Questions tagged [astronomy]

Questions more about celestial bodies themselves than exploration of them.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
6 votes
2 answers
346 views

What will happen to JWST after its 10 year mission?

JWST launched recently. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Webb_Space_Telescope#Orbit JWST needs to use propellant to maintain its halo orbit around L2, which provides an upper limit to its designed ...
user avatar
  • 171
35 votes
4 answers
5k views

Why is JWST parked in sunlight, rather than using a nuclear battery?

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is in a halo orbit around L2, at a sufficient radius around the Lagrange point that it is in perpetual sunlight. That allows it to have predictable solar power, ...
user avatar
  • 453
1 vote
1 answer
143 views

Can we infer things beyond the observable universe? [closed]

Is it possible to infer information about the structure of the universe beyond the observable one, by observing its effects on the parts we can see? Can for example gravity from sources we cannot see ...
user avatar
  • 4,015
0 votes
1 answer
130 views

What qualifications and requirements do you need to go to the moon?

I've dreamed of shooting for the moon, but I'm not sure how, if any former NASA Recruitments or scientists see this, please tell me what I need to do. Question: What were the qualifications to be ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
182 views

Did Skylab astronauts really "go outside" to look at comet Kohoutek? If so, why?

Today in The BBC's Skylab: The myth of the mutiny in space it says: The Skylab space station was a research platform in orbit where astronauts helped scientists to study the human body's response to ...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
0 answers
24 views

Masters in Space sciences after Aerospace Engineering [closed]

I'm currently in my first year of Aerospace Engineering and wish to pursue space sciences after graduation. Will I need some extra study in Physics other than my course to be able to successfully ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
64 views

How do you calculate the length of a planets shadow?

Given the diameter of the sun, the diameter of a planet, and the distance between them, how do you calculate the length of the planets shadow?
user avatar
  • 4,015
2 votes
0 answers
21 views

Did Starlink's experimental Darksat help reduce brightness? [duplicate]

Did Darksat's visor like coverings to its parabolic antennas reduce the brightness or was it a failure. Or is SpaceX devoleping any other mechanisms or manuveres to counter this problem?
user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
37 views

What observatories provide data similar to USNO? [closed]

USNO(the United States Naval Observatory) generates positions for the celestial bodies(planets, moons,stars) and provide in a form of .bsp files and their ...
user avatar
  • 203
5 votes
3 answers
312 views

Speed at aphelion is decreasing for Parker Solar Probe with each new orbit despite being closer to the Sun

Sorry for the really bad picture I am looking at some data from the Parker Solar Probe mission and I was looking at the speeds of PSP at perihelion and aphelion at each new, different, orbit (the ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
137 views

Effect of incoming velocity on change in velocity in a gravity assist

In a gravity assist does the incoming velocity of a space craft effect how much speed it gains. For example say a rocket was approaching Jupiter for a gravity assist with speed v and another rocket ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
86 views

What is the relationship between the periapsis altitude and the change in velocity in a gravity assist?

In a gravity assist maneuver if I were to decrease the distance from the rocket to the periapsis of the planet it is orbiting (I believe this is called the periapsis altitude but I may be wrong) it ...
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
159 views

Possible idea for a simulation in orbital mechanics using data from the JPL [closed]

I have to write a research essay and have decided to write it on orbital mechanics where I would use data from the JPL to perform an experiment (simulation). I was thinking of using the location data ...
user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
37 views

At what wavelengths and for what particle types have astronomical objects been imaged or at least directionally resolved from the ISS?

The ISS has an X-ray telescope called NICER and this answer in Astronomy SE (and links therein) explain that it was able to show that there are hot spots clustered near one pole of the pulsar PSR ...
user avatar
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
136 views

When will the telescope that last saw Starman/Roadster be able to see it again?

According to this answer to When was the last time that Starman/Roadster was seen? it was last seen by Earthlings at least at 2018-03-19 03:22:33 UTC by a 1 meter ...
user avatar
  • 148k
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

Lunar surface illumination levels

I am trying to determine the lunar surface near or far side daytime illumination levels in Lux or foot-candles but there seems to be no directly measured values available. I did find this information ...
user avatar
  • 35
2 votes
2 answers
143 views

How to explain the fast motion of the Starlink satellite in this video?

