Questions regarding celestial bodies in orbit around a star.

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3
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1answer
131 views

How is it that all planets (and moons) in our solar system are in equilibrium orbits?

Previously, I was told that in order for any bodies to orbit each other for over a long period of time, the orbital period, distance and masses have to be precisely matched such that the bodies won't ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Questions about terminology used for Mars and its moons

I am having difficulty with some terminology: sub-Martian hemisphere of Deimos ... what place on Deimos does it refer to? leading/trailing apex of Phobos ... what place are those? Apex ... in ...
1
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0answers
83 views

Is there a web service providing orbital data of solar bodies (planets, comets, asteroids, dwarf planets)?

I would like to be able to connect to a web-service and retrieve JSON data containing information on current (as of today or so) orbits of planets, comets, asteroids, and dwarf planets in our solar ...
6
votes
3answers
472 views

If a person were to die on the Moon or Mars, would the body decompose?

There wouldn't be enough oxygen for any bacteria to decompose the body, right? Not to mention, the radiation of space might kill off most organisms on it. So would it decompose, given millions of ...
3
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0answers
20 views

dataset of stars in the milky way galaxy [duplicate]

Does anyone have any idea were I can get a dataset of stars in the milky way galaxy, their mass and their planets and distance of planets from their star? I have tried various catalogs of NASA. I ...
3
votes
1answer
42 views

How do proto-planetary nebulae gain momentum?

currently I am curious about proto-planetary nebulae. At first I was curious about how planets spin but I read in a couple of articles that they got their spin from when they were in a proto-planetary ...
2
votes
1answer
43 views

Estimation of average rock and asteroid mass associated with different stars

There is a lot of information on different star types and compositions. Can we make estimates of the total mass of rock, ice, and non stellar matter that orbits stars based on star evolution models? ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Spheres in space [duplicate]

I know that gravity will turn a mass into a sphere, which is why planets and stars are that shape. But then we have asteroids and small moons which are not spherical. Such as a couple of Pluto's ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

Amount of EM radiation (and particles) Earth “receives” from other planets in our solar system?

Can it be (or has it been already?) measured how much and what kind of EM radiation (apart from visible light)/particles Earth "receives" from a specific planet in our solar system? Can other planets ...
2
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1answer
56 views

Does tidal heating imply orbit degradation?

What compensate the energy loss in tidal heating? Is it orbital decay?
1
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1answer
28 views

Elemental abundances in the crust of exoplanets and accessibility to them

Suppose I am orbiting a rocky planet (density = 4.4 g/cm3) two-thirds the mass of Mars in the Habitable Zone of Gliese 251. This planet has a thin atmosphere, presumably from out-gassing, still has ...
4
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2answers
295 views

Do all planets have a van Allen radiation belt?

Earth has the van Allen radiation belts. Which other planets have one? Can it be determined if distant planets in other solar systems have one?
7
votes
1answer
158 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
77 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
votes
2answers
129 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
vote
1answer
121 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
404 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
votes
1answer
412 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
135 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
vote
2answers
147 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
355 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
vote
2answers
313 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
150 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 ...
2
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0answers
15 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 ...
11
votes
4answers
196 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
193 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
votes
2answers
280 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
152 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
184 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
196 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
vote
3answers
201 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
votes
2answers
67 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
vote
1answer
87 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 ...
1
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1answer
41 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 ...
8
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2answers
346 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 ...
2
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0answers
22 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
159 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
221 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
185 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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
vote
1answer
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
49 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 ...
1
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2answers
149 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
vote
1answer
102 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
187 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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
570 views

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

Earth receives sunlight from Sun; in a similar way, do we receive any kind of energy from other planets? My question is: We are dependent on sunlight, which is energy from Sun; similarly, are we ...
0
votes
2answers
127 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
vote
1answer
37 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 - ...
7
votes
1answer
85 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
400 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 ...