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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27 views

Luminosity of a star vs. absolute luminosity

The equations for the habitable zone of a star call for the "absolute luminosity". Is this different from the luminosity value calculated by $AσT^4$ (Stefan-Boltzmann law)? If so, how, and how can I ...
0
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0answers
10 views

What is meant by Hydrogen dilution in Plasma?

I was going through the paper of methanol masers and it says that for a strong maser the geometrical dilution factor of HII emission should have low values. What is the meaning geometrical dilution ...
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1answer
44 views

How Long Did It Take For The Sun To Form?

I realise this may be a difficult question to answer because, AFAIK, we don't have an accurate estimate of the size of the protostellar cloud, or whether our sun formed from a subsection of a much ...
2
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3answers
79 views

Size and density of neutron stars

Most of the books which I looked at give approximately 10 km as the radius of a neutron star. Just yesterday I looked at a book by Dave Goldberg titled The Universe In the Rearview Mirror (2013) which ...
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0answers
33 views

Books for someone interested in physics/space [duplicate]

As an avid reader of more realistic SF and someone who has always been interested in physics and astrophysics, I was wondering if someone could suggest both some introductory books on the subject, and ...
-1
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0answers
22 views

What is the physical meaning of source function in Radiative transfer? [closed]

What is the importance of source function?What does that actually mean? I know that it's a ratio of emission coefficient to absorption coefficient. But I am not able to understand its physical meaning....
4
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2answers
105 views

Determining Mass of Spectroscopic Binaries

I know that the mass of a binary star system is given by Kepler's Law: $$\mathrm{m_1 + m_2 = \frac{4 \pi^2 r^3}{GT^2}}$$ Further we know that: $$\frac{r_2}{r_1} = \frac{v_2}{v_1} = \frac{m_1}{m_2}$$ ...
26
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3answers
958 views

Do intergalactic magnetic fields imply an Open Universe?

According to a paper on the arXiv (now published in Phys Rev D), they do. How credible is this result? The abstract says: The detection of magnetic fields at high redshifts, and in empty ...
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6answers
2k views

Why isn't dark matter just matter?

There's more gravitational force in our galaxy (and others) than can be explained by counting stars. So why not lots of dark planetery systems (ie without stars) ? Why must we assume some undiscovered ...
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0answers
40 views

Great Void negative gravity [closed]

According Integrated Sachs–Wolfe effect on light, Great Void should have relatively negative gravity - it just push mater out, and maybe even light. What is cosmic speed hypothetical spaceship should ...
40
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3answers
7k views

Why don't galaxies orbit each other?

Planets orbit around stars, satellites orbit around planets, even stars orbit each other. So the question is: Why don't galaxies orbit each other in general, as it's rarely observed? Is it considered ...
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1answer
34 views

Formula for cosmic variance

I was reading this page: Sample and Cosmic Variance. The section states that The multipoles $C_\ell$ can be related to the expected value of the spherical harmonic coefficients by $$ \Bigg\...
2
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1answer
92 views

Angular momentum in an accretion disk

I need to plot the time evolution of the total angular momentum in an accretion disc. This confuses me because I thought this should be constant, since angular momentum has to be conserved? I'm given ...
11
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1answer
425 views

Why is the spectrum of old stellar populations characterized by broad lines?

I'm taking a course in astrophysics and my teacher said that old stellar populations have broad lines whereas young populations have narrow emission lines. My first thought was to consider then case ...
25
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5answers
3k views

Can elements heavier than Iron be present in a star's core?

My understanding is that elements heavier than Iron and Nickel are not formed in a star but, can heavy elements such as lead and others be present/found in a star's core ? I ask because the following ...
16
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1answer
667 views

Do supernovae produce an appreciable amount of lithium?

David Z's answer to this question got me wondering - is any appreciable amount of lithium produced as the result of a supernova explosion, either by fusion (which seems unlikely to me, but I don't ...
1
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1answer
81 views

Is cosmological constant really constant?

