Questions regarding celestial bodies in orbit around a star.

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6
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1answer
90 views

Pluto- Current theories regarding its geological nature?

The images of New Horizons from Pluto will take more a year to arrive from space, for the moment with have some compressed images as a preview. Nasa has advanced some information regarding the ...
0
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1answer
56 views

How significant is a planet's density to the formation of life?

I'm doing some writing set on a fictional earthlike planet that for reasons needs to be substantially larger than Earth but can't have substantially higher gravity. I've been able to compromise with a ...
5
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2answers
86 views

Official Definition of Satellite?

So I had an argument with a friend, which was about whether the Moon is a planet or a satellite. IAU 2006 Resolution B5 gives definitions on what it is to be a planet, but there is a vagueness, as I ...
1
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1answer
47 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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1answer
64 views

How to calculate a planet's current position within the solar system

I'm making an application that needs to calculate a planet's current position within the solar system - I don't want to calculate its position in the sky. For example, what I want to do is exactly ...
0
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1answer
107 views

what planet is the most radioactive?

So as I understand it the source of most geothermal energy on Earth is due to radioactive decay. Jupiter is the most massive planet but if the bulk of it's mass comes from gaseous elements instead of ...
1
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1answer
103 views

What will the last days of Earth be like?

The sun is a main-sequence star; as I understand it the sun will expand into a red giant in a few billion years. I have heard conflicting reports of what this entails - some sources I found say the ...
1
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2answers
80 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. ...
1
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1answer
292 views

How long will it take Pluto to grow to planet size? [closed]

Pretty much everything in our solar system has collisions with smaller objects that lead to an increase in the mass of the larger. With Pluto being one of the largest things in the area of which it ...
1
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2answers
240 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 ...
4
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0answers
67 views

Can there be an object with planetary discriminant between Ceres and Neptune?

The planetary discriminant is a measure of how dominant a body is within its region of the solar system. For (true) planets, it is >10000 and for dwarf planets it is <1. See this answer for more ...
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0answers
14 views

Do the planetary ring lasts? [duplicate]

Almost all gas giants in our solar system are observed to have a planetary ring comprises of ice, dust and rocks. My question is do these rings obediently sticks around their foster parent until our ...
10
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4answers
173 views

Where might a semi proficient amateur analyst participate in meaningful astronomical efforts

I am a retired engineer that has an ongoing interest in space efforts. In my youth I did work on the Apollo program but on propulsion and vehicle thermal control: not flight dynamics. I have ...
1
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2answers
130 views

On a log-log plot of surface gravity to planet mass, what is the meaning of the y-intercept?

I am playing around with data from exoplanets.org, and am interested in the plot of surface gravity to planet mass. I reproduced this plot after downloading their data and performed a non-linear ...
6
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2answers
189 views

Why does the Solar System have no (natural) satellites of satellites?

What are the conditions for a planetary moon to have a satellite of its own? How far do the Solar System's bodies fall from the necessary threshold?
1
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4answers
142 views

Is there a way to tell what the surface of a planet is like?

Kepler-442b I'm doing a project in which I need to find a planet within our galaxy that might be habitable. I found this planet that is within its stellar system's habitable zone, and due to research ...
1
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4answers
119 views

Image sets for testing stacking algorithms?

I am looking for sets of astronomical images for testing different kinds of stacking algorithms. The idea is simple: if one has $N$ images of the same object, the signal-to-noise ratio of the ...
3
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1answer
93 views

Calculating RA/dec from JPL ephemeris data

I'm using JPL planetary ephemerides to calculate the position of planets. Using DE405 ephemeris (using a parser provided by Project Pluto with all tests passing). I am fetching the position of Mars ...
1
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3answers
151 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 ...
3
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2answers
51 views

Can we know the orbital planes of extraterrestrial planetary bodies?

Astronomers can tell if there are any exoplanets orbiting its parent star using but not limited to the following methods: Transit As an massive object usually a planet passing in front of a star ...
1
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1answer
44 views

Equations for coordinates of solar system objects

I would like to write a program that visualizes the solar system. To do this, I would need equations for calculating the coordinates of each solar system object at a given time. Where could I obtain ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Are there any works discussing planetary bodies being forms of life?

I'm searching for works or individuals that consider and discuss the idea of planetary bodies being considered stand alone living creatures, rather than objects either capable or incapable of ...
7
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2answers
308 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 ...
0
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0answers
17 views

are all the planet in the same plane? [duplicate]

are all the planet in solar system the same plane in the space or not ? if yes is there any especial reason ? and if no how do they orbits then ? as far as i know they are in the same plane , but is ...
0
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3answers
101 views

BIG CRUNCH Theory

Someday before i read about a article which explained about a phenomenon called BIG CRUNCH, according to it the way Big Bang happened because of which the remains moved away from one another forming ...
0
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2answers
86 views

Where is Mars in the night sky

I live around Houston, Texas and I'm taking advantage of Earth hour to look at the stars. I've found two objects that I think might be Mars. Both of them are in roughly the same plane as Venus and ...
0
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0answers
96 views

BIG Problem with the Planet definition [duplicate]

Ok, so Pluto is only ~1/13 the mass of the objects in "its orbit". This orbital region extends from 40 AU to 70 AU (semi major axes)- Now, just a minute. 30 AU is all the mass we are considering. Now, ...
4
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1answer
163 views

Lack of planets in the Oort Cloud

With the current news about the possibility of a planet in the Oort cloud, I was thinking, why is the matter in the Oort cloud distributed so? It makes sense that inside the planet region there is not ...
0
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1answer
47 views

Do astronomers and astrophysicists more often use diameters or radii when discussing about planets, dwarf planets, exoplanets and stars?

Mathematicians much more often use radii over diameters when discussing about circles and spheres, because in mathematics the radius is more fundamental than the diameter (the sphere is defined using ...
1
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1answer
157 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 ...
2
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1answer
143 views

How long does it take Dawn to orbit Ceres?

I haven´t been able to find the orbit time of Dawn around Ceres. Do you know how long it takes?
0
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1answer
32 views

Internal heat and differentiation

I was reading an article on planetary differentiation, and apparently internal heat producction plays a mojor role. There are several sources of such heat described, such as tidal heat, radiogenic ...
0
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2answers
102 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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1answer
97 views

Difficulties in finding Jupiter

I am new to astronomy. Jupiter is now visible to the naked eye but I have difficulties in locating it with my (new Newtonian reflector) telescope. The lowest magnification I have is 36X, which I guess ...
2
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2answers
141 views

What astronomical observations would give conclusive proof of alien life?

There are several ways we are coming closer to answering the question "is there life elsewhere in the universe?". One is by first understanding very well the origin life on our own planet. Another is ...
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3answers
186 views

Why there are other planets in our solar system? [closed]

Why there are planets in our solar system other than Earth? Only Earth supports life. What is the significance of other planets? Earth receives sunlight from Sun; in a similar way, do we receive any ...
0
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2answers
83 views

Could there be another planet between Mercury and the Sun?

Could there be another planet between Mercury and the Sun? Kepler found a lot of planets orbiting its star even 20 times closer than Mercury. If there were such planets in our system - would it be ...
1
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1answer
33 views

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 - ...
5
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1answer
69 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 ...
5
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2answers
202 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 ...
4
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1answer
89 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 - ...
3
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3answers
465 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 ?
5
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2answers
141 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?
2
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1answer
465 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, ...
8
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3answers
263 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
147 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 ...
2
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1answer
79 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 ...
2
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1answer
66 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
156 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
37 views

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 ...