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

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68
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2answers
8k views

How loud would the Sun be?

Sound can't travel through outer space. But if it could, how loud would the Sun be? Would the sound be dangerous to life on Earth, or would we barely hear it from this distance?
41
votes
4answers
6k views

How does the Earth move in the sky as seen from the Moon?

I just want to be sure I am visualizing this correctly, because it seems odd. The Moon is tidally locked to the Earth but there are wobbles to its motion due to libration. So from a point on the ...
20
votes
3answers
3k views

Does the Earth have another moon?

I was just wondering what are the chances that there is a small object (say less than 1 km but more than few meters) that orbits the Earth but has remained undetected by us? Are we actually ...
19
votes
2answers
1k views

Can you see man-made lights on the dark side of the Earth from the surface of the moon with the naked eye?

This question is prompted from a comment on this answer: Could a person on the surface of the moon see man-made lights on the dark side of the Earth with the naked eye? If not, how much magnification ...
19
votes
1answer
798 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, ...
17
votes
3answers
489 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
6k 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 ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

How many planets have we discovered that can support human life?

I have heard a lot of buzz about distant planets that could potentially be second homes for human existence, but what is that approximate number?
14
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the distance that the Moon travels during one orbit around the Earth?

Also, does it always take the same amount of time, or does it fractionally differ on each revolution?
13
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2answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
871 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
344 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 ...
12
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the Earth going to evolve towards Mars' fate or Venus' fate?

Upon reading on this site (and many others), one can think that Mars might have supported life in a distant past (discovery of liquid water, valleys, mountains...). On the other hand, Venus is the ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Is Earth unique in its fairly clear atmosphere?

So, we have surface pictures from two alien planets, Venus (captured by the Venera 13), and Mars (captured by the rover). Both of these pictures appear to be very dusty. For Venus we see strong ...
11
votes
1answer
372 views

If the moon wasn't receding from Earth, what would be the impact on the weather and tides?

Moon is slowly receding from Earth, which means that after its formation it was much closer to the Earth than now. How would weather look like if it wasn't receding at it would be now as close as at ...
11
votes
1answer
182 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 ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

What if Earth and Moon revolved around each other like Pluto and Charon?

What would be different for us if Earth and Moon revolved around each other like Pluto and Charon do?
10
votes
7answers
3k views

Why doesn't Earth's axis change during the year?

My understanding is that the Earth's axis points in the same direction in space during its entire orbit around the sun. And this is what causes our seasons. My question is why doesn't the axis follow ...
10
votes
5answers
483 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?
10
votes
3answers
738 views

Is it a coincidence that both the sun and moon look of same size from earth?

The sun is huge when compared to moon. Despite the huge difference in their size and distance from earth, Is it purely coincidental that they both look almost the same from earth?
10
votes
2answers
629 views

Why is the Moon receding from the Earth due to tides? Is this typical for other moons?

After reading the Q&A Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why? about the tides transferring energy to the Moon and pushing it from Earth, I have a question: How is ...
10
votes
2answers
687 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
5k views

What is the current theory for the formation of the Earth's Moon?

Given that the Earth and Moon are often said in the literature to have very similar geochemistry, what is the current theory as to how the Earth's Moon formed?
9
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
3k 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 ?
9
votes
2answers
257 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
199 views

Why Earthian atmosphere is so thin?

Venus is somewhat lighter then Earth, yet has a much thicker atmosphere. One would imagine that the following should be true: During the formation phase, all inner planets had captured as much gas ...
9
votes
1answer
197 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
284 views

Could Venus be a source of Earth's water?

I've watched documentaries about the solar system, where it is suggested that Venus once had oceans of liquid water similar to those that cover most of Earth today. Venus is now in a period of run-...
9
votes
3answers
634 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 : http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/...
8
votes
2answers
4k views

Will Earth lose the Moon before the Sun goes into supernova?

Ive read on some sites and saw on youtube videos that the moon is getting away from earth by 1-3 cm a year. Is this enough to make the Earth lose the Moon before the Sun goes into Supernova? Im ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Is it possible to move a planet out of its orbit? At least a lighter planet?

As observed by many researches our sun will be exhausted in the distant future. So does anyone think that driving our planet (or any planet) closer to the sun for more light and heat is a solution for ...
8
votes
1answer
197 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?
8
votes
1answer
787 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?
8
votes
1answer
7k 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, ...
8
votes
2answers
191 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
128 views

What is the relevance of the Tropics and the Polar Circles? Do they Exist on other planets?

The middle line is the equator, the second and fourth line are the tropics, the first and fifth are the polar circles. What is the relevance of these bands on Earth? Do these exist on other planets? ...
8
votes
2answers
214 views

Why does this graph for sunlight intensity on land has a steeper slope during sunrise as compared to sunset?

I got this image while checking weather data for a city in North India using Mathematica's Wolfram Alpha query I noticed one feature in the graph which i could not explain . Why does the encircled ...
7
votes
4answers
194 views

How did the Earth come to be in orbit around the sun?

I'm not sure if this post should be in the physics subject forum, but this seems to fit here too. I have been reading a book about chemistry and how the universe came to be with the theory of stars ...
7
votes
1answer
142 views

Why don't storms on gas giants move to the poles, like hurricanes on Earth do?

On Earth, hurricanes usually move from the equator to the poles. But if you look at a picture of Jupiter, you'd see that the Great Red Spot isn't anywhere near the poles. So the question is: why don't ...
7
votes
1answer
370 views

As days get longer, why isn't the added daylight split evenly between sunrise and sunset?

I have a basic understanding of the sinusoidal relationship of the rate of change of daylight as the year goes on. But it seems intuitive that the changes should be equally split between sunrise and ...
7
votes
1answer
325 views

How can one explain the apparent motion of the Sun from a heliocentric point of view?

From a horizontal frame of reference, the path of the Sun looks like a part of a circle in a tilted plane, as shown in this picture:            &...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Did we ever actually see the earth revolving around the sun? Is the geocentric model completely disproved?

Did we ever actually see the Earth revolving around the Sun? Also, is the geocentric model completely disproved or was it sidelined because the heliocentric model made things easier to understand? (...
6
votes
4answers
524 views

Does Sun have a reflection on Earth?

The new Google Maps1 presents an actual view of Earth, with the current position of Sun illuminating half part of Earth in real time. It is quite an exquisite view. My question is based on the ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Does the Moon's magnetic field affect Earth's magnetic field?

I wanted to ask a question; it's simple but I cannot find any possible and perfect solution. Earth has poles, North and South. By which we can get directions using a compass or a needle compass, but ...
6
votes
4answers
587 views

Moon's orbit around the Sun

The Earth revolves around the Sun and the Moon revolves around the Earth. Out of curiosity I started thinking about the orbit of the Moon around the Sun and expected (assumed) it to be as follows: ...
6
votes
2answers
328 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
200 views

Does the Sun impose back it's tidal forces onto the Earth (such as the Earth's to the Moon)?

It is known that each year the Moon is moving away from the Earth due to tidal forces. What about the Earth relative to the Sun?
6
votes
1answer
269 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...