Questions tagged [solar-system]

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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Can we compute\simulate why the solar system has a very small number of planets?

I saw a YouTube video saying that Earth was formed in the solar system which was initially a rotating disk of dust that kept colliding and forming larger and larger blocks. What surprises me is that: ...
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9 votes
5 answers
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Do solar flares move the dust on the surface of the Moon?

The TV show For All Mankind has a reputation for scientific accuracy, so I think it's fair game to ask if it lives up to this reputation. In this video clip, we see the dust on the surface of the Moon ...
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Why most of the things in this universe wants to become Sphere? [duplicate]

in our solar system , every planets revolve in elliptical path and their shapes is almost oval or approaches to Sphere . Sun is also looks like Sphere . Question: Why everything trying to approaches ...
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Is an Aldrin Cycler which encounters three or four bodies possible?

Is it possible for an Aldrin Cycler to work multi-moon system like the Jovian system, encountering at least three bodies?
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11 votes
6 answers
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How could Tycho Brahe determine positions without accurate clocks?

Tycho Brahe determined the positions of stars and planets to an accuracy of 2 minutes of angle. Pendulum clocks hadn't been invented yet so he couldn't have known the time to better than 15 minutes. ...
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Does the Lagrange Point $L_3$ exist in practice in the multi-body solar system?

Lagrange Points ($L_1$ through $L_5$) in a restricted 3-body system are well documented. Traditionally body 1 (M1) is the central object with a mass much greater than the other two objects. M2 is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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Does the Milky Way have any impact on Earth?

Does which galaxy we are in (Milky Way) have any impact on Sun/Earth? What I mean is: suppose our solar system was instantly teleported into a different galaxy (eg Andromeda). Apart from the stars ...
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2 votes
2 answers
61 views

The unlikely marriage of orbiting bodies

O.k. so we have an orbiting body such as the Earth around the sun or the moon around the Earth. The fact that they are orbiting does not fascinate me, it is my intuitive sense that there is a much ...
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Could a 100 solar mass black hole at 0.01c passing just at 123 AU change the direction the sun is moving by 90°?

I asked the person claiming to have created this video of such an encounter why this simulation suggests that the sun is moving in a direction that is parallel to the plane of the ecliptic? I'd ...
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-2 votes
3 answers
81 views

Why is the shape of the orbit of the Earth as it is?

My View: I think that if the sun were only force acting on earth (as a centripetal force), the earth would have a circular orbit. Since other planets also exist , there also exists gravitational force ...
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2 votes
0 answers
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Why do moons not get pulled into the planet while they clear their neighborhood? [duplicate]

Today, my 6 year old and I were discussing dwarf planets and their characteristics. We were talking about how, to be a considered a planet, the planet needs to clear it's neighborhood (as explained in ...
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3 answers
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Is the solar system sitting in the centre of curved spacetime and if so, are we viewing the rest of the universe from inside that "bubble"?

I read an article about a huge bubble being discovered in which the solar system sits bang in the middle. It got me thinking about the curvature of spacetime. The bubble was created by several ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Are there tidal forces between the solar system and the galactic centre?

Tidal forces are experienced within a system moving in free fall around a bigger object because of the different strength of gravity over the system. The difference can be calculated between the far ...
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4 votes
2 answers
145 views

Why does Jupiter have so many moons?

The usual explanations one finds just say that Jupiter has a strong gravitational field, thereby being able to catch moons easier, and then they stop there. But this seems far from a satisfactory ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Kepler's laws of motion [duplicate]

I have studied Kepler's Law of Motion but I always think how did Kepler arrive to those laws and what were the basic thinking behind it? I just want to know the basic physics behind his ideas. I know ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Earth's rotation axis orientation in space in relation to vernal equinox point

Lately I got confused about how the Earth's rotational axis is oriented during the vernal equinox, as I got information that Earth has an equator ascending node equal to about 11°. If, this day, we ...
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4 votes
1 answer
186 views

Drawing night sky of planets other than Earth (invariable plane ambiguity)

I'm writing an application that draws maps of night sky that can be visible from other planets (ultimately they are to be exoplanets). Mostly I do it out of curiosity :). I's thinking a lot where I ...
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1 vote
2 answers
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How close can Jupiter be to Earth without making Earth unhabitable? [closed]

How close can Jupiter be to Earth without making Earth unhabitable? What's the closest distance possible? Can Jupiter be twice or three or four times as close to Earth as Mars without having any ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Does the inclination of the orbit affect the orbital period of a celestial body around the Sun?

