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

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 ...
1
vote
2answers
71 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
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 ...
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

All the planets in our solar system rotate 'Anticlockwise', except Venus. Why is the only planet that rotate' clockwise'? [duplicate]

All the planets in our solar system rotate 'Anticlockwise', except Venus. Why is the only planet that rotate 'Clockwise'?
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

How do black holes join each other? [duplicate]

If black holes can swallow any object, and can radiate energy, then how could black holes join each other and can form bigger black holes?
1
vote
0answers
37 views

Is there a direct/indirect detection for the homogeneity of the Universe?

I know that for mathematical simplicity the Universe is assumed to be isotropic and homogeneous (the cosmological principle). The isotropy of the universe, and correct me if I'm wrong, is confirmed ...
2
votes
0answers
26 views

What happens when we use the Virial Theorem iteratively?

Say I want to model the formation of structure in the Universe as a series of events whereby already virialised systems are brought together to create a larger virialised system. I will take the ...
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
0answers
26 views

How is it possible to have such massive black holes? [duplicate]

Recent observations discovered really massive black holes, up to $20-40$ billions Solar masses. Now, according to an recent study and various computer simulations (I'm sorry, I don't have any ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Are there star systems orbited by stars? [closed]

I never really heard about such occurencies and now asked my self if this could be possible. So could there be systems with a star (or black hole) that is so heavy that other less heavy stars are ...
20
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is the cut off mass for massive stars 8 solar masses? Why can't it be 10-11 solar masses or so?

I know that stars having a mass greater than or equal to 8 solar masses are termed "massive stars". But why is the cut-off 8 solar masses?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Angular momentum, its conservation and Nebula theory

I am carrying out a research work and I am stuck at the first page where there is an introduction to the angular momentum and its relationship in the formation of the solar system. According to that ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

What size of object does the peak of the cosmological power spectrum correspond to?

The title almost says it all, but to flesh it out more, what is the size a sphere corresponding to the peak in the cosmological power spectrum (Figure 2: https://ned.ipac.caltech.edu/level5/Sept11/...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

What causes the differential rotation of the Sun?

I have read the explanation in Wikipedia, but the problem is that because I'm a beginner in physics, I don't quite understand what more than half of the words mean! Here is the explanation from ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

How can the energy of a spinning black hole be converted into magnetic field?

I've read about the Blandford-Znajek process, and what I understood is that the black hole is treated as if it were a conducting sphere spinning rapidly with an accretion disk around it, and the ...
-1
votes
2answers
39 views

Curvy space in and around massive objects [closed]

If space curves around massive objects, what happens to the space within the massive objects?
4
votes
2answers
78 views

If we increase the mass of a black hole by a factor of $k$, by what factor will the surface area of the event horizon change?

If we increase the mass of a black hole by a factor of $k$, by what factor will the surface area of the event horizon change? Given any number of identical black holes each with mass = $\mathrm{m_0}$ ...
0
votes
0answers
25 views

Time and light and the expansion of space , the effects?

Here is my question : Space is expanding at an accelerating rate and apparently at the far reaches approaches the speed of light and then as it exceeds the speed of light to effectively be removed ...
1
vote
0answers
64 views

What is the metric at the center of a star? [duplicate]

If there is only one star in the universe then is the metric at the center of the star flat?
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 ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

I have a fits file. I need to find the brightest pixel?

When I use astropy.fits to read the data of the fits file, I get a numpy array of values of shape(64,32,32). I am not able to understand what does this array contain. Ofcourse they are not RGB values ...
0
votes
3answers
72 views

If there were a planet with oceans tall enough saturn fitted in, would it be floating around? [closed]

In this morning I read an article that claimed (translated into english, so emphasis mine) Saturn is so slight1 it would float around in an ocean. So appart the missleading wording of its ...
0
votes
1answer
25 views

What is the possibility of using the ionosphere or van Allen belts as a source of propellant for ion engines especially for orbital station keeping?