As the Universe expands, the dark energy in it also increases. I heard that the cosmological constant $\Lambda$ represents dark energy, so that constant must change as time passes, right? Correct me ...
1
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1answer
34 views

What is exactly the “progenitor bias”?

I am taking a course in astrophysics and my teacher mentioned different biases that are present when taking a sample of galaxies: the progenitor bias and the Malmquist bias. I understand very well the ...
23
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5answers
4k views

Why is the Sun called an “average star”?

This is a statement (presumably in mass, longevity, energy output) many people that I've met have heard in school, and it is known in pop culture. However, according to Wikipedia, about 75% of the ...
4
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1answer
51 views

What is the most commonly used density model for globular clusters?

It is possible to model a globular cluster using a number of different density models: Plummer model King model Isothermal sphere . . . They all have advantages and disadvantages, depending on ...
2
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3answers
87 views

Measuring Rotation of Sun

If the sun had a uniform surface (i.e., if there were no sunspots to look at), is there a practical way to measure its rotation? In other words, if some external force flipped the sun's spin suddenly,...
0
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1answer
42 views

Is it possible that cosmic ray particles and neutrinos account for a significant portion of dark matter?

Sounds a bit naive but I read somewhere that neutrinos were thought to account for dark matter to an extent and I think Zwicki came up with the idea before cosmic rays were announced (not sure though)....
17
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3answers
2k views

Is the speed of sound almost as high as the speed of light in neutron stars?

Have you ever wondered about the elastic properties of neutron stars? Such stars, being immensely dense, in which neutrons are bound together by the strong nuclear force on top of the strong gravity ...
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1answer
293 views

Relation between isophotal radius and virial radius in spiral galaxies?

Is there any (proposed) relation between the $B$-band isophotal radius of a spiral galaxy and its virial radius ($R_{200}$)? If you know of such a relation, please post a reference paper.
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1answer
57 views

Need help with determining the total mass using the NFW profile

My review assignment has a question that asks us to use the Navarro–Frenk–White (NFW) profile to find total mass in the galaxy using $$\rho(R)=\frac{\rho_0}{1+\frac{R}{R_c}}$$ then taking a triple ...
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3answers
81 views

Can black holes grow via accretion of dark matter particles?

I'm assuming that the answer to the question in the title is a resounding yes. Since Baryonic matter and dark matter interact via gravitational forces. If this is the case how is information not lost ...
4
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3answers
163 views

Why are some stars very large (i.e., $r \geq 1000 \ R_{\odot}$) but not super massive?

Background While I was in graduate school, I put together some cartoon-like comparisons of multiple stars to show the order of magnitude differences in radii. At the time, VY Canis Majoris was the ...
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2answers
47 views

Does mass determine gravity or is it a predetermined quantity

If Earth were to gain large enough mass, would it have enough gravitational force to hold the extra mass, or is there a predetermined magnitude of gravitational force for earth due to its location in ...
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0answers
20 views

Online rotation curve data search

I would like to know how to find rotation curve data online. I know there are online data bases like hyperleda, ned, simbad, etc. but how to look inside those projects for the rotation curve data?
6
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1answer
271 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 ...
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0answers
15 views

How to estimate period of sinusoidal (exoplanet radial velocity) data?

I have an exoplanet's noisy radial velocity data collected over a period of time. I want to write python code that will determine an estimate for the period of this data. I've heard of ...
4
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1answer
3k views

Would a wormhole in space look like anything at all?

In movie "Interstallar", the wormhole is elaborately depicted as a sphere, complete with explanation about why it is spherical, and as it is approached, it looks like a sphere containing fabulous ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Ultra-cold gas giant atmospheres

In the troposphere, which has the bulk of the atmospheric mass, it's colder at higher altitudes due to adiabatic lapse. Gas giants have several different chemicals that condense into cloud decks at ...
11
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1answer
571 views

What would the collision between a (large) solid planet and a gas giant be like?

