Tagged Questions

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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6
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3answers
355 views

Why does a star's core not cool when it expands as a red giant?

When a star starts to run out of hydrogen to fuse, it begins to collapse due to gravity until the central core temperature rises to $10^8~\text{K}$ Then due the force generated by the fusion of ...
0
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0answers
18 views

Deriving the Baryonic Tully-Fisher relation from Quantum Gravity [on hold]

I have recently completed deriving the Baryonic Tully-Fischer relation using a new model of Quantum Gravity which has already been published in a mainstream peer reviewed journal specializing in all ...
1
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2answers
44 views

Equation of State and Neutron star

I'm searching for equation of state books, with references to neutron star and ultra-dense matter.
4
votes
1answer
79 views

Nuclear fusion and the Sun [on hold]

I am working on a science project on the Sun. I have found that in order for nuclear fusion to work, it needs both helium 3 and 4. Why can't nuclear fusion be done with just helium 4? How can we ...
12
votes
1answer
523 views

What is the theoretical lower mass limit for a gravitationally stable neutron star?

I ask here intentionally not for the size of the smallest possible observed size of neutron stars, which corresponds approximately to the well-known Chandrasekhar-limit for the upper limit of the ...
0
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0answers
14 views

What type of the charge particle were there at time of formation of the solar system according Nebular hypothesis.? [closed]

When our solar system created by nebular hypothesis or any other theory. What type of the particle would be there? Charged particle? Are these accelerating or moving with high speed with different ...
12
votes
3answers
162 views
+50

What mechanism is responsible for the creation of these dunes on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko?

What mechanism is responsible for the creation of these dunes on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko? The following high resolution picture from ESA's Rosetta mission shows the dunes: At a distance ...
1
vote
1answer
23 views

Interferometry works as a filter

I attended an astronomy seminar the other day and though I did not pick up much as it was on data collection etc, I did take away one sentence: "Interferometry works as a filter" Now I know what ...
1
vote
1answer
40 views

Concerning the transtition between matter dominated universe and radiation dominated universe

What caused the transition, and how to we know that this did not warp our calculations for the age of the early universe ?
2
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3answers
69 views

Can astrophysical events outside the solar system lead to global warming of Earth?

The Sun probably easily dominates in its impact on the atmospheric temperature of Earth. However, for roughly half of each day, each side of Earth faces away from the Sun. Combined, the time spent ...
0
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0answers
21 views

Question on calculating the number density of free electrons in the sun's photosphere

I am writing a paper on the effect H$^-$ (a hydrogen atom with an additional electron) has on the opacity in the sun's photosphere. As such, I need to calculate its abundance. Doing so is ...
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Explanation for negative specific heat capacities in stars?

I've just found out that a negative specific heat capacity is possible. But I have been trying to find an explanation for this with no success. Negative heat capacity would mean that when a system ...
26
votes
3answers
3k views

When a planet is heated through gravitational pull, where is the energy taken from?

Jupiters moon Io is heated through the gravitational pull of Jupiter, but when Io is heated because of this, where does that energy come from? How does conservation of energy work for this effect, ...
4
votes
4answers
100 views

What is the actual energy content of the Sun?

Beside the energy released by nuclear fusion in the core, the Sun is a hot plasma of hydrogen and helium ranging from thousands to million of degrees. So how does that translate into energy ? I have ...
0
votes
0answers
19 views

What's so special about velocity dispersion relations in astrophysics (M-sigma relation, Tully-Fisher, etc)?

I'm confused. Velocity dispersion of stars is measured by Doppler broadening, and through virial theorem that provides information about enclosed masses of galaxy bulges, galaxies, etc, as explained, ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Why is the Oort cloud spherical?

Having read up a bit about the Oort cloud hypothesis, I find I don't quite understand this. Why is the Oort cloud spherical while the rest of the solar system is disk-shaped?
9
votes
2answers
415 views

How do you estimate the mass of a star?

