The application of physical theory to celestial systems such as stars, planets, galaxies, supernovae, and black holes. Astrophysics proper is concerned with explaining phenomena more so than making observations, the latter falling under the purview of astronomy.

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14
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4answers
12k views

Size of universe after inflation?

Wikipedia states the period of inflation was from $10^{-36}$sec to around $10^{-33}$sec or $10^{-32}$sec after Big Bang, but it doesn't say what the size of the universe was when inflation ended. ...
12
votes
2answers
501 views

Can $10^{23}$ stars be treated with methods of statistical mechanics?

Statistical mechanics is used to describe systems with large number of particles ~$10^{23}$. The observable universe contains between $10^{22}$ to $10^{24}$ stars. Can we treat those many stars as a ...
6
votes
2answers
422 views

How convincing is the evidence for dark matter annihilation at 130 GeV in the galactic center from the Fermi Satellite data?

I listened to Christoph Weniger present his results at SLAC today. See his paper is here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1204.2797 and also see a different analysis here: http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.1045. The ...
6
votes
1answer
79 views

Does a celestial system exhibit a collective magnetic field?

Sol exhibits a magnetic field, most of the planets in orbit around Sol exhibit a magnetic field - strong and weak both. Does the solar system as a whole exhibit a magnetic field? Does the paradigm ...
4
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0answers
57 views

squeezed radiation astronomy

Squeezed electromagnetic vacuum does have a renormalized energy density smaller than the vacuum. So it makes it in my opinion a inconspicuous candidate for a dark energy carrier. Are there ...
5
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0answers
53 views

Experimental tests of Cluster Decmposition

How tight are experimental and astrophysical tests on whether Cluster Decomposition is satisfied at various space-like separations? Is there a review paper or a standard reference on the question? I ...
2
votes
2answers
187 views

Why are galactic centers always brighter than the edges?

As you can see the image below and other galaxy images, the center is generally much brighter. Why is that? Is there a very big star? A very big gravitational field?
4
votes
1answer
293 views

models for astrophysical relativistic jets from compact objects

what is the simplest way to understand the physics of relativistic jets? we know that they have axial symmetry with very tight angular spread, presumably aligned with the axis of rotation of the ...
0
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0answers
63 views

How is the universe expanding? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: spacetime expansion and universe expansion? Is the space between planets is growing or the space between stars is growing or the space between galaxies is growing?
0
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1answer
9k views

Negative and positive energy and Hawking [closed]

I don't have any physics background (except the material we did in high school-long time ago). I was watching a documentary with Stephen Hawking about whether God created the Universe and I could not ...
0
votes
2answers
121 views

Precessional motion of active galactic nuclei

I want to set a simulation for jet which has a precessional motion. The symmetry axis of jet is $z$ axis, i.e. jet is propagating along $z$ direction making angle $\theta$. I set the velocity ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Does diffraction contribute to the Black Drop effect?

Two reasons are given to explain the black drop effect here, but I think I came up with a third. Consider a two-dimensional cross section of the situation just after second contact and just before ...
0
votes
2answers
169 views

Radiative transfer equation solution

The solution of the radiative transfer equation for spherical ionized blob : \begin{equation} \frac{dI_{\nu}}{ds} = j_{\nu}-\alpha I_{\nu} \end{equation} and solution is (Ref: ...
2
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1answer
3k views

Do materials cool down in the vacuum of space?

Do materials cool down in the vacuum of space? If yes, how does it really work?
3
votes
2answers
335 views

Pressures Necessary for Carbon Detonation

Carbon detonation is a characteristic event of Type 1a Supernova (EDIT: where an accreting white dwarf near the Chandrashankar limit of 1.4 solar masses explodes), an extremely important standard ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Is there any way to produce food without sun, synthetically?

Is there any way to produce food without sun, synthetically? I mean if we face solar winter. look at: Is there any way to survive solarwinter like in Sunshine - movie?
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Analogy between magnetic bottle and Van Allen's radiation belt

A magnetic bottle is an arrangement that permits to confine charged particles. Here you can find a review for charged particle rotating in a magnetic field and at the bottom of the page a description ...
1
vote
2answers
123 views

Is there any way to survive solarwinter like in Sunshine - movie?

Is there any way to survive solarwinter like in Sunshine - movie? Solar winter is where for some reason sun looses its capasity to produce radiation( heat etc.). It doesn't loose everything but some ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

Regarding binary systems (with pulsars)

Are binary systems (in case of stars and other celestial bodies) more favorable than independent existence? I've been going through an article regarding pulsars, where it was stated that 'many pulsars ...
4
votes
3answers
306 views

How many stars within 5 parsecs?

I've ran some scripts on some star catalogs, which counted the number of stars with a parallax greater than 200 mas, which should mean everything closer than 5 pc. The results are as follows: ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Locating a Comet, how is it done?

How are the comet-hunters able to precisely locate/know about the required comets ? How can they distinguish between comets from such a far distance ? How are they able to estimate the exact time ...
2
votes
2answers
3k views

Parabolic or Hyperbolic?

How can astronomers find the difference between a parabolic and a hyperbolic comet ? What are the criteria that helps them distinguish these ? Can a parabolic comet switch over to become a hyperbolic ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Expansion of Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why space expansion affects matter? If the Expansion is prevalent, i.e. it is observable and true then shouldn't that result in the expansion of the Milky Way galaxy, ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Gravity and Magnetism on Stars

I am familiar with the fact that Magnetars have a really strong magnetic field and an ordinary star such as the Sun has a very strong gravitational field. But what about the opposite? What is the ...
2
votes
1answer
333 views

When would the proposed black hole at the centre of Milky Way gulp in our solar system? [duplicate]

I've heard and read that our solar system lies near to the peripheral region of the Galaxy. Then accordingly we would have a greater probability of sustaining to eventual gulping down by the ...
2
votes
1answer
793 views

Combined Gravitational Force Vectors in a Spherical Coordinate System

Asking a question here is quite intimidating for me -- while I love Physics, my high-school understanding only allows me to go so far... I've been trying to solve this problem for the last couple of ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Why will the increase in the sun's luminosity accelerate with respect to time?

