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110

The premise of this question is wrong. If the moon is in between the earth and the sun (as shown on your diagram), and you can see the moon, then it is day, not night: If on the other hand, you are on the opposite side of the earth during that configuration (so that it is night), then you can't see the moon because the earth is blocking your view of it:


73

Sometimes we do, and the phenomenon is called a light echo. What you're looking at there is NOT moving gas. It's an "echo" exactly as you describe. The problem is that you need a pulse of light. If you have a constant stream of light, the "light echos" will be exactly like what you see in fog on earth.


69

The problem with finding a new planet in our solar system is not that it is too faint, but knowing where to look in a big, big sky. This putative planet 9 is likely to be in the range 20-28th magnitude. This is faint (especially at the faint end), but certainly not out of reach of today's big telescopes. I understand that various parts of the sky are ...


61

I've made this into an answer because it's too long for a comment, and I really want to show the pictures. It is tempting to think of visible light as "close enough" to (near by wavelengths) and to conclude that "yes, actually, the yellow does affect it. I want a mirror without an obvious tint" However you are wrong, Physics will slap you down. Exhibit A ...


51

If you look at the reflectivity of gold (vs silver or aluminum) you can see a plateau at wavelengths below 500 nm source: If blue wavelengths are not reflected as well as other colors, the resulting image will look "more yellow" - which is what you see. At longer wavelengths, gold is a very good reflector (better than the other two above 600 nm). It also ...


50

The sun doesn't just illuminate the moon directly. The moon is also illuminated by sunlight reflected from the earth. This is called earthshine. This makes the parts of the moon that face us visible even when the sun is on the other side. According to NASA, it was Leonardo da Vinci who first explained this. As an example, the brightly lit portion of ...


42

The sun is still surprisingly bright at Pluto. While it is approximately 1500 times less bright than at Earth, this is still approximately 250 times brighter than a full moon. If you consider the effect the difference between a full and new moon has on star viewing I expect that the reflected sun at Pluto is still bright enough to make it difficult to see ...


35

You can look up the camera settings behind these images. Here is the link to one of the raw images. The exposure time of the camera was 100ms. New Horizon's LORRI camera is a Ritchey-Chrétien telescope with a 20.8 cm diameter primary mirror and a focal length of 263 cm. That gives us approx. f12.6, which is a rather long i.e. fairly slow optical system (but ...


29

Sort of. As Space.com writes, The raw Hubble images, as beamed down from the telescope itself, are black and white. But each image is captured using three different filters: red, green and blue. The Hubble imaging team combines those three images into one, in a Technicolor process pioneered in the 1930s. (The same process occurs in digital SLRs, except ...


28

I generally regard NASA as authoritative, and they report the orbital parameters on their Earth Fact Sheet. I note that they disagree with Wikipedia about the aphelion though they agree on the perhelion, semi-major axis and eccentricity: NASA Wikipedia Aphelion 152.10 151.93 Perhelion 147.09 147.095 Semi-major 149.60 ...


24

It would be possible to see the progress of photons through space if the light pulse were exceedingly intense, and if the dust cloud from which they reflect were positioned and shaped to reflect the light toward us. Rather than shooting a beam from Point A to Point B, it would be better if the light source were between us and the dust cloud, as light ...


24

It depends what you mean by day and night. The day and night are not of equal lengths now, where I live at latitude 53N. The tilt of the Earth's rotation axis with respect to the ecliptic plane means that this is generally true. The situation you describe would have to be considerably more extreme. If the planet was in a highly eccentric orbit and had a ...


24

I know that the opposite could happen. There is an old book called "Night Fall" about a planet that had three stars. Because there was always a star shinning on all sides it would never get dark. About every 500 years everything lines up just right so that all the stars were on one side. Then as the planet rotated on its normal spin, night fall would come ...


24

The reason why we can see exoplanets 13,000 light years away but not a planet 200 AU away (about 30 light-hours) is because these planets are found using different techniques. The planet discussed in the article I linked was discovered using a technique known as "microlensing," which requires a star to pass behind another star with a planet around it. The ...


