The methods and techniques for gathering astronomical data, as well as the limitations thereof.

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How to calculate error of parallax and sextant based navigation?

First of all, why wasn't the sextant ever used for land navigation? The horizon is easier to see at sea, but land based sextants could be used in conjunction with artificial horizons (as at sea when ...
7
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1answer
225 views

How was this dot identified as a mystery planet originally (Pluto in this case)?

I was watching a documentary on a mission to study Pluto. At 21:11, an image is presented with an arrow mark pointing a small dot which is now identified as Pluto. As there are hundreds of dots on ...
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0answers
25 views

How is the formula derived for finding the field of view given drift time and declination of a star?

How is the formula for field of view derived given the drift time of a star and its declination? $FOV = (drift\ time \cdot \cos(declination)\cdot360 ) / 86164$
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1answer
29 views

How to practically find the RA-DEC coordinates of a star?

How are RA-DEC (Right Ascension & Declination) coordinates of a star measured i.e. if scientist spot a new star in the sky how do they accurately measure it's coordinates?
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13 views

Velocity dispersion of galaxies

I couldn't find on web how can I get the velocity dispersion and velocity maps of galaxies from the 3D data cube I get from integral field spectrograph.
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39 views

Why can't Wetterich's “Universe without expansion” be tested compared to standard cosmological redshift?

I have read on several sites that this is a theory that cannot be tested. Why is this a theory that can not be tested? It seems to me that if the mass of particles is continually increasing, then the ...
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1answer
77 views

How did Kepler arrive at his laws?

How did Kepler arrive at his laws? If one already knows the distances to the planets (and the eccentricity of the orbits etc.) it is understandable how one might proceed to establish the second and ...
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0answers
27 views

Gamma ray bursts luminosity measurement

physicists use millisecond fluxes i.e.,fluxes calculated within a very short timescale to measure the actual 1 second flux for these grbs.But to do that they have to multiply the millisecond fluxes ...
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1answer
87 views

Radians to Rotate Earth to Match ECI Lat/Lon with ECEF Lat/Lon

I am attempting to model GPS Satellite positions on the globe for a set of ephemerides. I have a verified set of ECI ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth-centered_inertial ) XYZ Coordinates and a ...
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37 views

Equation for a galaxy's overall gravitational pull?

Can the Newton's formula be used to express $g$ between two Galaxies in proximity. Gravity on Earth uses two concepts, one is the radius (R) of earth and the other is the distance (h) from the ...
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37 views

Calculus used by Gaus to find Ceres' position?

With very little data, the great mathematician Gauss was able to predict the exact location of where the asteroid Ceres, having only few data. If possible I would like-a-reconstruction of his work, ...
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1answer
38 views

Is it possible to build an optical system that increases the perceived surface brightness?

So is it possbile to build a system from lenses and mirrors that can make faint gas nebulas brighter or can be used as nightvision? If you increase the size of the aperture of a telescope it will ...
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2answers
124 views

Milky Way Voyeurism

When and where on earth do we get the best view of the Milky Way? I believe it helps if it is night if it is winter to look in the direction of the galaxy center I think that this information ...
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67 views

To what extent are the astronomically observed black hole candidates compatible with GR black holes?

Do they all fit Schwarzschild black holes? How people compare them with more complicate BH solutions as spinning BH solutions (even if they are not known analytically), say. I'd like more than ...
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0answers
43 views

How bright was the AGN eruption at the center of the Milky Way ~2 Ma ago?

The black hole at the center of the Milky Way is believed to have erupted as an active galactic nucleus approximately 2 million years ago, at which time it would have been visible to early humans. How ...
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1answer
121 views

What are the different ways to measure the spatial curvature of the universe?

