The Sun plus the collection of bodies in orbit around the Sun such as planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids, comets, etc.

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1answer
972 views

What is the precise definition of Gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI)?

I am trying to understand the gravitational sphere of influence (SOI), but all I get by searching is the formula that you can find on Wikipedia, that is $$ r_{SOI} = a \left( \frac{m}{M} ...
8
votes
1answer
618 views

How did Eratosthenes know the suns rays are parallel?

Eratosthenes famously observed that the suns rays were perpendicular to the ground in one location, yet non-perpendicular to the ground at a location some miles to the north. On the assumption that ...
1
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3answers
3k views

How much iron would I have to shoot into the sun to blow it up?

My understanding--though it's from a Science Channel show so I'm not sure if it is correct--is that there is a fusion reaction happening in the center of the sun. Atomic nuclei are being created and ...
5
votes
1answer
165 views

Do all celestial objects have stationary orbit?

Do all celestial bodies of sufficient mass such big asteroids, moon, planets etc. have orbit such that the period of revolution is same as the sidereal period of that object (such as geostationary ...
7
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2answers
2k views

Where does tidal energy come from?

Kind of an odd, random question that popped into my head. Tidal energy - earth's ocean movement, volcanism on some of Jupiter's moons, etc. - obviously comes from the gravitational interaction between ...
3
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2answers
204 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?
3
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1answer
140 views

Can the Solar System be assumed a single body concentrated in the Sun?

This question springs from a comment against my question posted on the Space SE My questions may seem inane, or obvious to most of you real physics people too ... Any number of sources put the peg ...
5
votes
4answers
8k views

What is the scientific reason for the inclination of earth's rotation axis?

This titled position of the earths axis is known as inclination of the earths axis. The earth's rotation axis makes an angle of about 66.5 degrees with the plane of its orbit around the sun, or about ...
1
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1answer
472 views

Calculate exact time of Solar midnight

I want to calculate real time of midnight (Solar midnight), but I am unable to find any formula or algorithm for that. I have times of sunrises and sunsets for every day of year. How can I get Solar ...
-1
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1answer
128 views

Lunar and solar tides [closed]

I just read the following statement in a book: If the diameter of the earth increased by 20%, both lunar and solar tides would be weakened with lunar tides weakening more than solar tides. What ...
0
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1answer
123 views

Why was Galilei “right”? [duplicate]

Considering that all frames are equivalent, isn't it up to the observer to say "The earth turns around the sun" or "The sun turns around the earth"? Isn't this more or less like arguing about which ...
1
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1answer
760 views

What is the electric charge has the sun and the corona of the sun?

What is the net electric charge (in magnitude and sign) of the sun and its corona?
7
votes
1answer
213 views

When the sun's magnetic field reverses, how can “the north pole (have) already (…) reversed, and (we are) waiting for the south pole to catch-up”?

I was reading a popular news account of the sun's upcoming magnetic field reversal at http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0807/Sun-s-magnetic-reversal-means-big-changes-for-the-solar-system-video, ...
3
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3answers
898 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 ...
1
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0answers
532 views

How would the solar system change if Earth was to just disappear? [closed]

Having just finished Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End", my question is, what exactly will happen to the stability and configuration of our solar system if our planet Earth was to just disappear? I ...
0
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1answer
233 views

The Faint young Sun paradox: an alternative solution?

The faint young Sun paradox describes the contradiction between the fact that there must have been liquid water 3.5 billion years ago for life to have begun then and the fact that the Sun's power ...
19
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1answer
1k views

How fast is the Earth-Sun distance changing

This is inspired by Evidence that the Solar System is expanding like the Universe?, which referenced an article by G. A. Krasinsky and V. A. Brumberg, "Secular Increase of Astronomical Unit from ...
4
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0answers
98 views

Evidence that the Solar System is expanding like the Universe? [duplicate]

I've just come across Krasinsky and Brumberg's paper that claims, from an analysis of radiometric measurements, that the astronomical unit (earth-sun distance) is increasing at the rate: ...
-7
votes
1answer
210 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?.
4
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3answers
179 views

What can we learn about physics by doing experiments at the end of the heliosphere?

My question is very naive, as I do not know cosmology and astrophysics. I am asking it just for general curiosity. All of us know that Voyager I is now going out of heliosphere, and now sending data ...
8
votes
2answers
444 views

What exactly is the composition of radiation in interplanetary space?

The articles I found on radiation in the solar system mostly dealt with solar wind, I wonder about other types. Is there a breakdown that tells me, withhin an order of magnitude, at least what ...
1
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2answers
269 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
694 views

Map of the gravitational strength of the solar system

I am looking for a map or plot of the gravitational strength in the solar system. In an ideal world there should be something like google earth to move around in the solar system, zoom in and out and ...
0
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0answers
178 views

Does the earth really move round the sun? [duplicate]

Is there really any empirical proof that the earth moves round the sun? I've read simple explanations using mass-gravity relation. But then some questions remain, is gravity a function of mass alone? ...
2
votes
2answers
232 views

Properties of gravity

If all objects in the solar system suddenly went cold to the core, including the Sun, would it gravity play any different role? I guess what i am trying to ask, is there any relation between energy ...
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1answer
592 views

How do you calculate the Milky Way’s galactic year? [closed]

The Solar system moves at a speed of 220 km / s around the galaxy. It’s about 27,000 light years from the Galactic Centre. How long does it take for the solar system to orbit around the Milky Way? ...
7
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1answer
233 views

How reliant is the Solar System on being exactly the way it is?

