The Sun is an almost perfectly symmetric yellow dwarf star [spectral class G2V] which is at the center of our Solar System.

learn more… | top users | synonyms

3
votes
6answers
2k views

The Sun Can Make Stuff Hotter Than Itself

We intuitively understand the direction that energy travels -- from the thing with energy to the thing with less energy. That's why the second law of thermodynamics is among the first things you learn ...
8
votes
5answers
389 views

sun-moon-earth anomaly

When one looks at the sun and the moon in the sky together, why is it that the illuminated crescent of the moon does NOT "point" at the sun? (More correctly the perpendicular bisector of the straight ...
2
votes
1answer
399 views

Steady State Temperature of an Object Orbiting the Earth

This may be irrelevant or stupid to ask but I couldn't come up with a good answer. At least, we could not agree on with my friend the other day. I would like an estimate of the temperature of a human ...
10
votes
1answer
300 views

What proportion of a star's hydrogen is consumed in its life?

I've heard in a lecture that a star like the sun would burn 3% of its Hydrogen before expiring. I would have thought it would be much more.
7
votes
4answers
357 views

Is there a way to create an artificial solar eclipse?

I heard this story, where they celebrated the birthday of the now defunct North Korean dictator Kim Il-sung in the 1970s and as a birthday present they created through some very complex artillery ...
5
votes
1answer
81 views

Is there an Algorithm to find the time when the sun is X degrees above the horizon for a given latitude B at date C

Is there an accurate algorithm / method to determine the precise time of day/night when the sun is X degrees above (or below) the horizon for a given latitude Y at date Z? Is this the same question ...
4
votes
2answers
79 views

Lumped circuit model of Earth and Sun as a thermal system

I want to design a thermal model of the Sun heating up the Earth. The circuit below is my own design (I don't know if there is a better way to model it. If there is, please tell me.). I want to ...
10
votes
1answer
10k views

Why can there be fire in space while there is no oxygen?

The sun is made of fire but fire needs oxygen right? So.. Why can there be flames in space, while there's no oxygen? Same idea as with the rocket engines of the spaceship, which also produce fire ...
5
votes
4answers
612 views

The Sun as a gravitational lens

Since the Sun is a gravitational lens with as focal length of 550 AU for visible light, with an immense amplification factor, shouldn't it light up objects hanging out there? We should get solar ...
6
votes
1answer
48 views

Transit of Mercury: how did he see it?

On November 7, 1631 Pierre Gassendi saw the transit of Mercury across the face of the Sun. How did he see it? I mean what instrument was used to reduce the apparent brightness of the Sun?
5
votes
2answers
133 views

Is there any way to anticipate exceptional Aurora Borealis viewing conditions?

I've always wanted to see the Aurora Borealis, but never had the opportunity, since it is so rarely visible in my area (Pennsylvania). However, last week was apparently a rare opportunity of ...
3
votes
1answer
149 views

Why isn't sunset time in sync with solstice?

The winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere in 2011 is on December 22. But if I look at the sunset times for a location such as Washington, DC on the USNO site, the sunset time starts reversing ...
5
votes
1answer
424 views

Reverse Sun position algorithm?

To find the sun's position (elevation, azimuth) we can use many algorithms including the PSA algorithm. These algorithm share the fact that the input is the local time, longitude and latitude and the ...
6
votes
2answers
466 views

Why is the sun so dense?

Looking at the radius and mass of stars on Wikipedia, I see that the Sun is the densest of all, often many times denser than other stars. Is that because only non-dense starts are easily seen from a ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Get time from sun Azimuth

I want to know if I can determine the time where the sun's azimuth is at a given value. In other words, I want a function that takes the sun azimuth along with longitude or time zone and outputs the ...
6
votes
1answer
537 views

Is there a simple yet accurate formula for where on Earth the Sun and Moon are directly overhead?

I'm trying to improve a site that shows the region of the Earth currently under daylight, and I need a formula that, given the current time, tells where (latitude/longitude) the sun and moon are ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Why is moonlight less colourful than yellow light?

Just what the title states; and this isn't an original question ... On full-moon, moonlight is almost as bright as mid-dawn ; yet there is hardly any colour visible. This is not the case with ...
8
votes
3answers
453 views

Are planetary orbits measured from the Sun's surface or centre?

I would imagine planetary orbits are measured from the Sun's centre and not its surface. Is that true? I can't find anywhere that actually states this.
5
votes
1answer
625 views

How to calculate how many degrees the Sun is from the horizon?

Given a position on earth (latitude/longitude, and maybe also height relative to sea-level) and a time, what's the algorithm to find how many degrees the Sun is from the horizon? And the same for ...
1
vote
2answers
319 views

How much of the Earth would a spoonful of the Sun scorch?

How much of the Earth would a spoonful of the Sun scorch if held at ground level? I basically would like to conceptualize the heat of the Sun on a smaller scale, please.
11
votes
4answers
451 views

Is solar wind positively charged?

Many times I heared that the solar wind consists of protons and alpha particles. The both are positively charged, but are there electrons in solar wind?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Is a water world possible, and for how long could it be stable?

I have several questions regarding this topic. First, could a water world be stable for thousands of years with most of its surface remaining covered in water. What would it take for this to be ...
3
votes
1answer
253 views

Suns emission spectrum

I learnt that in astrophysical spectroscopy, the emission spectrum of distant stars is used to determine what they're made of. So why is it that our own Sun is emitting the whole spectrum ? (or is ...
3
votes
3answers
78 views

Distribution of each element and molecule as a function of distance from the Sun and as a function of time

Are there any graphs that show the distribution of each element and molecule as a function of distance from the Sun? And maybe even the time-evolution of each distribution over the solar system's ...
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How fast will the sun become a red giant?

