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?
0
votes
1answer
75 views

Which planet in the solar system is it?

It is known that the period of revolution of the earth about the sun is $365.3$ days and that the semimajor axis of the earth's orbit is $1.495 \times 10^{11}$ m. An astronomer notes that the ...
2
votes
2answers
219 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 ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't dark matter affect planetary motion?

If the universe is made up of ~95% dark matter, and it interacts only gravitationally then why didn't Newton and Kepler discover it before ? Why does it show itself only in the radial velocity profile ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Kepler's third law doesn't give earth's orbital period! Why? [closed]

I tried to calculate earth's orbital period using Kepler's third law, but I found 365.2075 days for the orbital period instead of 365.256363004 which is the correct value. I checked everything, and I ...
1
vote
2answers
57 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
174 views

How explain this perturbing equation about the 43 arcseconds?

The planetary orbits have been studied as ellipses but the solar system is in motion in relation to the distant stars. Their path is along the tip of an helix and the ecliptic plane is a convenient ...
0
votes
2answers
108 views

Energy to move The Earth to mars' orbit?

How much energy would it take to add to the earth's orbital velocity to push the earth into mars' orbit? My thoughts: So, in 1-2 billion years, the sun will gradually get brighter. Suppose a future ...
1
vote
1answer
206 views

True or false: the Moon was touching the Earth 1.2 billion years ago

A creationist website makes this argument for the 6,000 year old earth. I'm embarrassed to say I don't know how to do the math to evaluate the claim myself. However, the time scales involved seems ...
1
vote
2answers
362 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. ...
0
votes
2answers
76 views

How do I know if an object comes from the Solar System or not?

I'm told that if the total energy of an object near the Sun is negative, then it comes from the Solar System; if positive, it is extrasolar. I don't understand why. Can someone please explain this?
2
votes
1answer
227 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
454 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
92 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
805 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
166 views

Mercury's orbit

Mercury has a weird orbit, it's elliptical orbit rotates around an axis, but for no reason. My question is why? What is causing this?
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Why was Galilei “right”? [duplicate]

Considering that all frames are equivalent, isn't it up to the observer to say "The earth turns around the sun" or "The sun turns around the earth"? Isn't this more or less like arguing about which ...
1
vote
0answers
240 views

How would the solar system change if Earth was to just disappear? [closed]

Having just finished Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End", my question is, what exactly will happen to the stability and configuration of our solar system if our planet Earth was to just disappear? I ...
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
131 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? ...
1
vote
0answers
137 views

Mercury's Orbital Precession in Special Relativity

I am researching Mercury's orbital precession. I have considered most perturbations and general relativity. I am still not satisfied. I need your help. I need a solution to Exercise 13, Chapter 6, in ...
0
votes
1answer
602 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?
4
votes
2answers
946 views

How to calculate linar velocity of planet orbit?

I try to simulate a solar system with planets (with random mass) placed randomly around a sun with a mass $X \times \text{solar mass}$. The simulation is going well when I use real data ...
0
votes
2answers
180 views

Planet's Moon attrated by sun [closed]

I'm currently writing a code to generate solar system and $N$ number of planets / moons. I use real data to test (earth / sun / moon data). I succeeded in placing the earth and make it orbit around ...
1
vote
2answers
416 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
265 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?
1
vote
2answers
88 views

On constancy of cometary orbits

how are the comets able to keep to a nearly fixed orbital period, though they lose a certain amount of mass during their perihelion?
26
votes
3answers
2k views

Why do the planets' orbital distances fall on an exponential curve?

Background: I was recently reading a book on the planets to my son and I noticed a pattern in the distributions of the planets. The planets' distances roughly follow an exponential distribution. ...
6
votes
3answers
284 views

“Reverse engineering” of a horoscope?

I'll start with a disclaimer -- this is not a question about astrology itself, I'm neither trying to refute nor to defend astrology. I'm interested in purely technical things, which are mostly ...
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?
0
votes
1answer
303 views

What are the known relationships between rotation of planets/moons and their distance to Sun?

What are the known relationships between rotation of planets/moons and their distance to Sun? Or any other known attributes? For example, the sidereal year for planets is directly related to their ...
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 ...
33
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are our planets in the solar system all on the same disc/plane/layer?

I always see pictures of the solar system where our sun is in the middle and the planets surround the sun. All these planets move on orbits on the same layer. Why?
6
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the irregularity in Uranus' orbit that is caused by Neptune?

I carefully read the Wikipedia article Discovery of Neptune, and I don't get what the irregularity of Uranus orbit was that lead to the discovery of Neptune. Years ago, I watched some educational film ...
5
votes
2answers
124 views

Are orbits interior to Jupiter's orbit less stable than orbits exterior to Jupiter's orbit?

Or in other words, are there differences in average Lyapunov timescale between orbits interior to Jupiter and orbits exterior to Jupiter? I'm trying to answer a question at ...
10
votes
6answers
6k views

What is the simplest way to prove that the Earth orbits the Sun?

Assume you're talking to someone ignorant of the basic facts of astronomy. How would you prove to them that the Earth orbits the Sun? Similarly, how would you prove to them that the Moon orbits ...
16
votes
4answers
5k views

What did general relativity clarify about Mercury?

I frequently hear that Kepler, using his equations of orbital motion, could predict the orbits of all the planets to a high degree of accuracy -- except Mercury. I've heard that mercury's motion ...
13
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 ...
4
votes
4answers
447 views

Why all rocks are not orbiting bigger rocks in space?

Why only big rocks (planets) have satellites and not small ones? Why cosmic dust doesn't orbit rocks that are many times heavier than the dust grains? If dust is still too heavy then what about ...
9
votes
3answers
585 views

Questions about the Solar System

Most images you see of the solar system are 2D and all planets orbit in the same plane. In a 3D view, are really all planets orbiting in similar planes? Is there a reason for this? I'd expect that ...
14
votes
3answers
3k 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Historically, how do we know that Earth moves around Sun? And it does so in an elliptical orbit?

I know the basics of solar system like how Earth moves around Sun, and that we have so many planets, elliptical orbit of earth, and how far is sun from earth etc etc. I want to take a step back and ...
18
votes
6answers
3k views

Why are the orbits of planets in the Solar System nearly circular?

Except for Mercury, the planets in the Solar System have very small eccentricities. Is this property special to the Solar System? Wikipedia states: Most exoplanets with orbital periods of 20 ...
18
votes
4answers
2k views

How do you calculate the anomalous precession of Mercury?

One of the three classic tests of general relativity is the calculation of the precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit. This precession rate had been precisely measured using data collected ...