According to my textbook, the square of orbital period $P_{orb}$ is given by $$P_{\mathrm{orb}}^{2}=\frac{4\pi^{2}a^{3}}{GM},$$ where $a$ is the semi-major axis. My question is, does the inclination $...
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1 vote
2 answers
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What is the maximum flux of 1 GeV stably-trapped protons in Jupiter radiation belts?

And in which L-shell? This graph shows a flux of around 50 stably-trapped protons per m2 per sec on Earth, and I have read it's higher in Jupiter but I can't find the value. A source would be ...
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Difference between the Sphere of Influence and Hill Sphere

I am looking through astronomy topics, and I found two ideas which sound very similar, but have very different formulae which come to different results. That is the Sphere of Influence, and Hill ...
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14 votes
6 answers
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Why is there one fewer solar day per year than there are sidereal days?

solar day = time between solar noons sidereal day = period of Earth's spin Wikipedia says "relative to the stars, the Sun appears to move around Earth once per year. Therefore, there is one fewer ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How to calculate the maximum Elongation of Mercury seeing from the Earth? [closed]

I want to calculate the maximum Elongation of mercury seeing from the Earth but not by this assumption that its orbit is circle but it is an ellipse with semimajor axis a = 0.387 AU and e = 0.2 and ...
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15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Simulating solar system with Newton's law

I made a simulation in C++ with Newtons law and test it comparing the planets positions with the position from Solar system Calculator Don Cross (which I converted from JavaScript to C++) http://...
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2 votes
2 answers
73 views

Estimate the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit using equinoxes

I was reading the wikipedia article on Kepler's laws (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler%27s_laws_of_planetary_motion) and I came across the following. "The eccentricity of the orbit of the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is the orbit of Earth really closed? [duplicate]

So I know that Earth's orbit around the sun is elliptical (about there common center of mass) if we ignore the other perturbations in Newtonian gravity. Is the orbit of a planet around a star closed ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
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Is it possible to make a magnetic box that will compensate Earth gravity allowing magnetic objects inside to fly on orbits like in space? [closed]

Is it possible to simulate solar system using magnetic spheres and some kind of box that will compensate the Earth gravity by magnetic force?
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Would Newton's law in the solar system be independent from a presumed different fundamental gravitational law? [closed]

A thought experiment: Let's assume the gravitational field of a black hole without any neighbors would be stronger than the Schwarzschild metric in the Newtonian limit. Now, we let a solar system (sun ...
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10 votes
3 answers
1k views

Proof/explanation that Sun is bigger and more distant from Earth than Moon is, Middle Age technology allowed only

If I was living in the Middle Ages, how can someone prove or at least explain to me in a simple way that the Sun is bigger and more far from Earth than the Moon? Can a parallax be used for it? $$\text{...
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0 votes
2 answers
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Suspension of magnet with a thread

Recently, I have read about magnetic poles of Jupiter. Peculiar thing is, that Jupiter has 3 magnetic poles. If you would suspend a magnet via thread on earth, it would align itself in geographic ...
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19 votes
5 answers
5k views

If our solar system and galaxy are moving why do we not see differences in speed of light depending on direction?

May be a silly and simple question, but I've been wondering if: The speed of light is constant, and When we're moving in the same direction (where both the emitter and the receiver move with the ...
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0 votes
1 answer
54 views

Are there any moons that exhibit a non-convex curvature in their orbit about the Sun?

In my answer at https://physics.stackexchange.com/a/266444/59023, it took me several iterations before David Hammen and others could help me understand why the Earth's moon's orbit about the Sun is ...
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3 votes
2 answers
502 views

Eccentricity of planets based on distance from Sun

Are the orbits of inner-solar system planets more circular than outer planets? Or is it the other way around? What's the reason for this? We were taught in our high school Physics class that outer ...
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1 vote
1 answer
92 views

Solar constant and Energy received by the Earth

I've been reading about black body radiation and I came across the topic of solar irradiance. If we consider the sun to be a perfect blackbody, then the intensity of the solar radiation at a distance ...
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0 votes
0 answers
35 views

Is it possible for an undiscovered, large object of the solar system to occult a star on the sky?

