it's overly simplistic), and each solar system has a cloud similar to the Oort cloud (the yellow globes), would the space ...
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3answers
389 views

What is the cosmological redshift of SN 1987A?

I haven't found any literature on SN 1987A, which provides me with its cosmological [not gravitational, wrong in inital question, thanks for the remark] redshift. Is it larger or smaller than $z=0.1$, ...
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1answer
48 views

A question on Jeans's instability

I am a Physics student and I'd really appreciate if anybody could help me with an exercise my professor gave me a couple of weeks ago. It goes like this: Let us consider a spherical symmetrical gas ...
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6answers
6k views

How can we see planets thousands of light years away but don't know if there are more planets in the solar system?

That is basically my question, it arose when I saw an article (here is the scientific paper, which should be free to read) saying two Caltech scientists might have found the 9th planet of the solar ...
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1answer
45 views

Have cosmic rays and the CMB affected Earth's history?

Do cosmic rays and the cosmic microwave background carry with them enough energy to have a macroscopic effect on events on Earth? The most obvious example I can think of is by giving animals cancer. ...
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0answers
33 views

Is a deviation from the equal flavor ratio of neutrinos ruled out experimentally?

Neutrinos have a lifetime which exceeds the lifetime of our universe. Therefore we measure an equal ratio of all three neutrino flavors, 1:1:1. However, lets assume that the heavier neutrinos can ...
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1answer
54 views

Finding radius of an exoplanet's orbit knowing orbital period and star's mass [closed]

I've been stuck on this question in an assignment for a while now, and I can't seem to find anything on the internet that either deals with a question in which more values are provided, or where the ...
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1answer
74 views

What is the limit of the deep field exploration?

The deep field exploration is quite fascinating, first the Hubble Deep Field (HDF) showing a small piece of the Univers one billion year after the Big-Bang, next the Hubble Ultra-Deep Field (HUDF), ...
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0answers
26 views

Dust mass-loss rate from a massive star given a set of parameters?

I've been looking for examples at how mass-loss rates are determined. I'm studying a circumstellar dust shell ejected from a Wolf-Rayet star. I have some parameters like, expansion velocity of the ...
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0answers
41 views

Given a focal length and an aperture of the telescope, what is its field of view?

While I know FOV of scope is equal to FOV of eyepiece divided by magnification. How can one find FOV given only the focal length and aperture of the telescope?
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1answer
36 views

About the ratio of the density of dark energy at the time of cosmic microwave background emission to the current density of dark energy [closed]

In a question, I am given the current densities of dark energy, dark matter and normal matter and am asked to find the ratio of density of dark energy at the time of CMB and now. The answer is 1. Is ...
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1answer
97 views

Observation of a dying star

Looking far away mean looking back in time. Stars evolve and then after long time they die. Some of them evolve in supernova. Other than this case, when looking at the sky with telescopes, are there ...
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0answers
38 views

Visible Mass Distribution in a Galaxy [closed]

Is there any known relationship between stellar density and distance from the galactic centre? I want to know how the visible matter is distributed in the galaxy, especially at the bulge.
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2answers
89 views

We say Light is Red-Shifted or Blue-shifted from faraway stars and galaxies [closed]

We say Light is Red-Shifted or Blue-shifted from faraway stars and galaxies. Can we find out the distance at which it changed its frequency. So in another solar system, it might seem to be Green ...
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2answers
189 views

How can I convert Right Ascension and declination to distances?

I am calculating galaxy rotation curves for various galaxies in Ursa Major cluster and I want distance of those galaxies from the centre of Cluster. The values referred as coordinated are RA and dec ...
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3answers
124 views

Why are the jets of the “light saber” star slightly curved?

Why don't the jets of the HH-24 object follow a straight line? In the image below, notice how they bend towards left from the expected straight line. Is it an optical distortion, or some nearby ...
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6answers
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Can the average length of the day and night of a planet be different?

At one point in "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", some agents are on a planet where the day, defined as the length of time where the sun shines on the planet, occurs only once every 18 years for a ...