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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Surface brightness

I have to compute the surface brightness as a function of the radius from the following set of data: {right ascension ($\alpha$), declination ($\delta$), magnitude (m)}. I also know the center of the ...
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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2answers
751 views

Do stars remain electrically neutral? [duplicate]

How electrically neutral do stars remain through their lifetime? As an example, I could imagine processes such as coronal mass ejections leaving the Sun in a slightly charged state. Are there such ...
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1answer
16 views

Baryon Acoustic oscillations - simple confusion about length scales

I am confused about length scales and baryon acoustic oscillations. I am clearly missing something very simple. The length scale found in the $SDSS$ and $2dF$ data is quoted as being $150Mpc$. ...
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1answer
510 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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1answer
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 ...
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2answers
141 views

How does the inclusion of vacuum energy modify Newtonian gravity equation of motion?

The equation of motion (in the center of mass frame) due only to gravitational forces between two point masses is: $$\frac{d^2r}{dt^2} = -\frac{GM}{r^2}$$ How does the equation get modified when a ...
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1k views

What is the electric charge of the Sun and its corona?

What is the net electric charge (in magnitude and sign) of the Sun and its corona?
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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 ...
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Are there any models for distribution of asteroid sizes in a belt?

Question: Is there any function that can describe the distribution* of asteroid diameters expected within an*' asteroid belt? *: distribution as frequency of occurrence within the asteroid belt or ...
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64 views

WHO WAS FIRST TIME OR MOTION? [on hold]

If motion was first and time present the motion. How can to any velocity break the flow of time? If time present motion no event can break to the flow of time. Only the event of when entropy of ...
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0answers
52 views

The reason for the fading of galaxies?

Galaxies that are greater than a distance of c/H metres from Earth have recessional velocities exceeding the speed of light and begin to fade. Thus, theoretical astronomers 3 trillion years the future ...
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0answers
29 views

Any method to determine the gravitational constant $G$ from observations in cosmological scale?

By the observations in cosmological scale, I mean observations by astrophysicists like motions of quasars in far distance from us, relative motions of our galaxy to others, etc. I know the famous ...
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2answers
42 views

A question about the Fermi acceleration

In high school physics, we know that a charged particle cannot gain energy from a magnetic field. But, it seems that in the so-called Fermi acceleration, the particle is accelerated by the magnetic ...
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22 views

What is an overview of secondary school astronomy textbooks for students who have taken some calculus?

I teach mathematics at the secondary level. This year my students have founded an astronomy club. Most have finished two semesters of "college-level" calculus and are familiar with the derivative, ...
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1answer
203 views

What is the difference between the Big Bang Model and the Λ-CDM Model?

If I'm going to write about "The Consensus Model of Cosmology" should I include Big Bang Model or should I go with just the $\Lambda$-CDM Model?
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3answers
112 views

Gross “temperature” of a globular cluster

Globular clusters can be very large, which means we can do statistics about the stars in them. And that means we can try matching their star-as-particle potential/kinetic energy distribution against ...
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1answer
630 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 ...
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2answers
61 views

Why are they building eLISA and what implications would it have?

I understand that the next step after LIGO is to plan and build eLISA, I understand that out in space there are a lot less interferences compared to Earth which makes it a good way to detect things we ...
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1answer
50 views

Cosmic inflation and space flatness

I am new here, an avid Physics reader, but have lots of questions and doubts on which I'd like to get the help of a pro physicist. Here goes some about the theory of Inflation: a) after the first ...
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2answers
863 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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2answers
51 views

Utilising Black Holes as a potential energy source

I'm aware of the Penrose process and the basic physics behind that. Also, I know that the Blandford-Zjanek process (That is potentially responsible for the relativistic jets). Aside from these two, ...
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1answer
117 views

Type II supernovae explosions

I'm quite confused about the explosion of a Type II supernova. As far as I understand, when the Fe-56 core has been created, and the star has all the other layers around it, it starts to collapse, ...
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0answers
27 views

How is mass of observable universe calculated? [duplicate]

How is even mass of earth known ? How do we get to know them? Whilst I was studying about dark matter it was listed about 'mass of observable universe' and density and so on...so what is the ...
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1answer
46 views

Will stars disappear from the sky when their particle horizon is outside the event horizon

Given that the universe is expanding at an accelerated rate, will there be a point where stars visible in the night sky will simply disappear from view when their particle horizon is outside the event ...
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1answer
88 views

Gravitational waves from neutron star - neutron star merger

How is neutron star-neutron star merger different from Black Hole-Black Hole merger and what information can be extracted from gravitational waves emitted by these processes?
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Relationship between oscillator strength and cross section

In the context of absorption of photons by atoms, I have come across two seemingly very related quantities, cross section and oscillator strength. In the book Physics of the Interstellar and ...
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1answer
158 views

Crab pulsar radiation

Regarding the radiation from the Crab pulsar and nebula, some reading leads me to the following conclusions. The rotation energy of the neutron star is the source of the non-thermal electromagnetic ...
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1answer
65 views

What's the evidence, if any, for some local concentration(s) of dark matter in some region(s) smaller than a galaxy?

