Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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3
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1answer
263 views

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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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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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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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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1answer
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When was it realised that most major moons orbit in the equatorial plane of their parent planets?

Inspired by the discussion of the moons of Uranus providing a clue to the planet's axis of rotation in this question, I'm wondering when it was realised that the major satellites are typically located ...
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544 views

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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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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1answer
203 views

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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810 views

Can stars be seen in the background when looking directly at our solar system?

Imagine viewing the solar system from the outside: Considering the sun is quite bright, would you still be able to see stars in the background, or does the sunlight disable us to do so? Consider ...
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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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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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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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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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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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1answer
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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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2answers
108 views

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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1answer
233 views

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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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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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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558 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 of ...
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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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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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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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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
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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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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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1answer
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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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653 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
124 views

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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2answers
96 views

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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1answer
288 views

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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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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28 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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1answer
247 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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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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2answers
159 views

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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2answers
291 views

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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2answers
354 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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1answer
676 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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102 views

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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1answer
193 views

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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1answer
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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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