Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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Moment of inertia factor of Venus and Pluto

What are the RI factor values for Venus and Pluto? Is there any source of reasonable calculation done for these two? C/MR2 According to the page to this Venus has a ...
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Why do we care if Pluto is classified as a planet? [migrated]

Why do we care if Pluto is classified as a planet? Classification doesn't change anything fundamental about Pluto, like the orbital parameters or composition. We can't hurt an inanimate object's ...
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How many solar system objects that can really qualify as a KBO are likely to enter Pluto's Hill sphere each day?

A comment below Which celestial body is able to come closest to Pluto? says that Technically, many, many small Kuiper belt objects enter Pluto's Hill Sphere (or sphere of influence SOI) every day. ...
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Ptolemy’s understanding of the planet’s whereabouts

I imagine that Ptolemy’s epicycles were performed as real circles - around equants - in two dimensions, e.g that he was able not only to give the angles to planets and the Sun as seen from the Earth, ...
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Is it at all possible for the sun to revolve around as many barycenters as we have planets in our solar system?

Though it is understandable that the sun and the earth may be revolving around a barycenter, but, if so, not only the sun and Jupiter should also be revolving around some barycenter, the same should ...
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186 views

Where is the Solar system's barycenter located?

Where is the Solar system's barycenter located? The solar system as a whole, Where is the center of the mass for the combined mass of the Sun, inner planets, and gas giants, is it inside the Sun? Is ...
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221 views

Why do the solar system planets go rock==>gas==>ice instead of rock==>ice==>gas?

The sun and the solar wind seem to do a good job of fractionating lighter materials to the outer solar system and leaving heavier materials in the inner solar system. So we end up with rocky/metallic ...
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60 views

Is Jupiter really shepherding the main belt, and Neptune the Kuiper belt?

By "dominating another object's orbit" my understanding is that the most massive body's gravity has so much influence that, when they come close, it makes the other body/bodies' orbits shift ...
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Launch windows for Venus transit; how to convert heliocentric longitudes to date?

Being a bit familiar with celestial mechanics, I know that the Hohmann transfer orbit is the quickest way to transfer between two circular orbits of different radii around a central body in the same ...
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How precisely we know the Gaia spacecraft baseline? [Question related to Planet 9 and the cosmic distance ladder]

The European Space Agency mission Gaia is performing an outstanding job by measuring the parallaxes of almost 2 billion stars, many of which are thousands of light years away from the Sun. For this ...
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Rotational inertia, angular momentum of the Solar system

Is there Rotational inertia of the Solar system as one entity "disk"? Is this even possible? The angular momentum of a multi-point system in the Solar system - Since the different planets ...
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Rotational inertia of the Solar system

Is there Rotational inertia of the Solar system as one entity "disk"? Is this even possible? Edit: The angular momentum of a multi-point system in the Solar system - Since the different ...
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What is the YORP effect exactly? Is it just the non-central component of the Yarkovsky effect?

This answer to Where have all the Vulcanoids gone? links to the aptly-titled The YORP Effect Can Efficiently Destroy 100 Kilometer Planetesimals At The Inner Edge Of The Solar System which says in ...
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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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Moons with curlicue paths around our Sun?

I naively believed that since our Moon orbits Earth, and since Earth orbits the Sun, the path our Moon might take around the Sun would be this type of epitrochoid curve: I was surprised and delighted ...
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The creation of comets

How are comet and meteors made, and what causes them to travel through space so fast? I have tried researching, but I decided this was the faster way.
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Are the Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions and winter solstice related?

There is conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Dec 21. And there is another celestial event on that day the winter solstice. So I'm just wondering that are these two events are related or not?
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Do the axes of rotation of most stars in the Milky Way align reasonably closely with the axis of galactic rotation?

The axis of rotation of the Solar System makes a large angle of about 60 degrees relative to the axis of rotation of the Milky Way. That seems unusual - for example, most of the bodies within the ...
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How does the Sun's gravity have so much force and pull on the solar system? How does it scale?

Watched this video: https://fb.watch/1U0vCFBr0L/ Ok, so the distances are huge. And the sizes are much different. But I wonder how then the sun keeps the planets etc. orbiting it. If we swap out all ...
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What are the correct positions or alignment of planets in relation to each other and the Sun, is it vertical center, baseline or completely random

From a lot a illustrations and videos, the planets seem to align in vertical center to each other like this: Is this really true? I like to imagine that the planets are actually in weird alignment to ...
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What makes protoplanetary disks start rotating? (Initial energy needed to rotate)

Planets form from a protoplanetary disk that has been rotating around its star. The initial energy that makes them rotate really matters to me. Why did the protoplanetary disk start rotating around ...
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Did Mercury clear its neighborhood?

For a body to qualify as a planet according to the IAU definition it must have "cleared its neighborhood". What evidence is there Mercury indeed cleared its neighborhood? Perhaps it migrated ...
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Positions of planets before Christ?

All the solar system simulations I've come across showing the positions of planets only show the positions in a certain time period, at beginning of the first millenium the earliest. There was just ...
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When I see Mars, I see only red light

I have a 700 mm focal and 76 mm aperture telescope. I bought it a few days ago. I tried to spot Mars for 3 days but I only see red light. I use an 20 mm eyepiece for finding it and 4 mm eyepiece for ...
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Can a planet in our system eclipse the sun as seen from another one?

