Questions about the outermost layer of a body.

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1answer
51 views

What does the surface of Mercury look like?

What does the surface of Mercury look like? What color is it (I have seen some images portraying it grey and some a light brownish color), and would the surface be dusty like the Moon, smooth, or ...
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1answer
265 views

How to calculate the temperature of a star

I need a way to calculate the effective temperature (surface temperature) of a star for a stellar model. I need something in the form Te=.... I have: Radius in m mass in kg the composition of ...
3
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1answer
108 views

What is the color of Venus if it has no atmosphere?

Mars looks reddish and Mercury looks gray because they lack thick atmospheres and we can see their "real color" easily, how about Venus? Is the surface of Venus really yellowish in color?
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1answer
32 views

Do boulders erode differently on asteroids than on the Moon?

If I understand it correctly, boulders on the Moon are only found near fresh craters, because micrometeorites erode them over time. Asteroids are believed to have formed sometimes even earlier than ...
4
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1answer
96 views

What is the temperature on surface of Pluto facing Sun?

According to wiki page, the mean temperature of Pluto is 44 degree K (-229 degree C). However, given that Pluto is tilted greatly and there is daylight for long periods on part of Pluto facing the Sun ...
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2answers
98 views

Could Pluto and Charon have extra-Solar origin?

Pluto and Charon seem to have surprisingly young surfaces, considering that resurfacing events were expected to be rare for them. Could the explanation be that they actually are young? Formed later ...
6
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1answer
131 views

Could an impact have resurfaced Venus 300 million years ago?

Venus surface isn't older than about 300 million years. The only explanation I've come across is that some kind of global volcanism resurfaced the planet. But couldn't it have been an impact event? A ...
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0answers
36 views

How easy is it to mine water on Ceres?

It has been suggested by some futuristic or sci fi leaning thinkers, that Ceres' surface might be mined for water to support human exploration and settlement of space. But NASA's Dawn mission and ...
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2answers
2k views

What will happen when landing on Jupiter?

Jupiter is a gas giant, so landing on it will not be like as on Earth, our moon or Mars etc., as it does not have a solid surface like these. If we have a hypothetical spaceship or probe landing on ...
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1answer
121 views

Would bagging an asteroid destroy valuable science about it?

NASA has a plan called "Asteroid Redirect Mission option A". It would robotically put an asteroid of a few meters diameter in a bag and push it into reach of astronauts for thorough examination. 44 ...
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1answer
91 views

Why do rocks on other solar system bodies that have an atmosphere seem to be flat?

Images taken by landers on Titan and Venus and Mars show landscapes where rocks, to me at least, are surprisingly flat. Being used to walking around in forests with roundish meter sized boulders, I'd ...
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1answer
688 views

How likely and severe is the threat of a gamma ray burst to earth?

In the National Geographic article: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/04/090403-gamma-ray-extinction_2.html it is suggested that a gamma ray burst likely caused a mass extinction in earth's ...
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0answers
92 views

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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2answers
213 views

Is the surface of Venus red hot?

I was wondering, is the surface of Venus so hot that it would glow red in the dark (e.g. on the dark side of Venus)? I am working on making a solar system simulator, and that would make for a great ...
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5answers
166 views

Could there be life beneath the surface of Mars or moons?

I realize radiation and extreme temperatures would probably destroy life on the surface of most planets and moons, but could life exist beneath the surface (e.g. like earth worms on earth)?
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1answer
97 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
43 views

What observational constraints are there in detecting the presence of volcanism on exoplanets?

This question is somewhat related to my earlier question How are the compositional components of exoplanet atmospheres differentiated?, but this about a specific surface-atmospheric phenomena - ...
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1answer
176 views

Is the surface of TrES-2b actually dark?

The exoplanet TrES-2b is known as the darkest planet ever found, reflecting <1% of the light that hits it. What does it mean in respect to the surface? What would we see below the atmosphere of ...