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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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'Harmony of the Spheres' or 'Harmony of the World' - is it debunked? [closed]

I sincerely apologise for this vague question but I'm writing an essay for my music class on musical harmony and it's historical origins. I came across the Pythagorean notion of Harmony of the Spheres ...
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5answers
99 views

What is holding things like the Earth and the Sun in one dimension?

I was thinking last night: for most of my life I’ve been taught that the planets in our solar system orbit the Sun, which insinuates that the Sun is in a fixed point in 3-dimensional space, and that ...
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1answer
24 views

The shape characteristics of gravitational wells given different masses and spread of objects

I am curious as to research that calculates the shape of gravitational wells, and their limits, and affect on time, for different masses and spread of mass. The actual question is st the end. For ...
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1answer
40 views

Solar System Position and Velocity data

I'm trying to create an nbody simulator and to test it I'd like some real world data. A good test would be the solar system. I've come across the JPL Horizons software but if cant seem to figure out ...
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3answers
891 views

Gravitational advantage of outer planets in war

The Expanse books cover a lot of aspects of war in a situation where humans inhabit many planets and moons of the solar system. The author makes the point that, in a war situation, the outer planets ...
2
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1answer
103 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 ...
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2answers
94 views

Relativistic space rocks. Are they possible?

I was thinking that the Universe is full of extreme events. Colliding galaxies, exploding stars, colliding planets (like in one of models of our Moon formation), colliding black holes... Can it be ...
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1answer
45 views

Speed of solar system through dark matter halo

How is the speed of the solar system through the dark matter halo determined? Direct dark matter detection experiments rely on this speed estimate. Assuming the sun/earth travel through the dark ...
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1answer
26 views

Gravitational/electromagnetic effect of planets on solar activity?

Does the gravitational and/or electromagnetic influence of planets have any effect or correspondence to solar activities (e.g. solar flares/CMEs) - and if so, does the planetary position (where they ...
3
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1answer
34 views

Transit of Venus and the computation of the Atronomical Unit

I have searched for the computation of the AU. The two best websites I found about it were https://sunearthday.nasa.gov/2012/articles/ttt_75.php How did Halley calculate the distance to the Sun by ...
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0answers
46 views

Would the formation of the Mediterranean sea be enough to shift the Earth on its axis?

According to this article, the Mediterranean sea was formed when the Atlantic broke through (what is now) the Straits of Gibraltar, and flooded the basin. Assuming that is correct, and also that the ...
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1answer
67 views

Calculating the Earth-Sun distance

Using just the facts that the period of earth around the sun is 1 year. that the distance of 1 degree of latitude on earth is 100km . that the acceleration due to gravity on earth is 10m/s^2 and that ...
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1answer
93 views

Where in the solar system could we place a clock, such that it would run the fastest (relative to a clock on Earth)?

I know that time dilation occurs between two reference frames with differing velocity, or differing positions in a gravitational field. Many examples that illustrate this point involve things like ...
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3answers
185 views

Why is angular momentum of the Earth/Moon system conserved?

Why is the angular momentum of the Earth/Moon system conserved, apparently unaffected by external forces such as force of the Sun?
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2answers
118 views

Why do all the planets and stars in our solar system have such similar average densities?

This table lists the average density of all the planets in our solar system. We could also consider the Sun (average density 1.41 g/cm³) and Pluto (average density 1.88 g/cm³). The densest body (Earth)...
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1answer
45 views

Distortion of the Earth's magnetic field due to solar winds?

Why and how do the solar winds distort the Earth's Magnetosphere to form a drop like shape facing away from the Sun?
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1answer
2k views

What are modern solar system applications of GR where approximation methods fail? [closed]

It is often stated that general relativity (GR) provides the most accurate description of gravitational phenomenon. In most undergraduate and even graduate textbooks this idea is reinforced by ...
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1answer
107 views

Speed of sound at the Sun surface [closed]

The gas velocity at the Sun's surface is subsonic and At 1 AU from the sun, the solar wind is supersonic. Like Parker wind solution. Why the velocity at the Sun's surface is subsonic? (In the ...
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3answers
127 views

Do any of our satellites or space exploration craft need or use relativity for strictly navigational purposes?

I thought I read somewhere that everything we've ever sent into space used only Newton for navigation, because relativistic effects are orders of magnitude smaller than other causes of course ...
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1answer
71 views

Why does not the Moon escape from the Earth? [duplicate]

We know that Gravitational Force that is applied by the sun on the moon is greater than that by the earth on the moon. My Question is then why does not the moon escape from the earth and go towards ...
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1answer
50 views

What would happen to the Moon if the Earth stopped providing it with a centripetal force owing to its force of gravity?

Would the Moon really only travel in a straight line then? What about the other planets and their forces of gravity? Wouldn't they prevent this rectilinear and undisturbed motion of the Moon?
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5answers
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Can the Schrodinger equation describe planetary motion? [duplicate]

I was asked on an exam whether the Schrodinger equation can be used to describe planetary motion and my answer was "No, because the solutions are wavefunctions which give probabilities but everything ...
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2answers
61 views

Effect of Change in Mass on Planetary Motion [closed]

How would a change in the mass of a planet in the solar system affect its orbit? For example, if hypothetically the mass of Mars were doubled, would it [a] move closer to the Sun, [b] move further ...
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1answer
115 views

Rotation rate of Mercury vs. a day on Mercury

In the latest episode of Last Week Tonight (June 3rd), John Oliver says a day on Mercury is 1,407 earth hours (58 days and 15 hours), which is correct. Neil D. Tyson says The time you gave is ...
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0answers
24 views

What is the relativistic correction for the period of the planet Mercury? [duplicate]

The classical formula of the period of the Kepler orbit is given my $2\pi a^{3/2}/(GM)^{1/2}$. Here $G$ is the gravitational constant and $a$ is the length of the semi-major axis and $M$ is the solar ...
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3answers
187 views

Computerised Solar System Simulation [closed]

In school I am doing a project where using python I simulate the solar system The physics I know so far is newtons laws and Kepler’s laws and I have done a lot of research but there appears to be ...
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1answer
39 views

Why do the sun and planets differ in their chemical elements composition?