When the Sun, Earth and Moon get properly aligned, we get eclipses, where the Sun is partially or totally hidden by the Moon when seen from Earth. Is it possible for one planet of the solar system to ...
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How has the average distance between asteroids in the asteroid belt changed over time?

Just about every webpage related to asteroids states that, on average, asteroids are about 600,000 miles apart from one another. Have planetary scientists hazarded a guess at how close they might ...
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Long-periodic sungrazers

I'm searching for long- and non-periodic sungrazing comets, like the Kirch comet of 1680 and the (meanwhile destroyed) Comet ISON. If you know a(ny) long-/non-periodic sungrazing comet(s), let me know ...
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Orbital Mechanics: where can I find initial conditions for orientations and angular rates of planets in our solar system?

I am looking to write the equations of motion (EOMs) for a 6DOF analysis of our solar system. I want to integrate the equations forward in time, and need a complete set of initial conditions to do so....
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How do we weigh a planet?

How do we weigh a planet? My friend asked me how do scientists weigh a planet. He is not from science background so I need to make him understand with simple analogy. How can I explain to him?
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Could rocks from Earth have reached the Kuiper belt, or Neptune at least? If so, how?

This answer (currently edit 3) to How certain are we that we have not sent life to other planets/moons? begins: First of all, rocks from Earth are probably just about everywhere in the Solar System. ...
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I saw a weird thing around Venus

I pointed my telescope (50mm aperture, 500mm focal length, 4mm eyepiece, image taken through a window) at Venus and saw this: What is it? I don't think this is Uranus or Neptune as my telescope is ...
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Discovery papers for Uranus and Neptune

I would like to have the discovery papers, notices or announcements done by Herschel with Uranus and Le Verrier with Neptune. I know that Herschel adressed the Royal Society and Le Verrier sent some ...
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Apparent Centering Problem When Using the Perifocal System to Draw Orbital Ellipses [closed]

I am attempting to render orbital ellipses in software. Given a set of orbital elements, I am using the Perifocal system to determine a set of points along the curve of the ellipse. I am using the ...
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What meteor shower has the radiant that appears furthest west after sunset, and why?

When it finally gets answered, answers to How to calculate the position of a meteor shower's radiant point based on its associated comet's orbit? will help us understand why the radiant points ...
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If the solar system is nearly flat, then why don't all the planets appear to lie on the same axis when viewed from earth?

For instance, consider the image below. The location of the planets seem to be so random relative to Earth. If the solar system was indeed flat, then I would expect the planets to lie on the same '...
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Impact on the rest of the solar system if Mercury or Venus were disassembled?

I've watched a few theoretical videos about Dyson spheres where they mention that the most practical way to do that would be to disassemble a planet - preferably one already close to the sun - Mercury ...
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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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Has any of the orbiters or rover on Mars captured image of comet NEOWISE?

We are seeing stunning pictures of comet NEOWISE from earth (and ISS too), are there any pictures captured from Mars by an orbiter or rover, or any other spacecraft?
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Radiation and software reliability in outer space [closed]

We all know that dragon was written in c++ but what i struggle to understand is that if radiation in space can really mess with hardware and functionality and even have the capacity to change bits ...
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How to calculate the position of a meteor shower's radiant point based on its associated comet's orbit?

Below this answer to Why are Delta Aquariids “for the southern hemisphere” while the Perseids are “for the north”? I wrote the comment: +1 To make this complete, ...
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What effects does the motion of the Sun have on the perihelion precession of Mercury?

According to the wikipedia page, there are multiple effects contributing to the perihelion precession of Mercury. Of course, according to this link and this link we know that the Sun is itself ...
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Is there evidence for galactic “seasons”?

The Solar Year has huge effects on our climate, and the signs of passing seasons are physically evident on Earth. I recently learned about the Galactic Year. To my understanding, our sun orbits the ...
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Comet Neowise c2020 f3 will return in ~6800 years, how can we be sure Earth will be in the right place to see it then?

I have read in several places that the orbital period of comet Neowise c2020 F3 is about 6800 years. In several popular media sources it is said that we will be able to see the same comet after ~6800 ...
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Why Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise returns even it's orbit is near- parabolic?

I have read in Wikipedia about Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise that it's orbit is near-parabolic. But in another section, it says that it is a non-periodic comet whlith orbital period ranging from 4500 years ...
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Is it true that we see the center of the milky-way for only half of the year?

I'm not an astronomer, please excuse my non-formal language. Since we are located in one of the arms of the Milky way, the center of the galaxy should be in one direction from our location, while in ...
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Could a near collision with small black hole account for the effects of the 9th planet?

Much interest has been raised about the existence of a 9th planet. One reason for this is the strange orbits of bodies in the outer solar system. Could the orbits be explained by a near collision of a ...
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538 views

Can the paper narrowing Solar System's barycentre to within 100m help find Planet Nine?

I've just read this recent news article, Astronomers Have Located The Centre of The Solar System to Within 100 Metres, reporting on a paper[1] that claims narrowing the Solar System barycentre to ...
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870 views

Could the Sun and our Solar System one day leave our galaxy?

I have now learned that the Sun is not fixed in place, so I asked myself this question: It is possible, that the Sun and our Solar System will one day leave our galaxy? If yes, how, and if no, why not?...
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50 views

What's the exact story of jupiter and our earth, not becoming a super-earth?

I've been watching the Cosmos documentaries by Neil DeGrass Tyson and the ones from Brian Cox, and in one episode (I don't remember from which series) there's something about the creation of the rocky ...
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1answer
76 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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