What's the evidence, if any, for some local concentration(s) of dark matter in some region(s) smaller than a galaxy? Galactic-sized - or larger - gravitating halos seem to get all the attention. I'm ...
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1answer
53 views

Why is the white-dwarf mass distribution highly peaked?

I am doing an undergraduate course in astrophysics. The lecturer mentions that observed white dwarfs have a mass distribution that peaks at around 0.6 solar masses. Consider the plot from ...
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2answers
49 views

Why is the distribution of Cosmic Rays isotropic?

We observe that cosmic rays (CRs) are isotropic on the sky, i.e. they come from all directions with no apparent preference. I understand this is related to the deflection of these CRs by the magnetic ...
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1answer
24 views

What is a quasar flux ratio anomaly?

In the context of strongly lensed, multiply-imaged quasar observations, I sometimes hear about "flux ratio anomalies". What are these? Why are they important?
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36 views

Gravity Theory Question [closed]

Three Questions: Is the Modern Five Dimension Theory of gravity an adaptation of Einstein's relativity theory? If so, can it allow us to accurately predict the movement, speed and direction of ...
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0answers
37 views

Is it true that in a black hole there is a point where there is no attraction of gravitational pull?

If so how is this possible because the black hole containing so much gravitational power might not have such faults in it
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1answer
1k views

If matter and antimatter repel, how do we know other galaxies aren't made of antimatter? [duplicate]

Wikipedia's article on antimatter says this: There is considerable speculation as to why the observable universe is composed almost entirely of ordinary matter, as opposed to a more even mixture ...
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1answer
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What stabilizes neutrons against beta decay in a neutron star?

Free neutrons are known to undergo beta decay with a half-life of slightly above 10 minutes. Binding with other nucleons stabilizes the neutrons in an atomic nucleus, but only if the fraction of ...
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0answers
49 views

Can the energy released from a black hole be calculated at the time of birth?

this might be a stupid question but when a black hole is formed it releases a lot of energy our satellites just catch the gamma rays and X rays released by the black hole. can we estimate the amount ...
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2answers
32 views

How to calculate the mass of the orbiting body given only its orbital information

A question asks the following: Using Newton’s Law of Gravity, show that the mass of a planet can be written: $$M = \frac{4\pi^2a^3}{ GP^3}$$ where $a$ is the semi-major axis and $P$ is the orbital ...
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1answer
32 views

How do black holes join each other? [duplicate]

If black holes can swallow any object, and can radiate energy, then how could black holes join each other and can form bigger black holes?
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0answers
33 views

Is there a direct/indirect detection for the homogeneity of the Universe?

I know that for mathematical simplicity the Universe is assumed to be isotropic and homogeneous (the cosmological principle). The isotropy of the universe, and correct me if I'm wrong, is confirmed ...
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0answers
20 views

What happens when we use the Virial Theorem iteratively?

Say I want to model the formation of structure in the Universe as a series of events whereby already virialised systems are brought together to create a larger virialised system. I will take the ...
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0answers
17 views

Potential of an axisymmetric disc with constant rotation velocity

I am having trouble understanding why the form of the 3D potential for a disc with a constant rotation velocity for circular orbits of stars within the disc \begin{equation} v(R) = v_0, ...
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0answers
4 views

Dependence of low res spectrum of binary system on phase

How much a low resolution spectrum of a binary star system depends on the phase of the system? i.e., what's the difference in the spectrum if star1 is ahead of star2 or star2 is ahead of star1 or ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Are there star systems orbited by stars? [closed]

I never really heard about such occurencies and now asked my self if this could be possible. So could there be systems with a star (or black hole) that is so heavy that other less heavy stars are ...
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0answers
26 views

How is it possible to have such massive black holes? [duplicate]

Recent observations discovered really massive black holes, up to $20-40$ billions Solar masses. Now, according to an recent study and various computer simulations (I'm sorry, I don't have any ...
20
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2answers
3k views

Why is the cut off mass for massive stars 8 solar masses? Why can't it be 10-11 solar masses or so?

I know that stars having a mass greater than or equal to 8 solar masses are termed "massive stars". But why is the cut-off 8 solar masses?
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2answers
660 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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1answer
33 views

Angular momentum, its conservation and Nebula theory

I am carrying out a research work and I am stuck at the first page where there is an introduction to the angular momentum and its relationship in the formation of the solar system. According to that ...
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1answer
41 views

What size of object does the peak of the cosmological power spectrum correspond to?

The title almost says it all, but to flesh it out more, what is the size a sphere corresponding to the peak in the cosmological power spectrum (Figure 2: ...