Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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How do I actually apply the small-angle approximation in this problem?

I'm asked to use the small-angle approximation to calculate the angular diameter (in degrees) of Jupiter as seen from Earth, if Jupiter were at the average distance of the Moon of 384,000 km. I know ...
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Does the north pole of the Solar System (with respect to the invariable plane) point towards the galactic center?

How is our Solar System as a whole (not the wobbly Earth) tilted with respect to the invariable plane of the Milky Way? I understand our Sun's north pole is largely pointing towards our direction of ...
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How it is not possible to say if Titius–Bode law is a "coincidence" or not?

From Wikipedia: No solid theoretical explanation underlies the Titius–Bode law – but it is possible that, given a combination of orbital resonance and shortage of degrees of freedom, any stable ...
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Can gravitation waves break Solar System equilibrium?

Can gravitation waves, emited from black holes, break Solar System equilibrium and make a planet leave orbit or fall onto the Sun? And if it's probable can we measure this probability?
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1 answer
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Does the observed Perihelion precession of Mercury still deviate from prediction?

In Wikipedia section about the Perihelion precession of Mercury, we have the follwing table titled "Sources of the precession of perihelion for Mercury": Amount (arcsec/Julian century) ...
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Nbody problem solving on python with Leapfrog

I am relatively new to astronomical programming and I am trying to code a simulation of the solar system as simplified as possible on python. To do so, I am using numpy in order to have one array ...
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What are the time periods of precession of equinoxes of other planets?

Earth has a time period of 26000 years approximately for precession of its equinoxes. What are the time periods of precession of equinoxes of other planets?
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Angular velocity of planets around Earth, and Sun

What are the values of angular velocity of planets around Earth, and Sun? I am looking for these two sets of values.
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How to explain this elongation frequency diagram between the Sun and the Moon

Intrigued by my recent question about the average angular distance between the Sun and the Moon, I tried to inquire this little more in attempt to find the source of the asymmetry. Basically I have ...
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Comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein; could it be a "planet-killer" and what could prevent it from getting close to us?

The huge "mega" comet C/2014 UN271 (Bernardinelli–Bernstein) 80 miles wide is coming towards Earth from the edge of our Solar System. It is supposed to only get to the middle of our Solar ...
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What is the average angular distance between the Sun and the Moon?

Naturally we would expect the average angular distance(*), to be exactly 90°, for although the Moon is not running in uniform speed (or rather, to be more precise, the relative angular speed of the ...
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How the "precession of the ecliptic" can be distinguished from the "precession of the equator"?

The precession of the equinoxes (AKA general precession) is composed from two components: A dominate component which is caused by the the tilt of the Earth's axis - which is called "precession ...
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Is the solar system the only survivor of cosmic evolution? [closed]

A question has entered my mind, we know that all the phenomena in the universe are several thousand light years away from us, so the light we see from them is related to the past few years, now my ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does the magnetosphere of Jupiter protect the Galilean Moons from solar flares?

Teasing out a sci-fi story and would like to get things right science-wise. Sun's about to flare (yes, I know we're not great at predicting that yet but near future) and Earth's doomed. Would the ...
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2 answers
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constant semi-major axes of the planets

in Numerical Expressions for Precession Formulae And Mean Elements for the Moon And the Planets (Simon et al., 1994), the orbital elements of the planets are given for long time durations. The semi-...
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Planet's distance data from JPL Horizons - Mars Curiosity mission

I am looking for distance measurement in AU between planets and Earth. E.g. For Mars, Current distance, or distance of Mars from Earth at any given datetime, along with minimum (closest approach), ...
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Is it possible that Planet 9 was thrown out of the Solar System? [duplicate]

Is it possible that this planet changed other planet orbits (from which we assume that it exists) but then was thrown out of the Solar System in past when Sun was close to some other star? And it ...
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Solar vs Planetary

Am I correct in thinking that although our solar system is a planetary system we are the only ‘solar system’ in our universe simply because of the name of our sun?
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Do Stars other than Sun, have its own solar system ? How different are those from our Solar system? [closed]

This will sound like a idiotic question so apologies if I make you want to roll your eyes but... so we look into our night sky and we see the stars, does each of the stars we see have their own ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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How do we know that the planets of our solar system began their formation at more or less the same time?

A long time ago, when I had to help my children with their homeworks, I often had the vexing question « how do we know ? ». It is true that reading a middle-school science textbook is like reading ...
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Could or has a Ninth planet ever be "formed" in our solar system?

As I get along with the answers in my previous question, that planet formation depends on accumulation of planetesimals. So is there any chance that a planet nine would form or any of the Trans-...
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28 votes
4 answers
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Which planet came first in our Solar system?

I always wonder which planet came first in our solar system? Sources suggest that Jupiter might be the first planet in our solar system, but how did our solar system evolve into an 8 planet system?
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How do the giant planets excite the orbits of asteroids?

The giant planets, particularly Jupiter, are notorious for bringing about changes in eccentricities and inclinations of smaller bodies(asteroids and KBOs). Jupiter, in fact, throws almost all the ...
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3 votes
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How do JWST and Hubble compare in detecting small bodies in the solar system that are a) white, b) black, c) Arrokoth-like, d) Voyager-like?

