Questions tagged [natural-satellites]

Questions on celestial bodies that orbit planets.

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2
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2answers
49 views

How to find the mass of a planet not knowing the gravitational constant?

So I found this problem, I know the gravity of earth $g_0$, I found the orbital speed of one satellite using this equation $\frac{GM_em_s}{(R_e+h)^2}=m_sa$ ($M_e$ is the mass of earth, $m_s$ is the ...
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When would we detect a tiny meter size natural satellite in a geostationary orbits?

A natural, tiny (meters-size, maybe 10.000kg mass) natural satellite could be trapped in a geostationary orbit. I wondered for quite some time: When and how are we able to detect these satellites? I ...
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1answer
47 views

Angular diameter result confirmation

Not being a math-minded person at all, however basic it might appear to be to all of you in this particular question, I would like to get the following calculation confirmed. I'm trying to calculate ...
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1answer
40 views

How did the orbits of Phobos and Deimos circularize?

The satellites of Mars might be captured asteroids. But Phobos has an eccentricity of $0.015$, and Deimos of $3\times10^{-4}$. If they were captured, they likely were captured with rather eccentric ...
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3answers
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Why don't the inner moons of Jupiter have tidally-induced volcanism?

Volcanism on Io is caused by the fact that it is tidally heated. There are four moons that are closer to Jupiter than Io with higher eccentricities, yet they don't seem to have any volcanism at their ...
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2answers
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How many satellites orbit their planet faster than the planet rotates?

Phobos is so close to Mars that it orbits Mars much faster than Mars rotates. This means that it rises in the west and sets in the east, even though its orbit is prograde. Are there any other known ...
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0answers
39 views

Which moons do have neutrospheres?

Or in other words: which moons do have ionospheres but not surface-bound ones? The space beneath an ionosphere is called a neutrosphere. I only know of Titan. I know that the Galilean moons and Triton ...
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How many moons do we know are shepherds?

Shepherd moons are natural satellites near the edge of a planetary ring that have an influence on the shape and size of the ring due to their gravity. So it is possible for a satellite to be near the ...
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2answers
265 views

What is the minimum mass of a celestial object so that it can have a moon?

I was wondering how massive something have to be so that it it can attract moons by pop culture standards (ellipsoid/round shape). Could a planetoid have a moon? What is the relation between the mass ...
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Why was the diaeresis removed from Pasiphae?

The Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature notes that the spelling of Jupiter's moon Pasiphae was changed from Pasiphaë in July 2009, i.e. they removed the diaeresis. I've been unable to track down the ...
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1answer
67 views

If a planet gained too many moons could the tidal forces of those moons rip the planet apart?

Or would the planet just be subject to extremely intense tidal forces instead?
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Keplerian Elements for the Moon and Earth around their Barycenter

So I'm looking to replicate the inner Solar System to a decent degree of accuracy. So far I've been utilizing the Keplerian Elements and Equations for the planets, as shown here. There is one issue ...
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3answers
962 views

Why doesn't the moon always follow the same path? Or why aren't the moon's apoapsis and periapsis fixed?

I have seen many times that the moon doesn't follow the same path. Sometimes the moon gets very close to earth which is shown in the news. If the periapsis of the moon is soo close then why doesn't a ...
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1answer
129 views

What would happen to the Galilean moons and Titan if Jupiter and Saturn disappeared?

The Moon reportedly doesn't "need" the Earth to revolve around the Sun. If the Earth wasn't there, the Moon would continue its current path from a heliocentric reference frame around the Sun. My ...
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1answer
122 views

Why isn't there a large gap in the number of captured moons Jupiter and Saturn have?

Given that Jupiter is roughly 3x as massive compared to Saturn and is located right next to the asteroid belt, it feels that Jupiter should easily have a larger amount of captured moons. However ...
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Ladakh India where the moon (Ramadan moon) is sighted but not in rest of India [duplicate]

Today 22 May 2020 around 3 p.m Ladakh India sighted new moon(Ramadan moon) but not in rest of India.I read many articles acc. To them it is not visible today, then how it was seen from Ladakh... .
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2answers
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Up to 384 minor planets (including Pluto) qualify as planets?

