Astronomy Weekly Newsletter

Astronomy newsletter

Top new questions this week:

Do all stars have an oort cloud or is it a rare occurance?

Do all stars have an oort cloud like ours that will be filled with comets and other objects? If not, why are they not around every star?

solar-system oort-cloud  
asked by System.Object 17 votes
answered by HDE 226868 15 votes

Planets and Pluto? Neptune?

If one of the rules to be a planet is that it needs to clear ALL objects from their orbit, does this also make Neptune a non-planet? Since it has thus far failed to clear Pluto (and based on an answer ...

solar-system planets dwarf-planets  
asked by Lois Leis 5 votes
answered by David Hammen 3 votes

How did the Mars satellites "take cover" from the recent comet flyby?

After comet Sliding Spring's Oct. 19, 2014 close flyby of Mars, NASA reports that All three NASA orbiters around Mars confirmed their healthy status Sunday after each took shelter behind Mars ...

mars maven  
asked by Joshua 4 votes
answered by HDE 226868 3 votes

Do we get any benefit from being in a galaxy?

If our solar system were to somehow be created outside of a galaxy as a single star in the vast nothingness between galaxies, would life on Earth change any? Does being a member of a galaxy actually ...

galaxy solar-system  
asked by Scottie 3 votes

Is early life required for life?

I was watching the new Cosmos and Neil DeGrasse Tyson said something that made me go hmmm... He mentioned that the only reason that the Earth did not experience the runaway greenhouse effect like ...

abiogenesis greenhouse-gasses carbon-cycle  
asked by Scottie 3 votes
answered by Takku 2 votes

What is the correct ratio of Newtonian to General Relativistic gravitational effects for Sun + single planet orbital system

For a hypothetical orbital system (Sun + single planet) the Newtonian model and the General Relativity (GR) model produce different expressions for the gravitational effect of the Sun on the planet. ...

orbit general-relativity  
asked by steveOw 3 votes
answered by Stan Liou 5 votes

Diameter of any galaxy

I've been trying to figure out how to find the diameter in kpc of any galaxy given that one knows the distance to it in Mpc (d) and also the angular diameter/size (A) in arcsec. I had a formula before ...

galaxy distances  
asked by Kennan 3 votes
answered by Dieudonné 5 votes

Greatest hits from previous weeks:

Calculate latitude and longitude based on date and sun

I can't seem to find this algorithm, if it exists. Can you calculate the longitude and latitude of where you are standing based on the date and the angle of the sun? Also, would the algorithm work for ...

sun coordinate  
asked by Aaron 4 votes
answered by Cyberherbalist 5 votes

How would I measure that I'm at a pole?

How would a person measure that he is at a planetary pole? My first inclination is to use a sextant to ensure that the Sun remains at a constant inclination. However, due to the orbit around the Sun ...

planets observation  
asked by dotancohen 10 votes
answered by Schleis 12 votes
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