Questions tagged [planet]

Questions on astronomical objects orbiting a star massive enough to be rounded, not massive enough to cause fusion, and which have cleared its orbit of planetesimals.

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15
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4answers
287 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 ...
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1answer
445 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 ...
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Does the gravity of the planets affect the orbit of other planets in our solar system?

When one planet passes near another during its trip around the sun, does their gravitational pull is strong enough to disrupt noticeably each other's orbit ?
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How can clouds form in Jupiter's atmosphere of Hydrogen and Helium?

Here is a graphic of cloud layers of Jupiter (source: Wikipedia): There are three distinct cloud layers of ammonia, ammonium hydrosulfide, and water. The temperature and pressure conditions seem to ...
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1answer
432 views

Orbital velocity of a planet - why is my calculation off by about 10%?

I am not sure if I am doing something wrong, or misunderstanding Reider and Kenworthy (2016). I'm just trying to reproduce the orbital velocities listed in Table 1. The second paragraph of Section II ...
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2answers
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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?
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1answer
372 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? ...
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1answer
349 views

How does the gravitation of Jupiter or other big planets affect Kepler's third law?

Does anyone know a good reference for this? I once read how Jupiter's gravitation can be treated as a perturbation. I think they expanded Jupiter's gravitation as an infinite sum of one of the special ...
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Is it at all possible for the sun to revolve around as many barycenters as we have planets in our solar system?

Though it is understandable that the sun and the earth may be revolving around a barycenter, but, if so, not only the sun and Jupiter should also be revolving around some barycenter, the same should ...
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1answer
407 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 ...
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1answer
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Are there large underground caverns on Mars?

Scientists talk about the possibility of life underground on Mars, and I assume they are talking about microscopic life that can live in small gaps in the soil or rock. But is there any evidence that ...
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3answers
620 views

Why are planets spherical?

I am a complete novice when it comes to astronomy, but someone asked me the above question casually. It seems as though planets are all roughly spherical, whereas other celestial bodies aren't ...
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Can dark matter be found in the shape of planets, galaxies etc.?

If dark matter has gravity just like normal matter, does that mean it can also form planets, solar systems and so on? Any answer will be appreciated.
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Why does each and every planet of our solar system have an unique axial tilt angle?

Why do planets have an axial tilt? From the above image we can see that each planet's axial tilt angle varies and differs from the others. What was the cause of this, was this from the beginning of ...
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2answers
843 views

Is there a ninth planet?

After Pluto's demotion as a planet, we have currently eight planets in our solar system. But Sun's gravitational pull can be felt well beyond Pluto, so is it possible to have a ninth planet beyond ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
143 views

How to measure mass of planets' core from orbit

I am told in an astrophysics lecture the following. The mass of Saturn's core was measured by Cassini when it completed its final flyby between the rings and the planet itself. It was also found that ...
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1answer
407 views

How would parallax affect an object at 200-1000 AU (for example, the 9th planet)?

We know from this question that an object is hypothesized to be at between 200-1000 AU that is large enough to detect, known now as the 9th planet. It should move about 40 arcseconds per year. It ...
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2answers
605 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 to "...
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Subterranean Oceans On Other Planets/Planetoids: How Do Astronomers Deduce This

Recently I have been looking into planetoids in our asteroid belt and I have found one that caught my interest, Ceres. One of the main points that was said about it was that it had a subterranean ...
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4answers
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Could Neptune be viewed with the naked eye from Uranus?

Which star or planet in our night sky can match what Neptune would look like when viewed from Uranus, or one of its moons? The answer would be for the most favourable condition, which is when Neptune ...
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5answers
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Do asteroids have a gravitational field?

I know that asteroids are huge chunks of rock, orbiting a solar system. Do asteroids have a gravitational field and do they gravitationally attract each other to form planets?
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How would rainbows appear on other planets?

Are other planets capable of producing rainbows? How would those rainbows appear? Can rain, clouds or ice from elements other than water produce rainbows? Related: https://space.stackexchange.com/...
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1answer
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Do blue giants have a habitable zone?

Or would the planet(s) need to be too far away for life to exist?
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Present distances between planet. How can I find them?

It's "commonly known" how distant are our solar system planets from Sun. But we can't easily say that about planets, which distances can differ greatly, without some observations (or simulations, ...
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3answers
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Compute Planet's Apparent Visual Magnitude

In a hypothetical solar system there exist: a sun of radius $r_s$ and absolute visual magnitude $V$ the Earth, with radius $r_e$ and distance from the sun of $1\,AU$ another planet, wit radius $r_p$, ...
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1answer
365 views

What might cause a planet to have a significant tilt in their orbit?

