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Questions tagged [astrophysics]

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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gauss-bonnet gravity constraints from string theory

recently there has been advances in observational constraints of gravity theories that contains scalars coupled to the gauss-bonnet topological term: http://arxiv.org/abs/0704.0175 http://arxiv.org/...
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260 views

View of the sky from inside a black hole

Consider an observer located at radius $r_o$ from a Schwarzschild black hole of radius $r_s$. The observer may be inside the event horizon ($r_o < r_s$). Suppose the observer receives a light ray ...
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What is the Chandrasekhar-Friedman-Schutz (CFS) instability, exactly?

I am confused as to what the Chandrasekhar-Friedman-Schutz (CFS) instability is, exactly. It seems to partially refer to this paper (https://journals.aps.org/prl/abstract/10.1103/PhysRevLett.24.611) ...
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127 views

Rotational axes of galaxies

The disc shape is a preferred form for galaxies due to angular momentum, and the axis of rotation indicates a locally preferred orientation for the angular momentum vector. Why do galaxies in Hubble ...
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154 views

Relativistic rotational squeezing?

I would like to consider a sphere rotating at very high angular speeds, such that the speed in its equator would be relativistic. This is very similar to Ehrenfest paradox situation, except that ...
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77 views

Entropy and equilibrium concepts at astronomic scales

I am always puzzled to read here and there discussions dealing with thermodynamic concepts applied to astronomic scales where gravity matters. To my opinion, there is a certain carelessness to go into ...
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85 views

Status of large-scale structure formation within cosmology today

Since the CMB results of the past decade, would it be fair to say that the consensus among cosmologists is that cosmic strings are no longer considered as a (major) source for density perturbations? ...
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132 views

What is the theoretical lower mass limit for a white dwarf?

This question in inspired by this other one, which asks what is the theoretical lower mass limit for a gravitationally stable neutron star (not the Chandrasekhar limit which is the upper mass limit ...
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84 views

Is the average temperature of a big accretion disk colder than a small one?

Suppose we have a Shakura and Sunyaev style accretion disk between $r_1$ and $r_2$. What is the average temperature? We can calculate it by integrating the local temperature $$T(r)=\left [ \frac{3GM\...
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Could the recently discovered “Dancing Black Holes” be the experimental signature of Hawking Radiation?

Science just reported two gravitationally bound massive black holes that are slowly receding from each other. Under normal circumstances two such bound black holes would be approaching each other as ...
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178 views

What are the applications of hyperbolic $3$-manifold theory to cosmology?

I am a pure mathematician specialized in hyperbolic $3$-manifold topology. That has been an incredibly active field of research in the past few decades due to the seminal work of Thurston, as many of ...
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Why do some stars actually produce “Gamma ray bursts”?

I looked it up but I haven't found any explanation as to why some stars produce them, I understand that collapsing and merging stars produce them, but my question is why is the energy concentrated in ...
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Experimental tests of Cluster Decmposition

How tight are experimental and astrophysical tests on whether Cluster Decomposition is satisfied at various space-like separations? Is there a review paper or a standard reference on the question? I ...
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Magnetic flux ropes - are they stable for topological reasons like fluxon/Abrikosov vortex?

In images of sun's corona there are clear bright lines - nearly 1D stable structures interpreted as magnetic flux ropes, often suggested to have a topological nature e.g. (source): They have some ...
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Do stellar model luminosities include neutrino losses?

I have had a sudden crisis in my understanding of the published outputs from stellar evolutionary model calculations. Usually these models output a "luminosity" that one can then use, along with the ...
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58 views

What happens in the event that the cooling radius is shorter than the virial radius of a Cold Dark Matter Halo?

The cooling radius of a cold dark matter halo is defined to be the time at which the cooling time $t_{cool} = t_{free fall}$ where $$t_{cool}=\frac{\rho \varepsilon }{\Lambda \left ( T \right )n_{H}...
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475 views

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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295 views

What is the theoretical geometry of bubble universes?

My research has led me to look into the idea of bubble universes which I don't know very much about. The first thing that I am looking for is understanding or visualising how could many bubbles co-...
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squeezed radiation astronomy

Squeezed electromagnetic vacuum does have a renormalized energy density smaller than the vacuum. So it makes it in my opinion a inconspicuous candidate for a dark energy carrier. Are there ...
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What is the density profile of Sagittarius A*'s accretion disk?

It is thought that Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, is surrounded by an accretion disk. Can anyone provide a resource for the general density profile of ...
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Which theory do we use when dealing with the center of a star?

The center of a black hole is known as being one of the locations in spacetime that needs an unification theory between quantum physics and general relativity, because of having a large mass in a ...
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What is the acceleration of expansion?

If me and my pet duck, who weighs next to nothing, were placed far away from any gravity source and in such a way that our mutual attraction was negligible, would I see my duck accelerate away from me?...
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75 views

Neutron star merger: large scale dynamics

Yesterday was announced the first detection of a neutron star merger via gravitational and electromagnetic waves. On the announcement one of the speakers is showing a simulation of the dynamics of ...
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166 views

Mass-luminosity relation for a fully convective star

I'm trying to show that the mass-luminosity for a fully convective star is $$L \propto M^{\frac{113}{66}}$$ I know that the energy generation is via pp-chain and the opacity is due to $H^{-}$ ions ...
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231 views

How to plot spectral indices $n_s$ and $r$ from Planck data?

