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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10
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4answers
147 views

Observed composition of UHE cosmic rays

How much is known about the composition of ultra high energy cosmic rays (say $E>10^{20}\text{ eV}$)? I get the impression that the particles are often assumed to be protons or other heavier ...
3
votes
0answers
104 views

What is the theoretical geometry of bubble universes?

My research has led me to look into the idea of bubble universes which I don't know very much about. The first thing that I am looking for is understanding or visualising how could many bubbles ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Why does a star collapse under its own gravity when the gravity at its centre is zero?

The gravity at the centre of a star is zero as in the case of any uniform solid sphere with some mass. When a massive star dies, why does it give rise to a black hole at it's centre? I know how to ...
1
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0answers
51 views

Do wormholes have a side to their path through space?

In theory do wormholes have a side to their path through space? What is there at a point in line with the entry and exit, would anything look different at that point in space? Could a space ant get ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Implications of the Jeans mass

The minimum mass for the spontaneous collapse of a gas cloud is the Jeans mass. For low temperatures and high densities, this jeans mass is greater than the mass of a typical star. What are the ...
0
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1answer
59 views

(Polar jets) Is it possible that black holes radiate substantial amount of the mass/energy they accrete?

Is the amount of energy a black hole emit through polar jets comparable to the mass it accretes or is it negligible? Here I am mostly concerned about the observational findings as opposed to the ...
7
votes
2answers
92 views

Earliest terrestrial planet?

If I've understood correctly, the heavier elements needed for terrestrial planets such as iron can only form in supernova. If that is indeed true, how long since the beginning of the universe would ...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Cepheid variable light curves

Basically, given a set of noisy observations for the apparent magnitude of a Cepheid variable, how is this fit to a curve which allows the period, and therefore distance, to be found? Cepheids' ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

What is a simple mathematical model of a star?

I had a discussion at work regarding a recent fusion experiment in China that resulted in temperatures five times hotter than the Sun. Someone mentioned that no one can know the temperature of the ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

How long would it take for a galaxy to collapse without dark matter?

I am trying to understand the effects of gravity in the Cosmos without complications of Dark Matter/Dark energy issues. So my question is, assuming that a galaxy (for example, the Milky Way) does not ...
1
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1answer
87 views

How is dark energy calculated

This should be a very simple question. What would be the proper way to calculate Dark Energy in Joules at any point in history and that is consistent with the Standard Model? I'm thinking that ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

Simulating how comets travel with Newtonian physics

Imagine that a comet enters the solar system from Oort cloud, what concepts and laws does one need to take into consideration to simulate how it travels? I'm about to start researching how to write ...
1
vote
2answers
146 views

Gravitational field has no curl? What about gas discs around stars, black holes, etc.?

So everybody says the gravitational field has no curl, and is not comparable to a liquid swirling around a drain. Observationally, of course, there are many examples of vector fields (which I think ...
18
votes
1answer
496 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
159 views

Can the Cosmological Constant explain an accelerated expansion?

From what I've learned so far, it appears that all models that attempt to explain the expansion of the universe are either based on Lambda-CDM or quintessence. The former support a big bang with ...
4
votes
1answer
138 views

Is a Betelgeuse supernova able to neutralise earth's nuclear arsenal?

According to an article on newscientist.com, a neutrino beam could neutralise nuclear bombs by inducing a slow meltdown of the nuclear fuel. The neutrino generator would need to be more than a ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

What is the intrinsic colour of the star? [closed]

Hey I have this question and I am wrestling with it all day and I am completely lost. The V magnitude of a star is 15.1, B-V =1.6, and absolute magnitude Mv= 1.3 The extinction in the direction of ...
2
votes
1answer
82 views

Relation of fraction of binary stars with spectral class (mass)

What is relation of fraction of binary stars with spectral class (mass)? For example, how many binary stars are among O,B,A,F,G,K,M stars separately?
2
votes
1answer
46 views

Would gravitons follow the same trajectory as photons through a gravitational lense?

Would gravitons follow the same trajectory as photons through a gravitational lense? would all other particles follow the same trajectory?
3
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
170 views

What causes the dimensions of a star increase when its hydrogen fuel is exhausted?

What causes the dimensions of a star increase when its hydrogen fuel is exhausted? For example, the Sun is expected to increase its radius 250 times. What causes this if its temperature is expected to ...
1
vote
1answer
77 views

What kind of damage is expected to happen to the earth in case of being hit by a direct gamma ray burst?

I understand how the ozone layer would be quickly depleted and the UV radiation from the sun would reach the ground...etc I understand all this, but what confuses me is where all this huge amount of ...
6
votes
1answer
63 views

Precision of spectroscopy for astronomy

How precise can the measurements be when looking at spectral lines in astrophysics? For example, suppose I have a telescope in orbit, and I am looking at $H_\alpha$ lines coming from a star at 613 ...
8
votes
1answer
189 views

Is it expected tha all stellar black holes will be spinning near the maximum allowed $\omega$-velocity?

Using a bit of classical reasoning I'm imagining black hole formation to be much like an ice skater pulling in her arms: Now, the size difference between a star and its black hole can't even be ...
3
votes
1answer
49 views

Stellar Activity Cycle versus Metallicity

Our Sun exhibits sunspot max/mins on about a 11 year period. It's a G2 spectral class on the HR Diagram. We know that some stars exhibit "starspot" cycles of various intensities and periods. These ...
3
votes
1answer
55 views

Are initial mass functions summable?

