Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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5
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1answer
146 views

How does the Sun's gravity have so much force and pull on the solar system? How does it scale?

Watched this video: https://fb.watch/1U0vCFBr0L/ Ok, so the distances are huge. And the sizes are much different. But I wonder how then the sun keeps the planets etc. orbiting it. If we swap out all ...
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3answers
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What are the correct positions or alignment of planets in relation to each other and the Sun, is it vertical center, baseline or completely random

From a lot a illustrations and videos, the planets seem to align in vertical center to each other like this: Is this really true? I like to imagine that the planets are actually in weird alignment to ...
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5answers
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What makes protoplanetary disks start rotating? (Initial energy needed to rotate)

Planets form from a protoplanetary disk that has been rotating around its star. The initial energy that makes them rotate really matters to me. Why did the protoplanetary disk start rotating around ...
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1answer
111 views

Did Mercury clear its neighborhood?

For a body to qualify as a planet according to the IAU definition it must have "cleared its neighborhood". What evidence is there Mercury indeed cleared its neighborhood? Perhaps it migrated ...
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0answers
38 views

Positions of planets before Christ?

All the solar system simulations I've come across showing the positions of planets only show the positions in a certain time period, at beginning of the first millenium the earliest. There was just ...
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0answers
39 views

When I see Mars, I see only red light

I have a 700 mm focal and 76 mm aperture telescope. I bought it a few days ago. I tried to spot Mars for 3 days but I only see red light. I use an 20 mm eyepiece for finding it and 4 mm eyepiece for ...
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2answers
4k views

Can a planet in our system eclipse the sun as seen from another one?

When the Sun, Earth and Moon get properly aligned, we get eclipses, where the Sun is partially or totally hidden by the Moon when seen from Earth. Is it possible for one planet of the solar system to ...
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2answers
60 views

How has the average distance between asteroids in the asteroid belt changed over time?

Just about every webpage related to asteroids states that, on average, asteroids are about 600,000 miles apart from one another. Have planetary scientists hazarded a guess at how close they might ...
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Request to use image [migrated]

I recently retired from teaching Middle School and High School Science for 37 years in Texas. I am now writing a book series called "The Science Sleuths." Book #5 is called "Adventures ...
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0answers
44 views

Long-periodic sungrazers

I'm searching for long- and non-periodic sungrazing comets, like the Kirch comet of 1680 and the (meanwhile destroyed) Comet ISON. If you know a(ny) long-/non-periodic sungrazing comet(s), let me know ...
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0answers
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Orbital Mechanics: where can I find initial conditions for orientations and angular rates of planets in our solar system?

I am looking to write the equations of motion (EOMs) for a 6DOF analysis of our solar system. I want to integrate the equations forward in time, and need a complete set of initial conditions to do so....
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3answers
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How do we weigh a planet?

How do we weigh a planet? My friend asked me how do scientists weigh a planet. He is not from science background so I need to make him understand with simple analogy. How can I explain to him?
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1answer
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Could rocks from Earth have reached the Kuiper belt, or Neptune at least? If so, how?

This answer (currently edit 3) to How certain are we that we have not sent life to other planets/moons? begins: First of all, rocks from Earth are probably just about everywhere in the Solar System. ...
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1answer
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I saw a weird thing around Venus

I pointed my telescope (50mm aperture, 500mm focal length, 4mm eyepiece, image taken through a window) at Venus and saw this: What is it? I don't think this is Uranus or Neptune as my telescope is ...
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0answers
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Discovery papers for Uranus and Neptune

I would like to have the discovery papers, notices or announcements done by Herschel with Uranus and Le Verrier with Neptune. I know that Herschel adressed the Royal Society and Le Verrier sent some ...
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1answer
48 views

Apparent Centering Problem When Using the Perifocal System to Draw Orbital Ellipses [closed]

I am attempting to render orbital ellipses in software. Given a set of orbital elements, I am using the Perifocal system to determine a set of points along the curve of the ellipse. I am using the ...
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28 views

What meteor shower has the radiant that appears furthest west after sunset, and why?

When it finally gets answered, answers to How to calculate the position of a meteor shower's radiant point based on its associated comet's orbit? will help us understand why the radiant points ...
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2answers
177 views

If the solar system is nearly flat, then why don't all the planets appear to lie on the same axis when viewed from earth?

