Questions on astronomical objects orbiting a star massive enough to be rounded, not massive enough to cause fusion, and which have cleared its orbit of planetesimals.

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11
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3answers
555 views

Why are orbits elliptical instead of circular?

Why do planets rotate around a star in a specific elliptical orbit with the star at one of it's foci? Why isn't the orbit a circle?
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5answers
5k views

9th planet location?

I've seen a number of news reports indicating there is likely a 9th planet in our Solar System, something with an orbital period of between 10k-20k years, that is 10 times Earth's mass. I haven't seen ...
15
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2answers
618 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 ...
8
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5answers
969 views

When will all eight planets in our solar system align?

Ignoring expansion of the universe, entropy, decaying orbits, and interference from any bodies colliding with or otherwise interfering with their orbits, will the eight planets known planets in our ...
20
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4answers
2k views

Why do (most of) the planets rotate counterclockwise, i.e. the same way the Sun does?

Referring to the mechanisms explaining the solar system formation and to the initial rotation of the gaseous cloud that collapsed, I understand easily why the planets orbit the Sun the same way this ...
12
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2answers
485 views

Why does a planet rotate and revolve?

Why do planets rotate and revolve in the universe?
35
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3answers
9k 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 ...
31
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5answers
5k views

Why hasn't the “9th Planet” been detected already?

In the comments to this question, there was considerable doubt placed as to the subject of if the so called "9th planet" really exists. That wasn't really the intent of the previous question, so I ask ...
6
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2answers
383 views

Selecting a Telescope for Viewing Planets

I hope to observe planets like Jupiter and Saturn, and moons. I am a novice when it comes to telescopes and I know images in magazines are not taken with at least 12-inch telescope in a middle of ...
7
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1answer
8k views

Best telescope for the viewing of Nebulae, Stars and Planets

So, I am a 15 year old interested into astronomy. My father used to have a reflector telescope, but was never so serious about it that he could recommend me a good telescope. I am looking to buy a ...
13
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3answers
1k views

What wavelength to best detect the “9th planet”?

We know that the reflected sunlight will make detecting the 9th planet very difficult in the visible light. Is there another band that will be more likely to detect it? What is the surface temperature ...
11
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1answer
254 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
229 views

Years, Months, Day, and Weeks?

Sorry if this is a basic question. 1 year = earth revolution around the sun 1 month = moon revolution around the earth 1 week = 7 days = ??? 1 day = earth rotation about its axis Why do we ...
6
votes
1answer
177 views

How was the hypothetical ninth planet kicked so far out of the Solar System?

I was reading this article on science news and ran into the following statement: Such a remote super-Earth probably originated closer to the sun only to be kicked out by the other giant planets ...
0
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1answer
93 views

Does earth have retrograde motion?

I am a beginner. Please let me know whether earth has retrograde motion If it does not, let me know the reason
18
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3answers
2k views

Can small gas planets exist?

Most of the known gas planets (Jupiter, Saturn, etc.) are huge. They are even called "gas giants". is it possible to exist a gas planet around the size of Earth? If yes, why; if no, why?
9
votes
2answers
368 views

Open problems in astronomy that an amateur (with a PhD in some other field) would have a chance of solving?

What are some open problems in astronomy that an amateur would have a chance of solving? Suppose the amateur has a PhD in some other field, owns a basic telescope, a set of filters, diffraction ...
15
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1answer
3k views

How did Mars come to have a 24 hour 39 minute day?

Mercury rotates three times for every two revolutions around the Sun, apparently due to a gravitational resonance with the Sun.Venus takes about 225 days to rotate, and rotates in the opposite ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Does a planet's mass or gravity affect the height of it's mountains?

According to this Wikipedia page, the top five highest mountains on Mars (and the highest on Venus) are all taller than Mount Everest (and Mauna Kea as measured from the ocean floor). Does a planet's ...
15
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2answers
2k views

How bright would the sun appear from the hypothetical Planet Nine proposed by Caltech?

Theoretical Planet Nine, proposed by Caltech's Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin, is said to have a 15-20 thousand year orbit. Approximately how bright would the sun appear from Planet Nine aphelion ...
11
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2answers
297 views

Hypothetical beyond Neptune far away planets orbiting the Sun

The planet HD 106906 b was found at 650 AU from its home star, which is not a star much different from the Sun. Fomalhaut b is also a young planet that is orbiting very far away from its sun. These ...
5
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4answers
301 views

How are rogue planets discovered?