My friend in Łódź sent me this video today: https://i.imgur.com/EmpNzfs.mp4 This was observed in Widzew district, at 20:42 Warsaw time. He has two questions: given that it looks like it's Starlink ...
user avatar
  • 121
2 votes
1 answer
210 views

How to become an astronaut?

I am a pure/applied mathematics student at Tehran University. About 2 or 3 years later I will get my bachelor's degree and start studying master's in applied math or theoretical physics. And maybe I ...
user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
250 views

What are the effects of orbital reflectors and advertising on scientific observation?

There's a couple of startups and initiatives which are proposing "space billboards" which have been getting a lot of bad press recently. Most of the proposals involve a bunch of cubesats with large ...
user avatar
  • 14.6k
21 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are images of exoplanets' surfaces technically possible?

While already even taking an image of an extra solar planet sounds like science fiction to me, is it technically possible by what we know now to take also more detailed images of extraterrestrial ...
user avatar
  • 2,880
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Why would Kepler rotate towards Earth to transfer data?

A question from here: "Why would Kepler rotate towards Earth instead of having an antenna always directed to Earth"?
user avatar
  • 2,880
1 vote
1 answer
257 views

Angular momentum in non inertial frame [closed]

How to express the angular momentum in non inertial Earth frame like Earth Fixed frame so that angular momentum is conserved ? Is H = R x mV still valid when R and V are taken in the rotating frame ?
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
176 views

Is there any Scientific Benefit to the Lower Albedo levels on the Darkside of the Moon?

I was reading the answers to this question: What did the sky actually look like from the Moon? And it got me thinking... What, if any, astronomy tasks could be performed better on the lunar far side ...
user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
50 views

Where can I find the specs for the engines of the Curiosity rover? [duplicate]

I've been looking all over the internet and I cannot find the specific details on the engine of the Curiosity rover. I would need the specifics such as the type of engine, torque, force, rpm, and so ...
user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
166 views

What are the contributions of ancient Indian astronomers in mapping of the solar system and galaxies?

In the history of astronomy we usually come up with the name of European astronomers like Kepler and Galileo. Earlier Indian astronomers, for example Aryabhata and Bhaskaracharya, are not usually ...
user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
4k views

Would a lunar telescope provide a significant improvement over terrestrial based equipment?

As I understand it, the moon makes for an ideal location for a telescope because it offers environmental factors that are unlike anything achievable on earth: A lack of atmosphere, light pollution, ...
user avatar
  • 461
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Determine the eccentricity of the orbit

A satellite is in orbit at an altitude of 62.5km, with a speed along the earth-relative position vector of 3.98km/s, and a speed perpendicular to the earth-relative position vector of 7.763km/s. What ...
user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is there a telescope on board the ISS?

I am wondering if there is a telescope in or outside the ISS that has been used for astronomical imaging? I have seen here that there is already a Celestron telescope on board but it is only used for ...
user avatar
  • 429
4 votes
3 answers
255 views

Why do we search for extra-terrestrial water?

When searching for signs of extra-terrestrial life, the key primary challenge as of now seems to be searching for signs of water on other planets. Presumably, this is because on Earth, water is ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
840 views

Why does the Moon only show its near side while orbiting the Earth? [closed]

When we look at the Moon in the night sky, why do we always see the same side every night?
user avatar
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Could we detect a nuclear explosion near Proxima Centauri?

How big would a nuclear explosion in open space around 1 AU from Proxima Centauri have to be for it to be detectable with current technology? Assume best-case scenarios, such as we're specifically ...
user avatar
  • 392
2 votes
1 answer
115 views

Moon's orbit and its phases

After learning what apogee and perigee are, I'm curious to know if/when these stages align with particular phases of the Moon? I'm obviously assuming that the orbit has a repeating pattern, but maybe ...
user avatar
  • 443
4 votes
1 answer
382 views

Can Chang'e 3 take photos of the stars from the moon

Chang'e 3 now on the Lunar surface has imaged the Earth. Is it possible for that same camera to take a time exposure and show us the stars?
user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
283 views

Is there any plan to send a space telescope to orbit around gas giants?

