Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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89 views

Estimate prevalence of ʻOumuamua-style interstellar obects inside Jupiter orbit now that C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) is found?

Now we know two of them, so maybe it's not an outlier. We have two points so we can draw a line. How many similar macroscopic objects should be zipping through space at ~30 km/sec so that we would ...
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1answer
91 views

Where would an object fly to if it were to leave the gravitational field of Earth? And would it stop somewhere? What would happen to it?

My 3,5 year old son is asking :-) He can take answers for a 15 yo I think. Many thanks for your help!
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Are there any planets or objects orbiting in Goldilocks zone?

I was wondering whether there were any objects that orbit the "goldilocks zone" besides our home planet earth, and how the goldilocks zone of our solar system is defined.
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What is wrong with this measurement of the synodic period of Mercury?

I'm measuring the synodic period of Mercury using Stellarium. When measuring the synodic period one needs to choose a reference point to start the measurement, and I choose the point when Mercury is ...
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1answer
74 views

Textbook to explain measurements and calculations for heliocentric solar system

I'm trying to identify a textbook I had briefly and then lost. I had a PDF file of an astronomy textbook, but the hard drive crashed irreparably before I could thoroughly read the textbook, or even ...
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1answer
87 views

Are there any simulations of the Grand tack?

The BBC program with Brian Cox "The Planets" involved some description of the Grand Tack hypothesis to explain the current state of the solar system. This theory has Jupiter wandering through the ...
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1answer
71 views

Planets positions (azimuth, altitude) API

I'm looking for a simple API that will allow me to get positions of planets and the moon for a given date, location and time. Does anyone know an API like that? Any suggestions or alternatives would ...
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1answer
182 views

View of other planets from the Earth

There appears to be varying positions/spots of view of other planets from Earth, if I'm not wrong. Now, given that all planets are on the same plane, why do their positions change on the night sky for ...
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1answer
99 views

How thick was Earth's primordial atmosphere?

Earth's first atmosphere was made of hydrogen and helium accumulated before fusion started in the Sun. As soon as this happened it was stripped away by the Sun. How many atm of hydrogen and helium had ...
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When was it realised that most major moons orbit in the equatorial plane of their parent planets?

Inspired by the discussion of the moons of Uranus providing a clue to the planet's axis of rotation in this question, I'm wondering when it was realised that the major satellites are typically located ...
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88 views

Tycho Brahe's model

Tycho Brahe made a model of universe where earth is at the centre and motionless whereas all other planet orbited around the sun. I am interested to know how he came to this model? If it is because ...
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91 views

How young could the asteroid belt be?

I heard a theory (possibly from a crackpot) that there was an event in our solar system where two objects collided and created the asteroid belt, the orbits of some of the planets were altered, and ...
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101 views

How long would it take for a black hole the mass of our sun to swallow our solar system?

If a hypothetical black hole with the mass of our sun would appear in place of the sun. How long would it take before our entire solar system (everything inside our heliosphere) to be swallowed by ...
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Any studies of the detection of dark matter in or near the solar system?

Has there been any theoretical or observational study of the possibility of detecting "local dark matter", either within the solar system or near the Sun in interstellar space? If so, what methods ...
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295 views

What would happen if a Sun-like star were to consume a Jupiter-like planet?

A substantial number of discovered exoplanet systems are likely contain more than one gas giant with distances far closer to the star than in our solar system. It is known that in solar system ...
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Why aren't globular clusters disk-shaped? [duplicate]

I thought that solar systems and galaxies are disk-shaped because that is the most stable shape under gravitation. Globular clusters are very old, often times older than their host galaxies, so why ...
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186 views

Could the solar system survive in a void?

If the solar system were suddenly placed in the middle of a large void... would everything still function as normal? Would we even notice any difference here on Earth apart from the night sky? ......
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94 views

What keeps the planets of the solar system moving in their fixed orbits?

