Author Archives: Jeff Mangum

Why Can We See Stars That Are Billions of Light Years Away?

Question:  I can’t get seem to find a thoughtful yet scientific answer to this question, I was hoping you could help.  I hope this doesn’t sound dumb, I don’t mean it to be.  When we look at the night sky, … Continue reading

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Positions of the Planets on any Date

Question:  I am making a sculpture to offer to my dad with planets position at 4 of july of 1930, his day of birth. Can you help me and tell  where i can find it?  – Sérgio Answer:  There is … Continue reading

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Can Black Holes Explode?

Question:  Can a black hole explode?  – Dirk Answer:  Black holes don’t really “explode”, which implies that they generate a large outburst of energy which ultimately tears them apart, but they do have outbursts (also, unfortunately, referred to as “explosions”).  … Continue reading

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What Software Do You Use to Control Radio Telescopes?

Question:  What software you use to put the antenna in a desire position? In what language was programmed?  – Jael Answer:  We use a combination of several programming languages, but principally use C++ and python to control our antennas.  Historically, … Continue reading

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The Story of the Very Large Array

Question:  Toured the VLA facility in New Mexico on April 5 and was very impressed with the new public relations film narrated by Jodie Foster and, I think, named, “Beyond the Visible; The Story of the VLA”.  Is there a … Continue reading

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Can the VLA and VLBA be used to Detect Rouge Asteroids?

Question: I’m wondering if the VLA/VLBA dedicates any observation time keeping an eye out for rouge asteroids which might intersect near our orbit?  – Doug Answer: The Very Large Array (VLA) and Very Long Baseline Array (VLBA) are not well … Continue reading

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Can Radio Telescopes Detect the Black Box from Malaysian Airlines Flight 370?

I have received several questions about the detectability of the black box from MH370… Questions: Does not the Black box of Malaysian Airlines work at 37.5 kHz, if the sensors are isolated at those frequencies, wouldn’t we be able to … Continue reading

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Which Telescope Has Higher Resolution: Hubble or VLBA?

Question:  Which telescope can see farther in space (higher resolution)? :  The Hubble Space Telescope at the optical wavelengths, OR the VLBA extending from Hawaii to VA, observing at the radio wavelengths?  – Sekar Answer:  The Hubble Space Telescope (HST) … Continue reading

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Can Gravitationally-Lensed Objects be Studied at Any Wavelength?

Question:  As per definition, Gravitational lensing refers to bending of light rays from a distant source around a massive object (Galaxy cluster) which tends to magnify the background light source. If visible light rays bend around those massive objects then … Continue reading

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What is an Astrogeologist?

Question:  I am a sophomore and I have been fascinated with anything about space for as long as I can remember. I’m am currently researching about the astronomy careers. I plan to be an astro geologist and I’m still not … Continue reading

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