Celestial body that orbits following an elliptical path around a star or stellar remnant.

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4
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3answers
205 views

How many celestial bodies could be in stable orbit at roughly the same distance from a star?

How many planet-like celestial bodies of roughly the same mass (say within 50%) could orbit a star at roughly (say within 10%) the same distance from the star and be in stable orbits. By stable I ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Toroidal Planets

I have read online in numerous places about the possible existence of toroidal planets, and I most people seem to believe that they could exist, but they also have no evidence to support this claim. I ...
5
votes
0answers
111 views

What coordinate system is used to describe planets positions in the universe?

How are planets positions described in the space and in respect to what? For example is Sun the origo and right now at this moment Earth has [coord_X, coord_Y, coord_Z]? or maybe [lng, lat]? ...
4
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2answers
253 views

Would a considerably big asteroid be disintegrated by the Earth's Roche limit?

If there was a big asteroid with a diameter of say 50km+ in a collision course with the Earth (not orbiting), would it disintegrate into smaller chunks due to the Earth's Roche limit, or the time it ...
6
votes
3answers
988 views

Binary Star system with one star stationary?

Can a Binary Star system be possible where in one star is stationary and the other star revolves around it? (Just like a planet revolving a star. i.e planets in the system and the star revolving ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

Earth's graviational pull at the centre [duplicate]

Suppose, I somehow happen to dig a hole diametrically through the Earth (neglecting all constraints like molten core etc ) ... and I throw an object from one side of the hole, will it reach the other ...
7
votes
2answers
141 views

Why do the terrestrial planets have many of the same gases in their atmospheres?

While the gases are present in very different abundances, and the atmospheres have very different pressures, Earth, Mars and Venus all have a similar cast of gases: nitrogen, argon, CO2, others in ...
4
votes
1answer
39 views

How would the composition of the Venusian atmosphere visually affect the sunrise and sunset there?

The Venusian atmosphere is according to CalTech's webpage What is the atmosphere of Venus like? is 90 times heavier, than Earth's, containing predominantly carbon dioxide, some nitrogen, sulfuric acid ...
7
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2answers
126 views

Earliest terrestrial planet?

If I've understood correctly, the heavier elements needed for terrestrial planets such as iron can only form in supernova. If that is indeed true, how long since the beginning of the universe would ...
8
votes
1answer
59 views

How does the atmospheric UVB attenuation of terrestrial planets compare?

On Earth, UVB (280nm - 315nm or 320nm depending on the source) undergoes extensive attenuation through the atmosphere, when observed at the planet's surface, as illustrated below: Image source ...
2
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5answers
4k 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
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0answers
49 views

What speed should have an alone planet to have a habitable zone due to relic radiation?

What speed should have an alone planet to have a habitable zone due to relic radiation, without any star involvement? How much time the planet will be able to remain in the habitable zone before the ...
6
votes
1answer
875 views

What is the percentage of stars with planetary systems

We have discovered quite a number of exoplanets to date. The Kepler spacecraft has examined 150,000 stars and found 1,059 exoplanets. We know that Kepler, as well as all other exoplanet searches to ...
2
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0answers
59 views

Stable planetary rotation states

In reading an article about theories as to how the slow retrograde rotation of Venus may have come into being, the article Why Venus Spins the Wrong Way (Franzen, 2001) stated that it is bound to ...
3
votes
1answer
314 views

When Venus is the brightest when viewed from Earth?

Nowadays Venus is very bright. I can spot it during broad daylight without problem. It's because it's near Earth and appear as a crescent. This made me think: as it's reaching the inferior ...
21
votes
1answer
599 views

Causes of hexagonal shape of Saturn's jet stream

NASA has just shown a more detailed picture of the hexagonal vortex/storm on Saturn: http://www.ibtimes.com/nasa-releases-images-saturns-hexagon-mega-storm-may-have-been-swirling-centuries-1496218 ...
4
votes
2answers
91 views

Is it possible that only one hemisphere of a planet has an atmosphere?

Suppose there is a tidally locked planet orbiting a star. The planet's surface consists of a global ocean, that is, liquid water. At the inner hemisphere the temperature is so high that the water is ...
7
votes
4answers
346 views

Can a planet form before the parent star ignites?

I'm unable to find an answer to my questions via my searches. This questions pertains to the timeline of a star system creation. My question: During the creation of a star system, can satellite ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Why isn't all of the dust in a nebula used in the formation of a star?

I was watching a show on discovery and according to it, in a nebula the dust and gases slowly come together and as the gravity increases and the pressure rises in the core the gases fuse together and ...
0
votes
4answers
354 views

Why is there no gravity in the center of a celestial body, yet there is gravity on the surface? [duplicate]

I've heard few explanations, but none in good detail that make it clear to those with less mathematical knowledge on the equations of complex physics. I would like to think that since you are on the ...
1
vote
1answer
648 views

Why do larger planets cool more slowly than smaller ones?

I learned it during my environment class. My professor introduced the concept--- ratio of surface area and volume. The numerator has connections with the radiative loss, while the denominator is ...
-1
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1answer
141 views

Why do planets other than earth have colours?

I know Mars has many red rocks and mountains. But since it does not have any atmosphere, it shouldn't have any color. So, why does it appear red?
2
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3answers
2k views

Moment of inertia of a planet

Is there a good way to directly measure a moment of inertia of the Earth, or say, other planet?
7
votes
2answers
419 views

How does one calculate where the “surface” of a gas-giant would be?

Okay, so Jupiter, Saturn, et. al are gas giants. I understand that they have large gassy atmospheres, which, due to the pressure would eventually become more and more dense as one approaches the ...
7
votes
2answers
267 views

What structural or chemical mechanism results in Saturn having a density less than that of water?

