Questions regarding the planet on which humans live, the third planet from the sun.

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8
votes
6answers
830 views

Why don't we have 2 Summers and 2 Winters?

Due to Earth's elliptical orbit, its distance from Sun varies by almost 5 million Kilometers (147 million Kilometers at closest point & 152 million Kilometers at farthest point, i.e. almost 3% of ...
3
votes
2answers
109 views

seasons elongating and shortening

I have heard of years with longer summers and winters and shorter springs and falls and vice versa because of a change in the earths axis. Is this from the procession that causes the season switch ...
3
votes
3answers
239 views

Inclination of planets

Why do the planets have roughly the same inclination with respect to Earth? Looking at the inclinations, which I got from http://www.astronomynotes.com/tables/tablesb.htm , we see that Mercury has ...
4
votes
2answers
428 views

What mechanism causes oscillations of the solar system's orbit about the galactic plane?

In a recent paper (news release here) Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece propose that a dark matter disk coinciding with the galactic plane together with the solar system's oscillations through the ...
4
votes
2answers
186 views

Can I look at the sky and find the day of the week?

Suppose I wake up from a coma on a desert island in the 19th century (i.e. we already use the Gregorian calendar but have no satellites yet). I have a clear view of the sky and a couple of days to ...
4
votes
1answer
174 views

“If earth had rings like Saturn”: A few further thoughts on the consequences

I came across this video recently where artists depicted what it would look like if Earth had rings like Saturn. http://www.wimp.com/earthrings/ Please note: The video contains already some ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Can the next possible ice age be projected based upon the Milankovitch cycle?

The Milankovitch cycle describes the collective effects of changes in the Earth's movements upon its climate[.] By this theory, the Earth is now experiencing an interglacial. By the theory, ...
11
votes
2answers
568 views

Why do stars appear to twinkle?

Sometimes at night you will look up to the stars and they will appear to twinkle, getting brighter and darker in bursts. Why does this happen? Is this because of our atmosphere? Would they twinkle ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Average amount of annual daylight at any place on earth

If this is the wrong group please direct me to the correct one. It seems intuitively obvious that the amount of daylight per annum should be the same for any latitude on earth. For example, 12 hours ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Orbital Elements Transformations

I'm a third year undergrad, and for the project I'm doing this summer, I need to figure out the Earth's position and velocity from the moon's point of view. From the reading I've done, it seems like ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Did the Babylonians believe in the Heliocentric version?

It's mentioned that the Babylonians decreed that there were exactly 360 days in a year. This statement was based upon the utilization of 360 as a standard (based on the sexagesimal system) i.e., they ...
0
votes
2answers
155 views

Does Earth revolves around Milky Way?

As we know Earth rotates around Sun and Sun around Milky Way but then Sun must have some velocity/angular momentum (I don't know that much physics terms). So as Earth revolves around Sun, it must ...
4
votes
1answer
279 views

How many earths fit in the observable universe?

I was pondering our insignificance, when I wondered - how how much smaller is our planet then the (observable) universe? And being as I dont know how to do the math, I'm asking it here. So how many ...
0
votes
1answer
144 views

Calculate Day of the Year for a given date

I am trying to make sense of the following formula that claims to calculate the day of the year given today's date represented by (day/month/year): ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

If Earth didn't rotate, would we feel heavier? [closed]

Suppose the Earth's rotation slowed for some reason. Would the lack of centrifugal force cause us to feel heavier than normal? Likewise, if Earth's rotation increased, would we feel lighter as ...
7
votes
4answers
251 views

What will a lunar eclipse look like from moon?

What will a lunar eclipse look like from moon? Will earth become a completely dark circle?
3
votes
4answers
454 views

Why don't we feel the speed of earth moving

When we move our vehicle, we "feel" the speed of it. However, when stationary, we still are moving,but moving by quiet a speed. We know that earth moves with X ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

Why is every year the same number of days despite the gravity in the solar system?

