Questions regarding celestial bodies in orbit around a star.

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Recent origin of Saturn's rings

Saturn was formed around billion years ago along with Jupiter. After which it had enough time to form moon which can break into rings. Then why is it said that Saturn's ring are of recent origin - ...
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1answer
48 views

What is the process for vetting the 4,175 candidate planets Kepler has discovered?

In the National Geographic article about NASA's announcement of new planets discovered by the Kepler spacecraft, it states that there are 4,175 candidate planets. What is the process for vetting these ...
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68 views

Maximum and minimum gas giant & ice giant densities

I'm working on a star system generator for a game; I'd like its results to be plausible but they needn't be super-realistic. I've got the orbital distances and masses of each body in the system, and ...
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1answer
42 views

The role of gravity during planetesimal accretion

As far as I understand, during the formation of a planetary disc, grains of dust stick together due to collisions and chemical bonding. Considering the size of the grain - say, 1 mm - and the speed - ...
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3answers
432 views

Why, in the Solar System, all the mass seems to be concentrated at the centre?

Is this a consequence of planet formation in accretion disks ?
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99 views

Can a gas giant have an other gas planet as satellite?

Is it possible for a gas giant (A very big one) to have an other smaller gas planet as satellite?
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165 views

What would be the dynamics of a double-planet system, similar to Earth / Moon, but with both bodies nearly Earth-sized?

Researching a sci-fi story involving a "twin-planet" system. Is such an arrangement (however unlikely) physically possible? And if so, must they be tidally locked with each other, similar to the moon, ...
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182 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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2answers
124 views

How can a planet not rotate at all and yet have 1 year that is day and 1 year that is night?

A mercury day if you consider its solar day is 2 mercury years. Now if you consider just 1 half of mercury, in 1 of those years it is facing towards the sun and in another one of those years it is ...
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1answer
53 views

What day/night cycles, climate and seasons would experience Alpha Centauri Bb inhabitants?

Alpha Centauri Bb is an exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri B. It is asserted that given the close distance to the star the planet should be tidally locked. The orbiting period of the planet is about ...
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59 views

Is it possible that only one hemisphere of a planet has an atmosphere?

Suppose there is a tidally locked planet orbiting a star. The planet's surface consists of a global ocean, that is, liquid water. At the inner hemisphere the temperature is so high that the water is ...
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3answers
93 views

How would we detect a planet behind the Sun?

Let's assume hypothetically that Earth has a twin planet on the opposite side of Earth's orbit. Its orbital period would be exactly the same as Earth's and it would always be behind the Sun so ...
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0answers
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Advancement of perihelion, data

I was looking for accurate and up-to-date data regarding the advancement of the perihelion of the planets in the Solar System, the only ones I've found so far are at least 90 years old bout I really ...
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44 views

Apocalypse on earth

What would it feel like on Earth if the Earth accelerated due to sudden changes in the solar system like ejection of another planet? Would there be giant tidal waves and other cataclysmic events?
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2k views

Is Pluto still a dwarf planet?

Recent news seem to suggest that astronomers are arguing about whether Pluto should become a planet again. However, I cannot find an official source for this. Is this actually true?
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1answer
97 views

Composition of planets' core

It is often possible to find a list of the materials that compose the cores and the mantle of plantes (often they are iron and/or nickel). How can these materials be determined in our Solar system? ...
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1answer
144 views

Planetary gas giants

I've read that a gas giant, like Jupiter, doesn't have a rocky surface. But planets must start as a rocky conglomerate of flotsam. Is the interior so hot that all the material is molten and there ...
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1answer
128 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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2answers
160 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 ...
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1answer
131 views

Is a spotting scope or binoculars a better choice for astronomy?

I'm interested in observing the moon and planets, and maybe some nebulae and star clusters. I have a pair of binoculars: Nikon OceanPro 7x50 binoculars (around \$300) Celestron 20x80 binoculars ...
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2answers
85 views

any unique phenomenon when the cores of two planets are aligned with their star's core?

Imagine a line passing through the cores of two planets (in the same planetary system) and their star. Have we ever witnessed this - either with both planets on the same side of the star or on ...
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2answers
35 views

Why is sodium such a common ion for in ion tails?

