Questions tagged [solar-system]

Questions regarding the Sun and objects orbiting it.

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Mass accumulation rate and orbit-time of earth

According to me following reason of mass accumulation of earth has been completely overlooked so far. The sunrays that fall on the oceans travel deep into water and finally get converted into mass ...
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Why do Uranus and Neptune have more methane than Jupiter and Saturn?

So the standard theory of the solar nebula is that in the region of the gas planets, ice and rock could condense to form planetesimals, which could then accrete hydrogen and helium to form the gas ...
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Why are the planets moving? [duplicate]

My question isn't why it doesn't have a circular orbit, and why an elliptical, my question is why do they move at all? What caused the debris in space to apply such a force on the planets that it has ...
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Do other planets affect the Earth?

Let say Mercury, Venus, the Moon were all in alignment between the Earth and Sun. They are all closest to each other in respective elliptical orbit. On the other side of the Sun you have the rest of ...
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Why is sun's photosphere a million times less dense than air at the surface of the Earth?

Sun's photosphere is about 19 times as hot as Earth's surface. (Source: http://solar-center.stanford.edu/vitalstats.html) But Solar surface gravity is about 28 times terrestrial surface gravity. So,...
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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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Venusian polar surface temperatures

I've stumbled across several articles about how the Venusian polar high atmosphere is really cold. What these articles appear to fail to specify is what the surface temperatures of the poles are. I am ...
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What would a terraformed Mars look like from Earth?

Question in the title. Currently, Mars is a small orange dot in the sky. But what if green, blue, and some white were added? I wouldn't expect it to be too different- a large portion of it will remain ...
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Why stars are not visible in photos of Planets from space [duplicate]

The night sky from many parts of the Earth, away from any city lights and pollution, is full of starts, mostly the stars of the Milky Way Galaxy is what fills the night sky densely. In many photos of ...
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Why do stars twinkle but the Sun doesn't (I'm asking this because the Sun is also a star) [duplicate]

My friend asked me "Sun is also a star then why doesn't it twinkle like other stars" I brought this question here so that I have (and have more) infomation on this topic.
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Detecting the Chicxulub impactor, right now [duplicate]

Say an asteroid identical in all ways to the Chicxulub impactor (size, mass, materiel, orbital type, etc) was about to hit us. (Again!) As of exactly early 2018, given our known instruments and ...
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Can the shedding of radiation of stars contribute to the red-shift of the universe?

The sun is losing mass(1.5cm per year) by emitting radiation and the orbits of the planets are widening because of the weakening gravity of the sun. Are most of the stars shedding mass via ...
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Oort cloud shape

In the episode of Cosmos dedicated to cometary objects and other things, the Oort cloud was graphically rendered as a spherical distribution of dots. This surprised me as I thought that it should be ...
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Solar system data API?

I'm prototyping a real time solar system / milky way discovery app. Could you please help me on: -What is the best orbital data public API I can use? -What is the standard numerical way to define ...
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Does habitable zone take tidally locked bodies into account?

Imagine a tidally locked planet orbiting a red dwarf, where habitability is not situated close to terminator zone, but on a "small" cap normal to incident starlight (zenith) with permanent average +15 ...
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Would there be any difference for our solarsystem to be not in the Milky Way? [duplicate]

Guessing, the solar system would be taken out of our galaxy of any reason, would there be any difference to the live on earth or even to the mechanics in within our solar system?
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Why are planetary orbits not all circular? [duplicate]

Why are the orbits of the planets elliptical ? The circular orbit also satisfies all the conditions of gravitational force. Then why did nature choose the elliptical orbits ?
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1answer
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Rotation of the Earth about its own axis [duplicate]

I am wondering how the Earth got its original angular velocity. What was the cause that made the Earth rotate about its own axis? What about its motion around the Sun? What gave the Earth the push to ...
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When would Oumuamua have entered the solar system?

So from what I've read, Oumuamua travels at around 26km/s when in interstellar space. I also remember reading a while back that Voyager was travelling at around <...
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Potential formation mechanisms of the interstellar asteroid 'Oumuamua

NASA recently discovered 'Oumuamua, an interstellar asteroid that appears to have a very elongated shape, unseen in solar system asteroids. What physical mechanisms, in the progenitor stellar system ...
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what would a captured planet do if it was in a retrograde orbit?

If our solar system some how captured a rogue planet, and it orbited the sun in the opposite direction to all the other planets, what major affect would it have on the stability, would its drag cause ...
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How did the lighter elements end up in the center of the solar system? Solar System Formation

The previous generation of stars famously are the origin of all the heavier elements (up until iron?) in the solar system. So a big portion of the solar system mass actually is made up of Carbon, ...
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Why is right ascension measured on a 24 hour scale rather than a 23 hours and 56 minutes scale?

From several texts I have read, I have learned that right ascension is measured on a scale of 24 hours. I understand that Earth rotates almost exactly 360 degrees relative to distant objects, which is ...
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1answer
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What will be the impacts on the planets' orbits from Gliese 710?

In 1.5 million years, the star Gliese 710 is expected to pass through the Oort cloud. Now obviously this will shower the inner solar system with comets, but the Wikipedia page doesn't say anything ...
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When and where are Pluto and Neptune closest to each other?

