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Questions tagged [rotation]

Questions regarding the action of or an object rotating along an axis.

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37 votes
5 answers
17k views

Why do (most of) the planets rotate counterclockwise, i.e. the same way the Sun does?

Referring to the mechanisms explaining the solar system formation and to the initial rotation of the gaseous cloud that collapsed, I understand easily why the planets orbit the Sun the same way this ...
Arroway's user avatar
  • 479
22 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why does a planet rotate and revolve?

Why do planets rotate and revolve in the universe?
M.Tarun's user avatar
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31 votes
2 answers
5k views

What is the current accepted theory as to why Venus has a slow retrograde rotation?

According to this NASA overview, the planet Venus is unique (amongst the major planets), Venus has a slow retrograde axial rotation, taking 243 Earth days to make one rotation (which is longer than ...
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

Cancelling out earth rotation speed, Altazimuth mount

I have a Dobsonian telescope. It is using Altazimuth mount. Basic idea of using it is to target the object by moving telescope vertical axis perpendicular to the ground, and an elevation axis that is ...
Kocur4d's user avatar
  • 233
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Inverse of the sunrise equation - finding locations with a given sunrise time on a given day

I'm working on a project for fun where I represent some sleep data geographically. For a given day, I have a date, a time for falling asleep that night, and a time for waking up the next day. The idea ...
xanxerus's user avatar
21 votes
1 answer
3k views

Do the axes of rotation of most stars in the Milky Way align reasonably closely with the axis of galactic rotation?

The axis of rotation of the Solar System makes a large angle of about 60 degrees relative to the axis of rotation of the Milky Way. That seems unusual - for example, most of the bodies within the ...
Roger Wood's user avatar
  • 1,379
27 votes
3 answers
2k views

What is the accepted theory as to why Uranus' axis is tilted so severely?

The planet Uranus is another solar system anomaly, where according to the NASA profile has an axial tilt of 97.8 degrees, also considered to be retrograde. This NASA summary "Uranus" suggests the ...
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19 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is Earth's orbital eccentricity enough to cause even minor seasons, without axial tilt?

I was reading the answers to this question about an exoplanet having seasons without axial tilt, and several responders mention that orbital eccentricity could cause a similar effect, but that the ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
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17 votes
3 answers
3k views

Shape of neutron stars

I've heard that the more an object spins, the less of a true sphere it is. Using this logic most of neutron stars would be far from spherical,in general what shape are most neutron stars?
kingW3's user avatar
  • 465
11 votes
4 answers
10k views

Why is twilight longer in summer than winter and shortest at the equinox

I recently decided to set my alarm clock to wake me up when it is "dark" out. In the end, I decided to set my clock to the earliest time that nautical sunrise is in my state (Illinois) and stick with ...
firebush's user avatar
  • 231
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the exact reason for the Sun's differential rotation to occur?

The following is an excerpt from the Wikipedia article for "Differential Rotation": Differential rotation is seen when different parts of a rotating object move with different angular ...
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6 votes
1 answer
5k views

What causes objects to become tidally locked?

I'm trying to write a gravity simulation (suns planets etc), and was hoping tidal locking could be one feature demonstrated. Using a simple equation for gravity has produced some interesting results, ...
Ninjanoel's user avatar
  • 171
4 votes
1 answer
333 views

What is the YORP effect exactly? Is it just the non-central component of the Yarkovsky effect?

This answer to Where have all the Vulcanoids gone? links to the aptly-titled The YORP Effect Can Efficiently Destroy 100 Kilometer Planetesimals At The Inner Edge Of The Solar System which says in ...
uhoh's user avatar
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46 votes
1 answer
6k views

Why does the Sun have different day lengths, but not the gas giants?

The Sun's rotation period varies from about 25 days at the equator to about 38 days at the poles. As I understand it, this is because the Sun is not solid, and because of the way centripetal force ...
Allure's user avatar
  • 4,684
14 votes
2 answers
726 views

What is the difference between the Yarkovsky effect and YORP effect?

As far as I understand, both the Yarkovsky effect and the Yarkovsky–O'Keefe–Radzievskii–Paddack (YORP) effect exert forces upon bodies as a result of thermal photon radiation. How do both effects ...
Nick Silvestri's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
16k views

How would Earth's climate differ if it's axis were tilted around 90 degrees like Uranus? [closed]

As the title states, what would the effect on Earth's climate be if it's axis were tilted approximately 90 degrees like Uranus? I'm specifically wondering about the effects on seasons, temperature, ...
Fezter's user avatar
  • 527
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why does a timelapse video of a stationary Milky Way make the horizon appear to move from horizontal to vertical?

