Does The Expansion Of The Universe Affect The Constellations?

Considering the Universe’s expansion, has the distance of the stars like the Orion’s belt ones changed in a noticeable magnitude for our naked eyes along our lives? Or does the fact that they are in our galaxy maintain them at the same distance always?
Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (left to right) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,000 light-years away. Image credit: wikimedia user Astrowicht, CC BY-SA 3.0

Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka, are the bright bluish stars from east to west (left to right) along the diagonal in this gorgeous cosmic vista. Otherwise known as the Belt of Orion, these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun. They lie about 1,000 light-years away. Image credit: wikimedia user Astrowicht, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nothing in the universe is completely still, but our Universe behaves much more like your second option than the first one.

You’re absolutely right that things within the galaxy are not expanding along with the Universe at large, and this is because everything within the galaxy is gravitationally attached...

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Does The Earth's Magnetic Field Go Past The ISS?

Does the Earth’s magnetosphere encompass the ISS and does it offer the same protection as it does our atmosphere and planet?
A profile view of the magnetic field and density data. Image Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio, the Space Weather Research Center (SWRC), the Community-Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) and the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF).

A profile view of the magnetic field and density data. Image Credit: NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio, the Space Weather Research Center (SWRC), the Community-Coordinated Modeling Center (CCMC) and the Space Weather Modeling Framework (SWMF).

The International Space Station, or ISS, orbits our planet once every ninety minutes at the lofty height of 400 kilometers (about 248 miles) above the surface of our planet. This altitude puts it pretty well above the vast majority of the atmosphere, but it doesn’t place it outside...

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Can The Mass Of An Object Ever Change?

What is the difference between “mass” and “rest mass” ? Does this mean that mass is not always the same?
Nuclear particle tracks in the ten-inch bubble chamber mounted inside a superconducting magnet at Argonne show what happened to two negative K mesons that entered the bubble chamber from Argonne's ZGS. c.1966 Image credit: US Department of Energy, public domain

Nuclear particle tracks in the ten-inch bubble chamber mounted inside a superconducting magnet at Argonne show what happened to two negative K mesons that entered the bubble chamber from Argonne's ZGS. c.1966 Image credit: US Department of Energy, public domain

This is a good question, and also a good reminder to be careful with one’s language when writing about physics!

Most of the time, if you’re reading an article, what we mean by mass and rest mass is exactly the same. Rest mass is a slightly more precise term...

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What Could Cause The Night Sky To Shimmer & Pulse With Light?

Hello, This morning my wife and I went to the local mountains to see the Perseids meteor shower as we often do. We arrived about 1am and both of us noticed the whole sky seemed to pulsate and shimmer with a faint light we had never seen before. We were wondering if this could be caused by the dust particles from the comet trail. It was even more noticeable with binoculars. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you
Volume rendered image of a large eddy simulation of a non-premixed swirl flame. Image credit: Andreas Kempf, CC A-SA 3.0

Volume rendered image of a large eddy simulation of a non-premixed swirl flame. Image credit: Andreas Kempf, CC A-SA 3.0

There’s definitely some stuff happening to the atmosphere in the scenario you’re describing, but I doubt it’s likely to be caused by particles from the debris of comet’s tail.  The dust and pieces of grit are what you’re seeing as the meteor shower. The meteors you see during the Perseids will all...

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How Come I See Fewer Stars Than I Remember As A Child?

I’m past eighty years old. I remember as a child the stars looking like they were almost on top of us, so close and so bright and a billion of them to boot. Now they look so far away and almost faint. No it is not my eyesight. Have the stars moved away from us to that extent in just 80 years and if so how long before they are not seen at all.
The constellation Orion, imaged at left from dark skies, and at right from Orem, UT. Orem, UT is hardly a large city. This is intended to highlight the fact that light pollution is a problem everywhere, not just in cities with tens of millions of inhabitants. Image credit: Flickr user jpstanley, CC BY 2.0.

The constellation Orion, imaged at left from dark skies, and at right from Orem, UT. Orem, UT is hardly a large city. This is intended to highlight the fact that light pollution is a problem everywhere, not just in cities with tens of millions of inhabitants. Image credit: Flickr user jpstanley, CC BY 2.0.

Unfortunately, the stars haven’t moved, and I believe you that it’s not your eyesight either, because there’s another known and astronomically obnoxious thing that’s happened over the past decades. The amount of light pollution in the night skies has increased dramatically...

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