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Astronomy Feedback

by Ron Kurtus

Each day readers send in questions and feedback concerning the various lessons in the School for Champions website. A total of 302 letters have been answered.

List of most recent 15 letters




I don't understand Astronomy at all General Canada
Correcting number of Jupiter's moons Moon USA
Wants scholarship in Physics General USA
Can a graviton escape from a black hole? Black Holes India
Galaxy versus Galactic motion The Earth USA
Why are orbits elliptical? General Topics Nigeria
Astronomy comments General Bangladesh
Distinctive features unique to earth. The Earth USA
What are companions of planets called? Our Solar System USA
Wants permission to use image Keplers Laws USA
Want to study Astronomy General South Africa
Suggested resource Resources USA
Pulses of radiation General Bangladesh
Constellations and religion Constellations USA
Four characteristics of the moon Moon South Africa

Next 15 letters


I don't understand Astronomy at all

February 14, 2017


I don't understand Astronomy at all. I don't enjoy studying about a whole new world that I've never visited. Is their an easy way to understand Triangulation, Radio telescopes?

Jawerriya - Canada (27880)


It can be interesting to look into the night sky and see all the numerous stars in the sky, as well as their movement throughout the year. Some people like to learn the constellations and arrangement of the stars.

However, Astronomy can delve deeper to find out what the planets and stars are made of. It is a scientific study that some people are interested in and others are not.

Triangulation is a method to determine distance using trigonometry. In Astronomy, it is useful to approximate distance of far-off objects.

A radio telescope uses radio waves instead of light ways to detect distant objects in space. In some situations, it works better than visible light.

Although teachers can often learning many facts without making the subject interesting, it is good to find things about the subject you like.

Best wishes for success in your studies.

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Correcting number of Jupiter's moons

January 24, 2017


On your article about the Earth's Moon, you said the Earth has one Moon and Jupiter has 9 moons. This is incorrect, NASA has recently discovered that Jupiter has 67 moons! I believe the number is up to 67 now. Up until a few years ago, they knew it had at least 63 moons. Galileo discovered 4 of them in the early 1600s. I can only see 5 of them with my modern day, powerful telescope.

David - USA (27823)


Thanks for the information. I corrected the Characteristics of our Moon page as well as added material on Jupiter and Jupiter's 67 Moons.

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Wants scholarship in Physics

December 19, 2016


how I get free scholarship by physics?

Minale - USA (27575)


Most high schools have lists of scholarships available. Your physics or astronomy teacher should also be able to provide help in getting a scholarship.

Some websites to check include:
SPS Scholarships
Scholarships for Physics Majors

Various colleges also have information on getting a scholarships.

Best wishes for your success in getting an education.

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Black Holes

Can a graviton escape from a black hole?

May 19, 2016


Does graviton escape from the black holes? If no then why other celestial objects feels their gravity, if yes then how can graviton escape from the place from where even light cant escape?

Vinamra - India (27017)


A graviton is a hypothetical particle that is responsible for gravitational forces, as part of the quantum theory of gravitation. Since it is supposed to be the source of gravitational forces through an exchange between masses, it really would not be moving freely like in escaping from a Black Hole.

Other celestial object do feel the gravitational forces from a Black Hole, as witnessed by objects being drawn into the hole. But its forces are reduced as the square of the distance from the Black Hole.

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The Earth

Galaxy versus Galactic motion

May 1, 2016


What is the difference between Galaxy and Galactic motion?

- USA (26973)


A galaxy is a system of stars and other materials that are bound together by gravitational forces. The Milky Way is an example of a galaxy.

Galaxies tend to rotate very slowly about some center area. They also move in space as compared to other galaxies.

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General Topics

Why are orbits elliptical?

February 27, 2016


How does the obit the elliptic

Akin - Nigeria (26814)


The orbit of a planet around the Sun should be a circle, however there are gravitational forces from the other planets that distort the orbit into an elliptical shape.

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Astronomy comments

December 24, 2015




What is the Earth’s gravitational force?

Scientists Newton formula is Wrong

The sun is flat!

Moon is not Earth’s satellite


NOTE: The arguments have been deleted because they are too extensive to be published.

ROBIUL ISLAM - Bangladesh (26644)


No, the Sun does not move around the Earth. that has been proven many times.

The Earth’s gravitational force is approximately 9.8 m/s^2 times the mass of the object.

Newton's Third Law is correct. A force requires an opposite force.

The Sun is not flat. Your sources are inaccurate.

The Moon is Earth’s satellite. This is by definition.

It is true that our Sun is not a planet. It is a sun.

The starts do not move around the Sun. Your sources of information are incorrect.

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The Earth

Distinctive features unique to earth.

September 27, 2015


What are 2 distinctive features unique to earth.

