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Questions tagged [astronomy]

Questions more about celestial bodies themselves than exploration of them.

15
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2answers
2k 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 ...
15
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2answers
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"?
1
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1answer
46 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 ?
1
vote
1answer
90 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
33 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
111 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
3k 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
652 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
162 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
773 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?
12
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2answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
241 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?
1
vote
2answers
177 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
93 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?
7
votes
2answers
252 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
283 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 ...
35
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
132 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
523 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
73 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
359 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
644 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?
3
votes
3answers
614 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?
4
votes
1answer
359 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 ...
8
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2answers
449 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
397 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?
5
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
458 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 ...
18
votes
1answer
701 views

Is there a Martian “North Star”, usable as Earth's North Star?

Mars has a different axial tilt than Earth. It stands to reason that the constellations will remain identical from Mars, but their locations will be somewhat different. On Earth, the North Star is ...
6
votes
4answers
245 views

Are there any other Earth-like planets in the universe?

There are many galaxies in the universe. Is there any other Earth-like planet out there?
9
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3answers
333 views

What is the current state of affairs concerning space telescopes?

With the Hubble telescope to be decommissioned any time now, and the James Webb Space Telescope at least in 2018 and unlikely to be active while Hubble still remains, will there be a gap when we have ...