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Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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Star rotational axes and Solar system orientations

How does the orientation of stars axes of rotation and any planetary systems relate to the plane of the galaxy? Is there any relationship that has been detected, are they grouped from their parental ...
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1answer
284 views

Why the Circumstellar Habitable Zone is defined as it is, if life could be possible outside of it?

According to Circumstellar habitable zone In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or simply the habitable zone, is the range of orbits around a star within which a ...
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nonagesimal in Kepler's parallax computation

I'm starting to learn Kepler's Astronomia Nova using William Donahue's translation . In the translator's introduction, it is demonstrated how Kepler did his parallax computation. I failed to ...
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What would happen to the solar system if Earth's mass was removed?

This question is inspired by the "Stargate SG-1" episode "The Road Not Taken". In that story a device is used to shift the entire Earth to another dimension to defend against an attack. I'm not ...
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Could a rocky rogue planet get trapped in the orbit between Earth and Mars?

I know it's extremely unlikely a rogue planet passing by there, and I know the size of rocky planets can vary a lot (IIRC there is a rocky planet 5 times the size of Earth) but in any hypothetical ...
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does the orientation of orbital plane of our solar system rotate with the galaxy

As I understand it, our solar system travels through the milky way with the orbital plane tilted about 60 degrees so that we are sort of traveling in the direction of earth's north. My question is if ...
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1answer
57 views

If Mercury and Venus where to collide would it make a habitable planet? [closed]

I have been wondering for a while now about a scenario of where if you combined Venus & Mercury would it be habitable if located in the goldy locks zone? I have found in my little research that ...
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1answer
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I need help getting mars to look like a circle

I am having a lot of trouble getting a sharp image in my telescope. It is a skywatcher with a focal length of 1200mm and a diameter of 254mm. I have a laser colimater that I got for Christmas, so I ...
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Why is Uranus able to support a regular satellite system?

Uranus has an obliquity of 98° which means that the mutual inclination between a satellite orbiting in its equatorial plane and the orbit of Uranus around the Sun would exceed the critical angle for ...
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Why does it take so long to transmit an image from New Horizons to Earth?

I just got the news that the New Horizons space probe has passed by some remote planet on the edge of the solar system. I was surprised that the guy from NASA says that it might take 24 months from ...
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2answers
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How far above the Earth's surface does interplanetary space begin?

The Kármán line is often cited as the beginning of outer space. The Voyager probes have identified the boundary between the heliosphere and interstellar space. Is there a agreed upon definition of ...
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1answer
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Why the Sun-Jupiter barycentre is outside Sun?

The Earth-Moon barycentre is said to be inside Earth. But Moon-Earth mass ratio (1.2%) is larger than Jupiter-Sun mass ratio (0.09%). Then how come the Jupiter-Sun barycentre is outside the surface of ...
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1answer
83 views

What was earth's mass before the collision with theia?

Assume the "Big Splash" or "Giant Impact" (whichever name you prefer) theory is more or less correct. EDIT: With so many variations of this theory, with so many names and qualifiers on them, such as ...
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What should be the seperation between sun and moon during a solar and lunar eclipse as viewed from earth?

I saw this code online where a guy calculates the separation between sun and moon and verify the occurrence of eclipses. You can find the codes here. Why does he uses earth's angular size seen from ...
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1answer
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Is the nose of the solar system and the solar apex the same thing?

Results from the IBEX satellite indicate the nose of the solar system is pointing to the constellation Scorpius. Various sources say the solar apex is pointing to the constellation Hercules. Are the ...
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Is there likely other significant objects we haven’t discovered in the solar system? [duplicate]

In the last few weeks, I read a few news that presented new advances in our understanding of the solar system, which implied we don’t really know our neighboorhood that well. I was wondering, how ...
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How many moons in the solar system have water?

I've heard of a few moons in the solar system that have water, like europa and enceladus. However, I can't find information about whether there are other moons as well. I'm guessing there are more, ...
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Considering our methods of exploration, how likely is it that there are unfound planets (not dwarf planets) in our solar system?

I think it's probably unlikely that there are more planets between Mercury and Mars, but out from Jupiter, there's lots of empty space between the planets. Could there be some small planet hidden out ...
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1answer
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What is wrong with my calculations of Venus' orbital period?

I am trying to use Kepler's second law to find the duration of Venus's orbit. I am assuming circular orbits (using Earth and Venus, so low eccentricity). Here is my process: Assuming that the radius ...
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1answer
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Solar series 142 and 147 started same year - series 147 and 152 will be ending same year. Why? Coincidence?

This question was left over from the last question I had, so I am asking it separately here: I have been looking into two solar eclipses (Saros series 147 and 152) that will both be occurring in 2021....
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1answer
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What is a “semester series” for eclipse prediction? - Solar saros series 147 and 152

Yet again, I just stumbled across another baffling eclipse question (actually, two now). I was interested in two eclipses (Saros series 147 and 152) that will both be occurring in 2021. Each of these ...
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1answer
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When did we discover that our sun does not orbit its own axis but a barycenter? [closed]

It's commonly known that the center of gravity of our solar system is not the suns axis, and, that the same goes for other orbital systems like Pluto and Charon, and so on. When was it discovered that ...
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143 views

What is the orbital period of our sun around its barycenter?

In years, what is the time it takes our sun to orbit around our solar system's barycenter?
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1answer
148 views

Could Planet Nine be a tiny black hole or an exotic compact object such that it escaped detection? What would its bounds be?

