Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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23 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
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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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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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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 ...
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1answer
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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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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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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
86 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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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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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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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
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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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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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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 ...
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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, ...
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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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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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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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Why do particles from a comet that result in meteor showers spread out mostly along the comet's orbit?

My understanding of the meteor showers that repeat yearly is that the Earth passes through the orbit of a comet that is nowhere near us, and might not even exist anymore, yet it's orbit is filled with ...
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How can comets have tails if there's no air resistance in space?

I understand that solar radiation causes material to vaporize out of a comet into dust but why does the dust then trail behind the comet like a "tail"? Assuming gravity is the only applied force ...
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Is there any thing special with an axial tilt of roughly 25°?

Half of the planets in the solar system have an axial tilt of $25.5\pm 3^\circ$: earth (23.5°), mars (25.3°), saturn (26.7°) and neptune (28.3°). If random collisions in the early solar system caused ...
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Binary stars and gas giant formation

Say there's a young s-type binary star system with 2 Sun-like stars. From what I understand for a stable orbit to be possible, a planet's farthest orbital point from its host star has to be around 1/5 ...
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The compatibility of the Grand Tack hypothesis with the “core-warping impact” theory of Jupiter's diffuse core

In recent years, the Juno mission revealed that Jupiter's core was much more diffuse than astronomers had expected. One theory is that "within a few million years" of its formation, Jupiter ...
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How close would the sun have to get to a supermassive black hole to have Jupiter stripped and slingshot into interstellar space?

Please make whatever assumptions are needed. Assume sun approaches black hole on some sort of hyperbolic trajectory. Assume size of supermassive black hole is same as the one at center of our galaxy....
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So, what, exactly, is a tropical period?

From timezone.com's On the Units of Time Part III: The Year February 19, 2001, by Edward Hahn: Uh, Oh…He’s Going to Ask That Question Again… So, what, exactly, is a year? @PM2Ring's comment FWIW, ...
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Why were solar constant measurements before TSIS-1 all about 0.3% high?

Phys.org's Solar energy tracker powers down after 17 years says: "The big surprise with TSI was that the amount of irradiance it measured was 4.6 watts per square meter less than what was ...
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Is a year really 365.24 days, or is it 365.2564 days like I remember?

The NPR News item and podcast Spring Starts Today All Over America, Which Is Weird includes the following: But why isn't the time of the equinox the same each year? The short answer is that the time ...
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Satellite grids around other planets [closed]

We send a lot of rovers to Mars, as interesting as the planet could possibly be. But why are we not putting satellite grids around planets that could transmit superficial probe data at the very least?...
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What would be the best inertial reference frame to describe objects in the solar system (other than the solar system's barycenter)?

For the purpose of a project, I require the components that describe the inertial frame to be as independent as possible from solar system bodies itself. Since the solar system barycenter is itself ...
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347 views

Why is there no concavity in the orbit of the moon around the Sun?

Such questions have been asked here and I have read the answers some of which are quite informative. However, I want an answer that's straightforward. I have gone through the following paper by A B ...
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How frequently are other planets in the Solar system hit by meteorites?

How frequently are other planets in the Solar system hit by meteorites? For example, is the rate per unit area about the same?
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1answer
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Are the planets Mercury, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune losing mass?

My understanding is that Venus, Earth, Mars, and Jupiter are all losing mass due to their gravity, temperature, and the solar wind. But what about Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune? Mercury has a ...
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Is it only possible to look at solar systems with stars at least as old as ours to be able to find intelligent life?

Assuming the speed it takes to development intelligent life is the same in all solar systems, would we need to look at exoplanets with stars as old or older than ours to find intelligent life? A young ...
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Which celestial body's length of day is closest to that of Earth?

I know the planets Mars and Eris are among bodies that have the most Earth-like mean solar days (about 24.67 and 25.9 hrs). Among moons there is Mimas of Saturn which has one of the most Earth-like ...
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The Solar System formation

I've recently watched one conversation (I won't post a link since the conversation is not in english) involving a physicist (at least he claims so), who spoke about probabilistic estimates of the ...
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112 views

Largest body in the solar system that a baseball thrown by a professional pitcher could escape

What is the largest (most massive) known body in the solar system that a professional pitcher could throw a baseball off of, i.e. that has an escape velocity lower than ~102 MPH? (45.33 m/s)
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Is the angle of the Earth's orbit on the Galactic plane changing (towards 180 degrees)? [duplicate]

Currently the angle of Earth's orbit is aroun 60 degrees on the Galactic plane. But is this angle changing?
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1answer
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Precision in the measurement of the distance to the Sun

How precisely can the distance to the Sun be measured? Wikipedia says the distance to the Moon can be measured upto millimeter precision. But Wikipedia article on distance to the Sun says only about ...
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If the hypothetical planet beyond the Kuiper belt exists, is it likely there are even more planets farther outside?

Since 2016 there are hints that a (probably) ice giant planet may exist far beyond the Kuiper belt. There are speculations that it may be a rogue planet captured by the Sun. But is it likely that ...
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What is happening with these solar particles detected near the Sun that is so newsworthy?

Phys.org's Team identifies low-energy solar particles from beyond Earth near the Sun links to the open access ApJ article Properties of Suprathermal-through-energetic He Ions Associated with Stream ...
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What does the Sun look like from Eris at its aphelion?

At its aphelion (most distant location from the Sun) the outermost-known planet Eris is about 100 times as far from the Sun as Earth. What does the Sun look like from Eris' surface? Is there still a ...
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1answer
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Peculiar Amplitude of Earth's Orbit in Z Axis

I'm currently building an N-body simulator for my masters project and I'm using JPL's Horizons system to compare against. I started with just a couple orbits and everything seemed to be working ...
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1answer
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How is the Gould Belt younger than the sun?

Our sun is located in the Gould Belt, a group of stars which is thought to be 30 - 50 million years old. However, the sun formed 4.6 billion years ago. Did the belt form around us?
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Is there any planet or satellite in the solar system in the process of getting tidally locked?

According to Tidal locking The effect arises between two bodies when their gravitational interaction slows a body's rotation until it becomes tidally locked. Over many millions of years, the ...
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Who first named the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn? [duplicate]

Who first named the planets Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn? Agnes Clerke's Catholic Encyclopedia article "Astronomy in the Bible" § Planets claims that "Venus and Saturn are the only ...
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Is there a verification of the solar system barycenter as it is theoretically determined?

The barycenter of our solar system is not the sun, but a changeable location outside of the center point of the sun. A often used diagram of that relation is shown below, originated from the Wikipedia ...
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Where can I find Helium 3 in our solar system?

What are the best locations within the solar system to find Helium 3 excluding the Sun? Where is Helium 3 most abundant after the Sun?
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X-rays, Solar wind and Sun's corona

I was reading that Solar corona emits the solar wind however also X-rays. What is the difference during the creation of these effects and impacts on our atmosphere? Thank you!
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For any given meteor shower in a given year (e.g. Quadrantids, now) where can I see a rough prediction of how many days it will last?

For a given shower the rate hitting the Earth's atmosphere versus time is usually a peak with a width of a few days, though there are some exceptional unicors. Is there a place where I can view this ...
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What is the current angle of motion of the sun with respect to the Galactic Plane?

I understand that the solar system oscillates in its motion around the Milky Way. However at any given time, there must be a specific angle between the current direction of the solar apex and the ...

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