Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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4
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143 views

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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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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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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How can comets have tails if there's no air resistance in space?

I understand that solar radiation causes material to vaporize out of a comet into dust but why does the dust then trail behind the comet like a "tail"? Assuming gravity is the only applied force ...
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Is there any thing special with an axial tilt of roughly 25°?

Half of the planets in the solar system have an axial tilt of $25.5\pm 3^\circ$: earth (23.5°), mars (25.3°), saturn (26.7°) and neptune (28.3°). If random collisions in the early solar system caused ...
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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
352 views

The compatibility of the Grand Tack hypothesis with the "core-warping impact" theory of Jupiter's diffuse core

In recent years, the Juno mission revealed that Jupiter's core was much more diffuse than astronomers had expected. One theory is that "within a few million years" of its formation, Jupiter ...
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1answer
67 views

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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1answer
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Why were solar constant measurements before TSIS-1 all about 0.3% high?

Phys.org's Solar energy tracker powers down after 17 years says: "The big surprise with TSI was that the amount of irradiance it measured was 4.6 watts per square meter less than what was ...
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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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111 views

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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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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1answer
48 views

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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111 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
254 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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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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363 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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1answer
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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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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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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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1answer
162 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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1answer
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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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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
218 views

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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763 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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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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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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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
350 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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1answer
269 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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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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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1answer
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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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1answer
223 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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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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1answer
3k views

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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1answer
852 views

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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2answers
193 views

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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