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26

There are a few incorrect assumptions in your post, so it is difficult to answer as asked. But I can address the misconceptions. 1. The seasons are not caused by the distance from the sun The seasons are caused by the 23.5° tilt in Earth's axis. When the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun (summer), the Southern Hemisphere is simultaneously tilted ...


18

Not strictly satellites/moons, but certainly companions are 2010 TK7 with a diameter of ~300 m, an Earth trojan at the L4 point, and the ~5 km 3753 Cruithne in a peculiar orbit locked to the Earth's.


16

The coincidence isn't so much that they appear very similar sizes from Earth, but that we are alive to see them at the point in time in which they appear very similar sizes. The moon is slowly moving away from the Earth, and at some point in the future the moon will be unable to totally eclipse the sun and conversely, if you could step far into prehistory, ...


12

First up, the tilt is exactly 23.45 degrees. The reason for Earth's tilt is still not yet really proven, but scientists at Princeton stated on August 25, 2006 that planet Earth may have 'tilted' to keep its balance. Quote: By analyzing the magnetic composition of ancient sediments found in the remote Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard, Princeton ...


12

The precise presolar history isn't known. I'll try to tell a likely story backward in time. Our sun probably has brothers and sisters scattered throughout the Milky Way. Further back in time our sun likely was part of on open star cluster like the Hyades. Open star clusters are not stable and eject stars over hundreds of millions of years. (More about ...


11

What you're asking, basically, is whether there are any proofs for the heliocentric model of the Solar System. A literal naked-eye observation of the Earth revolving around the Sun would be rather difficult, since human beings have never gone to another planet yet, and have only been to the Moon briefly, decades ago. Here are several proofs; some of them ...


11

One kilometer, no way! That would've been known since long ago. Most asteroids of that size have already been found, all the way out to the asteroid belt beyond Mars. Earth has no second Moon. But there are always some tiny asteroids around, which are temporarily captured by Earth's gravity. Here's a funny illustration of such an orbit, it is not what we ...


10

The Moon has an orbital eccentricity of 0.0549, so its path around the Earth is not perfectly circular and the distance between the Earth and the Moon will vary from the Earth's frame of reference (Perigee at 363,295 km and apogee at 405,503 km), see for example second animation explaining Lunar librations in this answer. But its orbit can be said, in an ...


10

This is referred to as diurnal motion, due to Earth's rotation on its axis, and it affects apparent motion of stars differently depending on their position on the skies relative to the axis of Earth's rotation. For example, on northern hemisphere, the star that appears not to move at all is positioned so that the earth's axis of rotation points directly ...


9

Gravity assists such as this are a form of elastic collision. There's a bit of number crunching here (hopefully no mistakes!), so you'll want to be familiar with the basics of momentum, kinetic energy, and the conservation thereof. Question: If Ceres (the largest known asteroid and nearly 500 km in diameter) used Earth to perform a gravity assist to ...


9

So would the Moon's magnetic field affect the Earth's magnetic field, just as its gravitational pull affects Earth's gravitational pull for oceans? Yes, but only slightly. Firstly, magnetic fields can superimpose, so the field at any point is the sum of the field due to the Earth and the field due to the moon. However, the moon is rather far away (and ...


9

The effect is called apparent retrograde motion. What happens is that Mars has a 'direction opposite to that of other bodies within its system as observed from a particular vantage point' when this loop occurs. That's a bunch of words that don't mean a lot to me. A picture is worth a thousand clearer words: (Imagine this turned sideways and you get the ...


9

Tidal amplitudes roughly scale inversely with distance to the fourth power (this comes from the tidal force scaling as $r^{-3}$ and the Earth's potential scaling as $r^{-1}$). At its formation, the Moon was approximately seven Earth radii away from Earth, or about ten times closer than it is today. Thus, the amplitude of the tide on Earth would have been ...


9

In a car, you have a perception of speed because of (a) the "wind" passing by as you rush through the air which is not moving at the same speed as the vehicle, and (b) you perceive the stationary objects nearby as "moving" off into the distance behind. As the earth moves in its orbit, you don't notice any "wind" from the planet rushing through space, as the ...


9

Without checking the numbers in detail, according to Wikipedia, the volume of the observable universe is about $3.5\cdot 10^{80} \mbox{ m}^3$, and the volume of Earth is about $1.08321\cdot 10^{21} \mbox{ m}^3$. By dividing the two volumes we get a factor of $3.2\cdot 10^{59}$, or written as decimal number: The observable comoving volume of the universe is ...


