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.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
1answer
107 views

Potential of an axisymmetric disc with constant rotation velocity

I am having trouble understanding why the form of the 3D potential for a disc with a constant rotation velocity for circular orbits of stars within the disc \begin{equation} v(R) = v_0, \tag{1} \end{...
1
vote
3answers
63 views

How do we get images of galaxies?

First of all a very basic question upon which my main question is based. "Are the pictures of milkyway galaxy we see on books/mags are real ? ". If they are real then my question is, how we have taken ...
0
votes
2answers
68 views

Can we determine the surface temperature of stars other than the sun by using the black body radiation theory?

It is well known that the surface temperature of the sun can be determined by fitting the solar spectrum to the black body radiation spectrum. Is this scheme feasible for other stars? Possibly the ...
3
votes
2answers
32 views

Different width of spectral lines for different groups of stars

As seen in an HR-diagram, a certain stellar classification can correspond to more than one group/sequence of stars (G5 could for instance be either a giant, main sequence star or a white dwarf and so ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

Why did the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter form as it did?

I'm curious about why the asteroid belt wasn't pulled by Mars's or Jupiter's gravity or formed into either moons or planets. Why did it form into an asteroid belt instead?
5
votes
2answers
221 views

Could planets survive their star becoming a black hole? [duplicate]

Would the supernova responsible for its formation destroy them. The question becomes one of how destructive the supernova event is to its own solar system - does it completely evaporate all planets up ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Gamma Ray Burst data

I wanted to know if there was some database for gamma ray burst (GRB) data. I would like to get the luminosity and duration of recorded GRBs. So far, I have come across this website, but since I do ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Stellar classifiaction and metals

I have recently started to study astronomy and there is a thing with stellar classifications I can't get my head around: The colder the star the more absorption lines from metals are present in its ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Event horizon at moments of formation of black hole [duplicate]

As I understand it, the event horizon of a black hole body, has a diameter depending on the mass. So, if an existing black hole grows through infalling matter the event horizon radius increases. I'm ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

If a meteor breaks apart in the atmosphere, how far apart could the impact craters be realistically?

Currently, my assumption is that the meteor only splits into two. The meteors could potentially land on anywhere on a whole half of a planet. How can I improve this mental model? If the meteor is ...
4
votes
1answer
63 views

For gravitational wave from twin stars, how was the tidal effect counted?

As the primary indirect evidence, the work on calculating the rotational slow down earned the 1993 Nobel prize. However, I cannot find any where mention how the work deal with the tidal effect. Are ...
1
vote
1answer
26 views

scaling law of gravitational waves and consequences

With which power law of distance is decreasing the amplitude of the distortion caused by a gravitational wave ? $r^{-1}$ ? $r^{-2}$ ? something else ? -> The coalescence between 2 black holes about a ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

What is the difference between habitable and Goldilocks zone?

If I am right, Habitable Zone means that a planet is on such a distance from its Star which makes it good candidate for supporting some sort of life. But then what is Goldilocks zone and how is it ...
4
votes
1answer
44 views

Measuring the size of the core of the sun with multiple neutrino detectors

Back in 1998, researchers at the Super-Kamiokande neutrino detector released this image: of the sun using their neutrino detector using approximately 500 days of data. This picture covered 90x90 ...
5
votes
3answers
53 views

Why are pulsar's radiation beams collimated?

Every picture of a pulsar a see shows a very collimated radiation beam. What is the mechanism generating such a collimation? Note: I am not talking about "relativistic jets". I am talking about ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

Pulsar beam radiant intensity distribution

I'm curious about the radiant intensity distribution of pulsars: what's the general dependence of intensity on angle, and what are typical angular beam widths? How much does the beam width vary ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Surface brightness

I have to compute the surface brightness as a function of the radius from the following set of data: {right ascension ($\alpha$), declination ($\delta$), magnitude (m)}. I also know the center of the ...
2
votes
3answers
4k 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 Jupiter'...
9
votes
2answers
785 views

Do stars remain electrically neutral? [duplicate]

How electrically neutral do stars remain through their lifetime? As an example, I could imagine processes such as coronal mass ejections leaving the Sun in a slightly charged state. Are there such ...
1
vote
1answer
17 views

Baryon Acoustic oscillations - simple confusion about length scales

I am confused about length scales and baryon acoustic oscillations. I am clearly missing something very simple. The length scale found in the $SDSS$ and $2dF$ data is quoted as being $150Mpc$. ...
5
votes
2answers
156 views

How does the inclusion of vacuum energy modify Newtonian gravity equation of motion?

The equation of motion (in the center of mass frame) due only to gravitational forces between two point masses is: $$\frac{d^2r}{dt^2} = -\frac{GM}{r^2}$$ How does the equation get modified when a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is the electric charge of the Sun and its corona?

What is the net electric charge (in magnitude and sign) of the Sun and its corona?
7
votes
3answers
7k views

Is it possible that black holes are also neutron stars, but so dark that we cannot see them?

Since the concept of the singularity in a black hole leads to infinite densities, I wonder if it is really certain that black holes exist? Is there a possibility that massive objects (which are ...
7
votes
0answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
53 views

The reason for the fading of galaxies?

