Calculating physical separation of 2 sources at unknown angle.


by BOYLANATOR
Tags: angle, physical, separation, sources, unknown
BOYLANATOR
BOYLANATOR is online now
#1
Nov13-13, 11:07 AM
P: 180
I am doing a small project on Gamma Ray Bursts. I am looking at a data set of around a dozen bursts which are observed at an angular offset from their host galaxies (My theory is that they are in dwarf galaxies orbiting the host galaxy).

Say the average separation of these GRBs is 4 arcseconds from the hosts. This will not be the real separation because the observations could have a line of sight component of separation which is unobservable. I am looking for a scale factor to multiply the observed quantities by.

At first I thought the observations would be scaled down by a factor of the average of sin x over a half cycle. This corresponds to the average of the angle which the burst can be to the plane perpendicular to the line of sight.

Then I though of the orbit as a circle somewhere around a sphere. I believe there are two separate axes of rotation for this circle which would decrease our observed separation. Leading to a downsizing factor of the average of (sin x)^2 over a half cycle.

I think the first one is correct but I have confused myself in the visualization. A convincing answer would be great.
Phys.Org News Partner Astronomy news on Phys.org
A star's early chemistry shapes life-friendly atmospheres
Unique pair of supermassive black holes in an ordinary galaxy discovered
Red stars and big bulges: How black holes shape galaxies
mfb
mfb is online now
#2
Nov13-13, 04:37 PM
Mentor
P: 10,854
If you consider the squared distance, the coordinates get independent. You see 2 of 3 coordinates, so you just 2/3 of the real average squared distance, assuming all directions from the host galaxy have the same probability.
BOYLANATOR
BOYLANATOR is online now
#3
Nov14-13, 07:45 AM
P: 180
So I should multiply my values by √(3/2) then. Thanks


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Unknown angle between two vectors Introductory Physics Homework 2
How do I know what the separation point is on a Pressure Coefficient vs Angle graph ? Aerospace Engineering 1
On the Physical Separation of Time Special & General Relativity 70
Minimum separation, impact parameter, and scattering angle Advanced Physics Homework 1
Our sources of fear/anguish; permitted by the physical universe. General Discussion 12