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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4
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2answers
237 views

Do green stars exists?

I asked a university lecturer why we don't observe green stars, and he said the blackbody curve averages at that frequency such that the cones in our eyes don't recognise it. I have a hunch that ...
19
votes
3answers
10k views

How long does it take to travel 36 light years with tolerable acceleration and deceleration?

The recent discovery of HD85512b only 36 light years from Earth has promising attributes to harbor life. Assuming we want to travel there, we cannot instantaneously jump to light speed, (StarTrek ...
1
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0answers
46 views

When viewed from a telescope, does an object get more magnified if its angular diameter is increased?

and if yes, how can the diameter be increased? Lets say I want to view saturn from a small telescope. Increasing the angular diameter will give a better magnification if the answer to the above ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

Length of solid part of object shadow

Little background first: I take part in preparing environmental reports for wind turbines/farms and now I'm exploring shadow flickering effect of moving blades. From some sources (in Polish) I got ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

What is the space between galactic arms called?

Is there a term referring to space that is inside the plane of a galaxy, but not part of the center/bar/arms/spurs, etc? What's the filler called? The space between two spiral arms (if it isn't a ...
0
votes
0answers
63 views

How to calculate max/min Right Ascension and Declination in telescope field of view

I have a telescope with focal length 1200mm. My camera has 5184x3456 pixels with size 4.3um. This combination should give me a resolution of 0.74"/pixel and thus a field of view of 1.06° x 0.71°. ...
1
vote
4answers
7k views

How does the moon reflect light?

We can see the moon in the night because it reflects sunlight. But the light is incident on the opposite side of moon with respect to the observer in the night. In this case, how does the moon ...
7
votes
1answer
259 views

How did Eratosthenes know the suns rays are parallel?

Eratosthenes famously observed that the suns rays were perpendicular to the ground in one location, yet non-perpendicular to the ground at a location some miles to the north. On the assumption that ...
10
votes
5answers
868 views

How is it possible for astronomers to see something 13B light years away?

In a NPR News story from a few years back: "A gamma-ray burst from about 13 billion light years away has become the most distant object in the known universe." I'm a layman when it comes ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Estimating the Hubble constant of Virgo Cluster questions?

Im estimating the $H_0$ (Hubble constant) using the calculated distance to galaxy (M100) in the Virgo cluster, but given that the cluster is about 1-2 megaparcecs in diameter, what issues can I expect ...
3
votes
1answer
604 views

At what temperature does water become a liquid on Mars? On the asteroids? And in a vacuum?

I know that I can just read off the phase diagram for water (for the surface atmospheric pressure on each object). But could there possibly be some nuances that someone might miss just from viewing ...
5
votes
1answer
153 views

About the hump on galaxy rotation curves

The past days I have been studying the rotation curves of disk galaxies and I am currently trying to understand how we can extract information about the dark matter of a galaxy by looking its rotation ...
2
votes
1answer
133 views

Finding Interstellar Extinction Coefficient

I have the following problem for an astrophysics course: A star is seen through a rather dusty region of space has its brightness dimmed by +1 magnitude/kpc, which makes it seem further away ...
0
votes
0answers
38 views

Are there any programs or codes widely used for computing spherical multipole expansion, especially for CMB?

I have data of coordinates and values of a part of sky, and I'm supposed to calculate multipole expansion, change some components between some $\ell$s, and finally calculate back to values. The ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

Calculate sunrise, where does the magic numbers come from?

In this question about how to calculate sunrise, there is a link to a page that describes a algorithm to calculate sunrise sunset. But when I start to follow the instructions I find that there is a ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

Present experimental status of Moffat's Modified theory of Gravity

Modified theories of Gravity have been discussed before in this 2-year old question, Are modified theories of gravity credible? I was going through Moffat's modified gravity, given in ...
3
votes
1answer
125 views

Tycho's stellar parallax measurements

How, exactly, did Tycho Brahe do his measurements of (no) stellar parallax? All the descriptions of parallax that I have been able to find seem to talk about the change in position of a nearby star ...
0
votes
1answer
171 views

Validity Of the Drake Equation [closed]

The Drake Equation is designed to estimate the number of Planets possibly having intelligent life forms existing in our Galaxy. But I don't see how it's justified. As far as we know, Earth is the only ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Where can I get latest full updated list of supernovae candidates from the SDSS-II Supernova Survey?

I am doing a project where I need the list of supernovae candidates from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey II (SDSS-II) supernova survey. One list is available as part of the data-release-7 (DR7) website. ...
10
votes
2answers
323 views

Does the Milky Way have dark matter satellite galaxies?

This recent paper by Weinberg et al. discusses that one potential problem with our current model of Cold Dark Matter (CDM) is that is predicts a greater number of satellite galaxies for the Milky Way ...
1
vote
0answers
51 views

How do you calculate the radiant for Kreutz Sungrazer comets? where in the sky do I look?

According to wikipedia: All known members of the [Kreutz Sungrazer] group up until 1965 had almost identical orbital inclinations at about 144°, as well as very similar values for the ...
9
votes
4answers
792 views

How big should a lens of a telescope be so we can see the American flag on the Moon from the Earth's surface? [duplicate]

How big in diameter should the lens of the imaginary telescope to be so we can see the American flag from e.g. some observatory in Hawaii?
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Why do comets have tails?

There is no atmosphere for comets to get hot and burn and show tails but they still have tails. Why do they? Edit: Isn't the answer "acceleration"?
1
vote
0answers
38 views

When sun is exactly overhead in my place in the tropics [closed]

What formula to use to find dates and times when the sun is exactly overhead in my place in the tropics?
8
votes
2answers
359 views

How does dark matter halo outside a galaxy help to explain galaxy rotation curve?