Galaxies that are greater than a distance of c/H metres from Earth have recessional velocities exceeding the speed of light and begin to fade. Thus, theoretical astronomers 3 trillion years the future ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Any method to determine the gravitational constant $G$ from observations in cosmological scale?

By the observations in cosmological scale, I mean observations by astrophysicists like motions of quasars in far distance from us, relative motions of our galaxy to others, etc. I know the famous ...
4
votes
2answers
73 views

A question about the Fermi acceleration

In high school physics, we know that a charged particle cannot gain energy from a magnetic field. But, it seems that in the so-called Fermi acceleration, the particle is accelerated by the magnetic ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

What is an overview of secondary school astronomy textbooks for students who have taken some calculus?

I teach mathematics at the secondary level. This year my students have founded an astronomy club. Most have finished two semesters of "college-level" calculus and are familiar with the derivative, ...
4
votes
1answer
256 views

What is the difference between the Big Bang Model and the Λ-CDM Model?

If I'm going to write about "The Consensus Model of Cosmology" should I include Big Bang Model or should I go with just the $\Lambda$-CDM Model?
8
votes
3answers
119 views

Gross “temperature” of a globular cluster

Globular clusters can be very large, which means we can do statistics about the stars in them. And that means we can try matching their star-as-particle potential/kinetic energy distribution against ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

Why are they building eLISA and what implications would it have?

I understand that the next step after LIGO is to plan and build eLISA, I understand that out in space there are a lot less interferences compared to Earth which makes it a good way to detect things we ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

Cosmic inflation and space flatness

I am new here, an avid Physics reader, but have lots of questions and doubts on which I'd like to get the help of a pro physicist. Here goes some about the theory of Inflation: a) after the first ...
4
votes
4answers
582 views

A reference request for real world experimental data [closed]

I always use to wonder how the experimental physicists discover new particles every now and then whose dimensions/properties/mass/charge several order of magnitudes below that of anything that is ...
1
vote
2answers
70 views

Utilising Black Holes as a potential energy source

I'm aware of the Penrose process and the basic physics behind that. Also, I know that the Blandford-Zjanek process (That is potentially responsible for the relativistic jets). Aside from these two, ...
1
vote
1answer
121 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

How is mass of observable universe calculated? [duplicate]

How is even mass of earth known ? How do we get to know them? Whilst I was studying about dark matter it was listed about 'mass of observable universe' and density and so on...so what is the procedure?...
4
votes
1answer
52 views

Will stars disappear from the sky when their particle horizon is outside the event horizon

Given that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, will there be a point where stars visible in the night sky will simply disappear from view when their particle horizon is outside the event ...
4
votes
1answer
97 views

Gravitational waves from neutron star - neutron star merger

How is neutron star-neutron star merger different from Black Hole-Black Hole merger and what information can be extracted from gravitational waves emitted by these processes?
4
votes
0answers
25 views

Relationship between oscillator strength and cross section

In the context of absorption of photons by atoms, I have come across two seemingly very related quantities, cross section and oscillator strength. In the book Physics of the Interstellar and ...
1
vote
1answer
172 views

Crab pulsar radiation

Regarding the radiation from the Crab pulsar and nebula, some reading leads me to the following conclusions. The rotation energy of the neutron star is the source of the non-thermal electromagnetic ...
5
votes
1answer
69 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
59 views

Why is the white-dwarf mass distribution highly peaked?

I am doing an undergraduate course in astrophysics. The lecturer mentions that observed white dwarfs have a mass distribution that peaks at around 0.6 solar masses. Consider the plot from https://www....
4
votes
2answers
66 views

Why is the distribution of Cosmic Rays isotropic?

We observe that cosmic rays (CRs) are isotropic on the sky, i.e. they come from all directions with no apparent preference. I understand this is related to the deflection of these CRs by the magnetic ...
3
votes
1answer
32 views

What is a quasar flux ratio anomaly?

In the context of strongly lensed, multiply-imaged quasar observations, I sometimes hear about "flux ratio anomalies". What are these? Why are they important?
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Gravity Theory Question [closed]

Three Questions: Is the Modern Five Dimension Theory of gravity an adaptation of Einstein's relativity theory? If so, can it allow us to accurately predict the movement, speed and direction of ...
10
votes
1answer
1k views

If matter and antimatter repel, how do we know other galaxies aren't made of antimatter? [duplicate]

Wikipedia's article on antimatter says this: There is considerable speculation as to why the observable universe is composed almost entirely of ordinary matter, as opposed to a more even mixture ...
2
votes
1answer
84 views
22
votes
3answers
3k views

What stabilizes neutrons against beta decay in a neutron star?

Free neutrons are known to undergo beta decay with a half-life of slightly above 10 minutes. Binding with other nucleons stabilizes the neutrons in an atomic nucleus, but only if the fraction of ...
1
vote
2answers
34 views

How to calculate the mass of the orbiting body given only its orbital information

A question asks the following: Using Newton’s Law of Gravity, show that the mass of a planet can be written: $$M = \frac{4\pi^2a^3}{ GP^3}$$ where $a$ is the semi-major axis and $P$ is the orbital ...