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Tag Archives: order-of-magnitude estimate

What if? [Q&A]

I had previously mentioned a technique called order-of-magnitude estimation that scientists of all stripes find extraordinarily useful, and Atul of Canara College asked me what that meant. One of the most important characteristics of doing science is that scientists look to work on problems that can be solved. There is no point in wasting years […]

little green men [Q&A]

By far the most common question I get asked on astronomy outreach visits is: are there aliens like us somewhere else in the Universe? There are ten billion stars in our Galaxy, and a hundred billion galaxies in the Universe that we can see, and the Universe itself is apparently a couple of hundred times […]

mass lost by the Sun [Q&A]

Tilak of SDM College points out that there is a continuous flow of energy from the Sun, and that needs an expenditure of some mass as a result, and thus the gravitational pull of the Sun should decrease and all the planets should move away from the Sun; is this correct? There is an extremely […]

on the Moon’s orbit [Q&A]

I will write up here brief answers to many astronomy related questions that were asked by students. ┬áThe first one is by Vibha of Poornaprajna College, who asks why is it that the Moon is under the gravitational influence of only the Earth and why is it not affected by the Sun, and why doesn’t […]