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

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How does the Earth rotate, given that the torque acting on it while revolving is zero?

I've come to understand that the torque acting on the Earth while revolving the Earth is zero. Torque is the force responsible for rotation of a body. So how does the Earth rotate?
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6answers
4k views

If the gravity at the center of the Earth is zero, why are heavy elements like iron there?

If gravity is zero at the center of the earth, why is there a core of heavy elements, such as iron? Alternate question for the opposite hypothesis: If gravity is greatest at the center of the ...
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1answer
62 views

How dense and compact would Kepler-5b need to be to become a black hole

How dense and compact does Kepler-5b need to be to become a black hole ?
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2answers
1k views

How can a gas giant be about the same size but six times more massive than Jupiter?

I've just read this article: http://www.sci-news.com/astronomy/science-kepler-432b-new-super-jupiter-exoplanet-02490.html And I wondered how this could be possible? Maybe it's because this gas giant ...
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2answers
87 views

Why aren't there any clear planets/ stars?

Most gases are clear. So why are there not any planets or stars that are more or less clear in color? I suspect this question may be extremely stupid.
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3answers
73 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 ...
2
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2answers
124 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
42 views

Why does a parachute open up faster on Mars than on Earth? [closed]

I recently heard that a parachute opens up much faster on Mars than on Earth. Why is that the case? More specifically, during a NASA Edge TV program, one of the scientists working on parachute tests ...
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1answer
134 views

Is it possible for a solar system to have planets orbiting the star(s) in a spherical pattern?

By the question I mean that the planets spin in their ellipse but all ellipses describe the surface of a near-sphere shape around a star. Same question but for a solar system with 2 stars of ...
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3answers
529 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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3answers
811 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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5answers
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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 ...
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4answers
279 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 ...
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2answers
80 views

Why are planets in unstable equilibrium in a stable orbit

It is well known that a planet in stable orbit is in unstable equilibrium. If e.g. the moon was just a few m/s slower in velocity, or a few m closer to the earth than it is, the gravity would ...
2
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1answer
17 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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3answers
2k views

If it was possible to dig a hole that went from one side of the Earth to the other…

...And you jumped in. What would happen when you got to the middle of the Earth? Would you gradually slow down, until you got to the middle and once you were in middle would every direction feel like ...
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1answer
30 views

Are the large moons of Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune still cooling and does this give and indication of their age?

The core temperatures and the rate at which they emanate heat should correspond to their estimated age. Other forces may create some heat such as the tidal locking that is supposed to be the source of ...
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0answers
30 views

Finding the temperature of Earth from temperature of Mars and its distance from Sun [closed]

I am to compute the temperature of planet--in fact I've already found out it's Earth--knowing only: the surface temperature of Mars (210 K) and its distance from Sun (1.524 AU) and of course ...
3
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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? ...
4
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3answers
161 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 ...
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2answers
59 views

A Chevy Silverado on Mars [closed]

Another topic that no one seems to consider is driving a 4x4 truck across the surface of Mars, years of experimenting with a robot vehicle when you have 100 years of progress with the motorcar. So ...
3
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2answers
59 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 ...
2
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0answers
45 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 ...
12
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2answers
157 views

Is it possible to prove that planets should be approximately spherical using the calculus of variations?

Is it possible to use the Lagrangian formalism involving physical terms to answer the question of why all planets are approximately spherical? Lets assume that a planet is 'born' when lots of ...
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2answers
2k views

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
43 views

How have the duration of the martian day changed in the past?

There is a panspermia theory which claims that life might have begun on Mars and I currently read a post that the human circadian rhythm is closer to the martian day length (about 25h) than the day ...
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1answer
117 views

Could this planetary superalignment happen?