In this video, with a rotating camera keeping the Milky Way 'stationary,' the horizon appears to transition form horizontal to nearly vertical. I understand the Earth ...
99Gretzky99's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
3k views

Did we ever actually see the earth revolving around the sun? Is the geocentric model completely disproved?

Did we ever actually see the Earth revolving around the Sun? Also, is the geocentric model completely disproved or was it sidelined because the heliocentric model made things easier to understand? (...
Noman Ghani's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
7k views

Are there any known planets whose axis is oriented such that one pole always faces its star?

Earth rotates around the sun and around its axis (A North, South axis) giving us days, nights and seasons. Are there any known planets that rotate with an axis pointing toward its sun so that one ...
LeHill's user avatar
  • 181
7 votes
2 answers
795 views

Could the merger of two rotating black holes create another that breaks the rotational speed limit?

The black hole GRS 1915+105 was observed to be spinning at near the theoretical maximum spin rate. Assuming you had two such black holes spinning clockwise, and also orbiting each other clockwise, ...
joseph.hainline's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
227 views

Are there collected data about the direction of rotation of black holes and the direction of the magnetic field?

Is there a relation between the direction of rotation of black holes or neutron stars and the magnetic dipole moment of BH or neutron stars? BTW, are there different directions of this two parameters ...
HolgerFiedler's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
373 views

How does the gravitational wave strain from a rotating binary depend on the chirp mass, frequency and distance & what a short derivation looks like?

Our most familiar experience with wave propagation either from firsthand experience or in school comes from the phenomena of sound and light and radio electromagnetic propagation. In air, we know that ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
562 views

Uranus' axis of rotation-when discovered?

Who discovered it, and how was that accomplished. I had assumed it was known before Voyager 2 arrived at the planet since it isn't mentioned in JPL voyager 2 Uranus Approach
Bob516's user avatar
  • 1,489
3 votes
2 answers
3k views

If the earth stopped rotating, would we really fly inertially at 1000mph? [closed]

I heard this on Prof. Neil Tyson's StarTalk podcast (this episode) and had a question about it. In a Q&A session, a listener had asked what would happen if Superman really did stop the earth from ...
scorpiodawg's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

What makes the Earth rotate infinitely around its axis?

I was reading two sites before I posted the question here. One site says something like that the collisions in Universe eventually set the planets rotating, another site says that our planet is formed ...
luky's user avatar
  • 133
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

What is the axial tilt of a planet measured relative to?

I am very much a beginner on the astronomy front but I understand about planets having different axial tilts, hence why Venus turns the opposite direction from the Earth and Uranus turns sideways. ...
HugMyster's user avatar
  • 145
3 votes
2 answers
529 views

As the Moon and the Earth are predicted to get into tidal lock, how slow would the Earth rotate?

This answer to Will the Earth ever be tidally locked to the Moon? supports the widely held thinking that during the Sun's red giant phase or later the Earth and the Moon should be tidally locked to ...
Ioannes's user avatar
  • 1,090
2 votes
1 answer
560 views

How to calculate the orientation of planets at current epoch

For an application I am working on I am creating a simulation of the solar system. In this simulation, a user needs to be able to 'move' to any position on any planet, and have the sky be accurately ...
Frank v Hoof's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
151 views

What should be the "poles" for irregular shaped bodies?

Continuation of: What is the definition of a "pole" of a celestial body? uhoh's answer says that distinct bodies should have a center of mass. If the body is spherical, then the COM will be ...
Nilay Ghosh's user avatar
  • 4,694
1 vote
1 answer
437 views

Calculating the orientation of the night sky

How would one calculate the rotation/tilt of the earth to simulate the Night Sky in a self-written tool or app. I am trying to built an app for my telescope to show me on my phone what I am looking at....
PaddyDeveloper's user avatar
93 votes
6 answers
9k views

Does the Sun rotate?

The planets rotate as an after effect of their creation, the dust clouds that compressed span as they did so and the inertia has kept it rotating ever since. It's fairly easy to prove that planetary ...
user avatar
25 votes
4 answers
6k views

Is it coincidence that the earth's rotation and revolution are in the same direction?

In a reference system where the sun is static, the rotation and revolution of the earth are, when viewed from above the north pole, both counterclockwise. Is it a coincidence that they agree? Or does ...
Marc Vaisband's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
5k views

How did Mars come to have a 24 hour 39 minute day?

