Questions tagged [earth]

Questions regarding the planet on which humans live; the third planet from the Sun.

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116
votes
2answers
12k views

How loud would the Sun be?

Sound can't travel through outer space. But if it could, how loud would the Sun be? Would the sound be dangerous to life on Earth, or would we barely hear it from this distance?
63
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4answers
8k views

How does the Earth move in the sky as seen from the Moon?

I just want to be sure I am visualizing this correctly, because it seems odd. The Moon is tidally locked to the Earth but there are wobbles to its motion due to libration. So from a point on the ...
46
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3answers
10k views

If Earth is tilted, why is Polaris always above the same spot?

Why is Polaris, the North Star, always above (or near) the North Pole? If Earth is tilted, Polaris' path should be in winter 23 degrees away from its path in summer, or not?
41
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5answers
13k views

How old is the oldest light visible from Earth?

Because light can only travel so fast, all of the light we see in the sky was emitted at a previous moment in time. So if for example we see a supernova or some other great stellar event, by the time ...
29
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4answers
3k views

Why does the Moon appear gray when passing between the Sun and the Earth?

Shouldn't the Moon appear as bright as a full Moon seen at midnight from Earth? The photo was taken by DSCOVR at Lagrange point 1. In the picture, The Moon appears dark gray. Of course the Earth ...
29
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2answers
2k views

Could any known, living organisms on Earth survive on Mars?

No life has been discovered outside of Earth (yet?), but do we know if anything that would be considered "living" on Earth could conquer Mars? (or maybe Venus?) With the Mars One project on the way, ...
24
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9answers
11k views

Simple experimental evidence that Earth revolves around Sun

What are the simplest experiments or calculations that give evidence that the earth revolves around the sun? Can you please explain them and reference the history? Many simple explanations such as ...
22
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3answers
3k views

Does the Earth have another moon?

I was just wondering what are the chances that there is a small object (say less than 1 km but more than few meters) that orbits the Earth but has remained undetected by us? Are we actually ...
22
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3answers
1k views

Are we made of the stuff of one star or more stars?

[T]his coincidence enabled stars in the late stages of their lives to turn helium into carbon, oxygen and most of the other atoms that you and I are made of. [...] [W]e're made of star stuff. Max ...
22
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2answers
3k views

Can you see man-made lights on the dark side of the Earth from the surface of the moon with the naked eye?

This question is prompted from a comment on this answer: Could a person on the surface of the moon see man-made lights on the dark side of the Earth with the naked eye? If not, how much magnification ...
21
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2answers
22k views

Why does the Earth have a tilt of ~23°?

Is there a reason that the Earth has the tilt that it does (~23°)? How do we know which way is supposed to be 0°? Does this tilt have major consequences on the planet? Has it changed and will it ...
19
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1answer
528 views

How stable are Lissajous orbits?

Now that the Gaia Space Telescope is on it's way to the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point (SEL2), I start wondering about the stability of Gaia's orbit there. The Planck Telescope is already there, as was ...
18
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4answers
4k views

Did the earth form outside the solar system?

Why isn't it possible that the earth formed outside the solar system and got attracted later by the Sun? I just need arguments to defeat this hypothesis.
18
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4answers
2k views

Is it a coincidence that both the sun and moon look of same size from earth?

The sun is huge when compared to moon. Despite the huge difference in their size and distance from earth, Is it purely coincidental that they both look almost the same from earth?
18
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2answers
28k views

What is the distance that the Moon travels during one orbit around the Earth?

Also, does it always take the same amount of time, or does it fractionally differ on each revolution?
18
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2answers
2k views

Do other planets in our solar system experience eclipses or is this unique to Earth?

Here on Earth we get to experience lunar and solar eclipses. Is this pure coincidence that everything happens to line up? Do other planets in the solar system experience this phenomenon or is this ...
18
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2answers
2k views

Why do stars appear to twinkle?

