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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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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84 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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105 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
59 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
236 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
154 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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106 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
82 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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1k 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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186 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
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1answer
171 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
83 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
114 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
50 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
116 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
220 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
89 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 ...
7
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1answer
67 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
401 views

Is it expected that 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 ...
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2answers
70 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
59 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
74 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
128 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
47 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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107 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
48 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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26 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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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 ...
20
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1answer
499 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 ...
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3answers
331 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 ...
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1answer
189 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?
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1answer
161 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
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1answer
195 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
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4answers
296 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 ...
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2answers
84 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 ...
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188 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 ...
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1answer
156 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
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1answer
178 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 ...
22
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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 ...
4
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2answers
676 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 ...
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2answers
277 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. ...
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484 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 ...
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158 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
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1answer
96 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 ...
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1answer
191 views

How would a very nearby supernova shockwave and remnants affect the earth?

I've been reading about supernovae for a while, and I noticed how incredibly fast their shockwave and remnants travel shortly after the explosion. So I thought about how this would affect the earth if ...
3
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1answer
146 views

How much faster is the fusion we make on earth compared to the fusion that happens in the sun?

I have come across many websites that states that the proton-proton fusion which is the dominant type of fusion that powers the suns, is extremely slow and that is why the sun is still burning to that ...
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1answer
143 views

Visual representations of black holes

Some black holes emit jets that are rapidly circling the poles of what appears to be a sphere at the center of the black hole, cf. Fig. 1. Is there really a sphere here and how far (relative to the ...
5
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1answer
212 views

Oldest population 1 star system?

While reading Stanislaw Lem's essays on advanced civilizations, I had a question: When did the earliest generation of population 1 star systems form? How much older could they reasonably be than our ...
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1answer
1k views

When does a planet become a star?

How big can a gas giant become before it's considered a star? How does the theoretical maximum compare the observed maximum?
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89 views

Cosmological models other than FRW

The FRW is a nice isotropic and symmetric metric but I think its assumptions are too many. I was wondering about alternative models. Specifically are there any prominent alternatives that have more ...