Assume the object is small, spherical, and illuminated only by the Sun, and has some apparent motion. The object is either: a) white - reflecting 100% perfectly diffusely (assume low temperature) b) ...
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If Planet 9 is a primordial black hole with a mass of 5 Earth, is it possible to detect it in a ground telescope? What should we seek in this case? [duplicate]

If planet 9 is not a planet but a black hole how can we find it? Can we see gravitational lense or infrared/gamma light?
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9 votes
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Why is the composition of the sun so distinct from that of earth?

Given that the sun is – in astronomical distances – quite close to the earth, why are the two composed of such distinctly different substances? Sun Composition Hydrogen 74.9% Helium 23.8% Oxygen ~1% ...
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1 answer
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What is an Oort Cloud? [closed]

New to astronomy ! I have been reading some astronomical books, but suddenly I came across the word Oort cloud, So, what is an Oort cloud ?
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how would you explain the motions in the solar system? [closed]

like so i don't get it it does not make sense I'm confused
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25 votes
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How can Io be tidally heated while it is in tidal lock?

According to its Wikipedia page: Rotation period: synchronous Eccentricity: 0.0041 But also ...extreme geologic activity is the result of tidal heating... How is it possible? It should not be ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Does one need to consider relativistic effects when simulating the (or any) Solar system?

There was a question over at Physics asking how to improve a home-brew numerical simulation of the Solar system. Even though in that case the defects were likely numerical, I started to wonder whether ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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How was the speed of the Sun (around the Milky Way Galaxy) calculated?

The Sun travels around the Milky Way Galaxy with a speed of 220 km/s. The question is: where did this value come from? Is there any article about the calculation? Reformulated question: What are the ...
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List of J₂ values for solar system bodies beyond the planets; are there any prolates?

J₂ values for the planets can be found in several sources including each planet's planetary fact sheet. Without looking I'm going to assume they are all positive (oblate) because each planet rotates ...
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Which planet, viewed from which other planet would appear the largest?

Inspired by this question, I'm curious: Which planet in our solar system, when viewed from which other planet, would appear the largest/brightest? You probably can't really see much of Uranus from ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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2 points on Earth’s surface, 1 second apart in time

I’m hoping to find a method (probably some modeling software?) that would allow me to find pairs of locations on the Earth’s surface that occupy the same point in space relative to the sun, one second ...
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Is it completely false that the Sun does not revolve round the earth? In what sense? [duplicate]

This is a very naive question but I never fully understood this. For a system of two binary stars moving under the influence of their mutual gravitational forces revolve around their common center of ...
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Has SETI searched the solar system for life?

I know SETI is searching the stars for radio signals emitted by advanced alien civilizations, but has SETI searched inside our solar system - particularly moons, planets, and Lagrange points? I would ...
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1 answer
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How will be changed Hill's radius and Kepler's formulas in case of 2D space instead of 3D?

Imagine that Flatland habitats go into space. All stars and planets are the circles instead of spheres and gravity law is $F=Gm_1m_2/R$ instead of $F=Gm_1m_2/R^2$. How the other formulas will be ...
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How to predict future position of body in solar system (without Kepler's equations, N-body problem)?

I have a solar system where each body interacts with each other by force $F = \frac{Gm_1m_2}{R^2}$ Is it possible to predict future position of some random body after t seconds since bodies velocity ...
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Nature of faculae on Ceres? Do they glow in the dark?

It looks like the faculae on Ceres glow in the dark, although the scientific community has decided it's brine. [What an imbecile idea, BTW!] Would it be possible to photograph the dwarf planet and the ...
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1 vote
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What were the likely initial conditions at the time of the solar system's formation?

I know we will never know for sure how many planets there were and what their respective masses and orbital elements were when the solar system formed, but I'm very interested in what the approximate ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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If all objects move, where do we go?

Yes I know that the sun and planets in the solar system travel fast with an average speed of 448,000 mph. Are we going to the center of the galaxy? If so, does that mean our galaxy is getting smaller ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Are the major-axis of Mars and Earth orbits on the same plane?

Which means that I can draw an imaginary plane that contains the major-axis of both Earth and Mars.
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2 votes
2 answers
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Do all the orbits of planets in the Solar system fit in a (imaginary) cone?

So that all the elliptic orbits can be seen as slices from the cone while the sun is a shared focus.
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2 votes
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Precision of orbital period of exoplanets vs solar system planets (Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia)

I noticed that the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia lists the orbital period of L 98-59 b in days to 7 decimal places. Can astronomers really measure orbital period of exoplanets to greater precision ...
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...but where did Mars' atmosphere actually GO?

In this answer to How is space a vacuum when there are planets, gases, etc? I mention that most of Mars' original atmosphere was swept away by the solar wind after the planet lost its magnetic field ...
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1 vote
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Is there a formula for a planet's orbit in a 3D space?

I'm trying to model the orbits of Earth and Mars and their positions at a given point in time. But I can only find 2D equations of elliptic orbits, which only contain the x and y variables. I have to ...
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5 votes
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How do scientists know that Earth used to spin much more rapidly?

News has just been released all over my news feeds about how paleontologists now believe that early photosynthetic organisms became much more efficient at producing oxygen after the Earth started to ...
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7 votes
1 answer
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On what basis is the information about the distance and velocity of the Voyager probes determined?

Voyager 1 was the first-ever object to reach interstellar space on August 25, 2012 when it passed beyond the sun’s realm of plasma influence (the heliosphere)[...] (source) Although some of their ...
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What is the distance between solar system and a distant galaxy

When we say a galaxy is 300 million light-years away, is that its distance now or 300 million years ago?
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9 votes
2 answers
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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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