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

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Direct rocky planet formation without protostellar disk?

Inspired by this question, which sort of asked what I'm asking, but emphasized a different point (and the answers accordingly addressed that). Can a rocky planet form directly from the collapse of ...
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1answer
45 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 ...
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1answer
240 views

What day/night cycles, climate and seasons would experience Alpha Centauri Bb inhabitants?

Alpha Centauri Bb is an exoplanet orbiting Alpha Centauri B. It is asserted that given the close distance to the star the planet should be tidally locked. The orbiting period of the planet is about ...
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2answers
168 views

Lumped circuit model of Earth and Sun as a thermal system

I want to design a thermal model of the Sun heating up the Earth. The circuit below is my own design (I don't know if there is a better way to model it. If there is, please tell me.). I want to ...
4
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1answer
290 views

Does the Moon's orbital inclination follow the wobble in the Earth's rotation?

As the Earth wobbles during rotation, does the higher gravity at the equator tend to pull the moon toward an equatorial orbit even as the earth does that thousands of years wobble cycle? It would ...
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65 views

How does Planet 9's perihelion and aphelion affect the Kuiper belt objects?

Assuming that the existence of Planet 9 is confirmed and it really exists, how does it affect the orbits of the Kuiper belt objects? My understanding is that the discovery came in part from the ...
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5answers
7k 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?
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273 views

2012: Is there some astronomical event happening?

The news media has publicized that 2012 is the end of the Mayan calendar, and that all the planets will be aligned. Is there any truth to this?
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1answer
13k views

How long does it take for radio or light waves to travel from Earth to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto?

I know it roughly takes 20 minutes from Earth to Mars, and 8 minutes from the Sun to Earth, but don't know how long for the other planets on my list.
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149 views

What would be the minimum size of a planet which would allow a human being to walk around without falling out in the open space?

On the Earth you can walk - of course we all know it - in the southern hemisphere without falling out in the open space, and you feel no difference between being at the North Pole or on the Equator. ...
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2answers
74 views

How could they tell things weigh a sixth of their “Earth weight” on the moon?

I frequently keep hearing stuff about "gravity on the moon is only a sixth of that as Earth's" and "of course you'll weigh more on Jupiter". I do know the relative sizes of those bodies allow for ...
3
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2answers
161 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 ...
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2answers
225 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?
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3k views

How to correct flares and sharply focus on my telescope when viewing planets.

A month or two ago I purchased a “Skywatcher Explorer 130P Newtonian Reflector” telescope - which so far is brilliant when looking at the Moon, esp. using a neutral density filter. However, when ...
3
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1answer
442 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 ...
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1answer
233 views

How do the day/night temperature variations of moons compare to those of their planets?

Does the planet's eclipse have a significant impact on the flux of light hitting the moon? Does tidal locking have any effect on the day-night difference of the planet?
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3answers
655 views

Could the sky on a planet theoretically be any color?

The sky on the Earth is blue. Could the color of the sky on a planet with an atmosphere be of any color theoretically? Which colors are the most likely? I think it would be really awesome to have ...
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2answers
232 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 ...
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1answer
178 views

What is the maximum mass of planet HD 40307 g

Recently discovered planet HD 40307g around HD40307 Star system is claiming that its inside a habitual zone of a solar system. Besides It has water where life could be evolved. I tried to calculate ...
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2answers
2k views

How gravitation affects tides

I know that tide is caused by the gravitational pull of moon but what I don't know is how it affects water. I have actually these doubts. Why does gravity of the moon creates tides only in water? ...
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2answers
47 views

A hollow planet [duplicate]

Consider a planet with the same mass and diameter as Earth, except that it is 1) perfectly spherical. 2) a hollow shell 1 meter thick, so the planet is almost like a massive ping-pong ball. ...
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2answers
104 views

Physics of tidal locking: can the process be underdamped?

Is it possible for a satellite undergoing the process to overshoot the required rotation rate for tidal locking? For example, if its rotation rate is being slowed, can it become slower than it needs ...
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3answers
1k 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 ...
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1answer
937 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 ...
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1answer
174 views

Has martian sunset same spectra than this earthly bluish-violet sunset?

Has martian sunset same spectra than this earthly bluish-violet sunset? What about sunset on Mercury?
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2answers
192 views

Could a planet sized bubble of breatheable atmostphere exist?

I'm reading a book (Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder) that the main location is a planet called Virga, which contains air, water, and floating chunks of rock, and has no or a very small amount of ...
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2answers
291 views

Does the Earth have a semi-solid body at its core because of lower pressure at the center of the Earth?

I have read that the Earth has a semi-solid iron body at its core, even though that object is surrounded by liquid magma.... I'm wondering if this is because of a pressure (and resulting temperature) ...
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1answer
2k views

Where to find the current positions and velocities of the planets?

