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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Galaxy velocity curve

When deriving the relation between velocity of a star and its distance $r$ from the center of the galaxy, one assumes that the masses outside $r$ have no contribution and those inside $r$ give a force ...
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1answer
192 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 ...
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3answers
149 views

Is the solar energy Infinite?

Is the solar energy coming from the sun infinite and will continue to be radiated to our earth forever? (discarding any outer factors) what's the sun's fuel?
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1answer
150 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 ...
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1answer
57 views

Is it known what causes the “knee” in the observed Cosmic Ray spectrum?

I've seen many versions of the figure shown below -- the famous Swordy plot. They tend to explicitly point out two features in the CR spectrum, the knee and the ankle. I know that the source of ...
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2answers
2k views

What will happen if the solar system leaves the milky way galaxy? [closed]

Is the milky way galaxy meaningful to us? Will any bad thing happen if the solar system just leaves the galaxy?
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1answer
70 views

Why are no CMB experiments able to measure the whole range of multipole moments?

Have a look at the following diagram: This shows measurements of the CMB by various experiments, with multipole moment $l$ on the x-axis and the temperature of the corresponding moment on the ...
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1answer
61 views

How can we know that a black hole exists? [duplicate]

How can we know that a black hole exists if it attracts both matter and light, and to prove that it exists would need to observe it? It's a very common question but I don't know the answer.
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1answer
415 views

Would atmosphere of Jupiter blow up if I launched a atomic bomb there? [duplicate]

This is based upon an question I had, since in Jupiter there is no oxygen a simple fire cannot be started let alone even happen due to its temperature. Anyway that being said, If I somehow used a ...
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131 views

Supernovae and black holes?

I think i am correct in saying that a supernova ($Type$ $II$) is caused by the collapse of the core of a giant star. This contraction of the core is stopped by the Pauli exclusion principle and the ...
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3answers
3k views

If I were standing on the surface of the sun, how far could I see?

Assuming it would be possible to handle the intense heat... Is the surface even? If not, would average surface elevation be an appropriate definition of "surface"?Does the sun have an atmosphere that ...
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3answers
250 views

Why does gravitational collapse occur suddenly in a supernova progenitor?

I was reading the Wikipedia article on Supernovae, and it says that one of the reasons why a supernova occurs is due to sudden gravitational collapse when the core of the star has little fusable ...
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0answers
41 views

B-mode and circular polarization in BICEP2

In the case of the B-mode detected in BICEP2, at first they assumed there was no circular polarization and then the Q and U stocks parameter of the CMB is given by E-mode and B mode. If we have ...
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1answer
60 views

Vanishing Planets?

If we put a solid sphere in space, it will lose some molecules which will form a sort of an atmosphere around it so that we have the required vapour pressure for solid-vapour equilibrium (Temp. of ...
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3answers
152 views

When a star turns into a red giant what stops its core contracting

I recently asked this question When do stars become red giants? and am now wondering when the star's core is contracting after it has fused $H$ to $He$ what force stops the contraction just before it ...
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2answers
107 views

Universal gravity at small distance

Could it be that there is simply a maximum gravitational force that two bodies of finite mass can exert on one another? This would occur at $r=0$, so maybe there is some really really really small $a$ ...
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1answer
84 views

The origin of the colour of the sun

I have learned so many concepts under astrophysics and unfortunately, I have muddled everything together... Let me try to illustrate my problem: When a star is in main sequence, it fuses hydrogen to ...
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0answers
142 views

What is the shape of the Sun's orbit around the Milky Way? [closed]

Here is a question for you really bright folks. How does the motion of the sun along the midpoint of the plane of the galaxy look like? I suspect it to travel above and then below the plane but I ...
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1answer
99 views

Why can't we detect redshift of Galaxies/Clusters moving parallel to us?

If a moving Galaxy/Cluster doesn't have radially outward motion component from us, we are unable to detect its redshift. The answer may look obvious: There's no wavelength squeezing/expanding ju-ju. ...
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1answer
42 views

Experimental evidence for the relic neutrinos

What are the experimental (indirect) evidence for the cosmic neutrino background? Where can I read more about this? The discussion on the wikipedia page about the C$\nu$B seems to me to be more ...
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2answers
65 views

Behavior of Saha and Boltzmann

So I'm just wondering why the Saha and Boltzmann distributions behave differently as temperature increases? I know one is for ionization levels while the other is for energy levels but is that the ...
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2answers
97 views

When do stars become red giants?

I am a bit confused when do stars become red giants? Is it just after they have finished core H burning and the core contracts creating high temperatures which result in core He burning to occur which ...
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1answer
119 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 ...
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1answer
136 views

Is there a connection between exclusion principle and the speed of light?

As far as I know exotic stars are composed of degenerate matter created by the balance between gravity and pressure of exclusion principle and as the mass of the star grows it goes into more ...
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0answers
40 views

Precession period matching solar year

Consider the case of a tidally locked planet: its axis of rotation must be perpendicular to the plane of its revolution around the parent star. Therefore, no precession. It is possible for a planets ...
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41 views

What's the shocks mach number in this specific problem?

The shock wave I'm interested in occurs for a special Riemann problem, known as 1D Noh's problem. It means basically that two streams of air (equal density) are colliding at $x = 0$ for $t = 0$; I ...
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1answer
95 views

Electron degeneracy pressure

Why is it that in stars undergoing gravitational collapse electron degeneracy kicks in? Why couldn't the electrons form energy bands like in semiconductors?
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450 views

When did the first carbon atom in the Universe come into existence?

I am a chemist with a passion for astrophysics and particle physics, and one of the most marvellous things I have learned in my life is the process of stellar nucleosynthesis. It saddens me how my ...
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2answers
261 views

Light formed by the sun?

This is an extract from the astrophysics chapter in my book: Hydrogen atoms fuse to form helium. At the same time, lots of of gamma photons and neutrinos are produced. The photons take thousands ...
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2answers
75 views

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
134 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
118 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 ...
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1answer
307 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
84 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
84 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
89 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
89 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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3answers
162 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
97 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
54 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
204 views

Why do galaxies “disappear?”

So, this 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. However, while watching a movie ...
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1answer
149 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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2answers
198 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
85 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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103 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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44 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
168 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 ...
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0answers
120 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
64 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 ...