Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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203 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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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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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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108 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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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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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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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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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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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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237 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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314 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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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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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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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 ...