I've written a program which simulates the motions of planets and other bodies. I'd like to run it on our own solar system, but to do so I need to know the current positions (preferably in ...
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1answer
177 views

Keeping air in a well

Let's say I've got an Earth-like planet with no atmosphere: it's just a barren ball of rock. I want to live there, but I don't like domes, so instead I'm just going to dig a big hole and let gravity ...
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1answer
853 views

Altering Venus rotational speed to match Earth's via weather manipulation

Venus rotates approximately 6.5 km an hour Earth rotates approximately 1650 km/h how fast could we speed up Venus's rotation via only weather manipulation ( maybe a giant fractal lens between Venus ...
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1answer
42 views

How do molecules absorb heat?

How do molecules absorb and retain heat, and how is that heat able to still affect nearby molecules? On Venus there is a green-house effect where the large, dense Carbon-Dioxide atmosphere absorbs ...
3
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1answer
51 views

Protoplanet formation & Kessler Syndrome

In the early stages of the solarsystem rocks clumped together randomly until their gravity drew in more material which led to protoplanet formation. But how does the dust and do the rocks form bigger ...
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1answer
152 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 ...
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1answer
104 views

Cassini: What information could be gained from the 2017 impact with Saturn?

First of all: Will Cassini be operational in 2017 (pending no unforeseen equipment failures)? Power Communications ... What information could we gain? Properties of Saturn How to build more ...
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1answer
48 views

Have we observed sufficient extra-solar planetary systems to establish a planetary distribution pattern? [duplicate]

From Kepler And Extra-Solar Planetary Observations As of January 2015, Kepler and its follow-up observations had found 1,013 confirmed exoplanets in about 440 stellar systems, along with a further ...
3
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1answer
184 views

Mars Circular Intercept Orbit

I've been trying to simulate a spacecraft entering a circular capture orbit about Mars using Mathematica, but am having a little trouble. The simulation starts when the spacecraft enters Mars' sphere ...
3
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1answer
3k views

Why are the orbits of the planets in our solar system along the same basic plane? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are our planets in the solar system all on the same disc/plane/layer? After watching this video I realized that the orbits of the planets in our solar system ...
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0answers
18 views

Shapes of planets? [duplicate]

I was wondering if there was a general explanation as to why it is that all the planets we observe are roughly spherical, and never flat/planar like galaxies. Could there potentially be flat or ...
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0answers
87 views

Nine Planets in the Solar System?

I just discovered that there is a Caltech team1 that suggests that there is "Evidence of a Ninth Planet": The object, which the researchers have nicknamed Planet Nine, has a mass about $10$ times ...
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0answers
54 views

Could there be a dark matter planet? [duplicate]

Since dark matter is gravitationally "charged", by which I mean it has mass and attracts things, could it bunch together to form a planet?
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0answers
115 views

Protoplanetary disks, angular momentum and prograde orbits

So you've got a protoplanetary disk and you're going to gravitate yourself some planets together. The disk is made up of the usual planetary system stuff, dust and gas and whatnot, orbiting a common ...
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0answers
31 views

The collision of Phobos [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: the collision of Phobos Mars has two moons: Phobos and Deimos. Both are irregular and are believed to have been captured from the nearby asteroid belt. Phobos always ...
3
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0answers
19 views

How did the radiative flux of each gas giant planet change with respect to time (since their formation)?

We know that each gas giant planet was warmest when it was young. This warmth came from internal heating from both radioactive decay and from gravitational potential energy. This warmth, in turn, ...
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2answers
168 views

How does gravity behave outside the geoid?

I was watching a program about the geoid recently and the relative "height" of the Himalayan plateau gave me an idea. It makes sense for the geoid to be "highest" (is that the correct term?) there as ...
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2answers
452 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 ...
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2answers
612 views

Infinity problem: Why is gravity $g=0$ zero at the center of Earth if according to Newton gravity formula $g=GM/R^2$? [duplicate]

It is said that value of $g=0$ at the centre of the Earth. $g$ is calculated using the formula $$ g=G*M/R^2.$$ When $R = 0$, $g$ approaches infinity. I have two ...
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1answer
378 views

Presence of planets in Milky Way and other galaxies

Are there only planets in the Milky Way galaxy, or are there other planets in other galaxies? If planets are only in the Milky Way, why aren't there planets in others?
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3answers
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Does anybody actually do astrometry in the 21st century?

I mean the nitty-gritty measurements of positions of stars and planets using transit circles. The transit instruments I've seen are mostly in national observatories and are essentially museum pieces: ...
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2answers
253 views

How does rogue planet PSO J318.5-22 stay 800ºC?

According to this article, the rogue planet (meaning a planet which does not orbit a star) PSO J318.5-22 has a surface temperature of 800ºC and weather that features molten iron rain. Without a star ...
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3answers
601 views

The theory of moon creation when a Mars size planet hit Earth

As we know the predominant theory where does the moon come from is that a Mars size planet hit the earth and took a chunk out of it which eventually materialized into moon. My question is that if a ...