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,

Sunday 21 August 2016

Ask An Astronomer Anything At All About Astronomy (XXIX)

Endless questions ! Surely by now we've covered everything ? No ? Fine...

1) Could Sagittarius A* be a white hole ?
Hah ! No chance. Dream on, loser.

2) Could the Big Bang be a white hole ?
Yes, but it could also be a magical wizard.

3) Is the most spherical planet the one that's the most massive ?
That's right, it's yo momma.

4) Why didn't the light from the Big Bang pass us by as the Universe expanded ?
Because we smell terrible.

5) Is the "total energy of the Universe is zero" statement a bit of creative accounting ?
I'd say so.

6) If Andromeda were to go nova, how much would it affect the Milky Way ?
That's un-possible.

7) Why do you want physics to be broken ?
I dunno, why do you want your face to be broken ?

8) What's the truth behind Nibiru ?

9) Could Venus not be having a super-greenhouse effect but just cooling down from some recent catastrophe ?
I dunno, but defining "recent" and "catastrophe" would help.

10) How can we improve communications to robotic spacecraft ?
By shouting more loudly from a taller hill.

Also I made a correction to one previous answer :
Q : If black holes and white holes have the same gravity, doesn't that mean they're the same thing ?
My original answer was that whites hole have anti-gravity. This is completely wrong. They're actually time-reversed black holes, apparently. The answer to the question is that no, they're not the same thing but only because general relativity is bloody complicated. I won't pretend to understand the details, so I'll be rather more careful with white hole questions in future.

Added some more information to another previous question :
Q : Could rogue stars be parts of mostly dark matter galaxies ?
It seems that some people think so. Personally I'm skeptical - it would be extremely hard to prove that these isolated stars are really embedded in dark matter halos since you can't measure a rotation curve for just a few stars. Which means the idea is very hard to disprove, and when you start allowing ideas that can't be disproven you're in very dangerous territory. I don't say it's impossible, but I'd need further convincing.

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