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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1answer
112 views

Has the number of new stars born decreased over time?

Has the number of new stars being formed decreased at all over the age of the universe? Would this be because the average density of the universe is decreasing due to the expansion of the universe, it ...
6
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1answer
98 views

Do the stars in a galaxy have a thermal kinetic energy distribution?

I think, there is practically everything given to that: many point-like masses, able to exchange energy pseudo-randomly, and far long enough time to reach a thermodynamical equilibrium. Of course, ...
4
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1answer
1k views

How does a star ignite?

I remember reading that X-Rays are generated by 'braking' electrons in a Coolidge tube. Is it fundamentally a matter that the extreme gravity immediately before a star ignites is so strong that it ...
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1answer
101 views

Galactic Rotation Speeds - Ehrenfest Paradox, Gravitational time dilation, Dark Matter - all of the above?

The observed paths and speeds of objects, part of some distant galaxy, do not match up with speed vs distance curves it seems - the observed speeds are not falling off in fact they're trending as ...
2
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3answers
433 views

Redshift of light in dark matter

Following Edwin Hubble, it is widely believed that the universe is expanding, which is based on the red-shift of light from distant objects. Can dark matter cause light to be red-shifted and make it ...
4
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1answer
100 views

What would happen to the universe if dark energy started “disappearing”?

Terribly naive question, I know. Obviously, not simply "disappearing", but if it could, theoretically, be absorbed or "used" somehow, what would happen to the universe? Would it stop expanding, would ...
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3answers
3k views

Why are stars, planets and larger moons (approximately) spherical in shape (like, the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and other planets)?

Why are stars, planets and larger moons (approximately) spherical in shape (like, the Sun, the Moon, the Earth, and other planets)?
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5answers
106 views

Can a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) cause a blackout on Earth and why?

Can a Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) cause a blackout on Earth and why is it so what's the relation between electro magnetic radiations and electrical and electronic appliance.what exactly does it do to ...
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0answers
32 views

How is optical depth (opacity) related with gas pressure?

In stellar atmospheres, if we are given the gas pressure on the surface level of a star $P_{0}$ and we are expected to calculate the gas pressure on a deeper level (say 10000km) of the star, what kind ...
2
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1answer
69 views

Can a star with a constant density profile be possible?

The equation of states for a star is given by a polytropic equation, where density depends on the $n$th power of $\theta$. Please refer to the literature First, what is this $\theta$? It can't be a ...
2
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1answer
71 views

What would a very massive rocky body look like?

I have a basic understanding of how gaseous bodies behave according to their mass: "Low mass" bodies are gas giants (or brown dwarfs), Beyond a certain mass, hydrogen fusion starts, making a star, ...
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5answers
6k views

Why aren't there spherical galaxies? [duplicate]

According to the Wikipedia page on Galaxy Types, there are four main kinds of galaxies: Spirals - as the name implies, these look like huge spinning spirals with curved "arms" branching out ...
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2answers
64 views

How is the most accurate value of $G$ measured?

How do modern scientists update the measurement of $G$, the gravitational constant? Is CODATA the authority on this measurement and the experiment?
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2answers
70 views

Position of Neutron Stars in H R diagrams

Why is that neutron stars are never depicted in a Hertzsprung-Russell diagram? They can be placed in the bottom left corner but you will never find any diagram in literature showing neutron stars.
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1answer
39 views

Type II supernovae explosions

I'm quite confused about the explosion of a Type II supernova. As far as I understand, when the Fe-56 core has been created, and the star has all the other layers around it, it starts to collapse, ...
0
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2answers
90 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 ...
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0answers
31 views

Boltzmann equation (Number density)

I'm trying to understand the Boltzmann equations use in the early Universe. The derivation is somewhat tedious, but in the end I end up with: $$a^{-3}\frac{d}{dt}\left(n_1a^3\right) = ...
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0answers
31 views

Gravitational collapse (artificial). Is it possible? [duplicate]

I am rather a beginner to this field, so please forgive me if this is a very meaningless question. If I were to somehow increase Jupiter's mass by adding more hydrogen to its atmosphere, can I ever ...
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2answers
2k views

Artificial planetary magnetic field

I wonder how difficult it is to create an artificial planetary magnetic field with generators? What power they would need? The question is inspired by thinking about possible colonization of ...
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1answer
26 views

What is the relation between Rössler attractor and thin accretion discs (like in the movie Interstellar)?

Is there any relationship between the Rössler attractor and thin accretion disks, like the accretion disk(s) in the movie Interstellar?
2
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1answer
65 views

Exoplanet Mass-Radius Diagram

I'm currently studying the following diagram: But I'm not entirely sure I understand what's going on. Is it just, that most exoplanets discovered, is pretty much made up of Hydrogen and Helium ? ...
0
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1answer
97 views

A Theory of Almost Everything? [closed]

Before I present this theory, I ask that you take the time to read this disclaimer. I do not claim to have an excellent knowledge of physics, it is actually rather limited. Therefore, I am not ...
2
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1answer
45 views

Electron degeneracy and helium flashes in stars

I have a question regarding the above mentioned. When a star have a mass of about 3-8 it does not go through the so-called helium flash phase, but instead just run along as nothing had happened, turn ...
0
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0answers
14 views

Does the density of matter increase as we approach the big bang? [duplicate]

I am interested in knowing whether it is clear (undisputed) that the density of matter/energy increases as we approach the time of the big bang? Does this follow from the FLRW metric?
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2answers
2k views

Why the galaxies forms 2D plane (or spiral-like) instead of 3D ball (or spherical-like)?

