Questions tagged [planetary-science]

The multi-disciplinary study of the geomorphology, geology, chemistry, meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, astronomy and astrophysics of the planets and other objects within the solar system.

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53 views

Why does the Earth's crust have more aluminum than magnesium while the Sun has more magnesium than aluminum?

Magnesium represents 0.07 % of the composition of the Sun's photosphere while aluminum represents 0.006 %. Therefore, there is much more magnesium than aluminum in the Sun's photosphere. But the same ...
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What if the earth’s core had titanium as a part of its core? [closed]

I’ve always wondered what would happen if the earth had titanium in its core. Would it have a stronger magnetic pull? When volcanoes erupted would let let out some sort of ‘super metal’? And ...
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Wasn't Earth a magma ocean before the Iron Catastrophe?

I've always thought that the process of planetary accretion was energetic enought to keep the proto-Earth entirely molten, and that the subsequent evolution of the planet (the formation of the crust, ...
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Diamond at the core of Jupiter

Arthur C. Clarke, who correctly guessed there would be liquid water on Europa, posited a diamond core for Jupiter. Is this possible?
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Geo-Spherical shape of Earth

I know that the best possible approximation of the shape of earth is an oblate sphere. But people also call it as geo-spherical shape of the Earth. What is the meaning of geospherical shape? Does this ...
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where are the poles of rotation of the tectonic plates located?

Euler's "fixed point" theorem ... can be stated as: The most general displacement of a rigid body over the surface of a sphere can be regarded as a rotation about a suitable axis which passes ...
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Why is the mass of atmosphere of Venus so much greater than that of the Earth?

Earth and Venus have a very similar gravity, but the mass of atmosphere on Venus is much greater (according to this wikipedia article 93 times larger). I know that the chemical composition and ...
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Do we know anything about the nature of Earth's core that hasn't come from magnetic or seismic measurements?

There is much known about Earth's core from painstaking analysis of seismic data, and from detailed magnetic field maps and trends over time. Are there any other measurements that have contributed to ...
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Are old geophysics textbooks useful?

I have had much success with old textbooks in mathematics. Generally, for any branch of mathematics that I (as a non-mathematician) would like to learn or re-learn, I can buy a classic textbook from ...
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Earth-like conditions on Titan: is it feasible that Titan once had seas and lakes of liquid water?

Given that: 1) Four billion years ago Saturn was hotter and radiated strongly in the infra-red. . . . . . . . . . 2) Like Earth's moon, Titan was then closer to its planet. . . . . . . . . . 3) Like ...
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How do they get “deep lunar mantle” samples?

Phys.org's Study suggests Earth and Moon not identical oxygen twins says They found that the oxygen isotopic composition varied depending on the type of rock tested. This may be due to the degree ...
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Why is Venus so cracked?

Wired.com's Space Photos of the Week: Perfectly Safe Celestial Coronas includes radar images of the surface of Venus taken from spacecraft in orbit around it. One of them shown below. What causes ...
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How long for tectonic plates to develop from a planetary, molten planetary surface?

On Earth or an Earth-like planet, how long does it take for a molten surface to solidify into planetary crust, and how long does it take for that crust to develop into tectonic plates?
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Is there any evidence for higher air pressures in the geological past?

I was curious about how the Earth's overall air pressure has varied over time, and tried to take a look around the internet. However, Google pops up a lot of sites with questionable science proposing ...
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Mars' strange magnetic pulses at midnight; besides the solar wind what are other possible causes?

24-Feb-2020 NASA News item A Year of Surprising Science From NASA's InSight Mars Mission says: A new understanding of Mars is beginning to emerge, thanks to the first year of NASA's InSight lander ...
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How could the solar wind cause strange magnetic pulses on Mars at midnight?

24-Feb-2020 NASA News item A Year of Surprising Science From NASA's InSight Mars Mission says: A new understanding of Mars is beginning to emerge, thanks to the first year of NASA's InSight lander ...
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Centripetal Force Perfect Ball and Water

I made a question in WolrdBuilding as I was directed to. There a user said that with a perfect ball all water would pool to the equator because of centripetal force. What I do not understand is how ...
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How bad is geo-engineering?

It is just curiosity that forced me to ask this question. At some point in time, if we can't control global $\sf{CO_2}$ emissions, temperature will increase until a tipping point and it will be a ...
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171 views

Will Venus eventually overheat? When it happens, what will happen to it exactly?

Venus is a runaway greenhouse planet, so it won't let any of the heat absorbed from the Sun out by radiation, yet it will still take rays of energy from the Sun. So what will happen to Venus? Will it ...
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How do you stop the Australian wildfires?

The Australian fires are the biggest anyone has ever seen and is increasing at a rapid rate causing smog all around the country, approximately 1 billion animals have lost their lives, as of 9 January ...
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Which markers could suggest that there was extinct or extant life on Mars?

Researchers who are involved in study of life on Mars are saying that there might be multicellular life present on Mars, today or in the past. Which traces, markers or environments on Mars could ...
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Planets are different in all forms but seasons are similar [closed]

We all have basic ideas about planets and their seasons..But my question is that why do NEPTUNE and EARTH have similar seasons although there compositions are completely different..On earth Nitrogen ...
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What is the fastest the Earth has ever spun?

How fast can the Earth rotate and support life? In prehistoric times, dinosaurs were so massive that archeologists wonder how they were not crushed under their own weight. Could a faster spinning ...
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Effects of Centrifugal Force on Gravity Vectors?

I've been asked this question twice now from our favourite science denying community, and I don't know how to parse it. I can do centrifugal force and gravity given mass, but have never tried to even ...
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Is there a time difference between two points at the same longitude but at different latitudes?