I found two sources sort of answering this question, but conclusions I made of them contradict each other. https://www.reddit.com/r/askscience/comments/29jrvq/...
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What is the closest heavenly body to our solar system

What is currently the closest known heavenly body, brown dwarf, rogue planet or other to our solar system? At one time it was Alpha Centauri.
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Which focus point does the sun occupy for each planet?

I am aware that planets orbit in an elliptical fashion and that the sun occupies one of two focal points. Let us say that the left focal point is f1 and the right f2. Is the sun at the same focal ...
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How did we first determine the Earth's departure from sphericity?

I'm quite interested to know the history of the study of the Earth's departure from spherical symmetry. What were the first methods used to model the non-spherical geometry of the Earth? For example, ...
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1answer
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What is the reason the Jovian planets are in descending order of size?

Is there any scientific reason for the jovian planets to be in descending order of size or is it purely coincidental? In terms of radii it goes Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
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The most feasible hypothesis about Theia

The formation of the Moon had many hypothesis over the years, most of them involving a Mars-sized body called Theia, which presumably collided with the Earth. But even within the Theia hypothesis, is ...
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1answer
299 views

How have we measured the radius of the Earth (old and new)?

I'd imagine ancient methods are fun exercises in geometry. how has the measurement has evolved over time? The first method is credited to Eratosthenes. He knew that during the summer solstice in ...
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1answer
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Reference frames in relativity?

I've recently been introduced to relativistic celestial Reference Systems (RS) such as the Geocentric Celestial Reference System (GCRS) and Barycentric Celestial Reference Systems (BCRS). So, for ...
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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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If the Oort cloud has billions of objects larger than 20 km, then why do we have so few comets?

According to Wikipedia: “The Oort cloud may have billions of objects with absolute magnitude brighter than 11 (corresponding to approximately 20-kilometre diameter)”
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How do we not know what's in the Solar System? [duplicate]

It seems every once in a while there's a claim of a new planet in the Solar System. I don't understand how local planets can stay undiscovered for this long when astronomers are accomplishing what ...
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How far could be an object from the Sun and still be under the influence of its gravitational field?

I'm trying to see how far can our star reaches with its gravity. I'm asking if anyone could give info as to what's our star's limit or the furthest object found in our solar system.
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Was there ever a hypothesis about a planet called Biga?

I just re-read a popular astronomy book that was published when I was a child, about 1973. It starts with an interview to Harold C. Urey where the interviewer asks about a hypothetical planet in our ...
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Are there more images with different filters available for the April 6 Hubble image of Jupiter?

This recent HST image of Jupiter near opposition is described here and here and was made under HST proposal 14756. It was taken with WFC3/UVIS. It is made from three images using narrow-band filters ...
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Why do most galaxies or planetary systems have disc shape? [duplicate]

If we assume that mass was initially uniformly distributed in an area, then why does it flatten out after long time? For example, consider our solar system or most galaxies out there.
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Are the planets Trappist-1 in the solar system?

I'm an Astronomy noob, but I'm interested in learning how stars and planets work. Everything started with the Trappist-1. I read about it, and it's fascinating. However, it's impossible for me to ...
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JPL DE Documentation

I'm currently trying to write a C++ library that makes accessing binary data from a JPL ephemeris file easier. So far I sifted through the web, trying to find a good and thorough documentation about ...
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What are the other examples of medium-sized stars? [closed]

Please put the light year also. Its for our report so I need some examples. I've already searched on some books but I don't find anything.
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Is the centre of axial precession perfectly perpendicular to the ecliptic?

It is my understanding that the Earth's axial precession is such that the direction of the North pole pointing to the celestial sphere traces out a circle with a period of roughly 26,000 years. My ...
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Do astronomers generally agree that the distinction between comets and asteroids is not so clear?

edit: I just saw this tweet and find it incredibly relevant :) begin question: See this answer and then consider if there are known or likely solar system bodies that might be identified as both ...
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Is there a prediction when our solar system would fall apart?

Within a few billion years our Sun would become a red giant and destroying Mercury and Venus and perhaps even the Earth. But nevertheless our solar system still have some planets like Jupiter and ...
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145 views

How can 16 Psyche be the core of a protoplanet?

The recent approval of a NASA mission to study the asteroid 16 Psyche brought to my attention that Psyche (about 200 km in diameter) is thought to be the exposed iron core left over from a protoplanet ...
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How would a celestial map for Callisto depict the paths of Jupiter, the Sun, etc.?

Let's say we're mapping Callisto's northern celestial hemisphere in a way similar to this map of Earth's. Along with the stars (which let's just ignore for this question), this map will identify the ...
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373 views

Which celestial object in the solar system has the fastest tangential velocity at its surface?

Consider all of the naturally-occurring objects in the solar system : in the reference frame of the object's center (ie, ignoring the orbital velocity around the sun or, in the case of satellites, ...
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How did they decide the length of one year even though it wasn't known that earth revolves around the sun?

It takes one year for the earth to go around the sun, but one year was already this long when they didn't even know that the earth revolves around the sun at all. So how did they figure it out?
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Is the galaxy made of a nebula or the solar system?

My book says on the topic 'Formation of stars' that a galaxy starts forming by the accumulation of hydrogen gas in the form of very large clouds called nebulae. Then local lumps of gas are formed. ...

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