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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
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Zoom Astronomy Questions and Answers (August 2001)

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Zoom Astronomy Questions
Current Questions November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 June-July 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001



Q: I heard that there is a substance called metallic hydrogen that rests in some of the gas giants. One scientist reported that he could make this metallic hydrogen,but it didn't last long.He said that "it is a substance not of this world".What is the purpose of metallic hydrogen?
from Mike, St.Louis, Missouri, United States; August 23, 2001

A: Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but is only in a (liquid) metalllic phase when under incredibly high pressure (1.4 million times Earth's atmospheric pressure, nine times the initial density of hydrogen, and at a temperature of 3000 degrees K =5000 degrees F). Metallic hydrogen is a conductor, and may prove to be a high-temperature superconductor (superconductors carry electricity with no or little resistance and are extraordinarily useful). Interestingly, as a low-temperature liquid, hydrogen is an insulator. In 1935, Eugene Wigner and Hillard Huntington theorized that this electrically-conductive phase of hydrogen could exist, but it was only recently produced at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (California, USA) by Sam Weir, Art Mitchell, and Bill Nellis. According to Bill Nellis, "Metallization of hydrogen has been the elusive Holy Grail in high- pressure physics for many years. This is a significant contribution to condensed matter physics because a pressure and temperature that actually produce metallization have finally been discovered."



Q: What is the Evening Star?
from Amber J, Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand; August 20, 2001

A: The planet Venus is sometimes called the "evening star" or the "morning star" because it is visible and quite bright at either dawn or dusk.



Q: What is the temperature in outer space?
from Daniel M., Colorado Springs, CO, USA; August 19, 2001

A: It's about 3 degrees Kelvin in space (that's the heat left over from the Big Bang).



Q: I am having difficulty helping my daughter with her homework assignment , I have looked on the internet for some clues and info on this and i've had no luck, her assignment is due on Monday 8-20-01. could you please try and help us? The question is (what causes day & night?) we would really appreciate the help
thank you Julie & Cassie

from JULIAANN A., San antonio, Texas, u.s; August 18, 2001

A: As the Earth spins around its axis, different parts of the Earth face the Sun (and other face away from the Sun). When a part of the Earth is facing the Sun it is daytime; when a part of the Earth is facing away from the Sun it is nighttime.





Q: why is there no air in space?
from Anton T, gisborne, ?, new zealand; August 6, 2001

A: The visible matter in the Universe is situated in clumps (like stars, planets, and moons), with little matter between the clumps. Each clump generates a gravitational field; this makes the Universe clumpier over time (even though the Universe is expanding) as clumps attract more matter. Matter that is floating in space is eventually captured by the gravitational field of some massive object, when one happens to be close by. If a planet (or moon) has an atmosphere and if the planet's gravitational force is big enough, the force of gravity will keep the atmosphere from escaping into space.



Q: plase please answer this is for my coursework n my teacher is mean. 'Which is more spread out planets in a solar system or stars in a galaxy?' thanx ps ur website is fab n really helpful luv nbullet proof marshmallows to u all xx
from aj h, manchester, cheshire, ENGLAND; August 2, 2001

A: Stars in a galaxy are much more spread out - our Sun is one such star.



Zoom Astronomy Questions
Current Questions November 2001 October 2001 September 2001 August 2001 June-July 2001 May 2001 April 2001 March 2001


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