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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2k views

Why do we deal only with large scale magnetic fields in astrophysics, and not electric fields?

In astrophysics there is a lot going on about strong, large scale magnetic fields: in stars (prominences), magnetic dynamos, compact accretors collimating jets, etc. There's even a special ...
12
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1answer
729 views

What is the percentage of stars that are massive enough to end their lives in a supernova?

I have been searching for the percentage of stars that are massive enough to end their lives as a supernova but couldn't get any result. As far as I know, a star has to be at least 8 times more ...
1
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1answer
26 views

Meteorite hunters Search for FIREBALLS

normally meteorite hunters search for fireballs....but they totally ignore meteor showers . why so? as far as i can think meteors in meteor showers are usually produced by small particles so they ...
2
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2answers
162 views

Would it be possible to detect nuclear explosion on exoplanet?

How strong would have to be nuclear explosion on exo-planet that orbits some other star for it to be detectable outside of that system. Or it would be impossible due to amount of radiation coming from ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Frequency-averaged (gray) radiative transfer

The equation for radiative transfer is $$ \omega \cdot \nabla I = \kappa(B - I) $$ where $I$ is the intensity of radiation, $\omega$ is the ray direction, $\kappa$ the absorption coefficient, $B$ the ...
1
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1answer
91 views

How can such a wave exist at the surface of the sun?

Recently, I came across the following picture from NASA's SOHO observatory: It seems evident that this is a transverse wave (mind the ring which is bright and dark). But how can this be the case ...
2
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1answer
68 views

Why 21cm line observations is more helpful compared to other radiation?

Why 21cm line observations is more helpful compared to other radiation? Is it only because of its abundance in whole universe or anything else?
1
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2answers
101 views

When we look in different directions in the universe how do we know we're not seeing the same thing?

For my question assume: 1: Big bang happened at a point (I know it happened everywhere) but after that explosion universe started to expand in all directions so it maybe considered to happened ...
4
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0answers
98 views

Chandrasekhar Limit [closed]

A white dwarf is essentially a degenerate electron gas, in which pressure of degenerate electrons supports gravitational pressure. As a simplified model of such an object, consider a spherical star of ...
1
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1answer
60 views

Are galaxies “disk” shaped?

When you look a sphere from a fixed observation point, you can easily mistake it for a circle, so I was wondering: are galaxies really "disk" shaped or we just don't have the means to detect the ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

What interaction is responsible for the 21 cm Hydrogen line transition?

The 21 cm Hydrogen line is from the transition between the hyperfine levels of the ground state of the hydrogen atom. So, what interaction is coupling the hyperfine levels? I suspect that it is not ...
1
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0answers
52 views

Any cheap (less than 100 euro) telescope for observing Jupiter? [closed]

The moon is not challenging. I would like to observe the big planets and their rings.
1
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1answer
57 views

Why is solar eclipse so important for sunlight spectrum analysis?

People wait for decades to catch the chance of a solar eclipse to observe the sun. Why cannot they do it every noon?
8
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7answers
1k views

Mathematically possible vs physically probable outcomes

A good buddy of mine and I have had a friendly debate about the origins of the current state of our universe (namely; Earth and life on Earth) and have fundamentally disagreed in our stances with ...
1
vote
2answers
129 views

Redshift 1+z - CMB Temperature lower?

I know that $\frac{\lambda_2}{\lambda_1} = 1 + z$ Suppose a galaxy had redshfit $z=3$. Does this mean that the wavelength becomes $4\lambda$? Then by wien's law where $\lambda \propto \frac{1}{T}$, ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

The Helium mass fraction from the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

In Perkin's book Particle Astrophysics (page 144): I do not understand how one comes to the following expression (the second equality with $r$) for the Helium mass fraction due to the Big Bang ...
5
votes
2answers
409 views

Abundances of the light element of the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis

This question is related to the Big Bang Nucleosynthesis of light elements, more concretely I do not understand some features of the graph Why do the $^3$He and D abundances go down with ...
0
votes
2answers
62 views

Size of objects and variations in brightness?

My textbook says talking about Cygnus X-1 (the first black hole to be identified as such) has variations in brightens of the order of 0.01 seconds and that this means that it's dimeter must be on the ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Interpretation of the WIMP annihilation cross section graph

I have some trouble in the interpretation of the WIMP cross-section annihilation versus their mass. I understand that the lines represent a upper bound on the cross section from the observation. ...
22
votes
5answers
3k views

Can there be Electron and/or Proton Stars?