I tried to sum up two weight ranges of the IMF which wouldn't not work so my question is, if I'm doing something wrong. Let's say my weight ranges are $\left[X M_{\mbox{sun}}, Y ...
1
vote
0answers
67 views

Relativistic Black Hole? [duplicate]

So recently, looking at high energy particles through the lens of General and Special Relativity has peaked my interest. One thing I was considering, using the electron as the first example, is as ...
7
votes
1answer
106 views

How many of which particles are in Hawking radiation?

My understanding is that a black hole radiates ~like an ideal black body, and that both photons and massive particles are emitted by Hawking radiation. So for a low temperature black hole, photons are ...
1
vote
2answers
46 views

Are high redshift masses corrected for relativistic mass dilation? They would appear more massive right?

A distant quasar would be less massive in its frame of reference than our observations would suggest. Are such highly red-shifted objects corrected for relativistic mass dilation?
0
votes
2answers
89 views

Stellar Power(Luminosity) Flux

So I was applying some mathematical techniques I learned to physics, and one thing that captured my interest, is the power or luminosity flux of a star. So modeling the situation, taking the scalar ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

Relation between red filter band and redshift?

I am interested in knowing what is the significance of red filter band in the study of redshift dependence of spatial orientation of galaxies?
0
votes
0answers
24 views

Redshift Dependence in the Spatial Orientation of SDSS Galaxies having Redshift 0.19 to 0.20

Does redshift depend on the spatial orientation of SDSS galaxies with redshift in the range 0.19 to 0.20 ?
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Starting postdoc in VHE Astrophysics with VERITAS and HAWK, what books to read? [duplicate]

I will be starting a postdoc in Astrophysics, particularly VHE gamma-rays with the VERITAS and HAWK observatories. I am coming from particle physics and am looking for some good books to get me up to ...
17
votes
1answer
425 views

Causes of hexagonal shape of Saturn's jet stream

NASA has just shown a more detailed picture of the hexagonal vortex/storm on Saturn: http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-releases-images-saturns-hexagon-mega-storm-may-have-been-swirling-centuries-1496218 ...
4
votes
3answers
211 views

Calculating the solar power hitting Earth

I'm trying to calculate the amount of power from the sun hitting the earth, but I am getting a number which is off by a factor of ~4. I calculate the "area" of the earth, as seen from the sun, and ...
4
votes
1answer
139 views

What is the effect of gravity on gamma rays?

I read an article about a Gamma Ray burst linked to a black hole. How does high gravity fields affect gamma rays?
-4
votes
1answer
125 views

Recommended book for beginners on advanced science topics [duplicate]

I have a background in engineering so I have some familiarity with basic math and science. I've recently been reading about other topics such as Einstein's relativity and have become interested in ...
2
votes
1answer
148 views

Do all planets have an electric charge?

Do all planets have an electric charge? If yes, is positive or negative? And how much each magnitude? I have read some articles which really confused me. Some of these articles said that all ...
7
votes
3answers
207 views

Can a planet form before the parent star ignites?

I'm unable to find an answer to my questions via my searches. This questions pertains to the timeline of a star system creation. My question: During the creation of a star system, can satellite ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

Why isn't all of the dust in a nebula used in the formation of a star?

I was watching a show on discovery and according to it, in a nebula the dust and gases slowly come together and as the gravity increases and the pressure rises in the core the gases fuse together and ...
2
votes
1answer
147 views

Strömgren Sphere of Sun

I have a homework problem: The Sun emits $ \sim5 x 10^{23}$ photons per second with $hν > 13.6$ $eV$. If the density of hydrogen atoms in interplanetary space is $n =$ $109 m^{-3}$, what ...
-1
votes
1answer
132 views

How does physicists calculate the gravitational self collapsing force of a star?

The nuclear fusion taking place inside the stars opposes its gravitational self collapsing force. But, how does physicists calculate it? I just know the classical gravitational theory and not a bit of ...
5
votes
1answer
148 views

About the hump on galaxy rotation curves

The past days I have been studying the rotation curves of disk galaxies and I am currently trying to understand how we can extract information about the dark matter of a galaxy by looking its rotation ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

Are neutrino stars theoretically possible?

Since neutrinos have a small mass and are affected by gravity, wouldn't it be theoretically possible to have such a large quantity of them so close to each other, that they would form a kind of a ...
3
votes
2answers
354 views

Why can't Iron fusion occur in stars?

It is said that iron fusion is endothermic and star can't sustain this kind of fusion (not until it goes supernova). However star is constantly releasing energy from fusion of elements like Hydrogen ...
7
votes
2answers
226 views

What are the demographics of stars visible to the naked eye?

Of the stars that can be seen with the naked eye, what are the distributions of each type? For example, how many are main sequence? how many are Super Red giants/white dwarfs/neutron stars...etc. ...
8
votes
2answers
343 views

Entropy of the Sun

Is it possible to measure or calculate the total entropy of the Sun? Assuming it changes over time, what are its current first and second derivatives w.r.t. time? What is our prediction on its ...
6
votes
2answers
152 views

Does the term “dark matter” apply to nonluminescent bodies which still interact electromagnetically?

On the new Astronomy.SE site, I was having a short discussion on one of my answers. The basic discrepancy was; can MACHOs like black holes/brown dwarfs/neutron stars be termed "dark matter"? My ...
3
votes
1answer
82 views

How does pressure relate to cosmological expansion?

In my cosmology class, we've been talking about pressure in the Friedmann Equation for acceleration: $$ \frac{\ddot{a}}{a}=-\frac{4 \pi G}{3} \left(\rho+\frac{3p}{c^2} \right) $$ In particular, I've ...
0
votes
0answers
133 views

Role of time dilation in relativistic beaming

This picture is an excerpt I chose from a Wiki article under "Relativistic beaming" Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Relativistic_beaming For theta=0,what I don't understand is why the equation ...