Assuming a Jupiter-like planet and an Earth-like planet (Except, say... half the mass of Jupiter), what would happen when the two collide? For clarification: What would the actual collision be like? ...
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2answers
1k views

What would happen if a hydrogen bomb were to explode in Saturn's atmosphere?

Purely hypothetical since any kind of testing in atmosphere/space is banned by international legislation/agreement. The humans have already bombed Luna so ... what could be expected to happen on ...
2
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2answers
71 views

What is the pressure that supports boson star?

What is the pressure that supports boson star? I noticed that for a Bose-Einstein condensate $$ p = k_BT\frac{g}{\lambda^3}\zeta(5/2) $$ where $g$ is the degeneracy and $\lambda$ is the thermal ...
2
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1answer
46 views

Do satellite galaxies have the same proportion of dark matter as “ordinary” galaxies

My question is relatively straightforward: Do we know if satellite/ dwarf galaxies contain the same proportion of dark matter to ordinary matter as "regular" sized galaxies? The Milky Way, for ...
3
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4answers
886 views

How would one determine how old a black hole is?

Would different observers agree on the age? Or is this question nonsensical? e.g. what's north of the north pole? There are ways of estimating the ages of stellar bodies using various methods but is ...
5
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3answers
3k 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
59 views

Is it possible that there are stars working on fission?

Most/all stars are getting their energy from fusion of small atoms like our sun. But is it possible according to the laws of physics that there are stars getting their energy from fission fe with ...
2
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1answer
120 views

How much noise is in the Cosmic Background Radiation, especially from Cosmic Rays

Do we have an estimate of how much noise, if any, say caused by cosmic rays in particular, is present in the CMB datasets and the maps based upon them? Can we extrapolate a figure from the cosmic ray ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Is it possible that propagation of acustic waves leads to emission of radiation?

Question: Consider large cloud of gas. Assume it is electrically neutral (but as always, matter is composed of smaller things which are actually charged). Is it possible that propagation of sound ...
0
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1answer
21 views

Translational Velocity

Is the translation velocity equivalent to its real velocity or radial velocity? Online sites and textbook are saying different things, So Im not too sure what is going on
13
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1answer
484 views

Introduction to neutron star physics

I enjoy thinking about theoretical astrophysics because I want to understand black holes. Given that no one understands black holes, I like to ponder the nearest thing to a black hole: a neutron star! ...
3
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1answer
32 views

Do AGN produce protons that are relativistic enough to collide with the CMB and make pions?

AGN (Active Galactic Nuclei) produce protons in their jets and they are relativistic. I was reading about photo-pion production, where a proton and photon annihilate to produce a pion. Could this ...
3
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3answers
577 views

Are there formulae for calculating stellar luminosity and effective temperature as a function of age?

Is there a manageable formula or set of formulas or simple algorithms that approximate stellar luminosity and effective temperature (or radius) as a function of stellar age? I'm aware that accurate ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How does one measure Earth's speed of revolution around the sun?

I know that there are several formulae that one can plug numbers into to arrive an estimate of Earth's speed around the sun (Kepler's third law for instance), but I'm wondering how these things are ...
4
votes
1answer
69 views

Hubble time and age of the universe

I'm having trouble with the following derivation of the 'age of the universe': http://imgur.com/gRvLWX8 The parts I'm struggling to conceptualize is what a 'universe expanding' means, and also why ...
3
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0answers
63 views

Mass of star from Lane-Emden equation

Suppose we have equation of state $p=K\rho^{1+\frac{1}{n}},$ where $\gamma=1+\frac{1}{n}$ for some star. Then by standard calculations we obtain equation for enthalpy $h$: $$\Delta h+4\pi G\left(\frac{...
6
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1answer
111 views

Was the matter-energy content of our universe always distributed in the same ratios?

Currently, Dark energy (68.3%) and Dark matter (26.8%) together constitute about 95.1% total matter-energy content of the universe while only 4.9% is ordinary baryonic matter. Was this always the case?...