Just what the question asks. Assuming the Friedmann-Rovertson-Walker (FRW) metric, what measurements can be performed to determine the spatial curvature of the universe.
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5answers
393 views

Could the speed of light change outside our solar system

Theory: The speed of light changes when it enters or exits the solar system due to a difference in medium (dark matter possibly). Potential problem 1: refraction If there was a speed change at the ...
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2answers
134 views

Will a telescope show a more magnified image if the object is brighter?

I have a small telescope which shows me the moon's craters a little bit magnified. Consider a situation where the moon is very very brighter than its current brightness, so that the telescope's ...
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1answer
123 views

Analyse astronomical data

Recently I was told of a job offer to analyse astronomical data. The job offer states that they want somebody with knowledge of astronomical data analysis software and it will be a plus somebody who ...
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30 views

Where can I get latest full updated list of supernovae candidates from the SDSS-II Supernova Survey?

I am doing a project where I need the list of supernovae candidates from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey II (SDSS-II) supernova survey. One list is available as part of the data-release-7 (DR7) website. ...
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1answer
56 views

Relation between brightness and magnitude

Let say we measure the superficial brightness of an object in the $B$ band, $I_{B}$ measured in $\displaystyle\frac{L_{*}}{\mbox{pc}^2}$ where $L_{*}$ is solar luminosity and $\mbox{pc}$ is parsec. I ...
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2answers
337 views

What is the highest useful magnification todays largest telescopes can offer?

I know that the maximum (useful) magnification is limited by the diffraction limit, but I was not able to find numbers for the highest useful magnification factors using modern large telescopes. How ...
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1answer
109 views

Identifying the position of the moon

I encountered the following question in a previous year paper of a graduation-based test. On a certain night the moon in its waning phase was a half-moon. At midnight the moon will be (choose one ...
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0answers
21 views

How I can measure the statistical errors of my catalog in Astronomy

I have a catalog including information about position, magnitude, and redshift of galaxies in one patch of sky. I need to be sure about the complementary of my catalog about detecting objects. How I ...
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1answer
104 views

When one can make telescope that can distuingish 1 mas?

When one can make telescope that can distuingish(angular resolution) 1 mas object by angular diameter? If already possible, tell the name of telescope/observatory. How to calculate angular resolution ...
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1answer
85 views

Are there rogue planets between Sun and Proxima Centauri?

Would we be able to detect (via emitted radiation, or its gravity) a rogue planet between us and Proxima Centauri? How big would that planet need to be?
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2answers
205 views

Do green stars exists?

I asked a university lecturer why we don't observe green stars, and he said the blackbody curve averages at that frequency such that the cones in our eyes don't recognise it. I have a hunch that ...
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2answers
581 views

Planck satellite 2013 results impact on cosmological models

I've recently watched a "Through the Wormhole" episode from 2010 named "What Happened Before the Beginning?", where cyclic and ekpyrotic cosmological models are explained. In this episode the creators ...
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1answer
73 views

How far can one look into space while relying on light in the visual spectrum?

Put the other way around. From how far does visible light reach the Earth to be observable by a telescope that operates in this spectrum? Gas clouds for instance absorb light. A star behind such a ...
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0answers
42 views

Are there multiple ways to determine the redshift of the CMB experimentally?

I know that by using Boltzmann equation and all that one can calculate that photons become decoupled around T~3000K and because temperature scales as T~1/a we can determine that the redshift of the ...
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1answer
50 views

What is the minimum time period for constellations to change shape?

All stars are revolving around the center of galaxy. And so I wonder how long it takes before we can see any noticeable change in the shape of any constellation? What are the factors one will use to ...
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1answer
60 views

Rate of twinkling of stars

According to "Why do stars flicker?", the twinkling of stars (stellar scintillation) is caused by the thick layers of turbulent air in the Earth's atmosphere. While the explanation is convincing, it ...
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1answer
119 views

Why is there a line in the middle of the Planck full sky map?

Why there is a straight line (or perhaps a flat surface) in the middle of the Planck full sky map? and zoom (it makes it seem that the big bang was a collision between two unknown surfaces)
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1answer
269 views

How big of a telescope to view Gliese 581g in great detail?