Just like how a jet engine uses the air it moves through to propel it self forward. In this case energy for ionizing the propellant won't be needed because we already have ions. How viable is my ...
3
votes
2answers
482 views

How can a low-mass star increase its mass to 1.4 Msun?

In my astronomy class I learned that a only low-mass stars (< 0.5 Msun) will contract, and then become degenerate, until it is a white dwarf. However, we also learned about the Chandrasekhar limit, ...
4
votes
0answers
48 views

Rotational axes of galaxies

The spiral shape is a preferred form for galaxies due to angular momentum, and the axis of rotation indicates a locally preferable orientation for the angular momentum. Why do galaxies in Hubble ...
0
votes
1answer
42 views

Light curve analysis: how to estimate temperatures of Binary star system

I'm stuck at a binary star system lightcurve analysis. I have to set initial values for the bodies temperatures and then improve their accuracy by fitting. I know that the system type is WUMa. How ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

Pulsar-white dwarf binary

In the paper from Hulse & Taylor 1975 on the first discovery of a pulsar in a binary system, they conclude that the companion to the pulsar must be a compact object, probably a neutron star or ...
0
votes
2answers
65 views

How to read the following graph?

Just to give some background, the graph in the picture below shows the variation of Luminosity with the time period of Cepheid Variable Stars. In the expression $L/L_0$, $L_0$ is the Luminosity of the ...
3
votes
4answers
77 views

Structure formation: Galaxies as different entities and stars as groups

Why do stars exist in groups like galaxies rather than individual stars, and why do galaxies exist as different entities without continuity and with large intergalactic spaces?
5
votes
2answers
841 views

How to calculate the force of gravity that wants to collapse a star?

In astrophysics, the pressure created by the outflow of energy from the interior of the star counteracts the force of gravity that wants to collapse the star. If I want to calculate this force for a ...
3
votes
0answers
26 views

Lense-Thirring Precession of short GRBs

Stone et al. 2014 have proposed that the jet resulting from the merger of a black hole (BH) and neutron star (NS) may precess due to Lense Thirring torques A large rotating mass e.g. the Earth, can ...
0
votes
0answers
27 views

What will be the weight of 1kg body at event horizon and then at the centre of black hole?

As we know if we go to the centre of the earth our weight will decrease gradually and at one stage we feel weightless.... Then what will happen if go to the event horizon then to the centre of black ...
3
votes
1answer
185 views

Calculating telescope detection rate

I am working through a paper from Inoue et al. 2013. In section 6.1, pg 18 it states, ... assuming a whole sky rate of ∼ 600 GRBs/year, a 5◦ diameter FoV and a 10% duty cycle, the telescopes ...
5
votes
1answer
57 views

Need help with determining the total mass using the NFW profile

My review assignment has a question that asks us to use the Navarro–Frenk–White (NFW) profile to find total mass in the galaxy using $$\rho(R)=\frac{\rho_0}{1+\frac{R}{R_c}}$$ then taking a triple ...
3
votes
1answer
109 views

Mach no. should be constant for existence of similarity solution

I am reading some research papers on Taylor-Sedov type self-similar solution to the blast wave problems... It is written that for the existence of similarity solutions Mach number should be constant.....
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Clarify difference between Peryton and Fast Radio Burst

Could someone knowledgeable in the phenomenon help me understand the difference between the class of observations called Perytons, and those called Fast Radio Bursts. I recall the "opening a microwave ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Relevant Archemidan Spiral Theorems: An Enquiry

Basically what I'm doing is investigating the solar wind's outflow. As part of this investigation is included a fairly crude application of a more complex outflow solution to that of basic archemidian ...
0
votes
1answer
23 views

If there was an object such as a bucket travelling through the atmosphere very fast could the air caught in it transition to a liquid?

The question came to me after thinking of the pressure waves in front of a spacecraft during re-entry. Would the pressure caused by the air being compressed cause the air to liquefy and if so at what ...