Sometimes at night you will look up to the stars and they will appear to twinkle, getting brighter and darker in bursts. Why does this happen? Is this because of our atmosphere? Would they twinkle ...
17
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2answers
3k views

Why is the Moon receding from the Earth due to tides? Is this typical for other moons?

After reading the Q&A Is the moon moving further away from Earth and closer to the Sun? Why? about the tides transferring energy to the Moon and pushing it from Earth, I have a question: How is ...
16
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3answers
3k views

Official degrees of earth’s rotation per day

What is the official degree to one decimal point please, of the earth’s rotation in one single day. Can it be confirmed that it is exactly 360.0 degrees using official data? Thank you in advance.
16
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2answers
3k views

How many planets have we discovered that can support human life?

I have heard a lot of buzz about distant planets that could potentially be second homes for human existence, but what is that approximate number?
16
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7answers
8k views

Why doesn't Earth's axis change during the year?

My understanding is that the Earth's axis points in the same direction in space during its entire orbit around the sun. And this is what causes our seasons. My question is why doesn't the axis follow ...
15
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6answers
4k views

Why don't we have 2 Summers and 2 Winters?

Due to Earth's elliptical orbit, its distance from Sun varies by almost 5 million Kilometers (147 million Kilometers at closest point & 152 million Kilometers at farthest point, i.e. almost 3% of ...
15
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2answers
19k views

Will Earth lose the Moon before the Sun goes into supernova?

Ive read on some sites and saw on youtube videos that the moon is getting away from earth by 1-3 cm a year. Is this enough to make the Earth lose the Moon before the Sun goes into Supernova? Im ...
15
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2answers
1k views

Why haven't Earth and Venus got any tiny moons? Or have they?

Why haven't some meteoroids gotten caught in Earth's or Venus' orbit? AFAIK most meteors are tiny fragments from comets. Shouldn't some comet tail sometime have passed Earth orbit at velocities ...
15
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1answer
500 views

If the moon wasn't receding from Earth, what would be the impact on the weather and tides?

Moon is slowly receding from Earth, which means that after its formation it was much closer to the Earth than now. How would weather look like if it wasn't receding at it would be now as close as at ...
14
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4answers
4k views

Is the Earth going to evolve towards Mars' fate or Venus' fate?

Upon reading on this site (and many others), one can think that Mars might have supported life in a distant past (discovery of liquid water, valleys, mountains...). On the other hand, Venus is the ...
13
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3answers
5k views

What if Earth and Moon revolved around each other like Pluto and Charon?

What would be different for us if Earth and Moon revolved around each other like Pluto and Charon do?
13
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5answers
1k views

What will a lunar eclipse look like from moon?

What will a lunar eclipse look like from moon? Will earth become a completely dark circle?
13
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8answers
387 views

Explain to a 4-year old why people below the equator are not tilted or suspended upside down

So I just bought a globe for my extremely inquisitive soon to be 4-year old son. He knows the very basics of the solar system and knows that we live on planet Earth and also knows the concept of ...
13
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2answers
18k views

What is the current theory for the formation of the Earth's Moon?

Given that the Earth and Moon are often said in the literature to have very similar geochemistry, what is the current theory as to how the Earth's Moon formed?
13
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1answer
308 views

Were effects of a planetary magnetic field reversal observed on other planets than Earth?

From geological records in rocks and minerals we know that the magnetic field of Earth changed its polarity multiple times in the history. See Geomagnetic reversal. Was a similar process of a ...
12
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3answers
4k views

Why are there no stars visible in cislunar space?

It’s very puzzling that the moon landing had no stars in the background, the ISS clips have no stars in the background. I listened to multiple astronaut interviews speak on what it looks like up in ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Is Earth unique in its fairly clear atmosphere?

So, we have surface pictures from two alien planets, Venus (captured by the Venera 13), and Mars (captured by the rover). Both of these pictures appear to be very dusty. For Venus we see strong ...
12
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4answers
1k views

How did the Earth come to be in orbit around the sun?