Most of the planets in our solar system all orbit along the same plane, supposedly because of the almost flat dust clouds that formed the planets. But some planets, such as the one featured below, ...
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1answer
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What effects do other planets have on the solar system?

For instance, Jupiter is the biggest planet in our solar system. Due to it's gravitational mass it can deflect meteorites and protect Earth from the Oort cloud. While these are positives, the ...
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3answers
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Years, months, days, and ... weeks?

Why do we divide time into weeks? Is there any celestial reason why humans do this? one year: earth revolution around the sun one month: moon revolution around the earth one week: 7 days = ??? ...
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730 views

Why do planets tend to rotate in the same direction although they have formed from tumbling asteroids?

The axial tilts of asteroids seem to vary randomly (let me know if this premise is wrong), while the planets have a strong tendency to rotate in the same way. If planets were formed by colliding ...
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2answers
629 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?
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Why don't we have in-between planets?

The planets in our system are most often grouped into two categories: Terrestrial: Mercury Venus Earth Mars Gas Giants: Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Why is it that we don't see "in-between" ...
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2answers
379 views

Did the Late Heavy Bombardment Period Happen Because of a Stellar System Collision?

I was thinking about the impending collision between M31 and the milky way galaxy, and I've heard that since a galaxy is mostly space most of the contents of both galaxies would be just fine. Could a ...
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1answer
436 views

Why don't storms on gas giants move to the poles, like hurricanes on Earth do?

On Earth, hurricanes usually move from the equator to the poles. But if you look at a picture of Jupiter, you'd see that the Great Red Spot isn't anywhere near the poles. So the question is: why don't ...
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2answers
964 views

Find distance from star to star?

How do you find the distance from a star/planet/black hole to another? I know people can calculate the distance from Earth to a star, but what about from one to another?
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1answer
219 views

Is there convection in Mars' mantle?

Mars is differentiated, with a core, a mantle and a crust. There are no (longer any) plate tectonics on Mars. Does this mean there is no convection in the mantle? Could there be convection in the ...
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1answer
293 views

Why has Saturn stopped contracting gravitationally?

The following text is from here: The Jovian planets get their heat from the Sun and from their interiors. Jupiter creates a lot of internal heat and releases this heat by emitting thermal radiation. ...
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3answers
310 views

Is there anything special about our position in the galaxy thats necessary for life?

It's a fact that our planet's location from our parent star (among other factors) is of crucial importance to the existence of life. But can our position in the galaxy be considered a factor when ...
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1answer
200 views

Determining the area of Lagrange Points

I have looked into Lagrange points a decent amount and I see many images that show the L4 and L5 locations as wide sweeping areas. Jupiter's Trojan asteroids are a good example of this. As well, L3 ...
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Do all planets have a molten core?

As we know, according to Wikipedia on Earth's inner core: The Earth's inner core is the Earth's innermost part and according to seismological studies, it is primarily a solid ball with a radius of ...
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1answer
274 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 ...
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1answer
281 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 ...
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1answer
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Why does the planet Saturn have numerous (62) moons compared to the rest of the planets in the Solar System?

Saturn is a gas giant like Jupiter. It has everything from tiny moonlets less than 1 kilometer across to the enormous Titan, which is larger than the planet Mercury. Saturn has 62 moons with ...
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1answer
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What are the 4 candidates for Planet Nine reported in 2017?

From Wikipedia Planet Nine#Citizen science: In April 2017, using data from the SkyMapper telescope at Siding Spring Observatory, citizen scientists on the Zooniverse platform reported four ...
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1answer
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What could be the possible origin of boron found in the Martian soil if not from ancient groundwater?

In a recent observation reported in the ScienceAlert article 'Boron has been detected on Mars for the first time" reporting that The Curiosity rover has found boron on the surface of Mars, ...
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How are rogue planets discovered?

Planets are usually found by observing a star and waiting for the light level to drop when a planet passes in front of it, but what about rogue planets that don't have host stars?
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Coordinate system for space [closed]

I am high school student, I have doubt if I have to locate a planet or any star in space, how do I locate it, because we have no perfect coordinate system, I have read in some books, that time is ...
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2answers
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What is the probability of life having developed or going to develop in our solar system another time?

I'm sorry I am not quite sure this question satisfies this point: Questions that are purely hypothetical, for example a question such as 'Could a black hole destroy the universe' or 'What if our ...
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3answers
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Is Jupiter a dwarf planet?

I know the question seems silly, but as far as I've understood, is this the definition of a dwarf planet: circling around a star, and not being a star itself having a round shape (otherwise every ...
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2answers
996 views

Why do the planets in the Solar system stay in the same orbital plane?

An earlier question addressed why all planets formed in the same orbital plane, but how is this angle maintained? What prevents the planets from taking on a different orbital plane?

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