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You are correct, the centre of the Sun is not the Solar System's centre of gravity. A diagram (courtesy Wikimedia Commons), showing how the barycentre of the Solar System has changed over time. The Sun is affected by the gravity of all planets in the Solar System, but you are right, it is most affected by the two most massive ones; Jupiter and Saturn. ...


66

The term for orbits in our solar system around the Sun is Heliocentric. Closed Heliocentric Orbit The solar observation probe Ulysses is the furthest artificial satellite around the sun. It's in a highly inclined, elliptical orbit ranging from 1.35 Astronomical Units (AU) to 5.4 AU. It was a joint project by ESA/NASA launched in 1990 and decommissioned in ...


52

Using the approximation $$\Delta \mathrm{center}=\frac{m_p}{m_\odot}\cdot\frac{\mathrm{dist}_p}{r_\odot}$$ and data from List of gravitationally rounded objects of the Solar System - Wikipedia: Name Distance Mass/[kg] Mass Distance ΔCenter /km /kg /sun mass /sun radius ---------------------------------------------...


50

Starting out from Earth, you have the free 30 km/s from Earth's movement around the Sun, which is in the plane of the ecliptic. To get far out of the plane you either have to boost a similar amount "up" or "down" (which is beyond the capability of current rockets) or go via one of the gas giants, and use its gravity to change course. So at least to start ...


37

We've had 5 flyby missions to the outer solar system so far. All of them had primary missions at one or more planets. That set the main constraints for their trajectories. Anything after the last planetary encounter was secondary. For Voyager 2, for instance, the Neptune flyby was aimed at a close encounter with Triton, which reduced the possible exit ...


28

It is important to realize that space probes aren't really useful for finding objects in deep space. Space is so empty that a probe sent in a random "exploratory" direction would have a negligible chance of detecting an object orbiting the sun. The best way to find objects outside the ecliptic is to look for them using really large Earth-based or orbital ...


22

Your plot looks correct. The behavior you are experiencing stems from the different longitude of the ascending node of the different planets (the angle between a principal direction and the point where they cross the ecliptic plane). If they all crossed the ecliptic plane at the same node you will see the behavior you expected (lines at different ...


22

The most fuel efficient way to leave the solar system at present, is to launch into a trajectory that (like that used for Gallileo) may well involve one or several gravity assists from Earth or Venus, but which eventually gets you to Jupiter. If you can get to Jupiter you can almost certainly do so in such a way as get a slingshot into a solar escape ...


21

Jovian magnetosphere is extremely active and stretches nearly all the way to Saturn. It is indeed in volume the second largest continuous structure in the Solar System, right after the heliosphere. Jupiter's radiation in the radio frequencies is in fact so strong, you can tune in and listen to it between frequencies of other radio stations on AM/FM radio ...


20

No. Look at the numbers: 10000 kg. => Your rocket 73420000000000000000000 kg. => The moon 5972200000000000000000000 kg. => The earth 1989000000000000000000000000000 kg. => The sun To put this to scale, the rocket has a similar mass towards the moon as that of one human cell towards a human. You can ...


19

This topic is actually pretty nicely covered in the Planets beyond Neptune Wikipedia page, so I recommend reading it, if for nothing else then for a convenient collection of references. But to quote the most relevant part on Harrington's Planet X (beyond Pluto) of that Wiki page: Planet X disproved Harrington died in January 1993, without having found ...


17

This may answer some of your questions, but not all. Additional information may exist in the book. Also take into account that both Voyager spacecrafts could perform the same measurements before they diverged. The results could be compared. Following excerpts are from the book Deep Space Craft: An Overview of Interplanetary Flight, Dave Doody, Springer ...


16

The question is somewhat odd. The "Interplanetary Transport Network" may be a misleading term. When probes are sent into deep space, most of them make use of flybys or gravity assist manoeuvres. Virtually every celestial body can therefore be used for increasing the speed of a probe or decreasing it. The "network" refers to series of such manoeuvres. In the ...


15

None of the above. The Voyager project science team is in agreement over what is meant by leaving the solar system, knows exactly where the spacecraft is, and has been very careful what they say about all this in their declarations over time. Nevertheless the news reporting would simplify the findings to something like "Voyager 1 has left our Solar System!"...


15

I just want to add that a lot of work goes into predictions of abundance, for objects including those we have not detected so far. There is some similarity to exoplanets - where we know that a method has a detection bias. If you can quantify the detection bias perfectly, then you can get the total abundance for different sizes. One source gives a pretty ...