For instance, consider the image below. The location of the planets seem to be so random relative to Earth. If the solar system was indeed flat, then I would expect the planets to lie on the same '...
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3answers
104 views

Impact on the rest of the solar system if Mercury or Venus were disassembled?

I've watched a few theoretical videos about Dyson spheres where they mention that the most practical way to do that would be to disassemble a planet - preferably one already close to the sun - Mercury ...
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0answers
50 views

Why is our heliosphere an asymmetric croissant shape?

The big, recent astronomy news about our heliosphere's asymmetric croissant shape has me confused.... Some articles mention the influence on our solar system's outermost boundary of very hot cations, ...
4
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1answer
57 views

Has any of the orbiters or rover on Mars captured image of comet NEOWISE?

We are seeing stunning pictures of comet NEOWISE from earth (and ISS too), are there any pictures captured from Mars by an orbiter or rover, or any other spacecraft?
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Radiation and software reliability in outer space [closed]

We all know that dragon was written in c++ but what i struggle to understand is that if radiation in space can really mess with hardware and functionality and even have the capacity to change bits ...
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0answers
68 views

How to calculate the position of a meteor shower's radiant point based on its associated comet's orbit?

Below this answer to Why are Delta Aquariids “for the southern hemisphere” while the Perseids are “for the north”? I wrote the comment: +1 To make this complete, ...
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2answers
80 views

What effects does the motion of the Sun have on the perihelion precession of Mercury?

According to the wikipedia page, there are multiple effects contributing to the perihelion precession of Mercury. Of course, according to this link and this link we know that the Sun is itself ...
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1answer
152 views

Is there evidence for galactic “seasons”?

The Solar Year has huge effects on our climate, and the signs of passing seasons are physically evident on Earth. I recently learned about the Galactic Year. To my understanding, our sun orbits the ...
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3answers
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Comet Neowise c2020 f3 will return in ~6800 years, how can we be sure Earth will be in the right place to see it then?

I have read in several places that the orbital period of comet Neowise c2020 F3 is about 6800 years. In several popular media sources it is said that we will be able to see the same comet after ~6800 ...
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2answers
517 views

Why Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise returns even it's orbit is near- parabolic?

I have read in Wikipedia about Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise that it's orbit is near-parabolic. But in another section, it says that it is a non-periodic comet whlith orbital period ranging from 4500 years ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it true that we see the center of the milky-way for only half of the year?

I'm not an astronomer, please excuse my non-formal language. Since we are located in one of the arms of the Milky way, the center of the galaxy should be in one direction from our location, while in ...
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1answer
88 views

Could a near collision with small black hole account for the effects of the 9th planet?

Much interest has been raised about the existence of a 9th planet. One reason for this is the strange orbits of bodies in the outer solar system. Could the orbits be explained by a near collision of a ...
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1answer
412 views

Can the paper narrowing Solar System's barycentre to within 100m help find Planet Nine?

I've just read this recent news article, Astronomers Have Located The Centre of The Solar System to Within 100 Metres, reporting on a paper[1] that claims narrowing the Solar System barycentre to ...
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1answer
861 views

Could the Sun and our Solar System one day leave our galaxy?

I have now learned that the Sun is not fixed in place, so I asked myself this question: It is possible, that the Sun and our Solar System will one day leave our galaxy? If yes, how, and if no, why not?...
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1answer
45 views

What's the exact story of jupiter and our earth, not becoming a super-earth?

I've been watching the Cosmos documentaries by Neil DeGrass Tyson and the ones from Brian Cox, and in one episode (I don't remember from which series) there's something about the creation of the rocky ...
3
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1answer
58 views

Calculation to Convert from Equatorial to Heliocentric coordinate systems

Can anyone help me with the formulas to convert Equatorial coordinates (Right Ascension / Declination) into Heliocentric coordinates (Angle and Distance in relation to the Sun) ? i.e. Ra/Dec of 6.7659/...
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1answer
85 views

Will Triton have a thicker atmosphere as the Solar System ages?

