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Questions tagged [planetary-science]

The study of planets, asteroids, comets, etc, including weather, geology, composition, etc. This tag should be used when the focus of the question is on the the science of a non-Earth non-star natural object, and not used when designing spacecraft to cope with said challenges.

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How do domes in lunar impact melts develop, and might they be hollow?

On the floors of young craters of the Moon, smoothly rounded domes are visible in some spots. Lalande crater has 4 of them, each around 200 m across. Here are less regular ones on the floor of ...
kim holder's user avatar
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8 votes
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224 views

Roughly, how much of our Moon's apparent libration amplitude seen from the Geocenter is due to different effects?

My understanding is that when tidal locking of a body first happens it transitions from a state where the average rotation period is faster than the orbital period to a state where they are the same ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
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116 views

What are the prevailing winds on a tidally locked ocean planet?

I am trying to picture the atmospheric circulation of a tidally locked planet, similar to Earth in mass and atmosphere. The rotational axis would need to be (roughly) perpendicular to the ecliptic if ...
Woody's user avatar
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6 votes
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96 views

Is the net electric charge of Venus about 0.01 Coulombs?

A few years ago Venus was measured to be at a surprisingly large electric potential of $\Phi_{Venus}=+10.6$ volts, which may be one of the reasons Venus lost its water. Does this mean that Venus has a ...
David Bailey's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
169 views

What are the contributions of ancient Indian astronomers in mapping of the solar system and galaxies?

In the history of astronomy we usually come up with the name of European astronomers like Kepler and Galileo. Earlier Indian astronomers, for example Aryabhata and Bhaskaracharya, are not usually ...
Bhaskar Bhadra's user avatar
6 votes
0 answers
320 views

Did Rosetta improve on models of non-gravitational effects on comet 67P's orbit?

Question: Since the presence of the Rosetta spacecraft near comet 67P allowed for a detailed mass measurement, extremely precise position and velocity determinations, and physcal measurement and ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
0 answers
87 views

How does ECOSTRESS measure both temperature and emissivity of the Earth's surface simultaneously? (Science package aboard the ISS)

The This Week at NASA video A U.S. Commercial Spacecraft Departs the Space Station on This Week @NASA – July 2, 2021 includes the following quote: Data from NASA’s Ecosystem Spaceborne Thermal ...
uhoh's user avatar
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5 votes
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150 views

Is Geothermal Cooling on Venus Possible?

Would geothermal type cooling be possible for a stationary base on the surface of Venus? Would the subsoil temperature of Venus hotter or cooler than the atmospheric temperature? (464C / 867F average ...
Dan Sorensen's user avatar
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5 votes
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117 views

Is there an European Space Agency's innovative advanced concept program? (a NIAC equivalent?)

I would like to know if there's an equivalent to NASA's NIAC at ESA. If that's the case, I would like to know if I can read some of these concept studies and what stages of approval they need.
Swike's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is Lunar Horizon Glow still a thing? Has the "dust settled" on the topic?

The title gets its inspiration from Is the Flyby Anomaly still a thing? but the topic is different. The Lunar Horizon Glow is a phenomenon observed by some of the Surveyor missions. While the Sun is ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Probing gas giant planets by descending through a cyclones's "eye"?

On Earth cyclones have regions of calm weather commonly known as eyes. They appear to create tunnels spreading from the top of the atmosphere down to the sea level. Wikipedia article mentions their ...
Presto's user avatar
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What document describes the scientific benefits of the LRV through an increase in the diversity of rocks returned by Apollo 15-17?

Logically, it makes sense that the rock samples returned by the Apollo 15-17 missions tend to be more diverse than the ones returned by previous missions. The astronauts could reach regions of ...
olamarre's user avatar
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4 votes
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89 views

How much will global warming increase the density of debris in LEO? What are predictions currently saying?

After about 08:00 in Scott Manley's hot off the press new release SpaceX Loses 40 Satellites To Solar Storm linked below he drifts away from the solar activity-...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
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Just how locked is Titan? Does it exhibit libration due to eccentricity? Have residual oscillations not yet damped out been detected or ruled out?

Under Where is the Selk crater on Titan with respect to Saturn? there is @BrendanLuke15's comment which provides a helpful hint: Tidally locked moons have their 0° longitude defined as the 'sub-...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
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107 views

How far could we see (horizontally), floating inside the acid clouds of Venus at 56 km and at 51 km height above the surface?

Screenshot of Fig. 4 in the article The microphysics of the clouds of Venus: Results of the Pioneer Venus Particle Size Spectrometer Experiment From the Wikipedia section about the troposphere of ...
Cornelis's user avatar
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3 votes
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Regarding planets capturing gases from space with their gravitational pull;

We know most (or all) planets suffer atmospheric escape. Now, can planets gain atmosphere from drawing in gases drifting in space? Is there a formula for that? Is there a cutoff point between gravity, ...
Mindwin Remember Monica's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
126 views

How does Curiosity's X-ray diffractometer work? Does it measure only one angle at a time or does it have an area detector?

Per this answer to Are quasicrystals common on the Moon and Mars?, Curiosity has an X-ray diffractometer. X-ray diffraction from 3D crystals can (begin to) be understood by embracing Bragg's law. A 3D ...
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
120 views

Obtaining Europa's samples from Callisto. Possible to identify them? Worthwhile?