13

There is a possibility of rainbows appearing naturally on other celestial bodies that have sufficient water vapor or a large number of water droplets in their atmospheres, or indeed gases or droplets of other molecules that are capable of acting upon the light from the Sun (or other sources) as tiny prisms and refract it to its visible components (different ...


13

Earth Carbon nanotubes might endure the enormous stress of an earth elevator but only short lengths have been manufactured so far. It would be a mega engineering project that would dwarf earlier human endeavors. An earth elevator would need to extend at least to geosynchronous orbit at about 36,000 km altitude. And unless there were a truly enormous ...


13

For Jovian and Saturnine moons, the simplest answer is no, at least not much more habitable than our own Moon is, because none of these moons have their own magnetic field or sufficient mass and their atmosphere would eventually thin out via the ionospheric hydrogen loss due to the solar wind. A bit more difficult answer is how many of these moons would be ...


13

It can't be pure luck, seeing as how both Voyager spacecraft are still operating today. If it were just one, you might chalk it up to luck. Both still working means they must have been built really well. Which they were. It is essential of course that they are nuclear powered, and also that we have really big antennas on Earth with which to talk to them. ...


12

First, some perspective. The impact of a single fragment of the Shoemaker-Levy comet on Jupiter released an estimated energy equivalent of six million megatons of TNT (approximately 600 times the size of the world's nuclear arsenal), leaving an impact scar that was visible for several months afterward. That was obviously a bad day for Jupiter, but that ...


12

The reason many scientists want to create a Moon base isn't because of distances in space, it's because of gravity wells. The amount of energy to escape the gravity well of a body in space depends on the mass of said body. For example, the amount of energy required to take off from Earth and go to low Earth orbit is MUCH higher than the amount of energy it ...


12

If you want to avoid gravity assists, the most fuel-efficient way out of the Solar System is to launch due East from from a launch site in the Ecuadorean Andes, sometime before local midnight on a January 3 when there's a new moon. This gives you the maximum possible benefit from the Earth's movement, leaving only about 12,000 m/s of delta-V needed in ...


11

Rearranging the lifeless rocky planets might make terraforming and transportation easier. No, it mightn't, because the amounts of energy it would involve are so ridiculously gigantic that terraforming a planet is a very easy job in comparison. The kinetic energy of an orbiting body is $\epsilon_k = G\cdot \frac{m\cdot M}{2\cdot r}$ where $G$ is the ...


11

YES Cosmic dust is a real threat to satellite that is operated over a long period of time Dust particles vary in size from few molecules to 0.1 micrometer but sometimes they get ionized the Sun's radiation or by cosmic rays. According to this test report Since they travel at high velocity they get converted to ions (quasi neutral) commonly called as ...


11

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, not the center of the sun. That depends on what you mean by "orbit". If you mean that the equations of motion take on their simplest form in a non-rotating ...


11

For integration into software, I would recommend the SPICE toolkit, available with interfaces for C, Fortran, IDL, and MATLAB, and the many SPK kernels that can be loaded into SPICE containing the most accurate ephemerides available for the planets and their satellites. For specific small bodies you can use the HORIZONS system to generate SPK kernels, or you ...


11

If you placed Voyager 1 in the Oort cloud right now, it'd be difficult to contact it (but maybe not impossible). We can barely communicate with the Voyagers now at ~140 AU using a 70 m DSN antenna. The DSN can use the VLA (one of the largest radio telescopes on Earth), that may provide enough aperture to receive the Voyagers. Calculations later. Most of ...


10

No. A planet of significant mass would cause detectable perturbations in the orbits of the other planets. This is how Neptune's existence was postulated. Deviations from predictions in Uranus' orbit suggested where an 8th planet must be located. A focused search in the projected area led to its discovery.


10

This has been done for the Moon, Mars and Mercury. The Lunar Reconnaisance Orbiter mission aims to map the moon. It has two narrow-angle cameras which make black-and-white images of the surface, capturing images with resolutions down to 1 meter (about 3.3 feet). This has yielded tons of nice images, including the Apollo landing sites and many other probes. ...


10

In 2005 the Huygens probe successfully landed on Titan, satellite of Saturn. My guess is that any body with a solid/liquid surface could be a suitable target. Many jovian or saturnine moons like Enceladus, Phoebe or Hyperion feature solid surfaces.


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