Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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

What is the largest 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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146 views

Oscillation in tilt of the solar system

I know that the solar system is tilted 62.6° to the plane of the galaxy. I'm curious whether this angle changes over time, and what are the extents and time frame of any such oscillations if they ...
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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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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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158 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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68 views

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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Does plasma recombination in the solar wind happen to any significant or measurable degree?

Comments below this answer to Why does the Solar Wind consist of charged particles? have led me to ask the following: Question: Does plasma recombination in the solar wind happen to any significant ...
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How many planets are there in this solar system?

So, in school (that's a long time age) they have been teaching us there are 9 planets in our solar system. Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto But every now and then I keep ...
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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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Why are most planetary orbits nearly circular

In our solar system, with the exception of Pluto all planets follow a relatively circular orbit around the Sun, at the same inclination. They also all rotate in the same direction, none are '...
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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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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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How was the Messenger spacecraft used to measure Mercury's orbital precession to such accuracy? Could this have been done using radar?

This comment under an answer to Path of Mercury and general relativity mentions that the Messenger spacecraft was used to measure the precession of Mercury's orbit to such accuracy that the tiny ...
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Naming of the planets of the solar system

Planets of the solar system have been named with Roman mythology gods names. I have a few questions on my mind concerning that subject for a while: Who decided to name them like this? When did the ...
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1answer
142 views

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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39 views

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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375 views

Period of unique horoscopes?

What is the period of unique horoscopes? In other words how long does it take before any configuration of the classical planets repeats? The seven classical "wandering stars" are: Sun, Moon, Saturn, ...
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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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Visibility of a planet on the other side of the Sun

Context: I've been having a discussion with my vectors and mechanics professor (course Mathematics BSc) about a problem on a recent coursework. The following is the model I came up with. I'm not an ...
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Skyfield Subpoint() usage

Is subpoint() in skyfield used for finding subsolar point?, i cant find examples in this link subpoint. How can i use it to find ...
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What's the difference between semi-major axis and apoapsis?

The semi-major axis is half of the diameter of the major axis of an ellipse by definition. So how does that make it any different from apoapsis, the furthest point an object is from a parent body in ...
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49 views

Does the axis of solar system precess during it's motion in the Milky way galaxy?

The plane of solar system makes an angle of 60° with the plane of galaxy. So, the axis of solar system should make 30° angle with the galactic plane. Like the axis of Earth precess over a long period, ...
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21 views

What is the typical chemical composition of the most common asteroid types?

I'm trying to make a semi-scientific accurate game where you can find/mine asteroids. I want the composition of asteroids, and how common they are to be correct. Or at least as close to correct as ...
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34 views

Delay of Moon passing a defined meridian each day

On the website Lunar Synodic Curve a nice image of an Moon analemma is shown together with an explantion on the reason why for the different phases of the Moon the images have to be taken with 24h ...
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108 views

Could Planet Nine be much smaller than thought previously?

In 2016, Caltech astronomers began testing a Planet Nine hypothesis to explain the eccentric and inclined orbits of distant dwarf planets such as Sedna, 2015 TG387, Niku, and 2012 VP113. The ...
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Why do CME's “zig-zag” on their way to Earth?

This answer states: A single CME will impact a spacecraft from only one direction, but that direction might not be directly from the sun because a CME may zigzag en route. Looking at that link, ...
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How long is the Sun closer to Earth then Mars is?

A recent question at Space.se has generated a few comments that are interesting. But the answer to one particular comment to might address a lot of misconceptions. I imagine the actual halfway ...
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what is the resolution of the magnitude that is distinguishable to the naked eye?

Or is it possible to spot the changing brightness (magnitude) of a planet with a naked eye The context of the question is this: If I'm not mistaken Ptolemy was able to say (using observation alone) ...
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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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159 views

If gaseous planets have solid core, can they theoretically be considered as rocky planets?

I read that gaseous planets such as Jupiter and Saturn, have a solid core deep inside. So, I wondered whats the difference between them and rocky planets apart from the fact that they have - what can ...
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575 views

What is the Age Difference Between Earth & Jupiter?

What is the age difference between Jupiter & Earth? Which planet was formed first, or were they formed at the same time?
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Can we use Breakthrough Starshot spacecraft to detect any unknown massive object in our solar system?

For example, the hypothetical Planet Nine. Since we just want to prove or rule out the existence of Planet Nine in our solar system, we can avoid most of the technical challenges for StarChip (camera ...
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What is the distance between the solar systems towards the center of galaxy?

The distance from our Solar System to the nearest is roughly 260,000 AU. I am wondering what is the minimum distance between two Solar Systems. Since the center of our galaxy is supposed to be more ...
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Starting a fire in a cold planet that was full of flammable gas

What would happen to a cold planet that has a large amount of flammable gas, like Neptune, if we throw some fire into it? Will it burn, or would the flame be extinguished due to the cold?
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Can fish and other sea creatures survive in watery planets like Neptune or any other planets that has water?

I'm a bit curious since Neptune does not have a land surface and it is covered with water, I mean water has oxygen right? What will happen if we put some sea creatures in these watery planets? Can ...
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How was Cassini able to measure and use the Earth-Mars distance to get the Earth-Sun distance?

How was Cassini able to measure and use he distance between Earth and Mars to get the Earth-Sun distance? How were the ratios of Earth-Mars and Earth-Sun calculated then? Given Kepler's laws all we ...
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How would a small nearby black hole be detected and confirmed as such?

This article suggests that there might be a tennis ball-sized black hole orbiting the Sun somewhere beyond the orbit of Neptune. According to the article, observational anomalies of trans-Neptunian ...
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How do we know Nemesis is not a black hole (or neutron star)?

Nemesis, the hypothetical "death star", is supposed to be a massive body that orbits the Sun at long distances and periodically sends comets from the Oort Cloud into the inner solar system. These ...
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What are the current observational constraints on the existence of Nemesis?

Nemesis is a hypothetical companion to the Sun on a very eccentric, long-period orbit. The star supposedly returns every few tens of millions years, driving comets into the inner solar system and ...
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How can I calculate solar intensity at Saturn

I'm trying to work out how big solar panels have to be for a Saturn probe, but can't find any data for solar energy at Saturn.
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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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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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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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