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Questions tagged [solar-system]

Refers to questions concerning the solar system containing Earth. For other solar systems, use the 'planetary-system' tag.

26
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6answers
8k views

Why are probes that tend to explore outer system always launched to go outwards instead of straight upwards or downwards?

Let's take a look at the trajectory of variety probe missions. New Horizons and Ultima Thule will be 4.1 billion miles away when it visits the Kuiper Belt object. This chart shows the path of New ...
-1
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2answers
66 views

Space Travel Advanced Recon [closed]

Could a network of probes be sent ahead of a mother ship to form a grid to lay a path for travel inside the solar system? After what certain speed anything larger then a stationary pebble could be ...
5
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1answer
65 views

What words are used to mean in relation to or origin of a planet?

Pretty simple question I think, but I am having trouble confirming a legitimate answer. If things related to Mars are Martian, things related to Jupiter are Jovian, and things related to the Moon ...
8
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3answers
2k views

Is Voyager 2 capable of proving the existence of Oort cloud?

Yesterday on Dec 10 2018, NASA announced that Voyager 2 probe has exited the heliosphere - the protective bubble of particles and magnetic fields created by the Sun and entered the interstellar-medium;...
1
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2answers
130 views

Why do some scientists want a moon base for further space travel? What are the advantages of a moon base if compared with an earth base?

The distance between moon and earth is just 384,400 km. So, if we can travel (from moon) to another planet, we also can travel (from earth) to the same planet. But I've read that some scientists want ...
4
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1answer
160 views

Which planet gets the most money? Which gets the least?

I'm curious if anyone has ever tallied the expenditures of all of the world's space programs, and then tried to divide it by which planet was targeted. It's possible this has already been done. If ...
3
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0answers
92 views

How was the radius of Venus measured so accurately (± 3 km) in the mid 1960's, before Venera 4 and Mariner 5?

In several answers to the question When did planetary scientists realize Venus' surface pressure was almost 100x that on Earth? How did they find out? the known radius of Venus is mentioned. It was ...
28
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1answer
7k views

What is the farthest artificial satellite in orbit in our solar system?

When did we send the farthest satellite and what is its role and name ?
2
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1answer
58 views

Plotting error values between simulated and JPL data

I'm attempting to compare values between my simulated data for the solar system and the official JPL data, to find errors for the position, velocity, inclination and azimuth. The simulated data was ...
1
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0answers
214 views

How to get the coordinates from NASA JPL Ephemerides DE430 ( ECRS) to ECI?

I'm trying to make a software that determines the orbit of a satellite which is affected by the Sun and Moon. The coordinates [x y z] that I have for the satellite are in Eci. For the position of the ...
4
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0answers
80 views

Variation in Earth's aphelion and perihelion

I see from Astropixels.com that Earth's aphelion and perihelion each vary by a little over 29,000 km, while the earth-moon barycenter wobble is about 4,000 km. Is Astropixels.com correct? Are Jupiter ...
0
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2answers
209 views

Are any of the planets in our solar system (other than Earth) inhabitable?

I've watched a TV series on a group of people that build a community on our neighboring planet, Mars, and after watching it, I started to wonder: Could something like this really happen in the near ...
6
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0answers
77 views

Any algorithmic models of our solar system to predict positions relative to earth?

I'm looking for a map/model of the movements of our solar system and associated moons. What are the 'best' algorythmic models to represent our solar system. Looking to write a game/edutainment app ...
4
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1answer
208 views

Is there a planet walk with the positions of Voyager 1 and 2?

There are a lot of walks like the Sagan Planet Walk (see the list on Wikipedia). But are there any of these walks that include the position of the Voyager space probes? Some days ago I was ...
1
vote
1answer
167 views

Does Sunlight have a range? [closed]

If you switch on a lightbulb in a room its light has a visible range. So how about Sunlight? Does it light more on Mercury and less on Pluto? And what about planets that are not in the Solar System?
7
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1answer
434 views

How many satellites would be required for Solar System GPS?

GPS is a Global Positioning System. it uses satellites in orbit to identify precise location on a globe. Several posts here talk about it being used in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) with success. About 30 ...
13
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1answer
3k views

What does “side view” of solar system look like?