According to NASA’s Saturn fact sheet, Saturn has a density considerably less than water and the lowest density of the major planets. What compositional and/or structural mechanisms are theorised to ...
3
votes
2answers
200 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?
2
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2answers
177 views

Does gravity affect radiation incident on the planet?

Just curious ... Known facts: When outside the atmosphere levels of radiation are higher Typically such radiation is CBR, Solar Radiation Question: If the matter of the atmosphere and ...
2
votes
1answer
87 views

What properties are used to quantify the odds of a star harboring earth-like life?

Say you start with a list of stars. What properties do we believe to be critical in the present existence or future formation of earth-like life in those star systems? How can one reasonably pare down ...
18
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2answers
3k views

How long until we fall into the Sun?

As a planet moves through the solar system, a bow shock is formed as the solar wind is decelerated by the magnetic field of the planet. Presumably the creation of this shock wave would cause drag on ...
3
votes
3answers
826 views

Is nuclear fusion possible on planets in our Solar system?

Apart from thermo-nuclear reactions in the Sun, (and in hydrogen bombs and other methods developed by scientists) does nuclear fusion occur naturally in the planets? If not, why? Also, do the Sun ...
0
votes
0answers
58 views

Why stars twinkle but planets don't? [duplicate]

I am not from a physics background. I came to know this while studying probability? Is this because the planets are nearer than the stars so we get average behaviour rather than random. Is law of ...
1
vote
1answer
4k views

Why does the moon or the earth revolve anti-clockwise?

The question is very simple: Why does the moon or the earth or any another planet revolve anti-clockwise? And can any planet (or satellite) revolve clockwise? What is the physical law for this ...
2
votes
0answers
396 views

For two planets in a 2:1 mean motion resonance , where will their periastron and apastron points be?

I want to animate the changing orbits of planets when they enter a mean motion resonance. Using a 2:1 resonance, I want to show a low-mass inner planet and a low-mass outer planet being tugged by a ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Is there a connection between the core of the earth and heaviest element produced by stars?

I was unable to answer this question from my daughter. Is it just a coincidence or is there a connection between the following two observations: (1) the core of the earth is made of an iron (-nickel ...
0
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0answers
64 views

Is it possible for a planet to be made entirely of water (even it's core)? [duplicate]

I was thinking about this today... Is it possible for a planet to be made almost entirely of water (H20)? I'm sure that other elements would be in the mix, but I mean almost entirely made of water. ...
-6
votes
1answer
194 views

Is Pluto made out of ice? [closed]

Is Pluto made out of ice--as in frozen water? If so, wouldn't that provide evidence for alien life in the cosmos?.
12
votes
1answer
368 views

Do celestial objects experience drag from the near vacuum of space/does the near vacuum have a mean velocity?

For instance do the planets around the sun experience drag from the near vacuum of space? Or do the (hydrogen) atoms in interplanetary space have a mean velocity near orbital speeds, such that object ...
15
votes
6answers
14k views

Why don't planets have Circular orbits?

This might be a completely wrong question, but this is bothering me since many days ago. Given the mass (Sun) curves the space around it, gravitation is the result of such curved space (Correct me if ...
1
vote
2answers
263 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

What if the Moon was 100x more massive: Binary planets?

I was reading a couple of Earth-Moon related questions (Mars just collided with Earth! A question of eccentricity, Could the earth have another moon?) and they got me thinking about planet-moon ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Correlation between speed, distance, mass, etc between a planet and a star (or moon and planet)?

While playing around with some little scripts, generating solar systems, I started to wonder about the correlation between the different objects. Up until now, distance, mass, size and speed are ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

Function for heating of a planet by its star

I'm looking for an algorithmic model which will gives rough estimate of the average temperature of a planet's atmosphere (good enough to say whether there will be liquid water anywhere, or if metals ...
-5
votes
1answer
117 views

What would happen if the moon was in perpetual opposition of the sun [closed]

What would happen if an artificial force made the moon to stay at a perpetual opposition from the sun? Assume that the artificial force necessary is possible, and capable of making the moon stay at ...
3
votes
2answers
198 views

Saturn's polar versus equatorial gravity

Wikipedia's reference for Saturn's gravity gives $10.44 m/s^2$ at the equator, but this conflicts with Britannica, which gives $8.96 m/s^2$ at the equator and $12.14 m/s^2$ at the poles. All values ...
0
votes
2answers
397 views

Planet in which satellite(moon) and star(sun) appear together once a year

With a hypothetical system, where the moon would be always on the opposite side of the planet than the sun, in a way that the moon would only be visible at night on the planet. I don't know if this ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Will a spinning object come to rest?

Will a sphere spinning on its own axis come to rest given enough time, provided no other forces act upon it? I know that if you have two spinning spheres in the depths of space and orbiting each ...
11
votes
2answers
447 views

How large can planets or moons appear?

In many artistic impressions or movies there are pictures or scenes where the sky is filled with an enormous moon (as seen from a planet) or vice versa. I wonder if there is an upper limit to the ...
9
votes
1answer
4k views

Do all known planets and moons have magnetic field?

In this Wikipedia article it is stated, that magnetic field of Earth is caused by currents in her core. The same origin is for Jupiter magnetic field. For Moon (article) there is a magnetic field, ...
2
votes
1answer
829 views

What causes the collapse of a Magnetic Field?

It's theorized that Mars once had a magnetic field which collapsed at some point. There's also lots of speculation that a similar process will eventually happen to Earth. More recently has been the ...
5
votes
1answer
899 views

What planets are visible to the naked eye from Mars?

Here on Earth we are blessed with being able to see some other planets, Mars & Venus etc, with the naked eye on a fairly regular basis thanks to the distance between the planets. What about from ...