Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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What were the likely initial conditions at the time of the solar system's formation?

I know we will never know for sure how many planets there were and what their respective masses and orbital elements were when the solar system formed, but I'm very interested in what the approximate ...
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If all objects move, where do we go?

Yes I know that the sun and planets in the solar system travel fast with an average speed of 448,000 mph. Are we going to the center of the galaxy? If so, does that mean our galaxy is getting smaller ...
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Are Saros series separated by "40" in numbering related in any way?

Can anyone help with this question? My question arose from an eclipse related observation that I made while looking into lunar Saros series 129. It is the Saros series number for the lunar eclipse ...
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Why do CME's "zig-zag" on their way to Earth?

This answer to When a coronal mass ejection (CME) hits a spacecraft, from which direction will the particles come? states: A single CME will impact a spacecraft from only one direction, but that ...
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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, ...
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Is the barycenter of the solar system usually outside of the sun?

I came across this picture on wikipedia: Note: From a quick search I gathered that although there are slight differences between the limb of the sun and the accepted radius of the sun, these ...
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Solar series 142 and 147 started same year - series 147 and 152 will be ending same year. Why? Coincidence?

I had been looking into two solar eclipses (Saros series 147 and 152) that will both be occurring in 2021. Each of these eclipses will be happening near the opposite poles of the earth. Both are part ...
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Is the Jupiter-Sun system considered a binary system of some type?

Since Jupiter is very massive, it is the only planet (in our solar system) that has a center of mass with the Sun that lies outside the volume of the Sun. (Source) If Jupiter was a star, they would ...
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Are the major-axis of Mars and Earth orbits on the same plane?

Which means that I can draw an imaginary plane that contains the major-axis of both Earth and Mars.
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Do all the orbits of planets in the Solar system fit in a (imaginary) cone?

So that all the elliptic orbits can be seen as slices from the cone while the sun is a shared focus.
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...but where did Mars' atmosphere actually GO?

In this answer to How is space a vacuum when there are planets, gases, etc? I mention that most of Mars' original atmosphere was swept away by the solar wind after the planet lost its magnetic field ...
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Precision of orbital period of exoplanets vs solar system planets (Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia)

I noticed that the Extrasolar Planets Encyclopedia lists the orbital period of L 98-59 b in days to 7 decimal places. Can astronomers really measure orbital period of exoplanets to greater precision ...
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Is there a formula for a planet's orbit in a 3D space?

I'm trying to model the orbits of Earth and Mars and their positions at a given point in time. But I can only find 2D equations of elliptic orbits, which only contain the x and y variables. I have to ...
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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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How do scientists know that Earth used to spin much more rapidly?

News has just been released all over my news feeds about how paleontologists now believe that early photosynthetic organisms became much more efficient at producing oxygen after the Earth started to ...
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On what basis is the information about the distance and velocity of the Voyager probes determined?

Voyager 1 was the first-ever object to reach interstellar space on August 25, 2012 when it passed beyond the sun’s realm of plasma influence (the heliosphere)[...] (source) Although some of their ...
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What Would it Look Like Inside Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

From what I've read, Jupiter's 'Great Red Spot' is an unbelievably powerful storm. Do astronomers and scientists have any idea of what that might look like if it were possible to be inside/below it? ...
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What is the distance between solar system and a distant galaxy

When we say a galaxy is 300 million light-years away, is that its distance now or 300 million years ago?
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What is the probability of life having developed or going to develop in our solar system another time?

I'm sorry I am not quite sure this question satisfies this point: Questions that are purely hypothetical, for example a question such as 'Could a black hole destroy the universe' or 'What if our ...
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How many planets are there in this solar system?

So, in school (that's a long time ago) 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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From Proxima b, could any planets around Sol be imaged directly by a strong telescope? If so, which ones would be easiest to spot?

How strong would a telescope (and what kind of telescope) on Proxima Centauri b have to magnify to discern any planets around Sol, and which planets would be easiest to spot? One might think the ...
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Are we able to accurately predict planetary orbits over a longer period of time?

I was wondering whether planetary orbits can be predicted with our classical theories, or whether quantum randomness comes into play making the unpredictable in the long run?
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How big can a planet get, with respect to its star for it to sustain life? [closed]

Earth is 108 times smaller than the sun in terms of its diameter while Jupiter is 10 times. Assuming Jupiter was located such that it could sustain life, theoretically how big a planet can get with ...
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Conversion of Moon's Celestial Position (RA and dec) to Horizontal Coordinates [closed]

I'm currently attempting to calculate the equatorial sky position of the Moon for any given Geostatic position (longitude / latitude) for any given datetime. I have tested my altitude and azimuth ...
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How does the Grand Tack Hypothesis explain how Jupiter formed inside the frost line?

The Grand Tack Hypothesis states that Jupiter formed at roughly 3.5 AU from the Sun, then interacted with a large portion of objects in the Solar System before settling into its current orbit. Yet as ...
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Couldn't the orbits of ETNOs have been altered by a flying-by rogue planet as well?