What happens to all of the electrons and protons in the material of a neutron star? Could there ever be an electron star or a proton star?
0
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1answer
47 views

Quick question on derivation of mass of star

How do I show that for a binary star system, if one star has mass $M_s$, speed $V_s$, period $P$, the mass of the other star is given by: $$M_P^3 \approx \frac{V_s^3}{2\pi G} PM_s^2$$ I showed it ...
6
votes
1answer
191 views

Lifetime of a horizontal branch star

I'm trying to determine what the lifetime of a star on the horizontal branch of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram would be. Some websites say $10^8$ while others said $10^7,$ so I don't know which one ...
0
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2answers
97 views

Quick question on astronomical units

I'm trying to solve for $\frac{M*}{M_0}$ and $p''$ using these two equations: Here is the lecturer's working, I worked it out several times and I got a different answer! Surely when you use ...
0
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1answer
79 views

Quick question on parallax and parsec

I know that 1 parsec (pc) is the distance of star at which 1 AU subtends 1 arcsecond. so $1 pc = \frac{1 AU}{1"}$ Now, if two stars in a binary with a separation of 3" and have a trigonometric ...
2
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0answers
28 views

Dependence of the neutron-freeze-out temperature

What is the physical explanation for the dependence for the freeze-out temperature $T_\text{F0}$ of the neutrons as a function of the number of degrees of freedom $g^\star$? ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Temperature on the surface of the sun calculated with the Stefan-Boltzmann-rule

In a German Wikipedia page, the following calculation for the temperature on the surface of the Sun is made: $\sigma=5.67*10^{-8}\frac{W}{m^2K^4}$ (Stefan-Boltzmann constant) $S = 1367\frac{W}{m^2}$ ...
6
votes
2answers
118 views

What is chaotic about Chaotic Inflation?

Chaos is defined as an aperiodic long-termed behavior, that is very sensitive to initial conditions. Now from this definition I can only conclude that the adjective 'chaos' is a mere analogy, since ...
5
votes
1answer
173 views

Hubble time and its derivation? [duplicate]

I know the derivation of Hubble time goes something like this (I am an a-level student so this may not be the actual derivation): Two galaxy that is moving away from each other at speed v are now D ...
4
votes
1answer
48 views

No tremendous neutrino-flux for SNIa?

Why do neutrino account for 99% of the energy release for a SN II, while it is not expected to be the case for SN Ia? Is it because the densities are not high enough to induce inverse beta-decay? ...
5
votes
1answer
122 views

The initial conditions of the CMB spectrum

The CMB spectrum shows the intensity of fluctuation at a certain angular scale: The achievement is the correspondence between the predicted power spectrum and the observed one. My question is as ...
3
votes
1answer
142 views

Could the Earth be ejected when the sun burns out?

My younger brother came home from school today and told us at the dinner table that when the sun burns out the Earth could be ejected from its orbit. Skeptical, I asked his source. He quoted his ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

Are combined masses in space, such as galaxies, considered to be uniform bodies? *In addition, a related question about force

If we were to calculate the force that one galaxy exerted onto another, would we consider the individual masses within the galaxies, or the masses of the galaxies as a whole? Do the individual stars ...
0
votes
1answer
109 views

Consequences of inverse square law with vast distances (Gravity); (in addition, is light speed broken)? [duplicate]

As is well known, the gravitational force between two masses is dependent on the spatial distance between them. Therefore, even at vast distances, the masses exert equal and opposite forces on one ...
0
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0answers
61 views

Why are other universes in the picture of Dark Flow?

It seems to me that the popular suggestive explanation of dark flow is another universe interacting with ours. Isn't there other alternative explanations?
27
votes
8answers
3k views

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero?

Why is absolute zero considered to be asymptotical? Wouldn't regions such as massive gaps between galaxy clusters have temperatures of absolute zero? I just do not see why our model must work the way ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

Pulsars with accreting disk in binary system

Following this line, I am wondering about the following question. Accreting pulsars in binary systems are usually thought to accrete from a prograde disk, so increasing their spin in the process. ...
3
votes
2answers
152 views

Smolin on Cosmological selection and neutron stars

Regarding the cosmological selection hypothesis and testable predictions, Lee Smolin asserted the following: "Smolin: I did make two predictions which were eminently checkable by astrophysical ...
7
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3answers
3k views

Is it possible that black holes are also neutron stars, but so dark that we cannot see them?

Since the concept of the singularity in a black hole leads to infinite densities, I wonder if it is really certain that black holes exist? Is there a possibility that massive objects (which are ...
6
votes
3answers
438 views

Neutron stars and black holes

The official limits for a neutron star is $1.4 - 3.2\;M_\odot$. But I read that the limit depends on the particular structure of a star to estimate which mass it must have. I also read that neutron ...
4
votes
1answer
60 views

Galaxy rotation curve and dark matter

I am reading "The Essential Cosmic Perspective" by Jeffrey O. Bennett, Megan O. Donahue, Nicholas Schneider, Mark Voit. In Chapter 14, it is stated that an evidence of the presence of dark matter in ...
8
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
332 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?
6
votes
1answer
188 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
105 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 ...
1
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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?
8
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
81 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.
3
votes
1answer
739 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
11
votes
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 ...