We know that all objects with mass exert forces on all other objects of mass such that $$ F = \frac{GMm}{R^2}.$$ And as others have discussed the planets do interfere with each other ...
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1answer
406 views

Mercury's Orbital Precession in Special Relativity

I am researching Mercury's orbital precession. I have considered most perturbations and general relativity. I am still not satisfied. I need your help. I need a solution to Exercise 13, Chapter 6, in ...
3
votes
1answer
154 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?
1
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1answer
179 views

Rømer's determination of the speed of light

I am trying to understand Rømer's determination of the speed of light ($c$). The geometry of the situation is shown in the image below. The determination involves measuring apparent fluctuations in ...
8
votes
1answer
382 views

Has Voyager 1 entered a solar radiation belt?

The Voyager 1 probe was sent out in 1977 to go where no man made object has gone before, after more than 35 years it’s still going strong. It’s now 124 AU away from Earth and many are wondering when ...
0
votes
1answer
906 views

Has anyone on Earth ever seen the dark side of the moon and if so where are the pictures? [duplicate]

If the Moon rotates then we should see the dark side right? But as far as I know the Moon only shows one side to Earth, how can this be if it is rotating?
6
votes
4answers
401 views

Why a day is divided by 12/24 hours? Why the number 12?

Why a day is divided by 12/24 hours? Why the number 12? Why not using 10 or 6 or 14, 16? Who invented this? Any physical reasons behind this?
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3answers
1k 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 ...
34
votes
3answers
3k views

Can the solar system really fit in a thimble?

Almost every time somebody talks about atoms, at some point they mention something like this: If we remove the spaces between the atoms and atomic components, we can fit the solar system in a ...
2
votes
2answers
400 views

Why does Venus transit so slowly?

I have calculated that because Venus is $d = 12,103.6~\mathrm{km}$ in diameter and moves at $v = 35.02~\mathrm{km}/\mathrm{s}$, it would take $$ t=\frac{d}{v} = ...
18
votes
4answers
861 views

Staying in orbit - but doesn't any perturbation start a positive feedback?

I am not a physicist; I am a software engineer. While trying to fall asleep recently, I started thinking about the following. There are many explanations online of how any object stays in orbit. The ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How to calculate linar velocity of planet orbit?

I try to simulate a solar system with planets (with random mass) placed randomly around a sun with a mass $X \times \text{solar mass}$. The simulation is going well when I use real data ...
0
votes
2answers
212 views

Planet's Moon attrated by sun [closed]

I'm currently writing a code to generate solar system and $N$ number of planets / moons. I use real data to test (earth / sun / moon data). I succeeded in placing the earth and make it orbit around ...
12
votes
1answer
326 views

Relationship between Mars and Earth rotation

Is it by pure random chance that Mars and the Earth have nearly the same day duration (Mars day is barely 40 minutes longer, which is just 3% difference), or there is some causal relationship between ...
3
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
3
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2answers
477 views

Deviation from Earth's orbit

How much orbital deviation is required for the Earth to get knocked out from current orbit so it either moves away from Sun or towards the Sun?
4
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1answer
80 views

Atmospheric hydrogen in Titan

In 2005, some astrobiologists proposed that methanogenic life on the surface of Titan would consume both hydrogen and acetylene from the atmosphere, causing a downward gradient in the concentrations ...
4
votes
3answers
332 views

Can one predict mass distribution in a solar system given the mass of the star?

I'm trying to write a program to procedurally generate solar systems at a reasonably high level (I'm not interested in doing an n-body dust particle formation simulation). Is there some sort of ...
6
votes
2answers
808 views

How did pre-Copernican astronomers accurately predict planetary position?

Copernican elements (circular orbital elements) are not very accurate. But Copernicus simplified our understanding a great deal by placing the Sun at the center of the system. Im astonished by the ...
2
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0answers
72 views

Elimination of the node

Recently I have been reading a lot of astronomy papers on reductions in models of the solar system. A reoccurring concept is the elimination of the node. However, they never explain what the node is ...
3
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1answer
2k views

What size will the Sun become once it is a red giant?

How big will the Sun be once it becomes a red giant? How much of the solar system will it engulf?
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2answers
814 views

Result of increasing the radius of earth?

How can increasing the radius of earth may cause an impact on the solar system ? Like, would earth may start making a bigger orbit (due to increase in size and wait) or vice versa ? or else ? PS: The ...
5
votes
1answer
194 views

What is the likelihood of a long-period comet impact?

I always see lots of information about asteroid impacts, but very little is said about comet impacts. As I see, a long period comet impact is much more dangerous because a) we wouldn't have time to ...
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5answers
2k views

Imagining to speed up the Earth's revolution around the Sun until we feel its motion

If the Earth were revolving around the Sun much faster than it does, let's say 100 or 1000 times faster or whatever big-enough multiple of its actual speed, would we feel it? What sensation would we ...