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0answers
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How to determine what the unseen object is if a white dwarf is orbiting it?

Imagine you observe a 1M white dwarf orbiting an unseen object with P = 0.02 years and a a = 0.2AU. What is the unseen object? Why? (your explanation should include a calculation)
5
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2answers
118 views

Planets and Pluto? Neptune?

If one of the rules to be a planet is that it needs to clear ALL objects from their orbit, does this also make Neptune a non-planet? Since it has thus far failed to clear Pluto (and based on an answer ...
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0answers
27 views

How can astronomers determine the difference between “hydrostatic equilibruim” and “just happens to be spherical”?

This is relevant for the definition of a dwarf planet. I presume the answer will be, well, if we can tell the mass of the body and guess the material. I don't find this very satisfactory because ...
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1answer
54 views

What is the danger for Ceres of collision with other asteroids?

In the context of possible colonization of Ceres, would not such colony be totally impossible because of high probability of collision of Ceres with other asteroids in the Asteroid Belt?
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1answer
26 views

When the set of official dwarf planets is expected to increase?

When the set of official dwarf planets is expected to increase or new bodies considered for inclusion?
5
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1answer
93 views

How did scientists determine an estimate of the number of planets greater than Sedna's size to exist in the Inner Oort Cloud?

In the article, New Dwarf Planet Found at Solar System's Edge, Hints at Possible Faraway 'Planet X' (Wall, 2014) where they report on research and observations performed by astronomers that discovered ...
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3answers
1k views

How many planets are there in this solar system?

So, in school (that's a long time age) they have been teaching us there are 9 planets in our solar system. Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto But every now and then I ...
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2answers
261 views

What physical features determine if a planet is a major, minor or dwarf planet?

Like many, when I was growing up, we always were taught, hence always learned that there were 9 planets. However, recently, decisions were made and all of a sudden there were 8 major planets and a ...