Here's the 'superalignment' I'm referring to: We've all heard the stories about 'mystical planetary alignments' that will increase/decrease the effective surface gravity experienced on Earth (one ...
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3answers
712 views

Does the Earth actually rotate around the sun? [duplicate]

Why does one say that the Earth rotates around the sun? There should be no preferred reference frame and from an observer on the sun, the sun will rotate around the Earth.
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1answer
46 views

How do I calculate the right ascension of the points along the ecliptic at given elevations?

How do I calculate the right ascension of the point along the ecliptic nearest the sun at sunset and sunrise that is at a given altitude/elevation? For example, I'd like to compute the right ...
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2answers
33 views

Angular Momentum conservation in star system

This question is related to what happens to a planetary body(like earth) when the star it is orbiting collapses under its own gravity. Suppose a star is rotating about its axis with some angular ...
5
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1answer
80 views

Gravity on and inside a planet-sized bi-lobed body

Admittedly, for yet another science-fiction project Say I have a planet-like body shaped like a sphere with a torus subtracted out of it, leaving a sort of "apple core" shape. Firstly, is the ...
18
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2answers
765 views

How deep is the Great Red Spot?

The Great Red Spot (GRS) is a very persistent storm system that's easily visible through a telescope on the surface of Jupiter. But what is the three-dimensional structure of the GRS, and how deep ...
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1answer
178 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?.
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1answer
58 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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2answers
79 views

Initial Velocity For Orbital (Gravity) Slingshot At Hit Moving Target

In this problem we have three masses, Mass A is on the left side of the sun Mass B is the sun, and Mass C is on the right side of the sun. I want to calculate the initial velocity of Mass A to hit ...
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2answers
166 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 ...
12
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1answer
297 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 ...
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0answers
73 views

Is it possible that me and my sister saw the outer planets moon-sized from a flying aeroplane? [closed]

I've always remembered this incident, but only recently confirmed that my sister saw it too. We were flying from singapore to australia, but keep in mind that i was 6 and my sister 9 years old.(18 ...
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1answer
3k views

How do we know the temperature on the planets?

I was watching a show and they were saying that the temperature of Pluto (I know it is not a planet) is about -300 degrees. I know that depends where in the orbit Pluto is, but how do we determine ...
3
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2answers
93 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 ...
21
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3answers
2k views

Why do the storms of Jupiter have long life unlike that of Earth?

Recently I saw How the Universe Works. In one of the episodes, concerning Jupiter, they told that the storms on Jupiter can survive many, many, times longer than those on Earth. What is the reason ...
12
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4answers
729 views

Is it possible that 5 planets can revolve around a single star in a single orbit?

I'm writing a novel and I'm quite confused if this system could be possible in the real universe. Is it possible that a system exist, where 5 identical planets which could be of same characteristics ...
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0answers
88 views

What would the collision between a (large) solid planet and a gas giant be like?

Assuming a Jupiter-like planet and an Earth-like planet (Except, say... half the mass of Jupiter), what would happen when the two collide? For clarification: What would the actual collision be like? ...
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0answers
47 views

Planetary Motion [closed]

L/m = 7.8e10 2E/m = 0. Probe is near earth. I checked eccentricity and it is 1--so we know it is a parabola. As such, how do I find when it is closest to earth? I only know how to do this with ...
2
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1answer
66 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 ...
3
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2answers
163 views

What is the cause of planetary rotation. Not orbital rotation [closed]

I am a senior in high school, sixteen years old. I think differently than most in my class. Recently, I have been thinking about alternative causes for the rotation of our planets. My current thought ...
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1answer
3k 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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3answers
1k views

Rocky Planet in the center of System [duplicate]

We all know that mostly stars are at the center of planetary systems, but is it possible that instead of a star there was a rocky planet in the center with stars (and other planets and moons) orbiting ...
8
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1answer
56 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 ...
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1answer
255 views

What is the critical mass of a planet to have an atmosphere like Earth's? [closed]

Small planets/orbits like Moon cannot have atmosphere because of their masses. They don't have enough gravity to hold an atmosphere. Then what is the critical mass that makes enough gravity to keep an ...