The chemical elements composition of the sun changes as its nuclear furnace changes elements into heavier ones. But it is supposed to be mostly Hydrogen at the start. The planets are too cold for ...
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2answers
73 views

Proof against Tychonian model by view from Space

No earth-based observation of the planets can disprove the Tychonian model (planets orbit sun, which orbits the earth). It takes very fine stellar observations, which couldn't be done in the 17th ...
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4answers
72 views

Does the photons of light have an effect the movement of solar planets

In space, solar sails are used in order to move some space exploration crafts. Since in space there is vacuum the slightest force could be enough to propel and move the craft. Although the earth is ...
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0answers
38 views

Which planets would be visible from the Saturn system using the Naked Eye?

I was wondering which planets would be visible using the Naked Eye from Saturn? Would these planets always be visible or disappear as they got further from Saturn? Plus which planets wouldn't visible ...
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1answer
87 views

Is Gravity Cumulative

This is to tie in with a previous question >The Sun's Orbit - Is it What We Think? Are gravitational waves cumulative? and if so how does this affect our galaxy and other astronomical bodies? Now ...
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2answers
61 views

Can we calculate the speed and time period of Earth's revolution around the Sun using general relativity?

From General relativity we know that the sun's mass causes the spacetime to dip, so can we theoretically calculate the exact the time period and speed of earth's revolution around the sun using a ...
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2answers
172 views

The Sun's Orbit - Is it What We Think?

I was thinking that the sun must orbit something within our spiral arm in the Milky Way, or be affected by other astronomical bodies - surely not just the supermassive black hole centre. I have ...
3
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1answer
59 views

Is it possible to derive curvature of spacetime from EFEs to create a computer simulation of the solar system? [duplicate]

Background I am a professional scientist (biologist), statistician and a computer programmer, but an amateur physicist so pardon me if this question appears silly. In order to understand general ...
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1answer
71 views

Is there a Neutron Star or Black Hole close to solar system?

I recently read an article where it mentioned that the solar system could be born out of a supernova explosion (death of a previous star). In case there was a supernova, wouldn't there be a ...
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1answer
41 views

What happens in between planets?

I was wondering in an area of space where there arent enough planets around it to suck an object in with gravity, does the object just float there? And if it does just float there will other objects ...
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2answers
302 views

Stellar aberration in a water-filled telescope

I read that when the stellar aberration of light is measured with the help of a telescope filled with water, the value of the aberration is equal as in the case of a telescope filled with air. Just ...
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0answers
21 views

How do planets rotate around a star? [duplicate]

I did not know how to ask this question correctly so i made two little drawings to explain my question, but to try to explain it to my best extent. Do planets rotate around a star all on the same ...
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1answer
26 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?
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0answers
37 views

Calculating spacecraft thrust manoeuvres with JPL data [closed]

I've recently programmed an animated simulation of the main elements (core planets and Sun) of our solar system: by using the initial coordinates from the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory - NASA) ...
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3answers
3k views

Minimal velocity to throw an object to the Sun

What is the minimal velocity to throw an object (material point) to the Sun from Earth, with no specific restrictions?
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0answers
142 views

What do the planets in our solar system smell like? [closed]

For example, if Jupiter is mostly hydrogen and and helium, but has ammonia clouds, does that mean it smells like a cat's litterbox? Does Mars smell like iron? Asking in order to give kids a more "...
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0answers
123 views

Where did Paul Gerber go wrong in arriving at the same equation as Einstein in explaining the Mercury anomaly?

We know that Einstein admitted that Paul Gerber's 1898 formula explaining the anomaly of Mercury's perihelion was the same as his own. Reportedly Gerber had made a mistake somewhere, so - even though ...
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2answers
2k views

Voyager: Is it in “orbit” and will it return?

This Phys.SE question about Voyager got me thinking, and I didn't see an answer: Gravity - what goes up must come down. Will Voyager, in its current trajectory ever be pulled back into our Solar ...
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0answers
91 views

Why are all the planets in the solar system in the same orbital plane? [duplicate]

I’ve always thought that this picture might just be an oversimplification of our solar system for easily understanding the layout of planets around our Sun. But I was recently mind-blown when I ...
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1answer
5k views

Why is Voyager 1 approaching Earth? [duplicate]

When I read JPL's mission status for Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 the distance between Earth and Voyager 1 is decreasing. Is it right?
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1answer
72 views

Does the moon rotate around the earth-moon axis?

It is well known that the moon always shows the same side to the earth. But does the orientation of this side change? I.e. does the moon rotate around the moon-earth axis?
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2answers
147 views

NASA showing incorrect distance to Mercury?

I am currently working on an algorithm to compute planetary positions using Kepler's law. As I was testing it against the ephemeride service supplied by https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/horizons.cgi, I found ...
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2answers
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Are Atoms and ions actually mini solar systems? [closed]

If you look at an Atom, don't you notice it works much like our solar system, and if they are solar systems then we might be an Atom.
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3answers
68 views

What defines the reference system to determine the angular speed of the Earth around the Sun?

Imagine there is only the sun and the earth. We could chose our reference frame in such a way that the angular speed around the sun is zero. In a $xy$-plane the $x$-axis always points to the earth. If ...