While sending a space probe to orbit around a gas giant is often heard of, are there plans to send a space telescope to orbit around gas giants, so that it can operate far away from the sun, or even ...
user avatar
  • 817
5 votes
1 answer
154 views

What is the Dark Matter Particle Explorer telescope?

China's new mission DAMPE will launch a dark matter particle telescope to detect and study the evidence of dark matter. How does this telescope work? What is expected from the mission?
user avatar
  • 771
7 votes
2 answers
256 views

Detection of 2015 TB145 (Halloween asteroid)

Why was 2015 TB145 detected just weeks before its closest approach, while so many other asteroids (which will make closer approach or farther approach) are detected years before? What made this ...
user avatar
  • 771
3 votes
2 answers
307 views

Recent anomaly in star system detected by Kepler mission

Recently the Kepler Mission detected a anomaly in a star system (KIC 8462852) that people are speculating could be a sign of intelligent life (aliens) being cause for anomaly. What was exactly going ...
user avatar
  • 771
40 votes
4 answers
6k views

If there's nothing special about Pluto, why was it discovered so early?

Pluto was recently re-classified, losing its official status as the ninth planet, because a bunch of other dwarf planets were found in its orbital region that were too numerous and insignificant to ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
167 views

Where do the poles of the Solar System point? [closed]

The solar system is like a big rotating disk, so it has an axis. Where do the two ends of the axis point in space? To put it another way, where in the sky are the two furthest points from the ...
user avatar
  • 29
8 votes
2 answers
892 views

How to find orbital elements of a binary system

I'm trying to find the rate of precession of a binary system consists of two similar mass stars A and B, so I need to find the value of the argument of periapsis $\omega$ first, with velocity and ...
user avatar
  • 183
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

Kinematics help

If a constant acceleration starship started at rest, then accelerated at 25G (245m/s^2) how long would it take to fly an AU (149 597 871 kilometers)? I am a writer, so I have no experience with ...
user avatar
  • 21
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Does the Sun actually move on its own, or does it move with the Solar system? [closed]

I'm curious, does the Sun actually move? The concept behind the question is, if you wear a shirt and you move, does the shirt actually move? Like the Solar system orbits around the Milky Way, but does ...
user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
553 views

Was Hipparcos Satellite really necessary? Can't Hubble do everything that Hipparcos did?

I've been reading about the Hipparcos Satellite recently and it seems it was the first big telescope with precision-measuring devices to accurately pinpoint a star's location in the sky. I know ...
user avatar
  • 4,324
1 vote
1 answer
855 views

What is the danger for Ceres of collision with other asteroids?

In the context of possible colonization of Ceres, would not such colony be totally impossible because of high probability of collision of Ceres with other asteroids in the Asteroid Belt?
user avatar
  • 3,057
5 votes
3 answers
848 views

Does the Earth have any Trojan asteroids?

Are there any known Trojan objects residing in the Sun-Earth L4 (SEL4) and L5 (SEL5) Lagrange points, also named "Greek" and "Trojan" groups, respectively?
user avatar
  • 119
9 votes
1 answer
476 views

Why were Nix, Cerberos and Styx discovered later than Charon?

Charon, a moon of Pluto, was discovered in 1978. Today we know that Pluto has three additional moons, but they were discovered 3 decades later? Also, Hubble Space Telescope was in operation since 1990 ...
user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
486 views

NASA just announced 715 new exoplanets were discovered, what do we know about them?

I have been trying to find information on how far away these new exoplanets are from Sol. Does anybody have a map or a table that shows their distance to us in light years. There only seem to be 100 ...
user avatar
  • 879
11 votes
1 answer
500 views

Is it possible for moons to have their own moons?

I'm wondering, if it's possible for moons to have their own natural satellites, something big enough to be spherical? Stars have planets, planets have moons. Is it possible that moons have moons too?
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Are there any natural circular orbits?

I just saw How does orbital eccentricity affect positions of Lagrange points $L_4$ and $L_5$? and it questions the difference between circular and elliptical orbits. We know the Moon does not have a ...
user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
558 views

Interstellar eavesdropping

For about a century, humanity has broadcasted noise to space in the form of TV broadcasts, radio, etc... The nearest star is 4.242 light-years away, so for about 90 years, aliens -- if they exist in ...
user avatar
  • 121