I've read many accounts of our sun's distant fate, but what I've never heard is on what time scale these events occur. For instance, when the sun runs out of hydrogen, I presume it doesn't just WHAM! ...
4
votes
1answer
491 views

Equation for calculating the Sun's position

SunPosition Calculator calculates the Sun's postion based on the location and time. What is the equation used for such a calculation?
12
votes
2answers
348 views

Hydrogen as a fuel in Sun

The source of Sun's incessant energy is hydrogen; which is continuously converting to helium through nuclear fusion reaction releasing energy. Why does not all hydrogen convert into helium in one big ...
6
votes
1answer
45 views

Refraction and scattered light for NLCs

For helping with judging NLC candidates (are they NLC or not) I have a set of formulas to calculate the minimum altitude (in km) of the candidate given an observed altitude (in degrees) of the ...
26
votes
4answers
5k views

Why is a new moon not the same as a solar eclipse?

Forgive the elementary nature of this question: Because a new moon occurs when the moon is positioned between the earth and sun, doesn't this also mean that somewhere on the Earth, a solar eclipse ...
9
votes
2answers
290 views

Effect of gravitation on light

Einstein predicted that the gravitational force can act on light. This was verified in one solar eclipse that light from a star near to the sun's disc bent due to Sun's gravity as predicted. Since ...
2
votes
1answer
163 views

Will the sun cool and produce a disrupting EMP?

Scientists say rare drop in sunspot activity could cause global cooling http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business-tech/science/110615/science-news-solar-flares-sunspots-global-warming ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Are dangerous rays emitted during Solar Eclipse?

It is said one should avoid staring at Sun as it can damage the eyes, but it is also said that one should not come out in sun during eclipse as it emits dangerous rays. Is that true? If yes, why?
1
vote
2answers
391 views

Nuclear decay rate affected by sun and quantum randomness

If nuclear decay rate were affected by sun, then emission probabilities would be subject to sun state and its influence, so quantum randomness would depend on it, Would it still be truly random? One ...
7
votes
2answers
177 views

How to create unusual sundial?

I am considering small "artsy" project. I would like to create sundial by placing gnomon on the window and painting hour lines on the window facing wall. Since this is to be placed in bedroom I am ...
6
votes
3answers
197 views

What frame(s) of reference are used to measure the rotation of the Sun around the galaxy ?

I can find various speeds and estimated durations listed at numerous places but none specifically describe the frame of reference. Possible options as example of kind of answer I expect. Local ...
4
votes
1answer
28 views

Are solar physics images of use to the night-time community?

I'm actually interested in cases of cross-discipline data re-use. I know that the SOHO/LASCO coronographs are used for comet finding, that solar telescopes were used to get information about Venus's ...
3
votes
1answer
272 views

If 100% of the energy from the sun is reflected back into space

100% of the energy from the sun is reflected back into space, it's just shifted from a low-entropy state to a high-entropy state, and from a high frequency (ultraviolet) to a low frequency (infrared). ...
13
votes
2answers
555 views

Is the length of the day increasing?

In Frontiers of Astronomy, Fred Hoyle advanced an idea from E.E.R.Holmberg that although the Earth's day was originally much shorter than it is now, and has lengthened owing to tidal friction, that ...
20
votes
6answers
2k views

Can the apparent equal size of sun and moon be explained or is this a coincidence?

Is there a possible explanation for the apparent equal size of sun and moon or is this a coincidence? (An explanation can involve something like tide-lock effects or the anthropic principle.)
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Solar Cycle UV Variation

The average energy we receive from the Sun is 1,366 w/m^2, and this only varies by 0.1% from the activity peak to trough of its 11 year cycle. About 9% of the energy comes from wavelengths less than ...
3
votes
1answer
480 views

live Kp index data

I need to create an online service displaying latest Kp index. Where I can take the data? The data should be in machine-readable format, i.e. text files, XML, or CGI gateways, for instance. No ...
6
votes
3answers
675 views

Why does the light side of the moon appear not to line up correctly with the evening sun?

I live at roughly 52.4,-2.1. On a sunny evenings I've often looked at the moon and the sun and noticed that the light part of the moon does not appear to line up with the sun. For example, at about ...
0
votes
3answers
360 views

How does solar activity affect the ISS?

Currently the sun is launching some intense solar flares. http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/feb/17/solar-flares-northern-lights-uk Th article I've linked also mentions how a "coronal mass ...
6
votes
2answers
395 views

Using energy from sun magnetic field

Knowing ...
3
votes
2answers
355 views

Producing energy from magnetic flux loops

I've simplified this down by quite a lot but as far as I understand it, magnetic fields on the Sun's surface twist together and when it gets all a bit too much they release energy. My question is why ...
3
votes
3answers
527 views

Energy of the electron-muon reaction

Lets see the reaction: $e^- \mu^- \to e^- \pi^- \nu_\mu \;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\;\; {(1)}$ I suppose, that this reaction occurs as follows $e^- \mu^- \to e^- \mu^- \pi^+ \pi^- \to e^- \pi^- \nu_\mu$ Is ...
10
votes
2answers
314 views

How are the northern lights produced?

Although I've never seen it myself, I hear the northern lights are a sight to be seen! I know they're related to the Earth's magnetic field but I don't know much more about them. What is the physical ...
4
votes
1answer
766 views

Formula for getting time of sunrise at a particular location?

Is there a formula that can get sunrise at a particular latitude and longitude (and elevation from sea level)? If so, what it is? (Why does it work?)