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

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7answers
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What is the current status of Pluto?

Pluto has been designated a planet in our solar system for years (ever since it was discovered in the last century), but a couple of years ago it was demoted. What caused this decision? And is there ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Planar motion in central forces

In a two body problem under central force, corresponding to a potential $V(r)$(assume one body is massive compared to the other so that its motion is negligible), conservation of angular momentum ...
0
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2answers
34 views

For a planet which has a temperature gradient, hot in the center and cooler on the surface, why do we get absorption lines?

For a planet which has a temperature gradient, hot in the center and cooler on the surface, why do we see absorption lines? Similarly, why do we see emission lines if the planet is hot on the ...
1
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0answers
35 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 ...
1
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2answers
44 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.
3
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1answer
51 views

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 ...
48
votes
5answers
3k views

Is there a small enough planet or asteroid you can orbit by jumping?

I just had this idea of orbiting a planet just by jumping and then flying upon it on its orbit kind of like superman. So, Would it be theoretically possible or is there a chance of that small body to ...
1
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0answers
37 views

Could there be a planet just as the Earth, but bigger?

Could there be a planet twice or thrice the size of Earth but while being the same? and by the same I mean, hosting the same life as Earth, having a day last 24 hours and a year 365 days. Basically, ...
3
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4answers
4k views

Is it possible for the planets to align?

We've all heard the statement that on the 21st of December, the planets in the solar system will "align" from the point of view of the Earth. I assume this means that they would all be in the same ...
2
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2answers
1k 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 ...
1
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2answers
74 views

Is the Earth round?

Imagine you are a common man and want to prove that the Earth is Round, how would you prove it without any mathematical derivation or without the theory of the ships.
1
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0answers
36 views

Any cheap (less than 100 euro) telescope for observing Jupiter? [closed]

The moon is not challenging. I would like to observe the big planets and their rings.
8
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2answers
540 views

What causes the orbital eccentricity?

I found some websites trying to attribute this to the external other forces affecting the 2 body problem to follow an elliptical rather than a circular orbit, but I am not convinced though. I think ...
4
votes
1answer
625 views

Planetary Gravity and its effects

This is my first question on the Physics portion of Stack Exchange. I was hoping to get some light on the topic of gravity. I don't have much background knowledge of physics so I might as well start ...
5
votes
3answers
452 views

Gravitational force of the Earth [duplicate]

Why does gravitational force of the Earth decrease as we move towards the centre of the Earth? Where as inverse square rule says that distance is less than gravitational force is more.
0
votes
3answers
73 views

Geostationary orbit and rotation speed of a planet

Assume for planets similar to Earth but with different rotation speeds (including zero), and we put a satellites at altitude of 35 786 km/hr (similar to the Geostationary orbit or earth), with speed ...
3
votes
3answers
114 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
6
votes
4answers
961 views

Are “broken” planets possible in the real world?

In the Star Wars universe, there are mentioned (or rather shown) two planets that had some kind of great explosion in their history. First is Peragus, with its exposed core, that partially exploded ...
7
votes
1answer
143 views

Do celestial objects experience drag from the near vacuum of space?

For instance do the planets around the sun experience drag from the near vacuum of space? Or do the (hydrogen) atoms in interplanetary have a mean velocity near orbital speeds? And if so would (small) ...
2
votes
0answers
85 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 ...
18
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2answers
7k views

Is Jupiter a failed star?

In my physics lessons, my teachers have always been keen to tell my class that Jupiter is considered a 'failed star' by scientists. Is this true? In my own effort I wondered if maybe this could just ...
4
votes
2answers
167 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What would happen to Earth if Saturn were to exit the Solar System?

Suppose Saturn simply vanished. How would that affect the rest of the Solar System, specifically Earth?
3
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1answer
48 views

How to find the force of the compression at the core of a planet?

For example the core of the planet Jupiter, how to find out the magnitude of the force that compresses its core? and can that be thought of as the total force that holds the planet together?
1
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1answer
28 views

Spectroscopy and the current state of our ability to determine the composition of extra-solar planets

I was interested in learning more about the status of our scientific understanding and technological instruments regarding extra solar spectroscopy. I am motivated by this almost 3 year old ...
2
votes
2answers
168 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k views

Is it probable that planets will stop orbiting in ellipses?

I saw this video, but I had the impression that orbiting in an ellipse or a circle is quite a coincidence - it depends on how the planet got into the Solar System. Because I think that either all ...
6
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3answers
1k 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 ...
2
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1answer
709 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 ...
1
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1answer
41 views

Is there a simple formula for calculating semimajor axis bounds of “habitable zone”?

I understand that an accurate determination of the bounds of the "habitable zone" for a given stellar system depends on a large number of factors, including many beyond characteristics of the parent ...
7
votes
2answers
196 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
1answer
123 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
123 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 ...
1
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1answer
36 views

Planetary Systems

How does one know the correct position of planets in relation to the sun when viewing the solar system from different angles makes the appearance of the planets different? I would think that it would ...
7
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1answer
1k 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, ...
7
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3answers
199 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
24 views

how find resonance in extrasolar planet? [closed]

I make this program, i have a 2xN matrix in which the columns are the ID of planets and their period, the rows are the number of planets, for istance something like that: ...
25
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. ...
1
vote
2answers
36 views

Why do we have a galactic and a solar plane [duplicate]

Why do all of the planets in our solar system move is (more or less) the same plane? It would seem that the planets should all have very different orbital planes, each at a different angel to each ...
3
votes
0answers
15 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, ...
0
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1answer
156 views

Confusion over the gravitational potential energy inside a sphere

I'm confused over the concept of gravitational potential energy inside a sphere. I understand that the gravitational potential energy inside the sphere is supposed to be a constant $U = ...
11
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1answer
694 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 ...
4
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1answer
35 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 ...
12
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5answers
8k views

How does gravity work underground?

Would the effect of gravity on me change if I were to dig a very deep hole and stand in it? If so, how would it change? Am I more likely to be pulled downwards, or pulled towards the edges of the ...
5
votes
0answers
88 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]? ...
17
votes
1answer
423 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
721 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
1k views

What nonlinear deformations will a fast rotating planet exhibit?

It is common knowledge among the educated that the Earth is not exactly spherical, and some of this comes from tidal forces and inhomogeneities but some of it comes from the rotation of the planet ...
0
votes
1answer
61 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 ...