Is it possible for an undiscovered, large object of the solar system to occult a star on the sky? Maybe trying to discover it by gravitational effects is hard but can astronomers obseve a occultation ...
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2 votes
1 answer
62 views

Why Earth is viewed crescent from moon when the Earth is experiencing total solar eclipse?

Suppose a person, let's say Neil, is on moon and Earth is experiencing a total solar eclipse so how should Neil perceive the Earth? This is also a question from KVPY (5/11/2017) question no. 22. as ...
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0 votes
1 answer
63 views

I am a bit stuck with the patched conic approximation for interplanetary travel between the Earth and Mars

I am writing an internal assessment for first year university on patched conic approximation. I am having some trouble calculating the departure angle from earth. This is because I have to calculate ...
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0 votes
2 answers
146 views

What is Earth's linear velocity around the Sun?

I am creating a theoretical model of the Earth's tangential acceleration around the Sun (on an elliptical orbit, not circular). First, I will build a theoretical model, which is not influenced by any ...
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2 votes
0 answers
40 views

Where I can find obliquity direction?

I can find axial tilt of planets easily, but that doesn't specify the direction of that tilt, i.e. planet's rotation axis may be anywhere in circle defined on a sphere by axial tilt value. And I can't ...
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How does the Sun's gravity affect the shape of the orbit of the Moon around the Earth?

If we look at the Earth-Moon system as a two-body Keplerian system, we would expect Earth and the Moon to orbit their center of mass (barycenter) in perfect ellipses, with the barycenter at one of the ...
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2 answers
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Combining Newtonian Gravity and length contraction from SRT?

The value of $\gamma$ that I will use is $$\gamma=\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}$$ And length contraction is $$L_0=\frac{L}{\gamma}$$ Where all variables have usual meaning. Let the gravitational pull on ...
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0 votes
1 answer
154 views

How do I calculate evection and variation for the moon in my simple solar system model?

I am building a model of a simple sun-planet-moon solar system (not the real Sol-Terra-Luna system). Purpose: to calculate the positions of the sun and moon in the sky of the planet at a given time, ...
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4 votes
2 answers
135 views

When Sun was forming and before nuclear reactions inside the core what should have been its surface temperature?

When the Sun was forming and before all the nuclear reactions started inside its core, what should have been its surface temperature (only due to gas friction)?
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1 vote
4 answers
121 views

Have I accounted for all relevant physics in my simplified three-body solar system model? [closed]

EDIT: Re-framed here to be more on-topic. I am building a model of a simplified, fictional sun-planet-moon solar system (not the real Sun-Earth-Luna system) to calculate astronomical events like ...
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2 votes
3 answers
137 views

Conservation of momenta in the solar system

I am writing a python program to simulate the universe and I had a question regarding conservation laws. As rightly stated in these answers, "Both are conserved if you consider the whole system ....
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1 vote
0 answers
32 views

What causes Saturn's hexagon hurricane? [duplicate]

Recently, Tien Nguyen JPL Fellow - Chief Engineer at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, did share this photo that says "Cassini catches an awesome glimpse of Saturn’s north pole hurricane" I ...
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3 votes
4 answers
308 views

How do I calculate Earth's axial precession in an idealized Sun-Earth system?

I am experimenting with an idealized two-body system based on the Sun-Earth system. I want to calculate how much Earth's axis precesses and nutates given the simplified setup. In my system, the orbit ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Winds on gas giant planets: Would they increase if closer to their star?

The planets Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are all primarily heated by their internal radiated heat, not by the Sun. Each of them have rotational periods shorter than that of Earth despite their much ...
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1 vote
1 answer
37 views

Effect of the Sun on the motion of bodies on the Earth

Does a body at the surface of the Earth fall at a slower rate when the Sun is at its zenith (that is when the side of the Earth that the body is on is turned towards the Sun and the body is directly ...
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19 votes
3 answers
4k views

If gravity is attractive, why doesn't the Milky Way contract?

Einstein introduced the cosmological constant because without it, one cannot get a static universe - gravity would cause the universe to contract. Given that, why is the Milky Way not contracting? For ...
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