How does a dark matter halo outside a galaxy help to explain a galaxy rotation curve? Suppose for simplicity we use a model of a star rotating about a more massive star in a fixed circular orbit. For ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Does the Sun orbit a much larger nearby star?

EDIT: I got thumbed down, so I removed the details. The question is already crystal clear, IMO.
12
votes
2answers
130 views

Is there a fundamental limit to the temporal resolution of signals from space?

In Earth-based experiments, we can measure phenomenon very rapidly in an experiment given appropriate equipment. Clearly if something takes a long exposure to see (due to a weak signal), then the ...
6
votes
3answers
222 views

How do people work out the trajectories of planets and stars just by looking at them?

I've been thinking about how astronomers can look at bright dots in the sky and deduce a whole bunch of things from their movements. I'm particularly interested in how people like Kepler and Galileo, ...
5
votes
2answers
108 views

When did we learn that stars die?

As we all know, the stars we see in the night sky might already be dead. I was wondering though, when was this fact or conclusion commonly established? Today, most people (let's assume with an above ...
10
votes
2answers
654 views

If the Earth didn't rotate, how would a Foucault pendulum work?

How does the Foucault pendulum work exactly, and would it work at all, if the Earth didn't rotate?
1
vote
2answers
568 views

What is the highest useful magnification todays largest telescopes can offer?

I know that the maximum (useful) magnification is limited by the diffraction limit, but I was not able to find numbers for the highest useful magnification factors using modern large telescopes. How ...
4
votes
1answer
324 views

Can an asteroid have a magnetic field?

Some M-type asteroids are believed to be metallic, even possessing Nickel-Iron. Given the proximity of the asteroid belt to Jupiter's magnetosphere, the regularity of motion of any given M ...
7
votes
5answers
13k views

Why can I never see any stars in the night sky?

I have always lived near a large city. There is a stark contrast between the picture linked below for example, and what I see with the naked eye. Sometimes I can see a few stars here and there, but ...
3
votes
0answers
105 views

Maximum-Entropy Method deconvolution implementation?

I am looking for an implementation of the Maximum Entropy Method for image deconvolution, ideally in MATLAB or Mathematica. I'm trying to reconstruct an image from fringe visibilities, as is often ...
0
votes
1answer
125 views

How would a very nearby supernova shockwave and remnants affect the earth?

I've been reading about supernovae for a while, and I noticed how incredibly fast their shockwave and remnants travel shortly after the explosion. So I thought about how this would affect the earth if ...
6
votes
2answers
747 views

Galaxy Spectra: Emission and Absorption Lines

Spectra from galaxies include both absorption and emission lines. I do understand how both types of spectral lines are produced but I am not quite sure where each type is coming from when we observe a ...
4
votes
1answer
132 views

Identifying the position of the moon

I encountered the following question in a previous year paper of a graduation-based test. On a certain night the moon in its waning phase was a half-moon. At midnight the moon will be (choose one ...
6
votes
1answer
87 views

How far can one look into space while relying on light in the visual spectrum?

Put the other way around. From how far does visible light reach the Earth to be observable by a telescope that operates in this spectrum? Gas clouds for instance absorb light. A star behind such a ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How I can measure the statistical errors of my catalog in Astronomy

I have a catalog including information about position, magnitude, and redshift of galaxies in one patch of sky. I need to be sure about the complementary of my catalog about detecting objects. How I ...
5
votes
2answers
251 views

Is a total solar eclipse a common phenomenon?

Is our moon "special" for creating a total solar eclipse? Is it common or rather rare for a moon to create a total solar eclipse the way our moon does, with corona and such?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

How to measure the diameter of a star?

I am thinking about something I read somewhere (if only I could find it again) in a textbook. It is about the size of a star and its ER peaks. It has to do with the waves coming off the edge (maybe) ...
4
votes
2answers
156 views

How to measure declination of sun and moon?

I came by some graphs showing the declination for sun and moon (between angles of -30° and +30°). The graphs look very much like sine waves. I googled a bit and read about what the declination is, ...
8
votes
2answers
241 views

Why is the summer, in the temperate latitudes, in average, hotter that the spring?

It is common knowledge that the transition from the Spring to the Summer season occurs in the Summer Solstice when the "Sun reaches its highest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the ...
1
vote
1answer
181 views

Weather difference on Mars compared to Earth

How the weather on Mars differs from here on Earth? In here you see that weather on Earth is Hurricanes, typhoons and tornadoes a real problem. Disgustingly interminable fog in coastal ...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Does the sun's bearing at a given time vary, and if so, how?

More an astronomy question, but Physics is the closest stack exchange category I could find and Google doesn't have the answer. Granted, the sun's elevation changes for a given time of day throughout ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

When does a planet become a star?

How big can a gas giant become before it's considered a star? How does the theoretical maximum compare the observed maximum?
6
votes
1answer
95 views

Are there rogue planets between Sun and Proxima Centauri?

Would we be able to detect (via emitted radiation, or its gravity) a rogue planet between us and Proxima Centauri? How big would that planet need to be?
0
votes
1answer
276 views

What is the 1977 Wow signal? [closed]

Can someone explain about the 1977 Wow signal? I know that it is a signal received from space in 1977, in the form of a series of code "6EQUJ5". I would like to know if there is any thing or event ...
1
vote
1answer
135 views

Why does earth spins? [duplicate]

I understand the governing force causing the earth's cycle around the sun is gravity. It can be described by Keplar's law. But what causes the earth's spin? what is its governing law?
-1
votes
2answers
129 views

Galaxy rotation equation problem

I would like to know if in this equation for the rotation of galaxies: $$v^2=\frac{GM}r.$$ Is $M$ the mass of the black hole at the center of our galaxy? Someone said to me that No, $M$ is the ...