In 2006, the International Astronomical Union redefined the definition of planet in order to exclude Pluto, Eris, and several other objects whose category was disputed. This new definition of a planet ...
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8answers
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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: ...
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1answer
114 views

Is a Procyon - brown dwarf - Jupiter - superearth - Mars - Pluto system theoretically possible? [closed]

I once conducted a thought experiment and with some amateurish calculations based around Hill sphere and Roche limit came up with semi-major axis distances like this: ...
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3answers
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Do moons have moons?

Have we discovered any natural satellites of natural satellites of planets or dwarf planets? Even very small, or relatively short-lived - e.g. ringlets around Saturn's moons, some meteorites orbiting ...
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0answers
108 views

Help identifying a very slow-moving object during meteor shower photography

I just wonder if anyone could shed any light on this puzzle. Two nights ago whilst I was out photographing the Lyrids meteor shower from the UK something else showed up on my images when I checked ...
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1answer
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When was it realised that most major moons orbit in the equatorial plane of their parent planets?

Inspired by the discussion of the moons of Uranus providing a clue to the planet's axis of rotation in this question, I'm wondering when it was realised that the major satellites are typically located ...
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Would magnetic reversals on Ganymede affect radiation levels at the surface?

Currently the intrinsic magnetic field of Ganymede is anti-aligned with respect to the Jovian magnetic field. If this situation changed to become aligned, either due to magnetic reversals of the ...
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1answer
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Brightness, altitude & azimuth for satellites?

I'm using the heavens-above website to identify a satellite I've seen several nights this week. The question is related to how I can search the satellites table with the information I can provide. ...
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Is the process responsible for Triton's nearly perfect circular orbit going to happen in my fictional world?

First of all, I'd like to point out that I'm a worldbuilder and I like my worlds to be as physically possible as... possible. I am in the process of building a world with a habitable moon orbiting ...
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27 views

New temporary moon of earth [duplicate]

A new temporary moon named 2020 cd3 has been discovered. How can we determine that this is temporary and why does it have such an orbit which is such irregular in shape ?
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What is the precise definition of a moon? [duplicate]

With the recent discovery of Saturn's 20 new moons (elevating its position on the rank of planets with the greatest amount of moons, surpassing Jupiter), it makes me wonder: what are the requirements ...
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4answers
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What exactly is a “moon”?

Recently some new moons of Jupiter were discovered. However the moons are pretty damn small indeed - only a few kilometers wide. That makes me wonder if they should even be called moons in the first ...
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2answers
122 views

What is the difference between a moon and a random chunk in the rings

Jupiter has 79 (known) moons, Saturn 82, Uranus 27 and Neptune 14 (numbers come from Wikipedia). These planets also all have rings. The rings are made up of chunks of rock and ice. There also are ...
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What's the first written record of the moon being tidally locked to the earth?

I couldn't find references as to who first noticed (wrote down) that the moon was tidally locked to the Earth. This, to me, doesn't seem obvious from first glance, and looks like something only found ...
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1answer
8k views

Is Earth's moon the only one where a total eclipse of the sun covers the entire sun?

Is Earth's moon the only one where a total eclipse of the sun covers the entire sun? Are any other moons the same size as the sun as viewed from their planet like Earth's moon?
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Should only spherical satellites be considered 'moons'? [closed]

Since Titan and Ganymede fall into the same category as Deimos and Phobos or the components of planetary rings, the category of moons, it's like if all asteroids were considered planets. Tiny ...
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1answer
88 views

Can there be a three-moon system where only two are visible most of the time?

I am trying to build a moon system for a sci-fi work in collaboration with my boyfriend. He's the main writer and wants there to be three moons circling the planet in a way that most of the time, only ...
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2answers
172 views

Is there a timekeeping word for the orbit of a moon?