8

Pretty much every planet with a moon can have eclipses - you'll have seen photographs of Saturn with shadows cast from its moons, like this one from wodumedia.com: If you were in a balloon where that shadow is, you would see a solar eclipse. It wouldn't be as exciting as from Earth, as the Sun would appear so much smaller from this distance. If you want ...


7

Eclipses are common, but solar eclipses like the ones our moon causes would be unusual since it takes a combination of factors, the angular size of the moon and sun are nearly the same from the viewpoint of Earth so that the moon (depending on where it is in its slightly ellipitcal path around the Earth) can cover the sun nearly exactly. NASA has a nice ...


7

There is no reason it should be. There are bound to be irregularities due to local geological differences. EDIT: The theory as to why planets tend to be spherical is because any irregularity would cause a non-uniformity in the gravitational field at the surface, and the forces on the surface rocks would ultimately cause it to be spherical. Though, ...


7

There is a nice article from Scientific American, but the main point is: There are three main sources of heat in the deep earth: (1) heat from when the planet formed and accreted, which has not yet been lost; (2) frictional heating, caused by denser core material sinking to the center of the planet; and (3) heat from the decay of radioactive elements. ...


7

There are many ways and I'm not entirely sure who you mean with "how do people measure the distance" (does this exclude space observatories like e.g. Clementine, probes currently in lunar orbit like e.g. Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer a.k.a. LADEE, or any other currently available technology?), but one interesting and extremely precise way is ...


7

It would look like a solar eclipse! What happens is that Earth gets in the way between the Sun and the Moon. From Earth we see the Moon disappear, from the Moon one would see the Sun disappear. Earth is fix on the Moon's sky, because the Moon always turns the same side towards Earth. Earth as seen from the Moon has phases, like the Moon has when seen from ...


7

It would look like this (actual picture of the Earth, seen from the Moon, during a lunar eclipse): Link to full page: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap140407.html The Earth would appear surrounded by a bright ring, even though the Sun is completely hidden behind it. The ring is sunlight refracted through the atmosphere. It's basically all the sunrises and ...


7

It's highly doubtful you could see any normal light source on the surface of the earth. Using $$\text{brightness} = \frac{\text{luminosity}}{4 \pi \times \text{distance}^2}$$ (with brightness in watts, and luminosity in watts per square meter. and distance to moon of $3.84 \times 10^8$ meters.) Try a hypothetical light source 100 megawatts output, all ...


6

The most likely candidate would be the Tardigrade. These little guys handle vacuum and radiation just fine. So long as water is provided, according to tests done in LEO the Tardigrade would survive on Mars. Even if they do dehydrate, they spring back to life once water is provided again.


6

You have correctly identified that the tidal forces are transferring energy from the Earth to the Moon. This energy causes the Moon's orbit to get larger thus slowing it down. It's a bit counter intuitive, but if you think about it the Earth spins a rate of 1 spin per day The Moon is orbiting the Earth with a period of approximately 27.3 days. If it were to ...


6

Actually, the core has two parts. The outer core is liquid, while the inner core is solid. As explained in the Wikipedia article about Earth's magnetic field: The Earth's magnetic field is mostly caused by electric currents in the liquid outer core, which is composed of highly conductive molten iron.


6

Stars tend to twinkle for two main reasons: first, stars are very far away (the closest star is about 4 light-year from the Sun) and are therefore seen as point sources. Second, Earth has an atmosphere. Earth's atmosphere is turbulent, and therefore all images view through it tends to "swim". Therefore, sometimes a single point in "object space" is mapped to ...


6

Gaia's original science and technology report (see page 221, see also the summary) gives an analysis of the Lissajous orbit. From what I understand Gaia will be placed in a small amplitude Lissajous orbit, giving it an orbital radius of $\sim400000$ km away from $\sim100000$ km along the Sun-Earth axis. In addition to the fact that this orbit is ...


6

The strength of the Earth's gravitational field compared to the Moon and the Sun is not enough to capture and hold satellites - there are too many disruptive forces that would rip them away over time. However there are some objects at the Lagrangian points - the points where the gravitational fields of the Earth and other objects are equal and so it is ...



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