I'm trying to grasp what a 2D "side-view" of the solar system looks like. There are many examples of a "top-down" view of the solar system. But the side-view confuses me somewhat. The plane of ...
2
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2answers
113 views

What science could be performed by an extra-solar probe?

An earlier question asked whether there were any planned missions outside the solar system, which made me think of this question. What would the scientific benefits be in sending a probe outside the ...
0
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1answer
140 views

Are there any planned missions for spacecraft leaving the solar system? [duplicate]

We have some spacecraft that have extended missions outside of the solar system (ie voyager), but are there any plans for new spacecraft that will leave our solar system either by a primary or ...
3
votes
6answers
456 views

Can a launch of a rocket or ship from Earth go so badly that it damages the Solar System?

Is it possible for a launch of a space object originating from Earth to go so badly that it would cause permanent damage to the Solar System or even destroy it? Example: a spaceship going off ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Niku - potential object beyond Neptune spinning counterclock-wise

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2100700-mystery-object-in-weird-orbit-beyond-neptune-cannot-be-explained/ What could be potential reasons for a) the object only now being discovered (200km in ...
2
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2answers
600 views

Could, in another star system, gas giants be closer to the star then earth-like planets?

Looking at Sol, we can see that earth-like planets are close to the sun, while Gas Giants are at medium distance with Ice Giants being far out. Im wondering if this make-up is actually the norm or if ...
13
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1answer
350 views

What are the implications if Juno finds that Jupiter has a solid core?

Juno has arrived at Jupiter, and will begin taking measurements to determine if the gas giant has a solid core. But what I cannot seem to find is the implications such a discovery would have. This ...
2
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2answers
511 views

Why not use Halley's Comet as a probe?

Halley's Comet comes around every 75 years. From what I can gather on Wikipedia the comet is not spinning that fast, has a large elliptical orbit, and has been recorded since 240 BC returning on a ...
8
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2answers
1k views

Is there free, accurate and updated data on planetary body positions in the solar system?

I'm a software developer and I'm trying to move towards astrophysics. I wanted to create an accurate solar system model using real-time accurate data. I've found the NASA data site, however I can only ...
5
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4answers
654 views

Is it pure luck that the voyager 1 survived to travel beyond our solar system in interstellar space?

A random question. At the very first try we succeeded. Though it might not be strange, What was the probability of surviving so long with so many external variables and constants.?
0
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2answers
215 views

Are there any other options for human settlements in the solar system other than Mars? [closed]

A lot has been said about human settlements on Mars. However, are there any other options? I'm wondering what other planets/moons/asteroids would be good for settling — where else could humans set up ...
111
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4answers
28k views

Do the planets really orbit the Sun?

We often say that the planets orbit the Sun, which is usually a reasonable approximation. But in reality both Sun and the planets orbit the center-of-mass/center-of-gravity of the whole solar system, ...
8
votes
1answer
785 views

How much do we know about minerals and raw materials that are in our solar system?

Based on satellite and robots research, is there an overview/inventory of mineral resources that has been discovered till now on the planets, moons, asteroids and comets of our solar system (e.g. list,...
7
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1answer
240 views

Navigation within solar system

I know star trackers are used in most cases for attitude determination of space craft traveling within the solar system. But what methods are currently used for coordinate determination, i.e. the ...
28
votes
1answer
618 views

How do we know that Voyager's data is correct?

I was wondering for some time how we know that the scientific data received by the Voyager spacecrafts are correct? Specifically, I'm wondering about the recent "tsunami-wave" (frequency of ionized ...
2
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0answers
158 views

How does the recent discovery of “microbes living 2,400m beneath the seabed off Japan” impact the search for life in our solar system?

A recent BBC news article reports on finding microbes living 2,400m beneath the seabed off Japan The team found that microbes, despite having no light, no oxygen, barely any water and very limited ...
0
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0answers
52 views

The farthest man-made object [duplicate]

What is the man-made object which is currently the farthest from our planet? Where is it in this very moment?
5
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2answers
700 views

How do we measure the atmospheres of Solar system planets?

