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Table of Contents Enchanted Learning
All About Astronomy
Site Index
Our Solar System Stars Glossary Printables, Worksheets, and Activities
The Sun The Planets The Moon Asteroids Kuiper Belt Comets Meteors Astronomers

Zoom Astronomy Questions and Answers (November 2001)

Please check the Astronomy Dictionary first!

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We enjoy hearing from visitors. Thank you for writing! You can send us your astronomy question and we'll try to answer as soon as possible (but we can't answer all the questions we receive).

Don't forget to scroll down to find the answer to your question - they're in reverse order by the date they were asked.

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



Q: What is a pulsar? What does pulsar stand for?
from melissa, LA, ca, ?; November 29, 2001

A: A pulsar is a rapidly spinning neutron star that emits energy in pulses. Pulsars were named for their pulsing emissions. For more information on pulsars, click here.



Q: please help me.. i am doing this very difficult report thats due in a week.. will u please try to answer my questions.. 1.What is blue shift? 2. What are MACHOs? 3. Why is there so much space trash and where did it come from? i would really appriciate it if u could answer as many as possible.. thanx a bunch.
from Me, Northridge, ca, usa; November 29, 2001

A: See the glossary entries for MACHO, blue shift and space trash.



Q: WOULD PEOPLE EVER BEABLE TO LIVE ON ANOTHER PLANET BESIDAS EARTH ?
from Jessica V., Menomonie, Wisconson, USA; November 29, 2001

A: Probably.



Q: stars primarily burn what elrment as fuel?
from rebecca h, fleetwood, lancashire, england; November 28, 2001

A: Hydrogen is the primary fuel of stars (it releases energy in a nuclear process called fusion).



Q: How can schientists find out what gases are in stars or nebulae?
from Natsumi Y., Valencia, CA, USA; November 25, 2001

A: Astronomers can determine the composition of gases in stars by looking for characteristic frequencies in their spectral emissions (they look at the light given off by the star of the light that passes through a nebula).





Q: What causes a meteor shower?
from Angus, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia; November 21, 2001

A: We experience a meteor shower when the Earth goes through the bits of debris left from a comet - some of the debris falls to the Earth, burning up in our atmosphere. The Leonid meteor shower we just saw was from rubble left over from the comet Temple-Tuttle.



Q: What shape is the orbit of a comet? Why do we only see them every few years?
from Nicke W, ?, ?, England; November 20, 2001

A: Comets go around the Sun in very elliptical orbits (shaped like squashed circles). We can only see a comet when it is near the Sun (most of the time, it is far from the Sun and invisible to us. For more information on comets, click here.



Q: can you give me info on our galaxy?
from jessica r, ?, victoria, talbot; November 19, 2001

A: Click here for information on the Milky Way Galaxy.



Q: Waht element is the most plentiful to the sun. What element was named after the sun. Is the sun a solid liquid or gaseos.
from Victoria S., charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.; November 18, 2001

A: See the page on the Sun.



Q: Earth sky is blue while Mar's sky is basically pink. why
from Amanda b, phoenix, ny, scycer; November 14, 2001

A: The Earth's sky looks blue because the gas molecules in the atmosphere scatter the higher-energy (high frequency) blue portion of the sunlight more than they scatter the lower-energy red portion of the sunlight (this is called Raleigh scattering, named for the physicist Lord John Rayleigh). On Mars, there are a lot of fine dust particles suspended in the atmosphere. These particles (which contain a lot of iron oxide) absorb blue light, so the sky appears to have little blue in it and is pink/yellow to butterscotch in color.



Q: how often does a comet hit the earth please pespont quickly as hmwk is due in on the 16th of november thankyou
from Kristy.Y, new plymouth, ?, new zealand; November 10, 2001

A: Fortunately, comets do not hit Earth very often, but we do often cross their trail (that's when we see meteor showers).



Q: How are stars named?
from Whitney Y, Mobile, AL, USA; November 7, 2001

A: New star names appear in leading journals by recognized scientists, and the names must be accepted by the International Astronomical Union (most bright stars have old, Arabic names, like Aldebaran). There is a company that sells star names, but those names are not recognized by astronomers.



Q: No question I would just like to thank you for your explanation of Moonrise from earth. I have not found anything anywhere else.
from peter s., cardiff, Wales, U.K.; November 6, 2001

A: Thank you!



Q: how do we know our sun is a second generation star...or what was the 1st generation???
from CHS, ?, ?, ?; November 6, 2001

A: Our Sun is a seond or third generation star. Second generation stars do not just burn hydrogen, they also burn heavier elements, like helium and metals, and were formed from supernova explosions (the debris of exploded population II stars).



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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