Planet Nine (a variant of the old X-Planet and Tyche-Thelistos hypothesis) proposes a super-earth planet at the edges of the solar system with a mass of around ten Earths. However, given the interest ...
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2answers
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Cardinal directions in solar system?

Does the solar system also have cardinal directions? Which one is North and in what direction does it point?
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How is the term “solar system” defined? Could confirmation of a new planet lead to a change in this definition?

Voyager 1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1) is approximately 140 AU away, and is considered to have left the solar system. Now, the layman's definition of solar system provided by Google is: ...
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Will comet 21P that just passed Earth on Sept 10 produce Draconid storm on Oct 9?

Comet 21P/Giaccobini-Zinner just made its closest pass to Earth and also made its Solar perihelion on the same day (Sept 10) which is roughly one month ahead of the annual Draconids meteor shower (Oct ...
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1answer
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How dependent is Earth is with the other Planets' gravity? [duplicate]

How would the Earth be affected if the Moon was destroyed as far as our orbit around the Sun? What if Mars or Jupiter was destroyed?
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Do astronomers have an established, systematic way for saying what does or doesn't orbit what? (e.g. “Mars orbits Earth”)

A recent comment An object far enough away can certainly orbit the Moon and the Earth (and the Sun) -- Mars, for instance does this. An object in the Earth-Moon L2 is also orbiting both the Earth ...
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Modeling planet rotations (time of day, obliqueness, etc.)

I created this solar system model using POV-Ray: by following these instructions: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/txt/aprx_pos_planets.pdf The next thing I want to do is orient/rotate each globe correctly ...
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1answer
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What is the closest candidate for Dark Matter currently?

I've both fascinated and frustrated after learning about the existence of Dark Matter. Can we find evidence of Dark Matter within our Solar system? What is currently the closest candidate for Dark ...
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Explanation of resonance stability and instability

I'm having some trouble grasping the idea of planetary resonances due to what seems to me like an ambiguity. It is known that the asteroid main belt is sculpted by the Kirkwood gaps, corresponding to ...
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1answer
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Why has there been no moon for 2 nights straight

I have been watching the sky all night for a week now I see flying stars everywhere well things that look like stars, what are they? And the moon has been gone for two nights now? Why?
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2answers
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Why does Jupiter atmosphere does not get thinner on edges

Looking at Jupiter image the atmosphere edge of planet is very sharp as if it has solid surface which is not as it’s gases giant and there should be some thinning of atmosphere like we see around ...
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2answers
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How to know the orbital and physical characteristics of the solar planets with only a non-professional telescope?

I have always been fascinated to see that with so little knowledge, scientists have succeeded in discovering the planets of the solar system, and have succeeded in defining them by their masses as ...
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Are Saros series separated by “40” in numbering related in any way?

Can anyone help with this question? My question arose from an eclipse related observation that I made while looking into lunar Saros series 129. It is the Saros series number for the lunar eclipse ...
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Is there a name for the star/supernova hypothesized to have been a precursor to the Solar System?

I found an article suggesting a supernova injected debris which helped nudge the formation of the Solar System 4.5 billion years ago. I couldn't find a name for this hypothetical star/supernova after ...
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Are there any natural satellites in retrograde Sun orbit?

As I watch the video of the asteroids being discovered, all I see is prograde orbits. Their prevalence is fully understandable and justified, but the Sun gets interstellar visitors occasionally and I ...
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2answers
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How does the gravity of one planet affect the velocity of other planets?

If there was a massive enough planet outside of earth's orbit to affect it, how would the earth's velocity change? I know it would be small, but would the velocity increase or decrease?
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1answer
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Simple mathematical models of solar systems

I’m a hobbyist programmer with a profound love for procedural content generation. I’m working on a 2D space exploration game and while it’s not meant to simulate anything real, I’d like to give it a ...
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The Sun's composition is based on the currently assumed composition of the giant planets [closed]

I posit that the giant planets comprise methane gas hydrate (CH4)8(H2O)46). If so, would not the Sun have to have a large composition of oxygen?
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Are large body orbits self correcting?

If a rogue planet disrupts Earth's orbit slightly to cause a long winter or summer will the Earth's orbit normalize back close its original orbit over time? Could a Planet X or some other elliptical ...
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1answer
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What are the problems that need to be taken in consideration when trying to find planetary position by using jpl ephemerides?

I'm currently trying to determine the position of the sun and the moon from jpl ephemeris DE200 which is referred to the dynamical equator and equinox of 2000 and uses tdb time. I am using the j2000 ...
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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
173 views

Hypothetically, if the sun stays the same size forever, when will the Earth fall into it?

Hypothetically speaking (once again), if the Sun stays the same size forever (i.e. it somehow maintains a stable hydrogen supply and the helium product just disappears), how long would it take before ...
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1answer
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Is the age of the solar system equal to the age of meteorites?

I've read articles that state the age of the solar system has been determined by measuring the amount of decay of isotopes in some meteorite, which has demonstrated that the lead isotopes in the ...
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6answers
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Would things be exactly the same if the Sun was orbiting the Earth and the Earth was in the center of the Solar System?

Would things be the same if the Sun was orbiting Earth and the Earth was in the center of the Solar System, or would there be any big difference? It seems like why people before thought the Earth was ...
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1answer
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Are the planets in our solar system in free fall?

If I’m correct, the International Space Station is in free fall, but is moving fast enough to keep it’s position. Assuming that is true, does that mean that some/all planets orbiting the Sun are in ...
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Any programme that shows actual planet information?

I don't know if this question should be here, if it shouldn't just let me know. My question is, I'm programming in Java and I want to get the actual stats of the planet, like orbit ,actual ...