Author Archives: Jeff Mangum

Methods to Remove the Deleterious Effects of the Earth’s Atmosphere on Astronomical Measurements

Question: Would it be possible to improve astronomical seeing on earth using a circular surrounding array of lasers pointing directly into space, which surround the ground based telescope and ionize the air and/or somehow move it away from within the … Continue reading

Posted in Radio Astronomy, Telescopes | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Question About Cosmology and a Theoretical Fifth Dimension

Question(s): Dear astronomy / physics student whose job it is to filter through the department in-box,  I find when I approach supersymmetry from a macro perspective, there seems to be an equalizing, but inherently non-identifiable component at work, but still … Continue reading

Posted in Black Holes, Cosmology | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What Does the Expansion of the Universe Look Like from an Galaxy on the Edge of the Known Universe?

Question: If you were to project yourself instantly to the edge of the known universe, (knowing that the universe is expanding at or near the speed of light from this perspective) and you were to take a telescope and look … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmology, Galaxies, Physics | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Undergraduate Education Choice and its Importance for a Career in the Sciences

Question: I’m a high school junior, and I’d love to pursue a career in astronomy, but I definitely can’t afford to go to an ivy league school or anything, most likely I’ll attend a fairly selective state school. Does not … Continue reading

Tagged Leave a comment

Specifications for a First Telescope

Question: I have a question which is while building my first telescope what should be the f ratio of the objective lens and which type of eyepiece should i prefer? The 1.25 inch 25 mm or .965 inch for lesser … Continue reading

Tagged Leave a comment

Can Atoms Travel Between Planets or Galaxies?

Question: To start, I know very little about what I am going to ask, so much of my question might seem foolish, but… Can atoms travel from planet to planet or galaxy to galaxy. I know light can travel from … Continue reading

Posted in Cosmic Distances, Galaxies, Physics, Planets | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Bright Objects in Photos Taken of the Sun

Question: Last summer after taking a photo of a “sun dog” and seeing what I believed to be a planet in the photo I became fixated on finding out what it was. That was 2015. Now its spring 2016 (May … Continue reading

Tagged Leave a comment

How Far Away Could We See An Alien Civilization Transmitting a Powerful Radio Signal in Our Direction?

Question: If the most powerful transmitter currently used on Earth was used by an alien civilization, what is the farthest it could be to still receive an intelligible signal by the most sensitive current receivers on Earth?  Perhaps the signal … Continue reading

Posted in Radio Astronomy, SETI, Telescopes | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

How Do You Measure the Mass of a Black Hole with Radio Waves?

Question: How can you measure the mass of a black hole with radio waves? What is the mass of a typical black hole?  — Ray Answer: One can measure the mass of a black hole by tracing the motion of … Continue reading

Posted in Black Holes, Physics, Radio Astronomy, Telescopes | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why Do You Need So Many Radio Telescopes?

Question: Why do you need so many radio telescopes? Do they all receive exactly the same frequency? How are the signals integrated into something meaningful?  — Ray Answer: You basically hit on a part of the answer in your second … Continue reading

Posted in Radio Astronomy, Telescopes | Tagged , | Leave a comment