I was just watching a Geoff Marcy talk on YouTube showing how they infer the presence of planets transiting distant stars. The supposed periodicity wasn't always quite regular from what I could see, ...
5
votes
2answers
70 views

Would it be possible to calculate the expected frequency of impact craters of all sizes on Earth

Can the expected frequency of all sizes of impact craters on Earth be calculated based on the preservation of impact craters seen on the Moon? Taking into account the difference in gravity and ...
2
votes
1answer
119 views

Radioactive decay is the main source of the earth's interior heat: fact or theory? [closed]

It's believed the main reason that the interior of the Earth hasn't cooled down in 4 billion years is because of the ongoing decay of radioactive elements that keeps adding more heat than is lost to ...
2
votes
1answer
113 views

Why doesn't the earth's surface collapse onto itself? [closed]

From what I know the sun (or any other star) nuclear fission keeps it from collapsing under its own gravity until the fuel runs out, if that's so why doesn't the earth surface like the tectonic plates ...
2
votes
2answers
69 views

regarding curvature of earth [closed]

i am having one doubt in earth's curvature.....this question may be dumb... How much we need to travel on earth to feel the curvature of earth. hypothetical case: for ex we are building a vehicle ...
7
votes
2answers
403 views

Why haven't Earth and Venus got any tiny moons? Or have they?

Why haven't some meteoroids gotten caught in Earth's or Venus' orbit? AFAIK most meteors are tiny fragments from comets. Shouldn't some comet tail sometime have passed Earth orbit at velocities ...
1
vote
2answers
218 views

If the earth stopped rotating, would we really fly inertially at 1000mph? [closed]

I heard this on Prof. Neil Tyson's StarTalk podcast (this episode) and had a question about it. In a Q&A session, a listener had asked what would happen if Superman really did stop the earth from ...
2
votes
1answer
371 views

If the tilt of the Earth changed, would the tropics latitude change too? [closed]

I wanted to know if the tilt of the earth were changed to 30 degrees would the tropics of cancer and Capricorn also both change to 30 degrees?
4
votes
1answer
248 views

What distance has the moon been from earth at the closest?

For every year, the moon is orbiting further away from earth. What distance has the moon been from earth at the closest?
15
votes
3answers
330 views

Are we made of the stuff of one star or more stars?

[T]his coincidence enabled stars in the late stages of their lives to turn helium into carbon, oxygen and most of the other atoms that you and I are made of. [...] [W]e're made of star stuff. Max ...
8
votes
2answers
150 views

How often does Earth cross the galaxy regions with higher supernovae activity?

According to Summa Technologiae, a book by a Polish author Stanisław Lem that based his science fiction novels on scientific research of the era, the Earth crossed in the moment of forming of life the ...
4
votes
1answer
159 views

Could something temporarily break the Moon's tidal lock?

Would it be possible for something to cause the Moon to start rotating at a different rate, breaking its tidal lock with Earth, without ripping it apart? If so, would the Moon's tidal lock eventually ...
4
votes
1answer
319 views

Latest sunrise/earliest sunset out of phase with solstice?

Everybody knows that the shortest and longest days of the year occur on the solstices. However, examination of sunrise/sunset tables shows that the maxima and minima of sunrise/sunset times are ...
0
votes
2answers
589 views

What is the Exact time earth takes to revolve around its axis [closed]

I read that our day is not exactly 24 hours long. If it is not then why weather seasons come at the same time (Summer, Winter, Autumn Spring) ? how it is equalized ? Update: Sorry I could not make ...
2
votes
0answers
35 views

Why the earth revolves? [duplicate]

Why do the earthor any other planet continue to revolve around the sun or a star in general and that also with constant time period?What is the reason behind it?Other than gravitational force is ...
11
votes
1answer
228 views

How stable are Lissajous orbits?

Now that the Gaia Space Telescope is on it's way to the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point (SEL2), I start wondering about the stability of Gaia's orbit there. The Planck Telescope is already there, as was ...
7
votes
1answer
118 views

Did a piece of Halley's comet strike the Earth 1,500 years ago?