How much is it possible to measure from Earth and how accurately without sending probes to the planets? I am curious about how atmospheric boundary (altitude), atmospheric pressure, scale height were ...
1
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0answers
78 views

Is our technology advanced enough to start asteroid mining? [duplicate]

Here is a comparison of nearby asteroids with their worth in US Dollars. Does our technology have the capability to reach any of these asteroids and bring back enough of the materials to be considered ...
6
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2answers
761 views

How are artificial satellites of non-Earth celestial bodies positioned?

A body on Earth's surface can be positioned easily knowing the GPS coordinates, assuming the body is in direct path or 4 GPS satellites. But how is a satellite (say Maven or India's Mangalyaan) which ...
4
votes
1answer
692 views

Has there been any mission to land on a planet or moon in the Outer Solar System?

Are there any planets or moons in the Outer Solar System, where a man-made object has landed and made photographs of its surface? I can remember an article somewhere that said there's only one moon ...
15
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2answers
3k views

If Saturn or Jupiter were in Earth's orbit, would any of their moons be habitable for humans?

The majority of exoplanets found so far are comparable in size to Jupiter or Saturn. Which, as we know, are problematic for human habitation. But their moons have a lot of potential. Some of these ...
4
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3answers
633 views

Does the Earth have any Trojan asteroids?

Are there any known Trojan objects residing in the Sun-Earth L4 (SEL4) and L5 (SEL5) Lagrange points, also named "Greek" and "Trojan" groups, respectively?
1
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6answers
14k views

How would we move Venus or Mars into Earth's orbital zone? [closed]

(See the more focused version of this question: How long would it take to move Venus and Mars into Earth's orbital zone using gravity assist?) What methods and time scales might be involved in moving ...
7
votes
2answers
508 views

Sending a satellite towards or away from the Sun

I remember reading here that it is more difficult (cost? fuel?) to send a satellite towards the Sun compared to sending a satellite away from it. Is this true? And if it is, how come?
7
votes
1answer
2k views

High resolution images of surfaces of other planets and moons

We have high resolution images of the the surface of the Earth taken by satellites (e.g. the images from Google Earth). Why have none of the orbiters going to any other planet or celestial body in our ...
4
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1answer
260 views

Belt of matter at ~14 AU?

In this terrific answer user Hobbes presents a graph of escape velocity as a function of distance from the Sun: I notice that at about 14 AU the graph goes from decreasing exponentially to ...
12
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2answers
1k views

Where could we build a space elevator today (2014)?

A space elevator is an interesting concept, allowing for very low cost transit to orbit. Currently we don't seem to have a technology that will provide a strong enough cable to make the climb from ...
5
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1answer
378 views

What other bodies in the solar system are most likely to contain forms of life?

There have been many candidates stated as potential habitats for life outside of Earth, but what are considered to be the most likely to harbor life?
8
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3answers
971 views

Why is it so hard to figure out if Voyager 1 has left the solar system?

I recently noticed the comic above, and wondered what, exactly, makes it so hard to tell whether Voyager 1 has left the solar system. I can think of three reasons: Scientists can't agree on where the ...
10
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1answer
2k views

What is a planet intercept?

As a fun side project I'm writing a turn-based game that tries to portrait solar system travel little bit more realistically then most of games do. I want to calculate the cost of traveling between ...
2
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2answers
572 views

How should I scale the Solar System for my video game?

I am making a multiplayer video game, and am wondering how I should scale the in-game universe. The game has pseudo-realistic travel, but I want the scaling to be large enough to offer challenging ...
7
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1answer
166 views

Have Magnetorquers been used anywhere outside of the Earth?

On Earth, small satellites often include Magnetorquers. A magnetorquer allows the satellite to re-orient itself without using fuel in a way more permanent than magnets. While not every planet has a ...
13
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1answer
961 views

Does cosmic dust pose a problem for long-term satellites, telescopes and probes?

We have many long-term satellite observatories and probes in outer space way above the Earth's magnetosphere, and some of them progressively cruising out of our Solar system. Off the top of my head, ...