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

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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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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 ...
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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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172 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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506 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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1answer
7k 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 ...
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996 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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380 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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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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3answers
618 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 ...
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3answers
145 views

How did planets start to spin and do all of them spin in same direction? [duplicate]

How did planets start to spin in the first place? Some say that gases which condense and form planets start spinning and hence planets acquire a spin. And some say that they start to spin to conserve ...
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983 views

How can I visualize a gas giant?

From wikipedia Gas giants are commonly said to lack solid surfaces, but it is closer to the truth to say that they lack surfaces altogether since the gases that make them up simply become ...
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Do the outer gas planets radiate their mass?

We know that the sun experiences angular momentum loss, and radiates a portion of it's mass (though helicity is conserved). Can we say the same about massive Jupiter, or even Saturn, Uranus or ...
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278 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 ...
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201 views

Would a magnetic rod through Mars shield it from solar wind?

Would a magnetic rod going all the way through Mars shield it from solar wind?
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237 views

The size of the planets

What calculations were done to discover the size of all the planets?
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374 views

Calculate Initial Velocity For Orbital (Gravity) Slingshot

I am trying to find the initial velocity to slingshot a planet around the sun and through a gap. The green ball is the planet, and the yellow ball is the sun. In this trial I need to get the ...
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163 views

Does Planet revolution time is always greater the more it's getting away from the center?

The entire question is in the title . It's the case for the solar system but is it always the case ? Can a planet do a revolution faster than another that is closer to the center ? As far as I ...
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1answer
151 views

How should I be thinking about tides?

I am working on a project for physics that involves tides. This is my current mind set when thinking about tides: The earth applies a gravitational force on some mass ...
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1answer
192 views

Tidal locking of a planet to a satellite

As in the case of Pluto and its moon Charon, both the bodies are tidally locked to each other, will the Earth ever be tidally locked to the Moon? Is there any effect on the rotation of the Earth ...
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3k 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?
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
320 views

Motion of mercury [duplicate]

I studied that mercury motion around the sun slightly displace by a certain value in each year. But, this is not predicted by kepler until general theory of relativity. What does general theory does ...
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3answers
1k views

Would a Helium powered balloon vehicle work on Mars?

Would a Helium powered balloon vehicle work on Mars? Things that might need to be answered: How much liquidHelium would you need to pack in order to fill a balloon with enough helium gas to travel ...
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1answer
150 views

Are the inner planets on planar orbits because there was more dust in the inner solar system (early on in planetary accretion)?

Question inspired by a question thread here. So when there's lots of dust in a galaxy, the galaxy tends to collapse into a spiral galaxy (to maintain angular momentum and to minimize gravitational ...
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1answer
27 views

Can a tidally locked planet have a horizontal rotational axis?

Is it hypothetically possible for a planet to be both tidally locked, and still have a rotation "horizontally"? Where the substellar point would in effect be like the point of a top, spinning and yet ...
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280 views

Planetary alignment of the gas giants?

There is this nice and new applet of the orbits of the planets around the sun: Solar System Orrery You can click and drag any planet and watch their relative orbits evolve in time. I was curious ...
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Artificial planetary magnetic field

I wonder how difficult it is to create an artificial planetary magnetic field with generators? What power they would need? The question is inspired by thinking about possible colonization of ...
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1answer
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Synchronising the Earth's rotation via mass redistribution

How much material would have to be moved per year from mountain-tops to valleys in order to keep the Earth's rotation synchronised with UTC, thus removing the need for leap seconds to be periodically ...
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1answer
49 views

Atmospheric pressure of Venus?

I have seen the calculations on the atmospheric pressure of Venus - 90 times that of earth. With gravity very similar to earth, how does Venus do that. The calculations I have seen assume constant ...
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1answer
331 views

Why do Uranus and Venus rotate from East to west?

