7
votes
2answers
840 views

Having trouble weighing the sun

So I gather the way you (and Vera Rubin) calculate a galaxy's mass is by measuring a star's orbital velocity $v$ and its distance $R$ from the galactic center, and then plugging them into this ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

Why does Pluto's orbit cross Neptune's orbit?

Why does Pluto's orbit cross Neptune's orbit? Is this a fault in Newton's law of gravitation?
2
votes
2answers
234 views

Why do we orbit around the sun instead of one the other stars?

I am still very new to many physics theories, however while sat in class today, a thought came to mind that I have not been able to answer from simple googling. What is so specific about our sun ...
1
vote
2answers
61 views

Finding sphere of influence in multibody system

I would like to draw a boundary illustrating the sphere of influence of each body in a 3 body system. What is the best way to find such a boundary? My understanding is at the edge an SoI is the ...
2
votes
2answers
450 views

Angular speed of the planets

Do all the planets in our solar system have the same angular speed? Physics teacher says yes, my research is not crystal clear. I want to make sure I have the right information for future reference. ...
1
vote
6answers
865 views

Why does the moon not revolve around the sun directly?

The sun pulls on the moon with a force that is more than twice the magnitude of the force with which the earth attracts the moon. Why, then, doesn’t the sun take the moon away from the earth?
2
votes
1answer
259 views

How do we know the Earth orbits around the Sun and not the other way around? [duplicate]

I know that describing the trajectory of all planets in the solar system around the Earth is much more complicated than if we take the Sun as the reference point. But besides this, what is the ...
4
votes
1answer
474 views

What is the precise definition of Gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI)?

I am trying to understand the gravitational sphere of influence (SOI), but all I get by searching is the formula that you can find on Wikipedia, that is $$ r_{SOI} = a \left( \frac{m}{M} ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Do all celestial objects have stationary orbit?

Do all celestial bodies of sufficient mass such big asteroids, moon, planets etc. have orbit such that the period of revolution is same as the sidereal period of that object (such as geostationary ...
7
votes
2answers
851 views

Where does tidal energy come from?

Kind of an odd, random question that popped into my head. Tidal energy - earth's ocean movement, volcanism on some of Jupiter's moons, etc. - obviously comes from the gravitational interaction between ...
1
vote
2answers
169 views

What's the weight of the earth?

What's the weight of the earth? That is, what's the weight of the earth in the gravitational field of the sun? I imagine it's either $0$, because there's no net fall toward the sun, so the downward ...
0
votes
0answers
146 views

Does the earth really move round the sun? [duplicate]

Is there really any empirical proof that the earth moves round the sun? I've read simple explanations using mass-gravity relation. But then some questions remain, is gravity a function of mass alone? ...
5
votes
1answer
178 views

How reliant is the Solar System on being exactly the way it is?

We know that all objects with mass exert forces on all other objects of mass such that $$ F = \frac{GMm}{R^2}.$$ And as others have discussed the planets do interfere with each other ...
0
votes
1answer
633 views

Has anyone on Earth ever seen the dark side of the moon and if so where are the pictures? [duplicate]

If the Moon rotates then we should see the dark side right? But as far as I know the Moon only shows one side to Earth, how can this be if it is rotating?
18
votes
4answers
747 views

Staying in orbit - but doesn't any perturbation start a positive feedback?

I am not a physicist; I am a software engineer. While trying to fall asleep recently, I started thinking about the following. There are many explanations online of how any object stays in orbit. The ...
1
vote
2answers
427 views

Result of increasing the radius of earth?

How can increasing the radius of earth may cause an impact on the solar system ? Like, would earth may start making a bigger orbit (due to increase in size and wait) or vice versa ? or else ? PS: The ...
0
votes
5answers
863 views

Imagining to speed up the Earth's revolution around the Sun until we feel its motion

If the Earth were revolving around the Sun much faster than it does, let's say 100 or 1000 times faster or whatever big-enough multiple of its actual speed, would we feel it? What sensation would we ...
6
votes
2answers
268 views

Why is there this asymmetry between the two foci of an orbital ellipse?

Why does the Earth revolve with the Sun at one of its foci? Does the other focus do nothing? Why is there this asymmetry in our solar system?
8
votes
8answers
3k views

How does the earth move?

My son who is 5 years old is asking me a question about how the earth moves around the sun. What answer should I give him?
14
votes
5answers
4k views

Why do we always see the same side of the Moon? [duplicate]

I am puzzled why we always see the same side of the Moon even though it is rotating around its own axis apart from revolving around the earth. Shouldn't this only be possible if the Moon is not ...
14
votes
13answers
4k views

Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun?

In history we are taught that the Catholic Church was wrong, because the Sun does not move around the Earth, instead the Earth moves around the Sun. But then in physics we learn that movement is ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why are Saturn's rings so thin?

Take a look at this picture (from APOD http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap110308.html): I presume that rocks within rings smash each other. Below the picture there is a note which says that Saturn's rings ...