Category Archives: Solar System

Which Planet Orbits our Sun the Fastest?

Question: Which planet in our solar system is orbiting the sun at the fastest speed?  — Mike Answer: Mercury is the winner at an orbital speed of about 47.87 km/s (107,082 miles per hour), which is a period of about … Continue reading

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Does the Coriolis Effect From the Milky Way Rotation Influence the Orbits of Planets in our Solar System?

Question: I read that our solar system orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and am wondering if orbital direction of the planets was initially influenced by the Coriolis effect.  — Jack Answer: Two comments to your question.  First, … Continue reading

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Building a Pyramid on Io for Maximum Durability

Question: If I were to build a 146 meter tall pyramid on the surface of Io, what material(s) would you recommend I use for maximum durability with respect to the satellite’s terrain and climate?  — Evan Answer: I think that … Continue reading

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Did Our Solar System Originally Include a Fifth Gas Giant?

Question: Read an article that researchers at the University of Toronto believe that Jupiter in the solar system early days kicked a planet out of the solar system . Do you believe this could be the one? Many thanks  — … Continue reading

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What is the Position in the Sky of the Purported Super Earth Detected in the Outer Solar System?

Question: Sir  What is the name and sky position (RA and DEC values ) of the recently discovered  ” Super Earth” at the outer edge of the solar system? Many thanks.  — Bill Answer: First of all, note that this … Continue reading

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How Many Earths Can Fit in the Volume of the Milky Way?

Question: How many earths can fit in one galaxy and if the earth were about the size of galaxy how many planets, moons, etc. would be able to fit on earth.  — Xondra Answer: To answer this question you need … Continue reading

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Why Are the Best Times to Observe Meteors Between Midnight and Dawn?

Question: Why are all the best times for viewing meteor showers between midnight and dawn?  As I imagine looking down on the solar system from above, I think of a stream of comet debris as impacting all of our outward-facing … Continue reading

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What Causes the Light and Dark Areas on Radar Images of Asteroid 2015 TB145?

Question: Just saw the stunning images of asteroid 2015 TB145. These are images obtained by illuminating the asteroid with microwaves from a source nearly the same direction as the receiving antenna. Why does the asteroid appear to be illuminated from … Continue reading

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Is the Motion of the Moon in the Sky Variable?

Question: Last night with the Super Moon/Eclipse the sky was clear and the moon (in the West?) seemed to move slowly,  if at all.  Tonight the moon was moving very fast (towards the East?) and seemed to be BELOW the … Continue reading

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Why is the New Horizons Spacecraft Slowing Down?

Question: Why is New Horizons slowing down? I check it on line every day and its speed is constant. Today its losing speed.  — Tom Answer: I don’t know of any specific reason as to why New Horizons would have … Continue reading

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