How do we estimate the mass of a single star? I guess we need the luminosity the surface temperature, radius, distance, etc. But we know nothing about the reality, because we can measure the real ...
0
votes
0answers
9 views

Calculating distance to a binary as well as star pair in cluster, based on reference star data of related spectral class

The problem at hand consists of calculating the absolute magnitude $M_V$ for a B0V type star, then the distance to a binary system with one star A1V and one B0V type star, and finally a star pair ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

What prevents a star from collapsing after stellar death?

When the star stops burning because heavier elements like Iron are formed in its core. Then the gas pressure stops and as you know the gas pressure helps keep a star in equilibrium because it provides ...
0
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1answer
29 views

The luminosity function

I'm trying to figure this out for the case... Supposedly the average luminosity will be equal to but how :S I know is the number density of galaxies per unit volume and luminosity but that ...
1
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1answer
30 views

Quasars with differing emission / absorption redshifts

I was reading this (perhaps offbeat) "anti-big-bang" article, http://www.newtonphysics.on.ca/hubble/ and the author comments "a recent catalog of objects having very large redshifts shows that among ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Storing a Planet-sized Chunk of Metal Inside a Star

Would it be physically possible to "store" a planet-size or larger sum of metal, say gold or platinum, inside a star by letting it fall to the core? Would it be possible to detect which stars had ...
2
votes
1answer
458 views

How are we sure a star is hot the whole way through?

Just an intuitive feeling that the surface of stars is extremely hot but under the surface all types of different atmospheres could exist and so the motion of energy could move through a star like xyz ...
0
votes
1answer
80 views

Solar granulation pictures showing a wonderous spatial resolution

Recently, I came across spectacular pictures of solar granulation like this: (source) The photograph is impressive because it has a resolution of less than 0.1 arc seconds, which corresponds to ...
2
votes
2answers
88 views

What happens to a white dwarf star if it has mass higher than the Chandrashekhar limit? [duplicate]

What will happen if a white dwarf star has mass higher than the Chandrasekhar limit, i.e. 1.4 times the mass of the Sun?
1
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0answers
32 views

Electron/positron annihilation lines in astrophysics

I have a reasonable understanding of electron/positron annihilation, in that it is a collision between a pair of particles, one matter and one antimatter, that generally produces gamma radiation. ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

Help with equations for deflecting an asteroid

This is a homework assignment, but not the physics part. I have to write a python script to simulate the size of a warhead required to deflect an asteroid (parameters inputted by user) that is on a ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Do septuple (7), octuple (8) or nonuple (9) star system exist?

The highest I found so far is Castor, a sextuple star system. And there doesn't seem to be any other sextuple star system within at least 100 light-years...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Standard gravitational parameter - different formulas

Why we have two formulas for Standard Gravitational Parameter: $$\mu=GM \ \,{\rm and}\, \mu = rv^2 \ .$$ I don't see any direct connection between the two formulas. How can we derive the second from ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

How can fusion within the sun be possible if there is no such thing as helium-2 (2 protons, no neutrons)

As stated in the question where does the sun(or other star) get the necessary neutron in order to produce the Helium atom? and how does this process occur (explain how the neutron incorporates).
2
votes
0answers
41 views

What does kinetic energy at infinity mean in terms of supernovae?

I have noticed that in some paper that the term "kinetic energy at infinity" is used. I understand what potential energy with reference to infinity mean, but what does the term kinetic energy of ...
2
votes
1answer
94 views

How did all of the heavy elements on earth get here?

I have often read that a first generation star went supernova and seeded our solar system. It is well known that stars that go supernova are the source of elements heavier than iron. I guess I am ...
1
vote
1answer
36 views

How does velocity relate to energy difference in Compton scattering?

I'm having trouble understanding what my professor is getting at asking in this question. I just visited her office and her explanation minutely helped. I'm hoping to get a bit more clarity on what is ...
1
vote
0answers
33 views

Do the different observed Type Ia supernovae have similar explosion energy?

