Follow the reluctant adventures in the life of a Welsh astrophysicist sent around the world for some reason, wherein I photograph potatoes and destroy galaxies in the name of science. And don't forget about my website, www.rhysy.net



Sunday, 29 January 2017

Ask An Astronomer Anything At All About Astronomy (XXXI)

The first AAAAAAAA of 2017 ! Well not really, because most of the world is in a state of panic right now so screaming loudly is an understandable response. It's the first batch of astronomy questions here though, and at the rate things are going it might be the last. Still, with about 275 answered to date, maybe there'll be time to make it to the big 300...

Since it's been a good long while since I did one of these, here's a reminder to new readers that the actual answers to the questions are in the links. It's not just me being snarky.


1) How fast could an Orion drive spaceship get to Mars ?
Not as fast as your mum.

2) Do all astronomical instruments have the same contrast range ?
No.

3) Could frame dragging account for recent observations explaining away dark matter ?
No.

4) What would happen if dark matter started absorbing light ?
All the lights would go out and kittens would explode.

5) What could we do to detect dark matter if we had infinite energy and resources ?
EVERYTHING. It would involve a lot of cackling.

6) What about this press release on ram pressure stripping being due to dark matter ?
It's wrong.

7) Once all the stars go out, will all the hot gas around galaxies start collapsing and form more stars ?
Eventually yes. We'll be dead by then though.

8) Could there be dark matter halos which are really just normal matter that's not doing anything ?
No.

9) Do most models of dark matter have it as self-interacting ?
Nah.

10) Would you consider Callisto and Hyperion to be planets if they were orbiting the Sun ?
Callisto yes, Hyperion no.

11) Would self-interacting dark matter be just like a gas ?
No.

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