A friend showed me an article saying that there's evidence that a piece of Halley's comet may have struck the earth about 1,500 years ago. Is anyone here aware of such evidence?
3
votes
0answers
240 views

What effect does the Earth's rotation have on plate tectonics? [closed]

I've been reading up on plate tectonics and found that there are several different driving forces involved. One of the main categories of driving force mentioned on Wikipedia is forces related to the ...
3
votes
0answers
156 views

Day and night temperature on an earthlike planet with longer rotational period [closed]

I'm trying to understand the climatic effects of the far future scenario of an Earth-like planet with a reduced rotational speed caused by tidal locking with the moon (day-night period of 28 days, one ...
6
votes
1answer
71 views

Earth and ferromagnetism [closed]

Earth's core is a giant liquid iron ball actually. If I know well, the magnetic field of our planet (that protects the surface from some particles comes from the Sun) can exist because as Earth ...
8
votes
2answers
205 views

Why is the Earth's center still hot after millions of years? [closed]

Why didn't the center of the earth cool after millions or billions of years? What keeps it hot?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why isn't Earth a perfect sphere? [closed]

In general, almost everyone describes Earth as an perfect sphere, but in reality it isn't a perfect sphere. Is there any specific reason why Earth is not perfect sphere ?
8
votes
1answer
3k views

How would Earth's climate differ if it's axis were tilted around 90 degrees like Uranus? [closed]

As the title states, what would the effect on Earth's climate be if it's axis were tilted approximately 90 degrees like Uranus? I'm specifically wondering about the effects on seasons, temperature, ...
9
votes
3answers
360 views

How can the Earth's rotation speed up? [closed]

It is known as a fact that Earth's rotation is slowing every year, that's why we sometimes have 61 seconds long minutes. In the Java documentation of Time : ...
6
votes
1answer
49 views

Is there a pattern between the mass of a body and the mass of orbiting objects around it?

I was looking at Wikipedia's Solar system page, and it says that Sun represents 99.86% of the whole solar system mass. I found that pretty huge. So i calculated ratio of masses : Earth / (Earth + ...
8
votes
1answer
374 views

How do people measure the distance between the earth and the moon?

How do people measure the distance between the earth and the moon? What methods were used? Where can I find the official data?
14
votes
1answer
433 views

Could any known, living organisms on Earth survive on Mars?

No life has been discovered outside of Earth (yet?), but do we know if anything that would be considered "living" on Earth could conquer Mars? (or maybe Venus?) With the Mars One project on the way, ...
8
votes
1answer
167 views

Changes to Earth's orbit

Any time a spacecraft comes in close proximity to a planet and if the spacecraft has the right angle then it is able to use the planet's velocity to move itself further into space. According to ...
5
votes
1answer
396 views

How much of an effect does the moon have on Earth's liquid mantle?

The gravitational pull of the moon is enough to create tidal forces of large bodies of liquid, i.e the sea. I was having a conversation the other day about how to terraform Mars, and someone ...
11
votes
2answers
876 views

Do other planets in our solar system experience eclipses or is this unique to Earth?

Here on Earth we get to experience lunar and solar eclipses. Is this pure coincidence that everything happens to line up? Do other planets in the solar system experience this phenomenon or is this ...
10
votes
1answer
132 views

Were effects of a planetary magnetic field reversal observed on other planets than Earth?

From geological records in rocks and minerals we know that the magnetic field of Earth changed its polarity multiple times in the history. See Geomagnetic reversal. Was a similar process of a ...
11
votes
2answers
882 views

Why does the Earth have a tilt of ~23°?

Is there a reason that the Earth has the tilt that it does (~23°)? How do we know which way is supposed to be 0°? Does this tilt have major consequences on the planet? Has it changed and will it ...
7
votes
1answer
94 views

Why does mars appear to retreat across the sky?

If you plot the movement of mars across the Earth's sky it appears to move back on itself during its orbit. Why does it appear to have a loop shape from Earth?