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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79 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
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3answers
282 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 ...
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2answers
628 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 ...
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0answers
68 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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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597 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
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1answer
182 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
1k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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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2answers
147 views

Most suitable metric for the Solar system?

If I wanted to solve the Einstein equations for the solar system, which choice of $g_{\mu\nu}$ and $T_{\mu\nu}$ is more suitable? I thought about using a Schwarzschild metric near each planet, but ...
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1answer
160 views

How is retrograde motion explained in Tycho's model?

Tycho proposed a model of the solar system where all planets but Earth move around the sun while the sun and the moon move around the earth. I wonder how this model could explain the retrograde ...
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2answers
371 views

The “official” mass of the sun as unit?

I'm searching for the "official" mass of the sun as a unit in astrophysics. The mass of the sun can be calculated by: $M_{\odot}=\frac{4\pi^2\times(1 \ \text{ua})^3}{G\times(1\ \text{year})^2}$ So ...
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1answer
123 views

Direction of planetary tilt

I am building a 3d solar system simulation using WebGL and have come across the problem of establishing the direction of tilt of the various planets. No I know the tilt of the planets in degrees what ...
6
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2answers
395 views

Is dark matter really present around the sun?

Recently I read an article that there is dark matter around the sun but if it is so, than why can we see it clearly. If it is called matter than it shall show some hindrance in radiation we receive ...
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2answers
97 views

What allows new born suns to travel away from each other?

What allows massive new born suns to move away from each other, as they have been observed. I would think that their massive gravity would prevent this and cause them to slam into each other.
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1answer
177 views

What is the diameter of the sun as a function of wavelength/frequency (around 10GHz)?

I have this vague recollection of being told that the diameter of the apparent surface of the sun is a function of what band you observe it in. I'm looking for a model of this that works for bands in ...
6
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2answers
287 views

Why is there this asymmetry between the two foci of an orbital ellipse?

Why does the Earth revolve with the Sun at one of its foci? Does the other focus do nothing? Why is there this asymmetry in our solar system?
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1answer
163 views

Is there anything special about the Sun's photosphere in terms of density?

The Earth has a definite boundary between rocky/ watery surface and gaseous atmosphere. The same cannot be said of the sun. Even though the photosphere gives an apparent "edge" to the sun via the ...
6
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1answer
76 views

Does a celestial system exhibit a collective magnetic field?

Sol exhibits a magnetic field, most of the planets in orbit around Sol exhibit a magnetic field - strong and weak both. Does the solar system as a whole exhibit a magnetic field? Does the paradigm ...
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2answers
51 views

Locating a Comet, how is it done?

How are the comet-hunters able to precisely locate/know about the required comets ? How can they distinguish between comets from such a far distance ? How are they able to estimate the exact time ...
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2answers
1k views

Parabolic or Hyperbolic?

How can astronomers find the difference between a parabolic and a hyperbolic comet ? What are the criteria that helps them distinguish these ? Can a parabolic comet switch over to become a hyperbolic ...
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3answers
1k views

Can human push earth away from the sun?

It's said the earth is approaching the sun. Can we push it away little by little? Although we can emit rocket towards the sun, but it's too expensive to make a rocket: So I think maybe we can ...
3
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1answer
131 views

Moons of the planets

What is the phenomena behind gas giants like Jupiter and Saturn having a large number of moons as compared to other planets. Were the present state moons a part of their parent planet long time ago ?
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25 views

Expansion of Universe [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why space expansion affects matter? If the Expansion is prevalent, i.e. it is observable and true then shouldn't that result in the expansion of the Milky Way galaxy, ...
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2answers
2k views

How did Halley calculate the distance to the Sun by measuring the transit of Venus?

What numbers did Halley, Cook, et al. have? What was the strategy by which they calculated the AU?
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1answer
217 views

When would the proposed black hole at the centre of Milky Way gulp in our solar system? [duplicate]

I've heard and read that our solar system lies near to the peripheral region of the Galaxy. Then accordingly we would have a greater probability of sustaining to eventual gulping down by the ...
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2answers
90 views

On constancy of cometary orbits

how are the comets able to keep to a nearly fixed orbital period, though they lose a certain amount of mass during their perihelion?
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1answer
432 views

Geocentric Model in General Relativity

In classical mechanics, if I want to view the Earth as the fixed center of the solar system, I must accelerate my reference frame to keep it centered on the Earth. That accelerated reference frame ...
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1answer
355 views

What is the position and orientation of the Earth as a function of time

I would like to know the position and orientation of the Earth, relative to the sun, as a function of time. I.e. select any coordinate system with the Sun at the origin so that the earth lies in the ...
2
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1answer
124 views

Earth's beginnings and early years, Re radioactive decay or not

It is said that the Earth and solar system are 4.6 billion years old. Presumably this date is achieved from radioactive decay. If this is the case, since most of the radioactive elements would have, ...
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3answers
2k views

How do the Planets and Sun get their initial rotation?

