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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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 ...
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0answers
22 views

Is the Baum Framptom a valid alternative to Big Bang?

In the Baum Frampton model, proposed in 2007, because $\epsilon\lt-1$, after the Big Rip the universe starts again empty. The problem of this model is that inverting the arrow of the time, after a ...
5
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6answers
250 views

Are there free data available online from cosmology (or astrophysics) experiments that anyone can analyse?

One can understand a subject better in physics by trying to solve as many problems as one can from a textbook say. When it comes to experimental physics and data analysis, no book on experimental ...
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2answers
450 views

How do spiral arms form?

Why aren't all spinning galaxies shaped as discs as my young mind would expect? I understand how the innermost parts of a galaxy spin faster than the outer parts, and that could explain why some ...
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1answer
28 views

Distance from redshift

I am looking for a exact derivation of a relation between redshift $z$ and distance $d$. What I know is the definition ...
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0answers
39 views

What are quasars?

I was taught that apart from stars, the other self illuminating objects in the universe are quasars. What are quasars? It seems the definition of a quasar is an active galaxy? What is that and how ...
5
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1answer
85 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 ...
2
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1answer
38 views

Stellar remnants in a state of matter denser than neutron-degenerate

When discussing the stellar life cycle, it's often stated that if the collapsing core of a star is bigger than the mass limit for a stable neutron star, it must collapse to a black hole. However, ...
8
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1answer
160 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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1answer
26 views

Blazars and nuclear physics!

How are studies on blazars related to the field of nuclear physics? Should these not purely belong to Astrophysics? Just inquisitive.
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2answers
28 views

Big Bang Question

In the early Universe it it's believed that matter and anti-matter annihilated one another till there was but a remaining 1% left. In a matter/anti-matter collision, is there not an explosion of ...
3
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2answers
53 views

What was the density of the universe when it was only the size of our solar system?

What was the density of the universe when it was only the size of our solar system? Did it approach neutron star density? Is it physically correct to even ask such a question?
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1answer
359 views

BBC radiation: What is it?

I'm reading articles about blazars, and in a discussion about models concerning Blazar SEDs (Spectral Energy Densities) there are mentions of different processes: Sychrotron scattering, inverse ...
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2answers
93 views

What is the Sun's core made of?

The obvious answer is hydrogen and helium plasma but the nuclear fusion can also create heavier elements. Are these heavier elements a significant portion of the core? Do the heavier elements "sink" ...
4
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1answer
32 views

Absorption lines in the context of identifying elements in far away celestial objects

I understand that absorption lines are used to identify elements but how are individual absorption spectrums identified in the light that is received by a telescope?
20
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4answers
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 ...
3
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1answer
32 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 ...
12
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1answer
492 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 ...
2
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2answers
75 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 ...
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1answer
20 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 ...
4
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0answers
77 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 ...
5
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1answer
214 views

Red Giant branch and Asymptotic Giant branch

What's the difference between the RGB and the AGB? I can't seem to find an clear distinction anywhere. Thanks.
6
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3answers
4k views

What are good books for graduates/undergraduates in Astrophysics?

There are no book recommendations for Astrophysics here. I will write my own answer, but I am also interested in what are others' views on the question (I will NOT mark my own answer as the best one). ...
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0answers
18 views

Recommendations regarding high-energy astrophysical objects (AGNs, jets, etc.)

I know basic astronomy and I know a few good textbooks for general astrophysics (eg. "Introduction to Astrophysics" by Carroll and Ostlie). I also have a strong background in theoretical physics and ...
2
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1answer
67 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
43 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?
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3answers
336 views

How can a spiral galaxy exist?

A spiral arm orbiting a central mass should be dispersed quite quickly as the outer elements would move more slowly than the inner ones. The Milky Way, is about 59 Galactic Years old, which, one would ...
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2answers
74 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 ...
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1answer
36 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 ...
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2answers
40 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
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1answer
57 views

Mass loss in Red Giants via dusty-winds and chromosphere activity

I'm reading some literature on mass loss in the RGB/AGB branches and so far I'm getting a lot of information regarding mass loss via dusty-winds/pulsations but almost no explanation of mass loss by ...
2
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0answers
73 views

Why did everything in space cooled out?

Through my research, I learned that; According to thermophysics, heat always moves from and area of high heat to an area of low heat. Space has no heat at all. It is extremely cold However, ...
4
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Artificial planetary magnetic field

I wonder how difficult it is to create an artificial planetary magnetic field with generators? What power they would need? The question is inspired by thinking about possible colonization of ...
2
votes
1answer
88 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
69 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
432 views

What is the frequency of occurrence of stellar classifications off the HR main-sequence?

An alternative version of this question would be: "if was to pick a star from the $10^{11}$ or so in our galaxy at random, what are the probabilities of it being various kinds of star?" (and I do mean ...
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0answers
36 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.
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1answer
23 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?
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1answer
85 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 ...
19
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4answers
2k 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?
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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 ...
2
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1answer
120 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 ...
26
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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 ...
0
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2answers
77 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
23 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 ...
0
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2answers
46 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
55 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. ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do neutron stars burn? Is it decay or fusion or something else?

What makes a neutron star burn, and what kind of fusion/decay is happening there? What is supposed to happen with a neutron star in the long run? What if it cools, then what do the degenerated matter ...
0
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1answer
39 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 ...