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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Studying Physics [closed]

I'm preparing for entry into a Physics degree course, and was planning on a double major in Physics (with a specialization in Quantum Information later) but am now considering a minor in ...
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1answer
120 views

Stress-Energy Tensor

As of recent, I've been doing a bit of self education in GR, equipped with a working knowledge of the key elements of the differential geometry in GR, and in looking at the Einstein-Rosen bridge, I ...
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2answers
79 views

Could Gamma ray bursts be caused by matter-antimatter annihilation?

As far as I know a collisions of matter and antimatter leads to the complete annihilation of both, whereby 100% of the rest mass of the particles is converted into gamma rays. Could this mechanism be ...
4
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1answer
127 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 ...
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2answers
80 views

Are leptons, baryons and energy the only products of radioactive decay?

I recently visited my child's elementary school to speak to a science classroom about rocks and minerals. While trying to explain what a crystal is, I got sloppy and mis-spoke that an atom was the ...
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1answer
74 views

Could the Sun be partly powered by cosmic rays?

The Earth and the Sun has magnetic fields which shields us from cosmic rays, as a charged cosmic ray particle will loose kinetic energy when its direction is perpendicular to the magnetic field. So ...
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1answer
80 views

Inward Pressure of Gravity

We are looking at White Dwarfs in Quantum and specifically how they are stabilized between gravitation pressure inwards balanced by the Fermi pressure due to electrons. To start the problem off ...
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1answer
51 views

Is there a simple formula for calculating semimajor axis bounds of “habitable zone”?

I understand that an accurate determination of the bounds of the "habitable zone" for a given stellar system depends on a large number of factors, including many beyond characteristics of the parent ...
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2answers
110 views

Photons straight into black hole

What happens to a photon shot straight into a black hole? Does it gain infinite momentum before it crosses the horizon? If it has a finite momentum going in, then it would seem that a photon of the ...
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3answers
93 views

State of the Stars

What's the state of stars? I'm not pretty sure whether the stars are stationary or rotating. For instance, if they are not rotating what makes them to be stable?
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1answer
49 views

Are the known exoplanets representative of the population of exoplanets?

An article about the recent release of a large number of confirmed exoplanets states that most of the 715 newly announced exoplanets orbit very close to their host stars. Do the theories predict ...
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1answer
130 views

Why do galaxies “dissappear?”

So, this is a dumb question but a 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. ...
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1answer
140 views

Would a collapsing Universe have the density of water?

I understand that the typical density of the super massive black hole is close that of the water. It is also my understanding that this density is not true matter density because the volume used to ...
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1answer
114 views

Why does a star beyond a certain mass limit (Chandrasekhar limit) only become a black hole?

Why does a star beyond a certain mass limit (Chandrasekhar limit) only become a black hole? A star is first made of hydrogen, it undergoes nuclear fussion reaction combining into helium and ...
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0answers
79 views

Modelling a matter dominated universe collapsing into a black hole

With the FLRW equations we can get solutions for a matter dominated closed universe in which the finale is an ultimate collapse, but this is only in terms of $a$ (the scale factor) and $t$ (time) and ...
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0answers
93 views

How fast do large asteroids usually travel?

I have just watched this video made by discovery channel, and you can hear the narrator at 0:51 saying that : "even though it is moving at 720 THOUSANDS kilometers per hour..." I stopped once I heard ...
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0answers
41 views

Mass of dark matter

The Alcubierre warp equation specifies that negative mass is required for said "warp drive" to function properly. Could dark matter provide the negative mass that's required?
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4answers
153 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
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0answers
111 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
52 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
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1answer
60 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 ...
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1answer
66 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 ...
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2answers
95 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
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1answer
54 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' ...
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2answers
191 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 ...
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1answer
121 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 ...
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1answer
97 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 ...
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2answers
79 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 ...
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2answers
171 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 ...
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1answer
559 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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3answers
165 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 ...
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1answer
151 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 ...
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1answer
73 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
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1answer
94 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?
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1answer
48 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
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1answer
67 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
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2answers
175 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 ...
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1answer
81 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
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1answer
64 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
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1answer
227 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
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1answer
52 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
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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 ...
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0answers
72 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
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1answer
108 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 ...
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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?
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2answers
93 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 ...
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1answer
47 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?
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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 ?
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0answers
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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 ...