A lot has been discussed about the possibility of panspermia between Earth and Mars, and how compact systems such as Trappist-1 can be more prone to that. Here on Earth, we have identified numerous ...
Venus was her name's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
55 views

What does "clumps and streams" of hydrogen leaving Mars' atmosphere really mean? Are there images of them?

This excellent answer to Just how huge is Mars' cloud of hydrogen? links to the 14 October 2014 Nature News item "Hydrogen Cloud Blows Off Mars", by Alexandra Witze, https://www.nature.com/...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
90 views

How to make diamagnetic lunar simulant that would "float" in a strong enough magnetic field? (for China's 60 cm high field simulator)

Live Science's China builds 'artificial moon' for gravity experiment says: Chinese scientists have built an "artificial moon" research facility that will enable them to simulate low-gravity ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
27 views

DAWN CERES HAMO CYCLE1 PDS DATA ARCHIVE seems to be corrupted

I'm working on Ceres VIR_IR data from PDS3 Archive. The downloaded data seems to not be right as I'm getting lines of various colors and not the target area, when opened in ENVI. Is the QUB file ...
Darsana Lakshmi Raj's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
271 views

Why is the Southern Hemisphere of Mars is heavily struck by asteroids while the northern part is relatively smooth?

The northern hemisphere of Mars is smooth with flats lands but areas particularly below the Tharsis rise is heavily cratered, also Hellas basin, one of the largest impact craters is located in the ...
Pioneer's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
105 views

Did Chang'e-3 and/or Yutu report getting hit by the Earth's magnetotail?

potentially helpful: Where can I find access to information provided by CNSA and Chinese scientists and reputable science authors? @DavidHammen's answer to If a solar flare happened during a total ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
115 views

What was Steve? Is it called something else now?

"Steve" was a temporary name for a space phenomenon above the Earth. Since then it's likely much work as been done and a more permanent name chosen. So I'd like to ask what Steve really was/is, and if ...
uhoh's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
45 views

Is planetary impact testing planned for the InSight Mars lander's seismometers?

The question How could InSight's seismometers be intentionally and meaningfully “pinged”? is a hypothetical and has several good speculative answers. But here I'd like to ask specifically about any ...
Magic Octopus Urn's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
469 views

Career in Planetary Science with an Engineering background

I am passionate in achieving a career in Planetary Science. I have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering background with an average academic record. I want to pursue a career in Planetary ...
Kabilan's user avatar
  • 21
2 votes
0 answers
117 views

Surface material on Saturn's moon Rhea

The Cassini mission has made several flybys of Saturn's second largest moon, Rhea. Do we have any data about that moon's surface geochemistry? I do know there is a thin Oxygen/Carbon Dioxide ...
MercuryPlus's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
64 views

Diameters of moons in solar system

I would like to programmatically find all moons in our solar system above a certain diameter. I would like to use the api to jpl horizons if possible. (For context I am then going on to find ...
Cortado-J's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
63 views

What will be more important for the first NASA led human mission to Mars, the exploration of important science targets or the mining of water ice?

A few months after NASA's decision in November 2018 that Jezero Crater would be the landing site for the Mars 2020 rover mission, the research article The Geology and Astrobiology of McLaughlin Crater,...
Cornelis's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
97 views

How does the wind behave throughout the day in Jezero Crater? (worried about Ingenuity)

JPL tweet links to mars.nasa.gov's Flying on Mars Is Getting Harder and Harder which explains that seasonal changes are lowering the density of the local atmosphere, presumably due to warmer seasonal ...
uhoh's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
55 views

Is ESA's ExoMars TGA getting old and unable to support Rosalind Franklin rover for the full potential duration of its missions and extensions?

Wikipedia's ExoMars explains that the Trace Gas Orbiter or TGO part of the mission was launched in 2016 and the rover was originally scheduled to launch in 2018. This launch was delayed until 2020 and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
0 answers
138 views

What would happen in this cavern on the Moon?

Imagine a large cavern on the moon, around the theoretical size limit determined by Purdue university - about 1.5 kilometers high, and 5 kilometers across on the floor. This cavern is a kilometer or ...
Dan Hanson's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
38 views

What Jovian system science targets would be suitable for Jupiter gravity assist flyby missions with other primary purposes?

Flying by Jupiter for gravity assist, and with the Oberth effect bonus, has been used for multiple missions to other outer planets and to comets. And has potential for use even for missions aiming at ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
71 views

Is there believed to be sharp boundary between Jupiter's liquid and metallic hydrogen layers and is there much convection and flow between them?

If it's not known, is it reasonable to assume that some Jupiter-like exoplanets might have well separated liquid and metallic hydrogen layers given moderately different temperature and mass? Author: ...
user42435's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
85 views

Why Perseverance's landing ellipse straddled the cliffs in the river delta; why so ambivalent about the two different geologies?

The Perseverance landing site has now been named for Octavia E. Butler and from here there will be a meandering climb to get up on top of the "cliffs" that are in the delta. I think that ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
0 answers
117 views

Do penitentes predicted on Europa only apply to snow-covered areas and not bare ice?

This answer to What would ice-skating be like on Europa? cautions that it might be difficult because there may be penitentes which Wikipedia explains are snow formations. It links to EarthSky.org's ...
uhoh's user avatar
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