Mercury rotates three times for every two revolutions around the Sun, apparently due to a gravitational resonance with the Sun.Venus takes about 225 days to rotate, and rotates in the opposite ...
Howard Miller's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
19k views

If Earth didn't rotate, would we feel heavier? [closed]

Suppose the Earth's rotation slowed for some reason. Would the lack of centrifugal force cause us to feel heavier than normal? Likewise, if Earth's rotation increased, would we feel lighter as ...
Spinmeister P's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Would an exoplanet without axial tilt have no seasons?

Would an Earth analog exoplanet which rotates around a solar analog, but without axial tilt, have no seasons? Would it be similar to how Los Angeles does not have very noticeable seasons compared to ...
seijitsu's user avatar
  • 403
13 votes
4 answers
16k views

Do solstices and equinoxes shift over time?

Right now, I think the winter solstice is around December 21. Has it always been around this date constantly? Since the earth's axis's 23.45° tilt will be on the exact opposite side in 13000 years (...
Mickael Caruso's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
17k views

What is the fastest spinning rotation of a Neutron star?

What is the fastest spinning rotation of a Neutron star? I have heard that Neutron stars have a specially fast spinning rotation. What is the fastest?
Jamd's user avatar
  • 377
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do some comets spin? If so, how fast?

The GIF below is copied from my question earlier What might a CN filter be in the context of comet watching? Is it showing dust, or gas, or something else? where I'd said: In this post on the website ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 30.7k
8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is the Sun prograde or retrograde with respect to the rotation of the Milky Way?

I recently learned about the terms prograde and retrograde. I've seen these terms used to describe the rotations and orbits of moons with respect to their planet, and planets with respect to their ...
bgoldst's user avatar
  • 183
8 votes
1 answer
603 views

Why do the Sun and gas planets rotate faster at equator than at poles?

From this site, it states that: The Sun spins faster at its equator than at its poles. I have also read somewhere that the gas giants (gaseous planets like Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) also ...
apk's user avatar
  • 949
7 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is it possible for stars not to rotate?

I'm just curious about that the existence of non-rotating stars. Is it physically possible for a star not to rotate at all? Does magnetic braking eventually stop the stellar rotation?
Study Astrophysics's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
479 views

What is the definition of a "pole" of a celestial body?

What is the definition of a "pole" of a celestial body? Earth's pole is defined as it's rotational pole. The North and South Poles are the two points on Earth where its axis of rotation ...
cowlinator's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why most planets don't spin retrograde? [duplicate]

Edit: just found duplicate Since orbital velocity is greater on small orbits, and smaller on large orbits, why don't planets spin retrograde around their own axis? One portion of planet's mass is ...
user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
124 views

Why would a freezing liquid layer accelerate a rocky body's rotation?

Titan, whose orbital period is 382 hours, is tidally locked, like all round moons in the Solar System. But Jonathan I. Lunine said of Titan: One thing that Titan could not have done during its ...
J.G.'s user avatar
  • 325
6 votes
3 answers
10k views

Will Earth rotate backwards in the future?

Hello recently I heave heard the earth will eventually start rotating in the opposite direction (ie sunrise from the west) . I am not sure if this is true, but a lot of sites are claiming it to be ...
X caliber's user avatar
  • 105
5 votes
1 answer
4k views

Does the sky get darker faster during the winter?

When one lives away from the equator, say at around 37° latitude, does the sky get darker faster after the sun sets in the winter as compared to the summer? Why is this the case? I believe that if ...
WilliamKF's user avatar
  • 287
5 votes
1 answer
215 views

How can a rotation period of a planet's satellite/moon be "chaotic" (like Hyperion around Saturn)?

According to wikipedia (see info below image) Hyperion's rotation period around Saturn is "chaotic". What does that mean? The period (in days/hours) is different every rotation without any law ...
caasdads's user avatar
  • 205
5 votes
1 answer
194 views

Are there any bodies in the solar system whose rotation is almost tidally locked or barely tidally locked?

The Moon's rotation is firmly tidally locked to the Earth and the Earth's rotation is firmly tidally unlocked with respect to the Moon. I gather that Mercury's rotation is tidally locked in a 3:2 ...
Roger Wood's user avatar
  • 1,379
4 votes
1 answer
171 views

The orbital period of Jupiter and Europa billions of years later

We know that the Sun gets so big billions of years later and the Earth will get destroyed. What will the orbital period of Jupiter (Sun-Jupiter system) and its moon Europa (Jupiter-Europa system) be ...
Snack Exchange's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
2k views

Motion of rogue planets

Two Questions: 1) Are rogue planets in motion, i.e. are they just wandering freely in space or stationary? 1) Do rogue planets have defined path or a one which can be anticipated? I understand that ...
Farhan's user avatar
  • 701