Question: As we know, (1) the macroscopic spatial dimension of our universe is 3 dimension, and (2) gravity attracts massive objects together and the gravitational force is isotropic without ...
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1answer
69 views

Why does orbiting matter form an accretion disk? [duplicate]

Why does matter in orbital motion around a central body tend to form an accretion disk, as opposed to some other configuration like a sphere? I know this has something to do with angular momentum ...
0
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2answers
75 views

Can we solve most of the cosmological questions using the Illustris universe simulation?

The Illustris project (http://illustris-project.org) attempts to simulate the universe in its most accurate form according to their website. With the simulation, they were able to predict the neutral ...
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1answer
28 views

Planetary nebulae, thermal pulses and mass loss

I'm reading about planetary nebulae and how they are formed, but as is sometimes the case, I've gotten a little confused. So, I have a star, let's say 5 times the mass of the sun. At some point, when ...
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0answers
31 views

Why is the Great Dark Spot so shortliving unlike the Great Red Spot?

The Great Dark Spot is an anti-cyclone in Neptune. But unlike the Great Red Spot of Jupiter which lasts for more than hundred years, the Great Dark Spot exists for only one year or so. Why is it so??
2
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2answers
132 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?
2
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1answer
73 views

Electron/positron annihilation lines in astrophysics

I have a reasonable understanding of electron/positron annihilation, in that it is a collision between a pair of particles, one matter and one antimatter, that generally produces gamma radiation. ...
4
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1answer
147 views

Chemical and stellar evolution in stars

I'm having an exam soon where I have to discuss/describe the follow figure: It's the first figure I have to explain, and it was on the same slide as the one below, so I'm thinking they are somewhat ...
9
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3answers
207 views

Is the magnetic field of a white-dwarf merely residual?

Follow-up to my other question How does Sol's magnetic field continue to exist at such high temperatures? Assuming Sol's magnetic field is generated by convective currents in it's plasma, how is ...
3
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1answer
188 views

What is the average mass of galaxies according to Hubble Deep and Ultra Deep field observations?

It is very widely known among people interested in astronomy that there are 100-400 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy and there are ~ 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe, which is ...
37
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9answers
5k views

How would night sky look like if the speed of light was infinite?

Would it be brighter? Different color? Gravitational lensing? Would black holes exist?
2
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1answer
88 views

The mass of universe at the point of the Big Bang

The density of universe at the time of the Big-Bang was infinitely high. Does that mean that the mass was also infinitely high? ( the universe was extremely small at that time)
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4answers
215 views

What is the largest number applicable to the universe? [closed]

That is, what is the largest number one could possibly come across in the physics of the universe? I would assume it might have something to do with the maximum number of combinations of possible ...
6
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2answers
132 views

How does the Sun's magnetic field continue to exist at such high temperatures?

The temperature at the surface of the Sun is apparently well above 5000 C; I'm assuming the layers beneath the surface may be even hotter. At school, we learned that heating a metal beyond a certain ...
3
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1answer
212 views

Why do galaxies “disappear?”

So, this bit of information confused me lately. Before, I figured galaxies were no longer visible by us because their luminosity decreased in an inverse square manner. However, while watching a movie ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Angular momentum in an accretion disk

I need to plot the time evolution of the total angular momentum in an accretion disc. This confuses me because I thought this should be constant, since angular momentum has to be conserved? I'm given ...
0
votes
1answer
60 views

How can we be Certain that Dark Matter Exists if we Cannot See it or Directly Detect It? [duplicate]

It seems very certain that dark matter exists and that it makes up 26.8% of the Universe today (along with 68.3% Dark Energy and 4.9% Atoms), but how can this be if we cannot see it or directly detect ...
5
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3answers
282 views

What does this stellar mass distribution mean?

According to this pie above and for the "Red Dwarfs" part, which of these is correct : 1) 41% of the stellar mass of a galaxy is in stars with masses < $0.25$ $M_{\odot}$ or 2) 41% of the ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Magnetar field energy density

According to Wikipedia a Magnetar... Earth has a geomagnetic field of 30–60 microteslas, and a neodymium-based, rare-earth magnet has a field of about 1 tesla, with a magnetic energy density ...
10
votes
2answers
227 views

Where did the energy released due to gravitational binding energy of the Earth go?

The gravitational binding energy of the Earth is $2×10^{32} J $, so the same amount of energy must have been released during the Earth's history. According to this and this, the current internal ...
2
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2answers
70 views

Distinguishing Gamma-rays and stars from each other in nebulas

How do you tell the difference between a gamma-ray burst and a star just from a picture of a nebula, in which it cannot flash on and off here and there?
0
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1answer
68 views

Temperature of the surface of the sun? [closed]

I recently had an exam question that asked for the temperature at the surface of the sun. The question is The equation I believe you have to use is The Q/t is the radiant power produced by the ...
0
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1answer
32 views

Difference between astronomy and astrophysics [duplicate]

In my university, the department for astronomy and astrophysics are distinct. I want to know what's basically the difference between the two fields?
0
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1answer
66 views

Where does gravity originate?

Does it emanate strictly from energy dense regions of space? What does that mean? Is it possible to, say, arrange clumps of matter in such a way as to create a virtual gravity well in space where ...
2
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0answers
19 views

How can comets have sand dunes without atmospheric erosion? [duplicate]

This article here talks about dunes visible on comet 67P: In August, the European Space Agency (ESA) achieved a major success when its Rosetta probe rendezvoused with comet 67P. The spacecraft ...
3
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1answer
38 views

Why is the rotation curve of a galaxy lower if measured with CO rather than H?

I have a simple question regarding galactic rotation curves. I know they are studied mostly using 21 cm emission of Hydrogen in the outer regions and with CO emissions in the inner regions, but why do ...