I've always been interested in mega sized telescopes and how big they would have to be to see exoplanets in great detail. So, Gliese 581g is 22 light years away. Could we build a telescope in space ...
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3answers
382 views

Why do stars flicker?

Why do stars flicker and planets don't? At least this is what I've read online and seen on the night sky. I've heard that it has to do something with the fact that stars emit light and planets reflect ...
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3answers
329 views

Is it possible to take a picture of a star?

In this question I am not considering the sun, but only other stars. Stars are big, but they are also far away. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star The nearest star to the Earth, apart from the ...
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0answers
128 views

How do I obtain the Point Spread Function (PSF) of a ground telescope?

I have some galaxy kinematic maps (velocity maps) extracted from Integral Field Spectroscopy (IFS) datacubes. Like any observation data coming from a ground telescope, these velocity maps include (ie: ...
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1answer
46 views

Dimensions of a variable celestial body?

I read (extern link to a filehoster, page 163 section 4.8) that a variable celestial object like a pulsar or quasar must be smaller than the distance the light travels in its variation period. Can ...
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1answer
181 views

How can one get the eccentricity of the orbit of the Sun around center of the Milky Way?

How can one get the eccentricity of the orbit of the Sun around center of the Milky Way? Can it be measured?
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0answers
51 views

What is the magnification of the ESO VLT?

If I had to build an instrument for use on the VLT what happens with the on-sky angular separation? When the angular separation on-sky would be $x$ arcseconds, what would it be in my instrument?
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3answers
118 views

How is the distance to a $\gamma \mathrm{-ray}$ burst (GRB) measured in just a few days?

Recently the Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope recorded the most energetic Gamma Ray burst (GRB 130427A) yet observed with a peak $\gamma \mathrm{-ray}$ energy of $94\, \mathrm{GeV}$. Various sources ...
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2answers
180 views

How can we detect a black hole? [duplicate]

If black holes are phenomena of very high density (gravitational singularities) which don't emit radiation how can we detect them so far away from us where so much other radiation can hide the black ...
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2answers
293 views

I want the Saturn's position in terms of Declination and Right Ascension?

I want the Saturn's position in terms of Declination and Right Ascension for a couple of month in the interval of 1 hour in a text file to do a simulation. Which site can provide me these data? Or, ...
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2answers
139 views

Is there anyone calculate the probability of extrasolar planets?

After reading an recent news "Stargazers capture first picture of a planet with two suns – just like Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine in Star Wars", I am thinking that: can we calculate the ...
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2answers
113 views

Spot of my light on the moon

This is a funny question, but worth answering. The distance between the moon and the Earth is 384,400 km. The speed of light is 299792.458 km/s. It will take 1.3 seconds (Approx.) for my laser beam to ...
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2answers
258 views

Why is the dark matter density profile within the solar radius (and local density) uncertain?

It seems that we know the rotation curve inside the sun's galactic orbit fairly accurately. Then wouldn't we be able to just take the derivative* of this to get the DM density profile at smaller ...
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1answer
74 views

How “big” objects can WISE and NEOWISE detect?

I mean WISE is monitoring near-Earth objects, but cannot see the latest Russian meteor and others. Why can it not detect small objects? What is the limit of it's infrared detectors?
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1answer
111 views

How can we determine during a lunar eclipse whether the earth moves faster or the moon

How can we determine during a lunar eclipse whether the earth moves faster or the moon using minimum instruments?
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490 views

What made us think that Earth moves around the Sun?

Trying to observe the night sky for a few weeks, the motion of the Sun and the stars pretty much fits into the Geocentric Theory i.e. All of them move around the Earth. What then, which particular ...
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3answers
345 views

How far are constellations recognizable?

A novel of the 'Foundation' series mentioned that the universe being 3-D the shape of a constellation is recognizable only in the near vicinity of a given planet. In other words move out from the ...