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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4answers
324 views

Interstellar dust/matter distribution

It is known that one of the main problems of interstellar flight is a presence of matter between stars in form of very fine dust and huge asteroids. Which can slowly (or fast) destroy any ship. What ...
19
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2answers
448 views

Experimental observation of matter/antimatter in the universe

Ordinary matter and antimatter have the same physical properties when it comes to, for example, spectroscopy. Hydrogen and antihydrogen atoms produce the same spectroscopy when excited, and adsorb the ...
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1answer
102 views

Why are cgs units the norm in astrophysics?

Other physics communities, e.g. the particle physics one, have their own set of units, custom-tailored to their own needs. Now, the astrophysics community is somewhat similar, in that a lot of ...
15
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4answers
428 views

Are Neutron stars transparent?

Neutrons have no charge so they would not, I think, interact with photons. Would a neutron star be transparent?
2
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1answer
50 views

Geophysical Effects of Supernova Neutrino Pulse

While neutrinos are generally totally harmless, a supernova produces enough of them at once that the neutrino flux would kill you if you could stand close enough (and not be killed by other means ...
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4answers
6k 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. ...
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0answers
43 views

How to prove the Hubble law is the unique expansion law compatible with homogeneity and isotropy?

In the book physical foundations of cosmology, it saids that Hubble law is unique and a problem seems to be a hint of proving that. In order for a general expansion law,v=f(r,t), to be the same ...
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1answer
35 views

What is the power of the most powerful quasar found?

Trying to find an answer to this question, I came across many sources that are in complete in contradiction. For example Wikipedia states that a typical quasar has a power of $10^{40}$ watts while ...
2
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1answer
177 views

Maintaining local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) in radiating gas with a broad atomic transition line

Definitions / Background In LTE, Kirchoff's law for radiation holds: $$ \frac{j_{\nu}}{\alpha_{\nu}} = B_{\nu} (T) $$ where $j_{\nu}$ is the specific radiative emissivity, $\alpha_{\nu}$ is the ...
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1answer
33 views

Are the cylindrical and spherical form of Jeans' equations equivalent?

The question kind of says it all, what I really want to know is are the differences in their forms only due to the co-ordinate transform? And as such should a suitable spherical system satisfy ...
1
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1answer
82 views

Infinite number of universes? Black holes are guilty? [closed]

I was thinking, if the space is infinite, what if there are infinite number of spaces, inside our universe? I mean, everyone knows that black holes exist, but nobody knows what happens when you get ...
0
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2answers
78 views

Power radiated by a star, black body model

let's say I want to model a star of radius $R$ at a distance $r$ from the Earth. I need to show that the apparent luminosity for frequency $\nu$ is equal to $$\ell(\nu)=\frac{2\pi h}{c^2}\left( ...
12
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2answers
966 views

Temperature of a neutron star

In our everyday experience termperature is due to the motion of atoms, molecules, etc. A neutron star, where protons and electrons are fused together to form neutrons, is nothing but a huge nucleus ...
3
votes
3answers
395 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 ...
15
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3answers
933 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
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1answer
338 views

How is the mass of black hole at the center of our galaxy measured?

I've been watching a video about dark mater and a lot of the mass is missing in our universe. Astronomers got to this by measuring the speed that stars orbit the center of the galaxy and when they did ...
6
votes
1answer
123 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
167 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
900 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 ...
2
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1answer
67 views

What happens when Dark Matter comes in contact with the event horizon of a large Black Hole

Josh Hill, 9, Oakdale Elementary has always talked Theory of Relativity and Astrophysics etc., I can answer most but lately he has stumped me and has been begging me to ask a pro, so here it is.... ...
4
votes
1answer
178 views

Mass density of dark matter in solar system near us

What is the approximate mass density of dark matter in our solar system at the radius of the Earth's orbit? I would like some idea of the mass of dark matter going through each cubic meter of ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Multiple planets orbiting a star

One way of detecting exoplanets orbiting around a star is the Radial velocity method. Can this be used to detect multiple planets? Wouldn't the star orbit the center of mass of the whole system with ...
11
votes
1answer
835 views

Why don't the black holes appear black in color in images of galaxies taken from HST?

According to NASA a black hole is anything but empty space. Rather, it is a great amount of matter packed into a very small area According to the documentary Space Unraveling The Cosmos about ...
3
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1answer
84 views

What is the origin and nature of the “hydrogen envelope” located on the sun side of a comet coma?

It is tempting to assume the origin of the hydrogen is water vapor from the comet, in which case, what process "breaks up" the water molecule (or perhaps ammonia molecule?)? Is the hydrogen actually ...
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0answers
38 views

Is the Baum Framptom a valid alternative to Big Bang?

In the Baum Frampton model, proposed in 2007, because $\epsilon\lt-1$, after the Big Rip the universe starts again empty. The problem of this model is that inverting the arrow of the time, after a ...
5
votes
6answers
266 views

Are there free data available online from cosmology (or astrophysics) experiments that anyone can analyse?

One can understand a subject better in physics by trying to solve as many problems as one can from a textbook say. When it comes to experimental physics and data analysis, no book on experimental ...
18
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2answers
487 views

How do spiral arms form?