Models of the solar system show each planet moving around on its own orbit. Is is really because of the Sun that every planets remains in its own fixed orbit?
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1answer
87 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 ...
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5k views

Why do things float in space, though the gravity of our star is always present? [closed]

In the solar system, things float around. We are so certain that the gravity of our sun exists. Still, why does that gravity not influence satellites and other objects there? Our solar system is also ...
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1k views

Why didn't all the iron and heavier elements find their way to the center of the accretion disc in the early solar system?

I guess that's pretty much it. I just heard that that a meteor fragment was found to be solid iron and it just seems inexplicable that it was floating around.
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Origin of heavier elements on earth?

Earth is part of Solar system, which is said to have originated from condensation and mutual attraction in dense clouds of gasses and dust. If Sun is basically more than ninty percent hydrogen and ...
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How much difference did the supply of “fresh” r-process elements make to the Solar System.?

In one of the answers to this question @MartinKochanski made the interesting point that the abundance of elements heavier than iron (r-process elements) in the solar system is probably due to a fairly ...
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1answer
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Can we detect the wobble of neighbouring stars around their barycenters?

The wobble of a star around its barycenter is interesting (the wobble caused by the pull of the rest of the solar-system on the sun). This question explains why we don't see this wobble from within ...
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585 views

Are these real paths of planets as traced from Earth?

Few days a go, I came across these two pictures of paths of planets as observed from Earth. They have a perfect geometric shapes. Actually, to me they look so beautiful and perfect, that they appear ...
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How would the combined masses of the Centaurs or the scattered disk compare to the combined mass of the asteroid belt?

I'm interested in finding the combined mass of the Centaurs and the scattered disk. I looked around but I wasn't able to find any estimates. This seems to suggest that either the combined masses of ...
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1answer
99 views

South of the tropics, where does the sun's noon shadow point?

If I understand correctly, in countries to the north of the tropics the sun's noon shadow points north. What happens south of the tropics? Is it pointing south?
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If gravity precedes the formation of a solar system, where did the mass come from that caused the gravity?

In my class we are studying objects in our solar system and this question seemed to just pop up. And since I cannot answer this, I've been really frustrated for quite a while now and would like some ...
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Does any asteroid we have ever seen have a hot core like earth.?

I was wondering if any of the asteroids we have ever seen has a hot core like Earth's. I'm thinking that Earth has a strong gravitational field and so formation would have involved a lot of ...
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128 views

Adjective for things outside our solar system

I know we have "exoplanets" etc. but those are nouns for specific objects outside our solar system. We have extraterrestrial for objects outside Earth's atmosphere, but I don't know if we have a ...
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53 views

How could a supernova seed solar nebula?

If the heavier elements such as Uranium came from a supernova, then this supernova had to sit somewhere right in the middle of the original solar nebula, because although the ejected matter traveled ...
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233 views

Why do planets and satellites in the Solar system look so wildly different if they came from more or less the same matter?

First, the planets. We have Mercury, which is rocky, no atmosphere. But then we have Venus, which is completely different: thick atmosphere, very hot, geologically active. Then Earth - blue, full of ...
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185 views

What is the solar system orientation to its direction of travel? [closed]

I saw the picture and seem incorrectly drawn. Its shows the the edge of the solar system leading facing the Heliosheath. It would not be like NASA to post something as incorrect as this. The solar ...
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3answers
164 views

Can Earth be ejected out of the solar system this way?

I found this image of what maybe a model of our solar system. Without a credible source I'm not sure I am looking at a star or black hole that comes close to our solar system and how it could throw ...
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First observation that the Sun and Jupiter (and friends) move around a common barycenter?

Answers to the question How did Kepler determine the orbital period of Mars? describing careful observations centuries ago got me thinking. What was the first analysis of observations that directly ...
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1answer
124 views

First observation that the movement of a planet or asteroid in its orbit was affected by another planet?

Answers to the question How did Kepler determine the orbital period of Mars? describing careful observations centuries ago got me thinking. Question: What was the first analysis of observations that ...
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1answer
70 views

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
342 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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1answer
68 views

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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1answer
76 views

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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1answer
82 views

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
89 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
95 views

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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217 views

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
250 views

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
134 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 ...