For a planet, we can colloquially refer to its period of rotation as a "day" and its period of revolution around its parent star as a "year." Some worlds have unique terms, such as Martian days being ...
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1answer
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Why is Io's volcanism chemically so different from Earth's?

Volcanic gases on Earth are mainly water, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide, but on Io there is a notable absence of water and carbon dioxide in volcanic gases, since sulfur dioxide is the dominant ...
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1answer
51 views

How long do solar eclipses last on Metis?

How long does Jupiter obscure the sun, from the perspective of Metis, the innermost moon of Jupiter? In other words, how long does Metis remain in the shadow of Jupiter? If it varies by time of year,...
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1answer
65 views

Would it be possible for life found on moon of rogue planet

I have heard that there are at least three Basic requirement for life exist in the universe, they are: Source of Energy Complex chemistry (including solvent/medium for chemical reaction) Protection ...
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Just saw 35 approx lights in the sky, [duplicate]

Just saw 35 approx lights in the sky, all moving in the same direction. When I saw the first 2, I presumed they were satellites as I've seen satellites and the iss before but I've never seen this ...
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1answer
69 views

What do you call it when a satellite goes once around its planet?

When a planet or a satellite turns around itself, its called a rotation. When a planet goes once around the Sun, it's called a revolution. What do you call it when a satellite goes once around its ...
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2answers
131 views

Tallest cliffs, by falling duration

If you threw something over a certain cliff on a moon of Uranus, it would take over ten minutes to hit bottom. By this measure, local fall time rather than absolute height, what are the near ...
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3answers
177 views

Could a Jovian or Saturnian moon keep its atmosphere if the system was within the habitable zone?

Currently the atmosphere of Titan is 1.5x thicker than Earth's atmosphere, but it's also much much colder. It's been said that an astronomical body can keep it's atmosphere if the escape velocity is ...
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1answer
201 views

Why does Titan have an atmosphere while similar moons such as the Galilean moons don't?

The Galilean moons of Jupiter are similar in size to Titan and are also protected by their parent planet's magnetic field. How come only Titan is able to maintain an atmosphere?
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Speed of Moonrise relative to fixed point on ground

Due to the curvature of the earth, and the way the moon interacts with the atmosphere (especially close to the horizon), is there a known function that describes the speed of the moon relative to its ...
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1answer
130 views

How do a planet's moons and a planet's rings interact?

I am making a video game which features a planet and its moon. And I thought I would add rings too. But that got me wondering... how do a planet's moon and a planet's ring influence each other? Does ...
11
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1answer
246 views

Are all satellites thought to be the result of collisions with the planets?

The leading hypothesis for how the Moon was formed was that another object collided with the Earth, throwing off a large lump of matter which formed into the moon. Is this thought to be the case with ...
12
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1answer
377 views

Why do planets and satellites in the Solar system look so wildly different if they came from more or less the same matter?

First, the planets. We have Mercury, which is rocky, no atmosphere. But then we have Venus, which is completely different: thick atmosphere, very hot, geologically active. Then Earth - blue, full of ...
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4answers
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Jupiter FM - What are practical and inexpensive ways for the amateur detection of signals from Jupiter, especially of the transit of her moons?

What modifications to a standard AM/FM or shortwave radio are needed in order to be able to detect radio-wave signals emitted from Jupiter? Would it be possible to detect the transit of the major ...
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3answers
148 views

What orbit is the smallest or takes the least time to complete?

What orbit in our solar system would take the least time to perform 1 orbit? What is the fastest possible orbit to complete in the universe?
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2answers
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How can tidal heating lower Io's orbit?

This answer to the question Is Io a magic energy machine? suggests that the energy from the internal heating of Io due to tidal "squishing" as it moves cyclically closer and farther from Jupiter in ...
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1answer
69 views

Various moon orbits

Orbits can follow certain patterns, as I am aware. Some include a circular orbit around the bulk of the planet, a polar orbit spinning about the pole... What I'd like to know, for a planet with two ...