Plz get back to me soon.
Thank you

Sarah - USA (26409)


Features of the Earth that are unique with respect to the other planets in our Solar System include an atmosphere and temperatures that can support life (as well know it) and oceans consisting of water.

Some of the other planets have atmospheres of other gases and temperatures either too high or too low to support life. Some have oceans but not made up of water.

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Our Solar System

What are companions of planets called?

June 10, 2015


The companions of planets are called

- USA (26082)


Companions of planets are called "moons" or "natural satellites".

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Keplers Laws

Wants permission to use image

January 19, 2015


I am writing a book on Moon and space travel. The book is meant for promoting science learning among young adults. An Indian publisher has agreed to publish the book. I want to use the image from your article depicting Kepler's second law. Please give me your permission and tell me how would you like me to write credits.
Thank you
Ramesh Shishu, P.hD.

Ramesh - USA (25712)


Congratulations on writing your book.

Yes, you have permission to use the image. I would appreciate it if you would state: Permission from Ron Kurtus, School for Champions ( or something to that effect.

Note that I have updated the image to improve its resolution. I you want, I can send you a higher resolution file as a JPEG that would be more appropriate for a print publication.

Best wishes for success with your book.

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Want to study Astronomy

January 5, 2015


hai i wnt to du astronomyas well as to study in the field.but im little.bit suffrng in mAths frm thr whle year in grd11 0n 2015 bt now im dng grd 12 ths how cn i imprve

Sandile - South Africa (25688)


Astronomy is an interesting subject. It is good that you want to study it. See our lessons on Astronomy for some basic information.

Although maths are important in Astronomy, you can still learn much by studying the physical aspects of the subject.

You can get some good information from the Astronautical Society of Southern Africa, including information about scholarships. There are also branches in various South Africa cities.

Best wishes for success in your studies.

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Suggested resource

September 7, 2014



I’m a home school instructor and I took my kids to the Adler Planetarium a few weeks ago on a field trip. Our kids had fun learning about the solar system and the moon. I used this guide as a reference ( and I think it would make a good addition to your page here:

I hope this was helpful.


Sandra - USA (25345)


Thanks for the resource I added the link to the Astronomy Resources page.

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Pulses of radiation

September 6, 2014


suppose there is a distant celestial source which emits pulses of radiation at regular intervals of exactly 100 seconds apart. many pulses would have been sent to the earth in one day (24hours)
2.if 50 such pulses were recorded for a spacecraft to reach a predetermined destination,what is this time interval in seconds?

monika - Bangladesh (25341)


To find the number of pulses in one day, convert 24 hours to seconds: 24 * 60 min/hr * 60 sec/min = 86400 sec. Divide by 100 second to get number of pulses: 86400/100 = 846 pulses.

The time interval for 50 pulses is 50 * 100 sec = 5000 seconds.

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Constellations and religion

July 9, 2014


School for Champions; I do not know if you have any religious beliefs or not. I am a Christian who is interested in astronomy from a more Biblical point of view.

I was born and raised up in Kermit, Texas where you can see the stars very clearly due to the reduction of big city lights. I used to climb to the top of our house so I could see the stars better even on the horizon. My mother would call me in because it would be getting so late. I am now an older man entering those so-called golden years with no gold!

I know how to read ancient Hebrew hieroglyphs and I noticed that some of the constellations or asterisms which circle close to the North Star looked like some of these hieroglyphs. I had often wondered why God put both a little dipper and a big dipper up in our night skies? Now I know that most of these constellations are not drawn as God intended them according to man! The northern cross is an obvious Christian emblem but is dismissed by the non-believers as just a pattern by luck.

Google, Aquilla Fleetwood, Night Signs. Click on to any site to see these constellations as God intended them. They are pointing us to Christ in ancient Hebrew hieroglyphic word picture form. Google, Jeff Benner, the North Star, for his amazing information. Google, Dr. Frank T. Seekins, Hebrew Word Pictures, for his information about this ancient Hebrew hieroglyphic writings and how Christ is embedded within it.

Indeed, the stars are for signs and the heavens declare the glory of God. Thanks, Aquilla (little eagle)

Aquilla - USA (25101)


You are fortunate to be in an area to be able to view the stars at night without the glare from city lights.

Although the Bible states that God created the heavens and the earth. I don't believe there area any Bible phrases indicating the constellations were meant to represent anything, except that man could view the stars and see they are the work of His hands.

Since the stars have been in motion and change their position with respect to the earth, many constellations have changed positions and shape over the years. The symbolism of a constellation may be a result of man's faith.

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Four characteristics of the moon

June 10, 2014


I am asking for 4 characteristics of the moon

sello - South Africa (25048)


The characteristics are listed in Characteristics of our Moon.

You could select size, mass, density, as well as the lack of Oxygen, and lower gravity than Earth.

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