Questions tagged [solar-system]

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

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14 votes
1 answer
2k views

How likely is it that the Voyager spacecrafts haven't yet been damaged by micrometeoroids?

Both Voyagers have been traveling at over $60,000$ km/h for well over four decades and still seem to function properly, taking into account the slowly dropping power and warmth available from their ...
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do we define the aphelion of Earth?

After seeing this question, I was curious on how we define the aphelion of Earth. On a quick search it said that the aphelion is the point when Earth is the furthest way from the sun. However, all the ...
15 votes
4 answers
5k views

What is the most fuel efficient way out of the Solar System?

I understand with current technology we can't just fly a straight line out of the solar system but which way out would need the least fuel? Currently to navigate the solar system it is a dance ...
18 votes
5 answers
904 views

What target is the most difficult to reach in the solar system?

"Most difficult", as in the minimum $\Delta v$ required, the objective being capture into an orbit around the object. Looking through some Delta-v maps, I would suspect the answer to be some inner ...
0 votes
1 answer
86 views

What's the orientation of earth in space if the entire solar system is moving in one direction [closed]

I know that there is nothing north, south, east or west in space there is no reference by which you can tell if apparent north is up, down, left or right. But as I understand that all planets in the ...
1 vote
2 answers
569 views

How can you warm up Mars?

Mars experience extreme temperatures. Highest temperature being 21 degree celsius. So if we are to terraform mars one day then we first need to warm it up. So any ideas on how to warm up mars?
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

By when can we pass by Voyager 1?

I am just curious to know if there is any estimation, no matter how rough it could be, about when another human artifact can go farther than Voyager 1 with respect to the Earth; years, decades, any ...
13 votes
1 answer
1k 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, ...
129 votes
4 answers
34k 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, ...
11 votes
5 answers
3k views

What processes create an object with an interstellar velocity?

An object like Oumuamua originates in a solar system. This object has roughly the inertia of everything else there. I can imagine stuff on the edge of the accretion zone for a star that...WANDER off......
6 votes
0 answers
315 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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
130 views

Any star-system list indexed by proximity?

Does anyone know where I can find a list indexed by Earth-proximity with all the star-systems or exo-planets with appropriate conditions for human direct exploration? It is not necessary to have ...
2 votes
1 answer
225 views

Highest velocity impact between a spacecraft and a solar system body? What about for a dedicated impactor (spacecraft component)?

In this answer I mention the proposed impact of DART: Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission Double Asteroid Redirection Test The Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Element of the ...
6 votes
3 answers
5k views

Where will we get nitrogen in space?

It's expensive to launch things out of a gravity well. So in the future, as we seek to manufacture things in space, it's worth exploring the possibility of harvesting them there as well. In the ...
5 votes
1 answer
212 views

Precision in the space navigation [duplicate]

I am curious about the precision NASA and other agencies have in the space navigation. Are they always accurate to the meter in position they aim for; in mission like the recent rover landing on the ...
3 votes
1 answer
173 views

How many solar system bodies have "knees" in their atmospheres?

Discussion lead to citing Why does Earth's atmospheric density have a big "knee" around 100 km? Is there a good analytical approximation? who's answer is "monatomic oxygen". ...
4 votes
1 answer
277 views

Is there an established name for the regions "above" or "below" the ecliptic plane in our Solar System?

In our Solar system, all of the planets orbit the Sun along a plane known as the ecliptic. If we extend the ecliptic plane into a sphere of the same radius centred around our Sun, is there any ...
23 votes
5 answers
6k views

Can a moon orbit its planet faster than its planet rotates?

Can a moon orbit its planet faster than its planet rotates? Can a moon orbit its planet more than once per the planet's day? It seems possible but I'm not sure. Are there any known examples of this ...
2 votes
1 answer
189 views

Which solar system objects could a space elevator be built on with modern tech?