From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Future_of_the_Earth#Solar_evolution At present, nearly half the hydrogen at the core has been consumed, with the remainder of the atoms consisting primarily of ...
0
votes
1answer
204 views

Is it possible to mould _ruptures_ in Space-time?

In one of the documentaries hosted by Morgan Freeman, a reference was made that just like an ordinary three-dimensional object like a ruler has scratches and cracks, in the same way there might be ...
3
votes
1answer
462 views

How early can scientists detect that a deadly asteroid will hit planet earth?

With the advancements in science and technology, how early can scientists of the world detect that a certain asteroid will hit planet earth and cause damage? Are there any impact avoidance strategies ...
1
vote
1answer
746 views

How does a star wobble due to orbiting bodies

What equations determine how a star wobbles in response to an orbiting planet, and can it be used to determine the mass of distant objects based on the wobble? If there are other more reliable ...
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Black Holes, New Branes and Stars

Could a dying star in one brane ( assuming that we live in a world of multiple branes { not a Randal-Sumdrum model of a single brane}) be the start of the birth of the star ( more precisely Super ...
0
votes
1answer
158 views

Proportion of energy compared to mass in universe

In Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter), there is a picture that shows us the proportion of matter and energy in the current universe - CMB. It seems to suggest there is nothing that ...
2
votes
1answer
190 views

Earth's magnetic field, could the poles be reversing?

Lately, I've been 'monitoring', if you will, the earths magnetic field, i've come across some strange looking activity periodically. I exchanged some emails with a guy from NASA today, Joseph Gurman, ...
0
votes
2answers
710 views

Calculating eccentricity from semi-major axis, position and velocity of particles

I'm trying to calculate the eccentricity of a binary system's body knowing the bodies' velocities, positions, masses and the semi-major axis. I am only trying to calculate the eccentricity for one of ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

missing dark matter?

A recent arXiv article measures the variation of gravitational potential in a local region around the solar system, and from that it tries to infer the mass density. Are there any valid ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Do the stars imaged by a telescope even exist at present?

I know that we now have telescopes which can capture the images of the stars and galaxies millions of light-years away from us. Does the telescope capture the past image of the star, i.e. the light ...
6
votes
1answer
408 views

Why do the stars in the galaxy core move so fast?

There are a bunch of stars orbiting the black hole in the center of our galaxy. These stars move at huge speed. Why do we see this? Why do the black hole not impose any noticeable time dilation on ...
3
votes
1answer
134 views

What are some ways that humans could have influence over what sequence a star was in?

How would a society go about either preventing our sun in its primary sequence from going into a Red Giant a billion years from now? Or perhaps, accelerating the process of going from main sequence ...
-2
votes
1answer
190 views

What is solar storm?

I have tried to search through the internet about the definition of solar storm or what this term mean but i could found what it means. Also, what is the difference between the geomagnetic storm
6
votes
1answer
175 views

What prevents stars in globular clusters from merging over time to form a black hole?

Globular clusters are apparently very very old, and the density of these clusters appears to increase as one approaches the center of a cluster. Orbits are bound to be chaotic, since there is no ...
4
votes
1answer
207 views

Simulating a black hole binary system

As part of a project for my degree I am writing code to simulate N-body gravitational interactions, however I have to then use this code to investigate something. Struggling to think of ideas I ...
3
votes
3answers
691 views

Shouldn't stars disappear from our view due to expansion?

The currently accepted theory of the expansion of the universe would suggest that for any point in the universe, there is a 'boundary' (somewhat like the Schwarzschild radius) beyond which it cannot ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Why doesn't the Earth leave you as soon as you escape it?

I've always wondered, that since the Earth is moving at a very fast velocity around the Sun, why is it that when astronauts leave the Earth, the Earth doesn't immediately move away from them at ...
9
votes
4answers
855 views

Do neutron stars reflect light?

The setup is very simple: you have a regular ($1.35$ to $2$ solar masses) evolved neutron star, and you shine plane electromagnetic waves on it with given $\lambda$. Very roughly, what shall be the ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

What will happen if a gamma-ray burst hits the Earth?

Is there any probability that a gamma-ray burst (GRB) could affect the Earth?
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

Shouldn't the fourth dimension be energy/mass, and not time? [closed]

First of all, I am in 8th grade. That doesn't mean you have to make your answer simple and easy to understand, but I ask you not to be too critical of my query/theory, because I don't consider myself ...
6
votes
2answers
246 views

Io - Turned inside out

In a lot of the descriptions of the moon Io it frequently states that the moon, because of volcanic activity, has been literally "Turned inside out". What exactly is meant by "Turned inside out" and ...
4
votes
2answers
572 views

Accuracy and assumptions in deriving the Tully-Fisher relation

I understand the mathematical derivation of the Tully Fisher relation from basic physics formulas, as shown on this site. However, after using the physics equations, it seems that several assumptions ...
2
votes
1answer
419 views

Function to determine Earth-Moon distance vs. time

I had no luck trying to find a function that determines the distance between Earth and Moon versus time. (Moon ground level to Earth sea level) Accuracy: the acceptable time range would be for ...
6
votes
2answers
582 views

How is it that some nebulae are rotating and others are not?

First, I should make it clear that this isn't a question about angular momentum (unless I may have completely missed something). It is my understanding that a nebula must have some inherent initial ...