Why aren't all spinning galaxies shaped as discs as my young mind would expect? I understand how the innermost parts of a galaxy spin faster than the outer parts, and that could explain why some ...
2
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1answer
47 views

Distance from redshift

I am looking for a exact derivation of a relation between redshift $z$ and distance $d$. What I know is the definition ...
6
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1answer
136 views

Upper Mass Limit of Quark Stars

While there is no confirmation that quark stars exist, is there any theoretical limit analogous to (but different from) the Tolman–Oppenheimer–Volkoff limit for neutron stars? In other words, what is ...
2
votes
1answer
45 views

Stellar remnants in a state of matter denser than neutron-degenerate

When discussing the stellar life cycle, it's often stated that if the collapsing core of a star is bigger than the mass limit for a stable neutron star, it must collapse to a black hole. However, ...
8
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1answer
176 views

$\Delta^+$ decay in GZK process

The dominant channels in the GZK process are $$p+\gamma_{\rm CMB}\to\Delta^+\to p+\pi^0,$$ $$p+\gamma_{\rm CMB}\to\Delta^+\to n+\pi^+.$$ According to the pdg, $\Delta\to N+\pi$ makes up essentially ...
2
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2answers
37 views

Big Bang Question

In the early Universe it it's believed that matter and anti-matter annihilated one another till there was but a remaining 1% left. In a matter/anti-matter collision, is there not an explosion of ...
3
votes
2answers
154 views

What was the density of the universe when it was only the size of our solar system?

What was the density of the universe when it was only the size of our solar system? Did it approach neutron star density? Is it physically correct to even ask such a question?
6
votes
1answer
364 views

BBC radiation: What is it?

I'm reading articles about blazars, and in a discussion about models concerning Blazar SEDs (Spectral Energy Densities) there are mentions of different processes: Sychrotron scattering, inverse ...
8
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2answers
110 views

What is the Sun's core made of?

The obvious answer is hydrogen and helium plasma but the nuclear fusion can also create heavier elements. Are these heavier elements a significant portion of the core? Do the heavier elements "sink" ...
4
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1answer
43 views

Absorption lines in the context of identifying elements in far away celestial objects

I understand that absorption lines are used to identify elements but how are individual absorption spectrums identified in the light that is received by a telescope?
3
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1answer
46 views

Frequency-averaged (gray) radiative transfer

The equation for radiative transfer is $$ \omega \cdot \nabla I = \kappa(B - I) $$ where $I$ is the intensity of radiation, $\omega$ is the ray direction, $\kappa$ the absorption coefficient, $B$ the ...
12
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1answer
532 views

What is the percentage of stars that are massive enough to end their lives in a supernova?

I have been searching for the percentage of stars that are massive enough to end their lives as a supernova but couldn't get any result. As far as I know, a star has to be at least 8 times more ...
2
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2answers
96 views

Would it be possible to detect nuclear explosion on exoplanet?

How strong would have to be nuclear explosion on exo-planet that orbits some other star for it to be detectable outside of that system. Or it would be impossible due to amount of radiation coming from ...
1
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1answer
23 views

Meteorite hunters Search for FIREBALLS

normally meteorite hunters search for fireballs....but they totally ignore meteor showers . why so? as far as i can think meteors in meteor showers are usually produced by small particles so they ...
4
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0answers
84 views

Chandrasekhar Limit [closed]

A white dwarf is essentially a degenerate electron gas, in which pressure of degenerate electrons supports gravitational pressure. As a simplified model of such an object, consider a spherical star of ...
5
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1answer
237 views

Red Giant branch and Asymptotic Giant branch

What's the difference between the RGB and the AGB? I can't seem to find an clear distinction anywhere. Thanks.
6
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3answers
5k views

What are good books for graduates/undergraduates in Astrophysics?

There are no book recommendations for Astrophysics here. I will write my own answer, but I am also interested in what are others' views on the question (I will NOT mark my own answer as the best one). ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

Recommendations regarding high-energy astrophysical objects (AGNs, jets, etc.)

I know basic astronomy and I know a few good textbooks for general astrophysics (eg. "Introduction to Astrophysics" by Carroll and Ostlie). I also have a strong background in theoretical physics and ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

How can such a wave exist at the surface of the sun?

Recently, I came across the following picture from NASA's SOHO observatory: It seems evident that this is a transverse wave (mind the ring which is bright and dark). But how can this be the case ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Why 21cm line observations is more helpful compared to other radiation?

Why 21cm line observations is more helpful compared to other radiation? Is it only because of its abundance in whole universe or anything else?
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2answers
81 views

When we look in different directions in the universe how do we know we're not seeing the same thing?

For my question assume: 1: Big bang happened at a point (I know it happened everywhere) but after that explosion universe started to expand in all directions so it maybe considered to happened ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

Are galaxies “disk” shaped?

When you look a sphere from a fixed observation point, you can easily mistake it for a circle, so I was wondering: are galaxies really "disk" shaped or we just don't have the means to detect the ...
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2answers
46 views

Redshift 1+z - CMB Temperature lower?

I know that $\frac{\lambda_2}{\lambda_1} = 1 + z$ Suppose a galaxy had redshfit $z=3$. Does this mean that the wavelength becomes $4\lambda$? Then by wien's law where $\lambda \propto \frac{1}{T}$, ...
2
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0answers
86 views

Why did everything in space cooled out?

Through my research, I learned that; According to thermophysics, heat always moves from and area of high heat to an area of low heat. Space has no heat at all. It is extremely cold However, ...