With an average temperature of around 34 kelvin, Triton is extremely cold. Currently, it has a thin mostly nitrogen atmosphere with a pressure of around 1 Pa. However, its surface has large deposits ...
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1answer
123 views

What were the nine planets in 1899?

I'm currently reading Planetary Geology, in which they state When Ceres [...] was discovered in 1899, it was considered as the lost tenth planet. Uranus and Neptune had been discovered, but Pluto ...
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0answers
32 views

Model/Infographic of plane of orbits and rotations planes of solar bodies (including their moons)

Is there a model/infographic with emphasis on the orbit and rotation plane of solar bodies? Of course, no scaling is needed for the size or distance. I remember reading there is one planet where the ...
3
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1answer
62 views

Was the solar system flat before the planets formed? Or does the Kozai-Lidov mechanism flatten orbits after the gas giants form?

An astronomer living on Jupiter measures the orbits of the inner planets against Jupiter's ecliptic. Their inclinations are; Mercury 5.7 deg. Venus 2.1 deg. Earth 1.3 deg. Mars 0.6 deg. It looks ...
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2answers
68 views

What is the definition of the “solar mixing ratio”?

What is the definition of the "solar mixing ratio"? Specifically, I'd like to know why the ratio of H2 and He is 0.84 and 0.16 at the "solar mixing ratio" as shown in Table I in The Galileo Mission.
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2answers
185 views

Are there Earth rocks on Mars?

Certain meteorites found on Earth have been established to come from Mars: a giant impact ejected rocks from Mars, these rocks traveled through interplanetary space, and went through the Earth's ...
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1answer
90 views

How do we define “up and down” in space?

Every model of the solar system seems to follow a specific orientation in which the upper side of the system is Earth's north half and the lower side of the system is Earth's southern half. So is ...
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0answers
52 views

Longest time after an image was taken when a new solar system body was discovered from it?

This answer to If there's nothing special about Pluto, why was it discovered so early? says: In fact, often objects are discovered to be in pictures from long ago, such as Orcus, discovered in 2004,...
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1answer
4k views

Closest star system to Alpha Centauri?

The closest star system to our Solar System is Alpha Centauri. But is our Solar System the closest star system to Alpha Centuari? If not, which star system is?
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2answers
10k views

Is Jupiter a failed star?

The elemental make-up of Jupiter is about entirely hydrogen and helium, along with a very small fraction of the atmosphere being made up of compounds such as ammonia, sulfur, methane, and water vapor. ...
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1answer
213 views

How frequently do Jupiter & Regulus have triple conjunctions?

I am wanting to know if the triple conjunction of Jupiter with Regulus in: Sep 10, 3 BC Feb 7, 3 BC & May 8, 2 BC with Jupiter later having a conjunction with Venus in Jun 17, 2 BC has happened ...
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3answers
94 views

What would happen to the Earth if the orbit of another planet in the Solar System was disrupted by a cataclysmic collision with a large body?

There's plenty of speculation about what would happen if a large asteroid collided with the Earth itself, but less about the effect on Earth of a large asteroid or even a moon or minor planet ...
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3answers
73 views

Looking for a Solar System Simulator including the smaller celestial body, for macOS

I am researching for a sci-fi novel that will happen in 2136. For this I would like to know specific positions of "smaller" celestial bodies in our Solar System. An example can be the dwarf planet ...
2
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1answer
126 views

Has a near earth object in heliocentric orbit ever been bright enough to be visible to the unaided eye?

The question Can we see asteroid 1998 OR2 with unaided eye? got me thinking. Space.com's Vesta: Facts About the Brightest Asteroid says: Vesta is the second most massive body in the asteroid belt, ...
4
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0answers
111 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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0answers
46 views

Have meteor showers been predicted for planets or solar-system bodies other than Earth? Have attempts been made to detect them?

Per the linked Q's and A's in Why do particles from a comet that result in meteor showers spread out mostly along the comet's orbit? and it's answer, meteor showers happen on Earth when it passes ...
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0answers
19 views

Roughly what fraction of comet orbits that intersect Earths' orbit result in known meteor showers?

Per the linked Q's and A's in Why do particles from a comet that result in meteor showers spread out mostly along the comet's orbit? and it's answer, meteor showers happen on Earth when it passes ...

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