23

While excellent answers have already been provided (yes, it's Earthshine; yes, when the Moon is between the Sun and the Earth, you don't see the Moon at night, you see it from the daylit side of the Earth) given all the "artist's renderings" in the question and the answers, I thought it might be useful to include a diagram that demonstrates the actual scale ...


22

To address your last point, there are several stars of which we have been able to resolve images i.e. see the star as more than just a featureless point. There is a list of these stars on Wikipedia (I love that they put the Sun at the top of the list - true but pedantic :-). The farthest away of the stars in the list is Epsilon Aurigae at about 2000 light ...


19

Are there any exact data about Earth's orbit? No. There are always measurement errors. There are however very good estimates. The best estimates come from three competing organizations, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (the Development Ephemeris models), the Russian Institute for Applied Astronomy (the Ephemerides of the Planets and Moon), and the IMCCE (the ...


19

I'll add a theoretical limit to the actual record put forward by John Rennie. To image an object as more than a featureless "point source", it must be resolved by the telescope. The angular resolution $\theta$ of a telescope is: $$\theta\sim1.22\frac{\lambda}{D_{\rm aperture}}$$ $\lambda$ is the wavelength of light, $D_{\rm aperture}$ is the diameter of ...


16

If it is really between the earth and the sun it is called a "solar eclipse" and and the moon's shadow falls on the earth at certain places, because it is not large enough to cover the whole sun except on a shadow path. A total solar eclipse occurs when the Moon completely covers the Sun's disk, as seen in this 1999 solar eclipse. Solar prominences can ...


13

If some of the light is reflected off the dust at such an angle that it is diverted to reach the observer, the observer will see that light. However, those specific photons reaching the observer will not reach B (unless they are reflected there by the observer). Similarly, unless the observer is at point B (which is not the case in the question as asked), ...


12

The diagram you drew is flat, but the solar system is not. The Moon's orbit is not in the same plane as the Earth's orbit. Wikipedia has a nice diagram: Because of this, when the Moon is "in between" the Earth and the Sun, it is usually a little "above" or "below" the Sun as well. You can observe this for yourself: one or two days after the new moon, ...


10

Using a camera that can capture "Motion at a Trillion Frames Per Second", this can be done at the laboratory scale. The technique used has been called femto-photography. (Image credit to Ramesh Raskar, Associate Professor, MIT Media Lab) Of course a camera that literally takes one trillion full frames per second is totally impossible with today's ...


10

Just to add up on the previous answers, you can indeed see a few stars in the images but they are faint By adjusting the levels of the raw image, I obtain the following image where you can spot a few


9

Tyco Brahe Observed Mars. And as the Mars is out side us, and rotates slower, it has an particular character that it even moves to "wrong direction" in the sky for a while. It must have been partially luck, that 5 of these observations is measures with enough accuracy this important point in orbit. (see link) Or maybe this was exactly the interesting "...


9

You cut off the sentence that tells you what the numbers mean. "All uncertainties define a 90% credible interval". Crudely speaking, it means that there is a 90% probability of the parameters lying in the quoted range, with the most likely estimate being the headline number. It doesn't really make sense to translate these into Gaussian sigmas (it would be ...


8

Let's say you build a ping pong ball counter. It increments the count every time a ping pong ball hits the sensor. You throw a ball, and it hits the sensor: Detected! You throw a ball across the sensor from left to right... no detection, because you didn't hit the sensor. Your eyeball is a light sensor, which creates pictures from the light that hits ...


8

SN 1987A is (was?) in the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is gravitationally bound to the Milky Way. This means that its motion relative to us is only minimally affected by cosmological expansion, and talking about it in terms of a $z$ parameter is misleading at best. The best estimates of the distance to SN 1987A are about 168,000 light-years. If you ...


8

Maybe you are missing that there are 41253 square degrees over the whole sky? So your detector covers 1/2100 of the sky with a 10% duty cycle. The rate of detection will be $600 \times 0.1/2100 = 0.0286$ per year. Hence a detection every 35 years.


7

If planet is going around some star, at least somewhere at the surface of this planet is going to be a day, or else some other celestial body is covering the star light. If the speed of rotation of the planet is arranged in such a way that while it's traveling around the star one side of planet is always facing the star, and other side is always facing the ...



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