From a certain inflationary model I have obtained the theoretical values for the spectral indices $n_s$ and $r$ as functions of $N$, the e-folds number of inflation. At this point it would be ...
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Lense-Thirring Precession of short GRBs

Stone et al. 2014 have proposed that the jet resulting from the merger of a black hole (BH) and neutron star (NS) may precess due to Lense Thirring torques A large rotating mass e.g. the Earth, can ...
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Pressure inside a typical white dwarf

Does any one know the order of magnitude of pressure inside a typical white dwarf (better with reference)? Thanks! I think it should be $m_e^4c^5/h^3$ (may be multiplied by $\pi$), which is $10^{22} \...
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Dark matter “hair” flowing through the earth

Gary Prézeau of NASA's JPL has done some calculations of how dark matter might be focussed by the Earth's gravitational field (publication preprint), and the results show some remarkable hairy ...
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Modeling the formation of a stellar system and matter accretion

I am trying to figure out what do I need to know to properly simulate the creation of a solar system from a particle cloud with random distribution of hydrogen atoms. Being more of a programming ...
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31 views

Long-term fate of hydrogen atoms in a rogue planet

Imagine a rogue planet drifting in intergalactic space. For the sake of specificity, suppose that it is the size of Jupiter and composed of pure hydrogen. What will happen to it over the next $10^{...
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Can mass still be observed in our universe after moving from a black-hole to a white-hole?

This question is based on the recent papers on LQG black-holes by Abhay Ashtekar. Quantum extension of the Kruskal spacetime and Quantum Transfiguration by Kruskal Black Holes When mass moves from ...
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76 views

Total number density of galaxies and problematic expression in practise

I am asked to give the formal expression of the total number density of galaxies and explain why is this expression problematic in practice. From what I saw from my research and into my lectures, I ...
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40 views

Possible origins of the Antlia 2 galaxy?

At $32.3\,{\rm mag}\,{\rm arcsec}^{-2}$, the Antlia II dwarf galaxy is the most diffuse galaxy ever observed in terms of surface brightness. It was only discovered by pre-selecting stars based on ...
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What portion of the total power emitted by the Sun comes from photons?

We usually talk about luminosity, which is the total power from emitted photons. The other sources are neutrinos and the solar wind (which includes protons and other particles). I assume that most ...
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On the conversion of neutron stars in deconfined quark stars

Imagine a neutron star, constituted of nucleons ($p$, $n$) and charged leptons (say $e$ and $\mu$), can decay into a deconfined quark star through some process. Given the Bodmer-Witten hypothesis, the ...
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Observational evidence for superfluidity in neutron stars

What is the earliest evidence for the existence of superfluidity in neutron stars? I'm about to present the subject in a seminar and I'm under the impression that at the moment there is no ...
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How can we evaluate the ratio of abundance of Carbon to Li, Be and B?

In stars' nuclear processes, if the triple $\alpha$ reaction explain why Carbon is much more abundant than Li, Be, B, how can we evaluate the ration of abundance to ~$10^5$ times ? Is it possible to ...
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On a Doppler-shift-induced radiative dissipation of angular momentum for the accretion disk of a black hole

A recent question explored the possibility that the accretion disk of a black hole could wind down and lose its angular momentum through radiative process, and Rob Jeffries' excellent answer there ...
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372 views

Gamma-Law equation of state

The gamma-law equation of state is very useful in studies of astrophysics. It is basically an equation that connects specific internal energy (internal energy per unit mass), pressure and mass density ...
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54 views

Frequencies of stellar g-mode oscillations in astroseismology

It's a simple derivation that in a gravitating fluid, if the density decreases with height then a perturbed fluid element should oscillate at the Brunt-Vaisala Frequency, $$N^2 = - \frac{g}{\rho_0} \...
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What can we infer about heavy dark matter?

Until recently, most of the ideas regarding the nature of dark matter revolved around WIMPs. Now that the LHC has not turned up any evidence of SUSY, people are starting to earnestly look towards ...
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275 views

Slope of main sequence in HR diagram

In the HR diagram, what causes the change of slope (more flattened) around the area marked with $X$? This corresponds to luminosity of $\sim 1 L_{\odot}$ and temperature $~6000-8000 K$
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Does lithium exist in near earth objects

Do we know if lithium exists in near Earth Object material and if so might it be economic to mine for furure Earth-based transport?
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Why the radiative zone of the sun rotates uniformly, while the convective zone of the sun rotates differentially?

Wikipedia says this about the tachocline This is a region where the sharp regime change between the uniform rotation of the radiative zone and the differential rotation of the convection zone ...
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What is the plot function: number of galaxy-clusters ( gravitationally bound objects) within the cosmic event horizon vs. time?

I found this nice animation about the shrinking cosmic event horizon:http://yukterez.ist.org/lcdm/i.html#comoving But now I am interested about the number of galaxy clusters (biggest gravitationally ...
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439 views

Calculating photon number density inside a volume on whose surface the energy flux is known

I have the power spectrum for a galaxy of radius $R$, which we can approximate as a sphere at some distance $D$. Now, on earth we can measure the power spectrum which is given as a list of tuples, ( $...
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56 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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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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How can the energy of a spinning black hole be converted into magnetic field?

I've read about the Blandford-Znajek process, and what I understood is that the black hole is treated as if it were a conducting sphere spinning rapidly with an accretion disk around it, and the ...
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139 views

Bulge-Disk decomposition in galaxies

I'm starting a new project on dark matter astrophysics in which I have to extract from some data (I will write some below) the surface brightness, to later construct the mass density profiles of de ...