Nilay Ghosh
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Why was there a gap in the number of asteroid detections between 1807 and 1845?
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28 votes

Ceres, Pallas, Juno and Vesta were all discovered between 1801 and 1807. After that, astronomers looked in vain for 38 years until the 5th, Astraea was spotted on December 8, 1845 by German amateur ...

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If Theia really crashed into Earth, did it impact Earth's axial tilt?
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21 votes

TL;DR: Yes Long answer: Theia is a hypothesized ancient planet in the early Solar System that, according to the giant-impact hypothesis, collided with the early Earth around 4.5 billion years ago, ...

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Is Jupiter's Red Spot "locked in place" or does it move around?
20 votes

Yes, as with all other storms, the Great Red Spot is dynamic, so it constantly changes its size and shape and it shifts and drifts and is not just "locked in a definite position". According ...

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How fast is Neptune getting brighter? When was was this first noticed and reported?
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10 votes

TL;DR: There was apparent 11% increase of Neptune brightness during 1980 and 2000. This could be due to multiple reasons. Recent observation suggested the reason to be change in the amount and ...

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What is k2, how does it relate to Io's volcanism and how can Juno constrain its value?
8 votes

It is called Tidal love number. The definition is as follows: In Newtonian gravitational theory, a tidal Love number relates the mass multipole moment created by tidal forces on a spherical body to ...

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What's the temperature of Pluto's core?
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8 votes

TL;DR: 1000 K (according to differentiated model of Pluto) According to the density value of Pluto, astronomers proposed three types of structural models: Undifferentiated or "cold" model: ...

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Why is the Great Red Spot shrinking?
7 votes

The Great Red Spot used to be bigger. Over the course of the twentieth century, it lost half of its size. Just between 1996 to 2006, its area diminished by 15%. If the shrink rate is constant, then ...

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How is the height of the Great Red Spot measured?
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7 votes

The Great Red Spot looks oval from above but is actually saucer shaped as the storm curves towards the center and the deepest point lies at the center. It is 16,350 km wide, so the height is ...

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Could more objects from the Oort cloud with highly elliptical orbits be discovered in the future?
6 votes

Although, there hasn't been a confirmed direct observations of the Oort cloud, it is confirmed to be the home of long period comets. Some notable examples include C/1999 F1 (Catalina), C/2006 P1 (...

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How does one find out how often planets align?
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5 votes

If you go to Wikipedia article of conjunction, there is a formula given for the average time between two conjunctions between a planet pair in siderial years. $$\mathrm{p_{conjunction} = \frac{1}{\...

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Did the Moon have a substantial atmosphere in the past?
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5 votes

TL;Dr: Yes, the Moon had a substantial atmosphere in the past. Long answer: Did the Moon have an actual atmosphere at any time in history? Let's start from Wikipedia: In October 2017, NASA ...

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What causes the strong winds on Uranus?
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4 votes

As said, winds on Uranus are quite strong blowing upto 560 miles/hr (900 kmph). But, the question is what forces drives these winds? Researchers has been digging for quite a while. They investigated ...

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What other hints of possible life in Venusian atmosphere have we dismissed?
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4 votes

Now that phosphine has probably been discovered in relatively large quantities in the Venusian atmosphere It is not large, it's only 20 ppb. I heard that there have been other unexplained phenomena (...

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What is the highest resolution image of the moon taken from Earth's surface?
3 votes

Andrew McCarthy, a Californian stargazer captured a 81-megapixel image (9000px by 9000px) of the Moon and posted it on Redditt. The image was captured using an Orion XT10 telescope, a Skywatcher EQ6-...

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Moons with synchronous rotation in our solar system
3 votes

Most of the irregular moons do not quite have synchronous rotation: Regular satellites are usually tidally locked (that is, their orbit is synchronous with their rotation so that they only show one ...

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Planetary tails: How many have we observed yet?
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3 votes

Yes, apart from WASP-69b, there has been reports of other exoplanets emitting some form of planetary tails. Let's start from the Wikipedia: KIC 12557548 b is a small rocky planet, very close to its ...

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Where can I find a list of retrograde Milky Way stars?
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3 votes

The Milky Way's outer halo has many globular clusters with a retrograde orbit (about 40% of all clusters in Milky Way). One of the more prominent example include Kapteyn's star which is highly ...

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Does lightning on Venus affect the chemical composition of the clouds?
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3 votes

Observations by many spacecraft that have visited Venus over the last 40 years appear to confirm the presence of lightning storms in the Venus atmosphere. Recent observations by Venus Express indicate ...

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How long do thunderstorms on Venus last?
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3 votes

Independent observation led to the conclusion that lightning is prevalent on Venus. Electromagnetic signals detected by the 4 Venera landers explained the main cause of lightning on Venus. Venera 9 ...

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What is the farthest reported distance from observer from which a solar system body has occulted a star?
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3 votes

Wikipedia lists some of the most farthest objects from the sun in the solar system. The third farthest object "Eris" was the subject of one of the most distant stellar occultations observed ...

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Is dust the only reason why the Martian sky is so bright?
3 votes

It is very likely due to dust particles. The color of Martian sky is described to be yellow-brown "butterscotch" color during daytime (sometimes pinkish red) and blue during rising and ...

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Are there actual asteroids in the Oort cloud?
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2 votes

Tl;Dr: It is a matter of consideration if you want to call Kuiper belt bodies/Oort cloud bodies "asteroids" or not. Long answer: The Oort cloud defines the cosmographic boundary of the Solar ...

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How long do other planets in our solar system have total solar eclipses?
2 votes

TL;DR: Last for couple of seconds except for Jupiter where it lasts for minutes. Mars Phobos and Deimos are too small to totally eclipse sun but there are annular eclipses. See this video which ...

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Does a lunar occultation of Mars happen twice a year?
2 votes

Moon-Mars Occultations occur every 174 to 188 Days Average worldwide interval (based on 500 years) between occultations is 180 days. In a calendar year, zero to five occultations can occur. Annual ...

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Does Saturn raise tides on Titan's lakes?
2 votes

I would like to add some more points. Titan is indeed tidally locked to Saturn. Numerical calculation shows Titan's tides due to Saturn's gravity is 400 times as strong as Moon's tidal effect on Earth....

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What is the organic material in Saturn's rings?
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2 votes

It is indeed a much more interesting cocktail of chemicals. Before plunging into Saturn, Cassini collected some invaluable data about composition of its atmosphere and how the complex ring system ...

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Why do Venus, Earth, and Mars have tall volcanoes, but the Moon, Mercury, and Io don't?
1 votes

Mercury MErcury Surface, Space ENvironment, GEochemistry, and Ranging (MESSENGER) data show that most of Mercury's surface consists of lava plains. However, no volcanoes (mountains built by eruptions)...

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Why doesn't Triton orbit over Neptune's equator?
1 votes

The most likely theory of why Triton has an unusual inclined orbit is because Triton was probably a KBO before it approached towards the solar system and was captured by Neptune. Its retrogate orbit ...

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What are the most efficient ways to terraform Neptune's moon Triton?
1 votes

TL;DR: Looking at the conditions of Triton and the current technology we have, it is almost impossible to terraform Triton. Long answer It is hypothesized that Triton could be used for colonization. ...

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Is life possible on other celestial objects (apart from planets) even theoretically?
1 votes

The term you should be looking for is "Panspermia". It is a hypothesis that life exists throughout the Universe, distributed by space dust, meteoroids, asteroids, comets, and planetoids, as ...

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