How do the Planets and Sun get their initial rotation? Why do Venus and Mercury rotate so slowly compared to other planets and why does Venus rotate in a different direction to Mercury, Earth and ...
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1answer
131 views

How can you calculate the exact position of the Earth taking into account the gravitational attraction of Mars and the Sun?

I think there must be a formula to calculate the exact position of the Earth taking into account the gravitational attraction of Mars and the Sun. Is it possible with vectors?
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0answers
238 views

Simple model of the solar system. Parameters? Accuracy?

I was thinking of making a simple 2D model of the solar system, with planets moving along ellipses like $$x(t) = k_x \sin(t + k_t) (\sin(k_\phi) + \cos(k_\phi))$$ $$y(t) = k_y \cos(t + k_t) ...
8
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1answer
413 views

Where will New Horizons go after sailing past Pluto?

The New Horizons Spacecraft is scheduled to whiz by Pluto around 2015, and my understanding is that it is going to do exactly that — whiz by it. Where will it go after that? Or what else can it do ...
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2answers
20 views

Predicting solar storms?

Quote from BBC "A strong solar storm is expected to hit Earth shortly, and experts warn it could disrupt power grids, satellite navigation and plane routes." How is it that we are aware of a massive ...
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1answer
2k 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?
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2answers
218 views

How big is the Solar System?

How big is the solar system? By "big", I guess I mean "wide", i.e. how far away from the Sun is the farthest object that is considered part of the Solar System? I've checked Wikipedia's pages on ...
9
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1answer
164 views

Are Uranus and Neptune too big for their location?

So I was watching some TV, and I heard Dr. Plait mention that the planets Uranus and Neptune are too big to be located so far out in our solar system. Now, I heard his explanation on the show as to ...
8
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1answer
58 views

Why does the debris from comets and former comets hang around so long?

So tonight's Quatrantids shower got me thinking. Why does the debris from comets and former comets hang around so long? Each year the earth sweeps through the region of space that the comet went ...
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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. ...
2
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1answer
349 views

What is the fate of the asteroid belt?

From what I understand the asteroid belt never formed into a planet because Jupiter threw off the gravity of all the small objects and they never could gather to form a planet. As described here: Why ...
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0answers
221 views

Solar wind and the Earth's magnetic field

I have again an old question from a comprehensive exam I took a couple of months ago. Lucky for me one could pick 5 out of 8 questions, because on some of the problems I didn't even know how to start. ...
2
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1answer
5k 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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1answer
1k views

How many Pluto sized planetoids have been discovered?

How many planetoids have been discovered that are, say, 50% the size of Pluto or larger? Where are they? Incidentally, what is the difference between a planet, a planetoid, and an asteroid?
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4answers
531 views

Why do 3d spheres and gravity tend to rotating discs on one plane?

Whether is it our solar system or a whole galaxy, there is usually a massive object (star or black hole) at the centre with gas and objects rotating around it. The gravitational effect of the ...
2
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1answer
253 views

Calculating the Suns vector and distance from the Earth at one time

I am developing a C++ program where I'd like to be able to see the Suns direction vector and distance from Earth at a given time, since 2000 Jan 0.0 TDT. The reference frame I want to calculate it is ...
4
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1answer
241 views

Why doesn't our solar system run into other solar systems over billions of years?

Why doesn't our solar system run into other solar systems over billions of years. There is plenty of time for it to be attracted by gravity to other objects. So I thought, it should be a common ...
7
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1answer
98 views

How plausible is a subsurface ocean on Pluto?

According to this article on physorg.com, it's likely that Pluto has a subsurface ocean of liquid water. It suggests that the ocean would be about 165 km deep, under an equally deep crust of solid ...
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1answer
4k views

What are the facts that allow accepting the Oort cloud theory?

I admit without any fact that the Oort cloud (comet reservoir) should exist, and it seems to be accepted by far by the large majority of astronomers. But it is still a theory without any direct ...
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2answers
2k views

Is it true that our solar system belongs to another galaxy which collides with the milky way galaxy?

I have just read an article about it here(http://www.greatdreams.com/2012.htm)(Scroll to bottom). I'm just a website developer, and I really want to know if this is really true. I'm curious. I'm ...