Which solar system objects have the right combination of low gravity and fast spinning rate, that an object tall enough to be a space elevator could be built on with modern construction tech? By "...
6 votes
2 answers
806 views

How was the radius of Venus measured so accurately (± 3 km) via radar 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 ...
15 votes
3 answers
3k views

Is it possible that a giant 10th planet exists in our solar system? [closed]

It seems that some people maintain the existence of a "planet X" is all but science fiction, while others claim that its existence is a possibility, even if that's relatively a remote one. ...
3 votes
1 answer
143 views

What is "Planetary Defense", and what are the threats one can potentially defend against?

The planetary-defense tag has the current (my) awkwardly-written description. related to the defense of a planet from a major destructive event such as an impact, or searches for or studies of ...
16 votes
3 answers
4k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
164 views

Are planet orbits available to download in some vectorial format file?

I would like to work with solar system planet orbits in a Geographic Information Software like QGIS, so: Are available to download the orbits of solar system planets in some vector format? EDIT: ...
4 votes
1 answer
125 views

Is pulsar timing a viable positioning system for solar system missions

I was reading one of the questions about a version of GPS around Mars, and I started wondering about a Solar system wide positioning system -- large satellites with accurate clocks and powerful ...
2 votes
0 answers
79 views

Is it true that we see the center of the milky way only half of the year? [closed]

Edit I copied the question to the Astronomy site (https://astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/36947/is-it-true-that-we-see-the-center-of-the-milky-way-for-only-half-of-the-year), as suggested in one ...
10 votes
5 answers
5k views

How does a planet's gravity push away smaller bodies that would otherwise intersect its orbit?

I was reading an article about dwarf planets online where I stumbled upon the following definition of a planet: The International Astronomical Union defines a planet as being in orbit around the ...
7 votes
2 answers
1k 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?
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

Locations of the terminator on Mars' surface on 1976-07-24T10:35:26Z?

How can I find points of latitude and longitude on Mars that fall on the terminator (day/night line) on a specific date, for example 1976-07-24T10:35:26Z as ...
1 vote
0 answers
233 views

moon's true anomaly at date of new moon

I've seen on this site: https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/SEhelp/moonorbit.html a table that gives the true anomaly of the moon at the time of new moon. The difference between the true anomaly at one new ...
3 votes
6 answers
616 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
592 views

Is the Heliosphere as elliptical as this graphic suggests?

I noticed the following graphic being used in an article discussing the Voyager probes. It also appears on Wikipedia's Heliosphere page: The same page states that: On a broader scale, the motion ...
6 votes
2 answers
627 views

What is the largest body in the solar system we could meaningfully and accurately adjust the orbit of?

There is a lot of science fiction and emerging science that move comet and asteroids as part of the main plot. Pretty much everything in our solar system, is in orbit around the Sun, or in orbit ...
9 votes
2 answers
1k 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

What is the heaviest chemical element that has been recovered from beyond cis-lunar space? [closed]

Material has come to Earth from deep space (beyond cis-linar) and been subjected to scientific analysis both in the form of meteorites, and via robotic sample collection spacecraft and robotic ...
33 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
146 views

Why does my Saturnian System simulation "rotate" over time?

I am attempting to create a "top-down view" of the Saturnian System, using the Keplerian Elements + Rates provided here: https://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/?sat_elem#saturn To verify the validity of my ...
3 votes
4 answers
758 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 ...
10 votes
3 answers
3k 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;...
30 votes
6 answers
9k 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 ...
-2 votes
2 answers
89 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 votes
1 answer
257 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 ...
5 votes
1 answer
342 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 ...
28 votes
1 answer
11k 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 votes
1 answer
90 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 ...
21 votes
4 answers
6k views

What's the (particle) density of the asteroid belt?

Obviously the asteroid belt is pretty sparsly populated. But how sparsly exactly? What is the state of knowledge regarding how many particles are there in a given size bracket and a volume, what ...
2 votes
0 answers
698 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 votes
0 answers
176 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 votes
2 answers
1k 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 votes
0 answers
110 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 ...