I'm not sure if this post should be in the physics subject forum, but this seems to fit here too. I have been reading a book about chemistry and how the universe came to be with the theory of stars ...
12
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1answer
324 views

Changes to Earth's orbit

Any time a spacecraft comes in close proximity to a planet and if the spacecraft has the right angle then it is able to use the planet's velocity to move itself further into space. According to ...
12
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4answers
789 views

If we found evidence of life on Mars, how would we know that it originated on Mars rather than Earth?

Consider this scenario. One of the probes sent to Mars either very soon, or within the next century, finds conclusive micro-fossil evidence that life once existed on Mars. One theory today that is ...
12
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1answer
2k views

How do people measure the distance between the Earth and The Moon?

How do people measure the distance between the Earth and The Moon? What methods were used? Where can I find the official data?
11
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1answer
2k views

What is the distance of the Earth's orbit around the Moon?

I realize the Earth and the Moon both orbit around their shared center of mass, and that in the case of the Earth and Moon this center is "inside" the Earth. However, I'm looking for an approach to ...
11
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3answers
6k views

Why isn't Earth a perfect sphere? [closed]

In general, almost everyone describes Earth as an perfect sphere, but in reality it isn't a perfect sphere. Is there any specific reason why Earth is not perfect sphere ?
11
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2answers
394 views

Why is the Earth's center still hot after millions of years? [closed]

Why didn't the center of the earth cool after millions or billions of years? What keeps it hot?
11
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2answers
501 views

Why does Mars appear to retreat across the sky?

If you plot the movement of Mars across the Earth's sky it appears to move back on itself during its orbit. Why does it appear to have a loop shape from Earth?
11
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2answers
440 views

Could Venus be a source of Earth's apparent overabundance of water?

I've watched documentaries about the solar system, where it is suggested that Venus once had oceans of liquid water similar to those that cover most of Earth today. Venus is now in a period of ...
11
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3answers
1k views

How can the Earth's rotation speed up? [closed]

It is known as a fact that Earth's rotation is slowing every year, that's why we sometimes have 61 seconds long minutes. In the Java documentation of Time : http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/...
11
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1answer
3k views

How much of an effect does the moon have on Earth's liquid mantle?

The gravitational pull of the moon is enough to create tidal forces of large bodies of liquid, i.e the sea. I was having a conversation the other day about how to terraform Mars, and someone ...
11
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1answer
93 views

Is there a pattern between the mass of a body and the mass of orbiting objects around it?

I was looking at Wikipedia's Solar system page, and it says that Sun represents 99.86% of the whole solar system mass. I found that pretty huge. So i calculated ratio of masses : Earth / (Earth + ...
11
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2answers
225 views

How often does Earth cross the galaxy regions with higher supernovae activity?

According to Summa Technologiae, a book by a Polish author Stanisław Lem that based his science fiction novels on scientific research of the era, the Earth crossed in the moment of forming of life the ...
11
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1answer
207 views

What is the relevance of the Tropics and the Polar Circles? Do they Exist on other planets?

The middle line is the equator, the second and fourth line are the tropics, the first and fifth are the polar circles. What is the relevance of these bands on Earth? Do these exist on other planets? ...
10
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6answers
13k views

Why doesn't the sun pull the moon away from earth?

If the suns gravitational pull is strong enough to hold much larger masses in place (all the planets) and at much greater distances (all planets further away from the sun then earth) why does it not ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Moon's orbit around the Sun

The Earth revolves around the Sun and the Moon revolves around the Earth. Out of curiosity I started thinking about the orbit of the Moon around the Sun and expected (assumed) it to be as follows: ...
10
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2answers
1k views

How did water get on Earth

I recently read that water more than likely got here by comets (carrying water) hitting the Earth. However it also it says the impact of a comet hitting the Earth is much greater than an atomic bomb. ...