I was doing research about ion tails of planetary bodies and noticed that ion tails composed of sodium were common. For example, Mercury and the Moon both have ion tails made of sodium. Why is sodium, ...
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3answers
340 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 ...
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324 views

Why don't planets give off their own light? [closed]

Why don't the planets glow like stars?
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2answers
145 views

Weight of a celestial body

How do astronomers find out the correct weight of a planet tough there isn't any direct means to weigh them?What technique do they use?Just curious!
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185 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 ...
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1answer
23 views

Do planetary radio frequency change upon alignments?

If Neptune would align Uranus, would the radio frequency perceived on Earth increase? Are the radio antennas on NM capable of getting the 2 different radio frequencies feom both planets or would they ...
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2answers
723 views

Is it Possible for Planetary Bodies To Exist In Close Proximity Without Adverse Effects?

There are several sci-fi movies where planetary bodies are shown in the sky in order to indicate that the characters are on an alien planet. A good example is in Predators (2010): Is it actually ...
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1answer
173 views

Are there large underground caverns on Mars?

Scientists talk about the possibility of life underground on Mars, and I assume they are talking about microscopic life that can live in small gaps in the soil or rock. But is there any evidence that ...
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101 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.
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58 views

Is Mars visible from naked-eye from Michigan (47N, 88W) these days?

Is Mars visible at night sky of Michigan these days? I was trying to search for Mars from Michigan (at elevation of 30 deg and azimuth of 220 deg) around 11:45 PM with binoculars of 20x60 but didn't ...
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1answer
75 views

Why do we not send diggers to Mars if we think there's underground water?

A friend of mine asked me this question: If we have a guess that there may be underground water on Mars, why do we not send rovers with diggers? I do have a few ideas, but I want alternative ...
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2answers
329 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 ...
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2answers
153 views

What would happen if a planet is removed from the solar system? [closed]

More exactly what would to happen to us/Earth in general if any of the gas giants is removed by magic from the solar system ? How long would it take after such change before we notice it ? How major ...
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93 views

Why planet's orbit is not perpendicular or random ?

Why planet's orbit is not perpendicular or random ? It always seems each planet is revolving on the same geometric-plane around the star.
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Intrasolar planetary surface temperature change divergence from Earth

Considering the vast amount of insulating gas emitted by human activity on Earth without a coincident release on all other planets in the solar system as well as the phenomenon that planets in a solar ...
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1answer
202 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, ...
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1answer
941 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 ...
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1answer
61 views

Movement of the satellites of the planets . . .

Is the movement of the satellites (moons) of a planet coplanar, like the planets being coplanar around the local Sun?
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175 views

Why don't planets and asteroids have (cometary) tails?

Comets have tails. We all know that, and a lucky few have seen the better known. So why don't the planets (e.g. Earth, Mars) have tails? Why don't asteroids don't have tails?
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76 views

Present distances between planet. How can I find them?

It's "commonly known" how distant are our solar system planets from Sun. But we can't easily say that about planets, which distances can differ greatly, without some observations (or simulations, ...
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1answer
119 views

What is the orientation of planetary orbits?

I'm working on a planetary motion simulator. I've been working through the equations anomaly, eccentricity, etc. The one thing I'm curious about is if all the ellipses are oriented the exact same way ...
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1answer
86 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?
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1answer
82 views

What method is used to calculate the 'quality' of a solar/planetary image?

What sort of algorithm is used to calculate the relative quality of an image, such as is performed by PIPP, Registax, or Avistack? Such applications take planetary or solar images and prior to ...
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3answers
125 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?
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741 views

Which planet is also the name of an element? [closed]

Which planet is also the name of an element? I came across this question on cosmos quest and need and answer
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1answer
54 views

Rotational speeds of the material forming planets should increase, not decrease

We know that planets form as a result of gaseous material revolving around a center of mass that froze to form planets. However shouldn't the angular speed of that matter increase as they go closer to ...
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1answer
153 views

If oxygen was abundant in Neptune, would there be combustion?

Since Neptune/Uranus have high percentages of methane, wouldn't it be highly likely that there will be combustion (triggered by the lightning storms or any other factor) if oxygen was abundant? And ...
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2answers
224 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 ...
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3answers
196 views

Is there anything special about our position in the galaxy thats necessary for life?

It's a fact that our planet's location from our parent star (among other factors) is of crucial importance to the existence of life. But can our position in the galaxy be considered a factor when ...