I have been trying to read about the energetics of observed supernovae for some time. And while the observed core-collapse supernovae have many scientific papers about them trying to estimate the ...
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0answers
28 views

Resources on Solar Neutrino Physics

For a project I'm doing for an introductory Astrophysics course, I'm trying to understand the nuances of solar neutrino physics. However, most of what is said while explaining neutrino oscillations ...
4
votes
2answers
82 views

Is the coldest place in the universe likely to be artificial or natural?

The Boomerang Nebula is often cited as one of the coldest natural places in the universe at 1 K, but that's about 10 orders of magnitude off from what's been created in a lab. Are there theoretical ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

How to calculate the kinetic energy of supernova ejecta?

I believed I could use $0.5\times M_{ej} V_{ej}^2$, with $M_{ej}$ being the ejected mass and $V_{ej}$ being the velocity of the ejected mass. But I noticed in this and this that the the mean velocity ...
2
votes
0answers
61 views

Why is metallic hydrogen degenerate matter?

Why is metallic hydrogen considered a form of degenerate matter, akin to neutronium and electron-degenerate matter? I can understand that for the other two, degeneracy pressure is the only force ...
5
votes
1answer
128 views

Gravitational binding energy of a white dwarf at Chandrasekhar limit?

I was trying to calculate the gravitational binding energy of a white dwarf just before it went on a type Ia supernova in order to calculate the kinetic energy of the ejecta, but I wasn't able to get ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Does the zero energy universe hold true on some mathematical grounds besides observations?

I was reading Stephen Hawking's 'The theory of everything' when I came across a very interesting type of universe, the 'zero energy universe' since then, I've read some websites but all they used to ...
1
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0answers
41 views

Angular momentum in an accretion disk

I need to plot the time evolution of the total angular momentum in an accretion disk. This confuses me because I thought this should be constant, since angular momentum has to be conserved? I'm given ...
10
votes
5answers
239 views
+100

How does dark matter collapse?: Entropy considerations

Inspired by this question. I believe that the usual explanation that preserves the second law of thermodynamics as an astrophysical gas cloud collapses under gravity is that the gas must heat and ...
6
votes
2answers
260 views

How to explain the existence of heavier elements in Population I stars and in Population II stars contain lighter one

Recently I read Astrophysics Notes where I found a statement that young stars are classified as Population I stars and relatively older one as Population II stars. Population I stars contain ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Geophysical Effects of Supernova Neutrino Pulse

While neutrinos are generally totally harmless, a supernova produces enough of them at once that the neutrino flux would kill you if you could stand close enough (and not be killed by other means ...
1
vote
0answers
49 views

How to prove the Hubble law is the unique expansion law compatible with homogeneity and isotropy?

In the book physical foundations of cosmology, it saids that Hubble law is unique and a problem seems to be a hint of proving that. In order for a general expansion law,v=f(r,t), to be the same ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

What is the power of the most powerful quasar found?

Trying to find an answer to this question, I came across many sources that are in complete in contradiction. For example Wikipedia states that a typical quasar has a power of $10^{40}$ watts while ...
3
votes
1answer
33 views

Are the cylindrical and spherical form of Jeans' equations equivalent?

The question kind of says it all, what I really want to know is are the differences in their forms only due to the co-ordinate transform? And as such should a suitable spherical system satisfy ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Infinite number of universes? Black holes are guilty? [closed]

I was thinking, if the space is infinite, what if there are infinite number of spaces, inside our universe? I mean, everyone knows that black holes exist, but nobody knows what happens when you get ...
12
votes
2answers
976 views

Temperature of a neutron star

In our everyday experience termperature is due to the motion of atoms, molecules, etc. A neutron star, where protons and electrons are fused together to form neutrons, is nothing but a huge nucleus ...
2
votes
1answer
178 views

Maintaining local thermodynamic equilibrium (LTE) in radiating gas with a broad atomic transition line

Definitions / Background In LTE, Kirchoff's law for radiation holds: $$ \frac{j_{\nu}}{\alpha_{\nu}} = B_{\nu} (T) $$ where $j_{\nu}$ is the specific radiative emissivity, $\alpha_{\nu}$ is the ...