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2
votes
1answer
110 views

Why is ʻOumuamua traveling so slowly?

Imagine a space rock that starts at rest at the Lagrange point between the sun and our nearest stellar neighbor, Alpha Centauri. That would put it at about 2 light years away from the sun. Now, it ...
2
votes
1answer
28 views

Can the collision of asteroids form another moon?

In the lifetime of the earth, is it possible for sufficient collisions to occur in the asteroid belt to form a prototype moon?
0
votes
2answers
82 views

Are asteroid collisions capable of exhibiting any kind of domino effect?

I had the idea that it could be used to terraform mars... but asteroids are very different from dominos, so I just want to know if it's even plausible. Anyways here is my terraforming idea: First get ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Translationally invariant speed distribution

During impact events, asteroids et al strike Earth at high relative speed, in part because objects in space move in random directions with no preferred reference frame with respect to which objects ...
6
votes
3answers
856 views

What is the scientific basis for comets vs. main-belt comets being composed of different materials?

Do we observe different events or activities on main-belt comets, or do they behave exactly the same as regular comets? (Apart from the obvious difference in orbit size/shape.) The Wikipedia article ...
3
votes
1answer
87 views

How can an asteroid fall to a planet?

According to the Kepler's first law, the orbit of an asteroid would be an ellipse having the planet at one of the focuses (to a good approximation). Then how come can it ever fall to the planet?
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Why is meteor speed what it appears to be?

Is the speed of a meteor through our sky because of the speed of the earth's axis rotation, or because the meteor is speeding towards us at that speed?
4
votes
1answer
759 views

Solar System Snow Line: 5AU or 2.7AU?

I am trying to update the Wikipedia article "Frost Line (astrophysics)". During my last update (by QuantumShadow), I noticed that different sources cite different values for Solar System water ice ...
30
votes
9answers
17k views

What is the speed of the fastest moving body in our solar system?

On Wikipedia I saw that the average orbital speed of planet Earth around the Sun is a whopping $29 783\text{ m/s}$, and it made me wonder are there bodies (planets, meteorites, asteroids) that move ...
2
votes
1answer
624 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

Vesta dwarf planet status

Now that we have close-up photos of Vesta, which the IAU had previously said was a candidate dwarf planet, when is the IAU going to decide the issue? Personally, Vesta doesn't look round enough to me.
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Why did the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter form as it did?

I'm curious about why the asteroid belt wasn't pulled by Mars's or Jupiter's gravity or formed into either moons or planets. Why did it form into an asteroid belt instead?
27
votes
7answers
28k views

What is the average distance between objects in our asteroid belt?

We've all seen sci-fi movies with asteroid belts that require "great skill" to fly through, but how dense is the asteroid belt really? How much of the belt could you see from the surface of a given ...