Regarding the Extreme trans-Neptunian objects or ETNOs, whose orbits some believe are elongated by a far away planet, could their orbits have been elongated by a rogue planet as well? Is it possible ...
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Moons with synchronous rotation in our solar system

Are all moons in our solar system rotating synchronously around their planet? If not, what are the criteria that some do and some don't? Many thanks for any insights!
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Can the pebbles growth model be applied to the rotations of planetary systems? [duplicate]

I've just read the University of Amsterdam 2019 News item Pebbles determine the direction in which planets rotate (which links to R.G.Visser et al (2020) Spinning up planetary bodies by pebble ...
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If I was in a coma and woke up at night in the desert, what knowledge would I know instantly and after 30 days?

If I was in a coma and woke up at night in the desert, what knowledge would I know instantly and after 30 days of observation? Can I figure out the general directions, i.e. where North, South, East, ...
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Does Soter take into account Pluto's and Orcus' masses when determining Neptune's planetary discriminant µ?

Does Steven Soter's planetary discriminant µ1 for Neptune take into account the masses of Pluto, Orcus and other Kuiper belt objects crossing or coming very close to Neptune's orbit? If so, Neptune ...
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Degrees of freedom in restricted circular coplanar three body problem

How many degrees of freedom does a mechanical system consisting of three bodies, the Sun, Jupiter and an asteroid, have in the restricted circular coplanar problem of the three bodies? I know that if ...
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Details about the next big comet 2014 UN271?

The announcent of the massive trans-Neptunian object 2014 UN271 to be a comet is rather new (June 22nd, 2021) and really exciting. That comet is rather huge (~100km diameter) and "falling toward ...
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What is the Milne-Eddington Approximation?

In this paper: Planet temperatures with surface cooling parameterized it states in the "radiation model" the following: The Eddington–Milne approximation relates $T_0$ and $T_e$ through the ...
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Undiscovered dwarf planets

Scientists think there may be dozens of undiscovered dwarf planets in the Solar system. What I find intriguing is that, we have been able to detect distant galaxies and clusters, locate supermassive ...
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How do astronomers calculate the period about the wave motion of the solar system in the Milky Way?

According to research, excluding the motion of the entire galaxy, astronomers found the motion of the solar system in the Milky Way. The solar system revolve around the galactic bulge of the Milky ...
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What pulls the Sun above the galactic plane and pulls it below the galactic plane?

Since the sun climbs above the galactic plane and it even dives below the galactic plane we can't deny that it wouldn't climb upward unless there is something above the galactic plane that pulls it ...
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Theoretically, can a solar system evolve around lagrange points

My question is, during the evolution of a solar system is it possible to end up with a massive planet around a star with two small planets around their $L_4$ and $L_5$. Since we know it is not ...
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How is it that all planets (and moons) in our solar system are in equilibrium orbits?

Previously, I was told that in order for any bodies to orbit each other for over a long period of time, the orbital period, distance and masses have to be precisely matched such that the bodies won't ...
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Did the Late Heavy Bombardment Period Happen Because of a Stellar System Collision?

I was thinking about the impending collision between M31 and the milky way galaxy, and I've heard that since a galaxy is mostly space most of the contents of both galaxies would be just fine. Could a ...
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463 views

Ejected planets during the early stages of the formation of the Solar System

This is similar to a previously asked question, but I am just asking about theory rather than observational evidence. Assuming there were a much larger number of protoplanets in the early Solar System,...
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Stability of solar system

My question is simple: Is the Solar system stable? You can see this Wikipedia page. Edit: Sorry, because i think my question is more about mathematics and classical mechanics of planets in ...
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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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If sun steals comets from other stars, then what is the primary source of comets?

I heard some theory that sun may steal materials such as comets from neighbouring stars, is it true? But if is true, what is the primary source of those comets? Especially "who" creates them instead ...
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Where have all the Vulcanoids gone?

This answer to Does anything orbit the Sun faster than Mercury? explains that while Vulcanoid asteroids may have been plentiful in the past, large ones have currently been ruled out though smaller ...
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Why is the globe/compass symbol used more often than the globus cruciger for Earth? [closed]

Why is that symbol 🜨 used more often (or almost always) when portraying e.g. Earth mass or Earth radii than the globus cruciger ♁ ? From my point of view the globus cruciger fits much better as ...
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What would happen if we stepped on the Sun?

I mean in intrinsic detail. What would happen to our bodies besides "burst into flames"?
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How can Voyager have left the solar system while at the same time there are solar system objects much farther? [duplicate]

I'm aware of Where does the Solar System end? but this question is different because I'd like to focus on the specific announcement by NASA about the Voyager spacecraft "leaving the solar system&...
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If the hypothesized planet behind the Kuiper belt existed, would it have a barycenter outside the Sun?

In 2016, an additional object rotating our Sun has been suggested. Assuming it has 5 Earth masses, would the planet or black hole proposed by Brown and Batigyn have a barycenter within the Sun or ...
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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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Longest and Shortest day of the year in all planets

Can we trace the longest and shortest day of the year in other planets of Solar system similar to earth planet i.e. Mars, Saturn, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Neptune, Uranus?

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