Skip to main content

Questions tagged [solar-system]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
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
  • 149k
19 votes
1 answer
875 views

How much of the Interplanetary Transport Network is currently known?

The Interplanetary Transport Network is a network of mathematically-defined paths through our solar system that would require little to no energy for a spacecraft to follow them, albeit at very low ...
Gwen's user avatar
  • 2,917
130 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, ...
CodesInChaos's user avatar
  • 1,797
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 ...
mart's user avatar
  • 1,275
7 votes
2 answers
854 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
6 answers
18k 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 ...
Bob Stein's user avatar
  • 892
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 ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
10 votes
3 answers
4k 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;...
not_Prince's user avatar
  • 1,507
5 votes
3 answers
954 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?
Thunder's user avatar
  • 119
3 votes
1 answer
182 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". ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
29 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 ...
not_Prince's user avatar
  • 1,507
20 votes
2 answers
2k views

What types of sustainable energy are available beyond Mars?

Most of the energy we use on Earth in our daily activities is a derivative of solar; wind, hydroelectric, coal, gas (oil), wood fire, solar cells. While we might not think about it, all of these are ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
18 votes
5 answers
922 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 ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
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 ...
DJG's user avatar
  • 804
2 votes
1 answer
226 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
197 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
2 answers
456 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 ...
user3517501's user avatar
23 votes
5 answers
7k 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 ...
user38319's user avatar
  • 255
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 ...
Tfovid's user avatar
  • 243
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, ...
TildalWave's user avatar
  • 76.1k
11 votes
3 answers
1k 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 ...
user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
1k 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.?
Bandeep Rabha's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
321 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 ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
6 votes
2 answers
631 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 ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
275 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 ...
TitaniumTurtle's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
851 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 ...
Zoltán Schmidt's user avatar
3 votes
4 answers
835 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 ...
Harry's user avatar
  • 55