Planets are usually found by observing a star and waiting for the light level to drop when a planet passes in front of it, but what about rogue planets that don't have host stars?
13
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2answers
569 views

Is there a upper limit to the number of planets orbiting a star?

Our sun has 8 planets orbiting as well as a number of dwarf planets. Are there any calculations that hint as to whether this number is close to some theoretical maximum value or are we simply an ...
11
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1answer
180 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 ...
4
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1answer
168 views

Any cheap (less than 100 euro) telescope for observing Jupiter? [closed]

The moon is not challenging. I would like to observe the big planets and their rings.
3
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3answers
483 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

brown dwarfs and planets

As far as I know, a brown dwarf is a 'star' whose core never underwent a fusion reaction, so it never became a star. So I was wondering if, appart from orbiting a star, is there any difference between ...
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2answers
167 views

What is the axial tilt of a planet measured relative to?

I am very much a beginner on the astronomy front but I understand about planets having different axial tilts, hence why Venus turns the opposite direction from the Earth and Uranus turns sideways. ...
11
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2answers
481 views

Is there a ninth planet?

After Pluto's demotion as a planet, we have currently eight planets in our solar system. But Sun's gravitational pull can be felt well beyond Pluto, so is it possible to have a ninth planet beyond ...
9
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1answer
271 views

How would parallax affect an object at 200-1000 AU (for example, the 9th planet)?

We know from this question that an object is hypothesized to be at between 200-1000 AU that is large enough to detect, known now as the 9th planet. It should move about 40 arcseconds per year. It ...
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5answers
2k views

Does the gravity of the planets affect the orbit of other planets in our solar system?

When one planet passes near another during its trip around the sun, does their gravitational pull is strong enough to disrupt noticeably each other's orbit ?
6
votes
2answers
168 views

Ninth planet - what else could it be?

So recently it was announced that there might be a ninth planet out there. Some people (from NASA) say the odds are 50% that it is a real planet, since it hasn't been discovered by telescopes yet. ...
6
votes
1answer
611 views

How small can a planet be and still have Earth-like gravity?

A planet made from denser material than Earth might have equal gravity to Earth but a smaller radius. How small can a planet be and still have Earth gravity? Ideally it should be habitable by humans, ...
5
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1answer
153 views

Is Mercury's core liquid?

A very basic question, but one to which I keep finding different answers: does Mercury have a liquid core, or is it all solid? Whatever the reason, what are the causes of it being so?
4
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1answer
99 views

What type of planetary-mass object would Planet Nine be?

Given that Planet Nine is hypothesized to be 10-20 times the mass of the Earth orbiting the sun some 200-2500 AU out, what kind of planetary-mass object would it be? Even given that it has apparently ...
3
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1answer
98 views

Do planetary surface temperatures change in unison in a solar system?

Are there any known correlations between the changes in planetary surface temperatures in a solar system? If so, do the farthest planets have smaller albeit correlated changes?
2
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2answers
539 views

the most accurate system that can show the positions of planets at my birthday [closed]

My birthday : 4 December 1982 If you have such astronomical calculator on your computer please send me the result ! Alternatively if you know an online astronomical service for my purpose please ...
2
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1answer
2k views

How to calculate the expected surface temperature of a planet

I'm writing a program to generate solar systems but I'm having trouble calculating the expected temperature of a planet. I have found a formula to calculate this, but I haven't been able to get a ...
1
vote
1answer
212 views

Planets and moons positions in cartesian coordinates?

Is there freely available and reliable source, where one can find positions of planets and moons of the Solar system at given time in cartesian coordinates? (I am writing a simple gravity simulator ...
1
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2answers
181 views

Can Magnetars destroy planets?

Magnetars are the most magnetic things in our universe. Because of how powerful their magnetic fields are, they could split every single atom apart from each other in our body. Because of this could ...
1
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2answers
351 views

How did Jupiter form where it is?

Since Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system and is made up of mostly hydrogen and helium, (the gases the Sun uses to create energy), how come it didn't form as far out as say Uranus or ...