Why do only Uranus and Venus rotate from East to west, while others rotate in opposite direction? Is it because of the angle of their tiltness? Or due to the process of their formation?
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1answer
61 views

Calculating the size of exoplanets with moons

When astronomers detect an exoplanet using its transit and calculate its size to be, say twice the earths size, do they have any way of knowing that its actually not a slightly smaller planet with a ...
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1answer
119 views

Help understanding centre of mass

So basically the question I posed myself a few days ago was for a torus shaped planet, what would the gravitational field be like inside the torus? After viewing some answers on the internet, (Gravity ...
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2answers
93 views

What is the value of $g$ at centre? [duplicate]

What is the value of $g$ at the centre of the Earth? Is it zero or infinity? My attempt: I know it's zero but applying law made me on fused.
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1answer
1k views

What would happen if a hydrogen bomb were to explode in Saturn's atmosphere?

Purely hypothetical since any kind of testing in atmosphere/space is banned by international legislation/agreement. The humans have already bombed Luna so ... what could be expected to happen on ...
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Interstellar bodies

As a solar system evolves the planets interact, and in trying to achieve a harmonious state some bodies are ejected. Space is big, but I have heard that some meteorites have been found with anomalous ...
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286 views

Solar System Capture of Orphan Planets

NASA recently announced (http://www.nasa.gov/topics/universe/features/planet20110518.html) that orphan planets, planets no longer orbiting a star, may be more numerous than the stars in our galaxy. ...
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82 views

Is it possible for a planet to be “axially locked”?

What I mean is, can a planet orbiting its sun have a fixed rotational axis relative to the sun ie in the case of earth the tilt is like this /........(sun)......./. as it goes around the sun. ...
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116 views

Stability of planet-enclosing shell supported by atmosphere

I understand that a hollow spherical shell of uniform density gives net zero gravitational attraction to objects inside it. So in vacuum, a ball at the centre of a spherical shell would not be stable ...
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1answer
240 views

Why is the Earth shaped like a sphere and not any other shape: cube, prism? [duplicate]

Why is the earth shaped like a sphere and not any other shape: cube, prism?
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1answer
96 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 ...
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2answers
2k views

Where do planets get energy to revolve around sun? [duplicate]

We know that every planet in our solar system revolve's around the sun in a particular orbit. But were to they get the energy to revolve around the sun. And why do they not drop into the sun there is ...
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1answer
170 views

Magnetic field line length

If I had a magnetic bar in space that was 2cm wide and 2cm high and was one Earth diameter long and had the same magnetic strength as the Earth, would the distribution of field lines be the same ...
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1answer
524 views

Metallic Hydrogen and Gaseous Planets

Jupiter has about twice the density of Saturn (1.33 versus 0.69 g/cm^3) because it apparently has a higher mass percentage of rocky core and of metallic hydrogen in its interior. Available density ...
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Barycenter correction for inner planets in solar system?

I want to run simulations of the solar system, and I've read in some papers that to speed up the simulations it is useful to use the barycenter correction of the inner planets (from Mercury to Mars), ...
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1answer
77 views

All the planets in our solar system rotate 'Anticlockwise', except Venus. Why is the only planet that rotate' clockwise'? [duplicate]

All the planets in our solar system rotate 'Anticlockwise', except Venus. Why is the only planet that rotate 'Clockwise'?
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How can a gas giant be said to have an atmosphere?

They are made of gas, right? So, there won't be a solid-gas or liquid-gas boundary that defines where the atmosphere starts. So, if there isn't a boundary, we can't define part of it to be an ...
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71 views

How strong can tidal forces get?

I am imagining a planet the size of Earth being in close proximity to something of high mass such as a gas giant or a star, but ultimately I'd be more interested in how to figure this out myself. So ...
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146 views

Only gravitation and Newton's $2^{\mathrm{nd}}$ law needed to derive Kepler's laws?

It is known that Kepler's laws of planetary motion can be derived from Newton's laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation. However, are all of Newton's laws of motion necessary? According ...
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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 ...