Assume we have two cities A and B both at the same longitude (say $45^{0}$ E) but at different latitudes say $8^{0}$N and $90^{0}$ N. Can we get a time difference between these two cities. I raised ...
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How and why did the oceans form on Earth but not on other planets?

Earth is the only planet in our solar system that has copious amounts of water on it. Where did this water come from and why is there so much water on Earth compared to every other planet in the ...
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Time standard for IERS Bulletin A

IERS Bulletin A and Bulletin B contains Earth orientation parameters. These include the time difference between UT1 and UTC and pole position. The values for these parameters are listed once per day, ...
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Possible and probable source of Curiosity Rover's $\small\sf{CH_4}$ detection on Mars

Past week, NASA announced Curiosity Rover measured 21 ppbv of $\small\sf{CH_4}$ on Mars. This week, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover found a surprising result: the largest amount of methane ever ...
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Why do some planets have lots of $\mathrm{N_2}$ and others none?

Earth, Titan and Venus all have large amounts of $\mathrm{N_2}$ in their atmospheres. (In the case of Venus it's a small proportion, but Venus' atmosphere is very thick, and the total mass of $\mathrm{...
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Will the Earth ever stop rotating?

It is well known that the Earth's rotation is slowing down and that millions of years ago there was a point in time where there was only a mere 20 hours in a day on Earth. My question is in two parts....
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To what accuracy and precision do we know the volume of the Earth?

Satellites such as GOCE and GRACE measure the geoid with unprecedented accuracy. Altimeters can determine local surface elevation with millimetre-precision. This makes me wonder: to what precision ...
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What time and date is the sun directly overhead a given place on Earth?

In different regions, the sun is directly overhead at different times of the year. When do these event happen?
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What are Ordovican trace fossils, and what do they look like?

There are some unusual structures in recent images from the Mars Curiosity Rover's MAHLI (Mars Hand Lens Imager) shown in the Space.com article Curiosity Rover Spots Weird Tube-Like Structures on Mars....
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Why is “at least a small tilt” between rotation and magnetic axis required by models of magnetic field formation?

I saw something I don't understand in the Gizmodo article Cassini's First Grand Finale Images Are Stunning—But What Are We Really Looking At?. In a quote of Caltech Professor of Planetary Science ...
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What would a planet's sky look like with different chemical compositions, such as low nitrogen, high methane etc?

What are the processes, chemicals and particles involved in creating colour in a planet's sky? Could you give some examples of sky colour processes different from what happens on Earth?
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Does anyone know a book/article/research that talks about forest fire prevention?

In my college we have to start our thesis in the third semester, so I'm going to do a research about forest fire and its prevention. However, I'm struggling to find a article that talks about that ...
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Do other terrestrial planets have “earthquakes”?

I know some planets have storms akin to what we have on Earth although obviously varying in nature. I was wondering if other planets have earthquakes? Since this comes down to plate tectonics (right?...
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What are the conditions for an ionosphere to form?

I already asked this on Astronomy SE but did not receive any answer so far: What are the prerequisites for an ionosphere to form? For example, can a planet without any atmosphere have an ionosphere? ...
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Minimum Surface Water for Plate Tectonics?

There is good evidence that the presence of water on a planet's surface is necessary for that planet to have plate tectonics. My question is this: Do we know if there is a minimum amount of surface ...
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Does the global temperature vary daily (hotter and colder days)?

Earth's current average global temperature (i.e. including hot deserts and cold polar caps) is reported be somewhere between 14°C and 16°C (depending on sources and methods). This temperature varies ...
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What would happen if you hypothetically happened to touch an aurora

I think that if you touch an aurora it will give you radiation damage? But then the solar winds at -90C would freeze you, so speaking metaphorically what would happen?
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Would a nuclear explosion over one of the Earth’s magnetic poles momentarily disrupt/weaken the Earth’s magnetic field?

If say the Tsar Bomba had been detonated directly over one of the Earth’s magnetic poles at ground level, would the nuclear electromagnetic pulse generated from that blast have had any momentary ...
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Carbon dioxide on Mars, Venus and Earth

Earth's atmosphere is 0.038% carbon dioxide. Mars's atmosphere is 95.3% carbon dioxide. Venus's atmosphere is 96.5% carbon dioxide. If Earth's climate is controlled by CO2, then why is Mars so cold ...
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Would the Gaia hypothesis have any practical use?

I recently stumbled upon the Gaia hypothesis, which briefly states that the Earth itself is a living organism. I am wondering: Would this hypothesis have any practical use? Does it make any ...
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In an Earth-like planet with no history of carbon-based life forms, would there be limestone?

The extent of my understanding of limestone is about what Wikipedia says at the very top of the page: Limestone is a sedimentary rock, composed mainly of skeletal fragments of marine organisms such ...
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Can a cryovolcanic eruption be as powerful as a normal volcanic eruption?

The most powerful volcanic eruption in recorded history was the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, an explosion equivalent to 33 billion tons of TNT. Is there any way a cryovolcanic eruption could be as ...
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How long will it take for plate tectonics to shut down and what will the effects be? [duplicate]

As the interior of the earth cools, presumably there will come a time when the temperature gradient is insufficient to maintain the mantle plumes and hence plate tectonics. How long will this take ...
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How would a world entirely covered in oceans get the nutrients to support life?

On earth nutrients flow from the land to the ocean. Life on oceans need those nutrients to trive. I was trying to think how an ocean world might support life if there was no land to provide the ...
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How to graph gravity as a function of depth, given radius and density?

I need to do this for a planet that has uniform density, and a planet that has two layers. For the first part, I was given that the density was 550 kg/m³, so I made one column in an Excel spreadsheet ...
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Puzzle using relative dating principles

This isn't directly looking at a real life ecological example kind of thing, but it requires knowledge of relative dating, so I thought I would come here. Here is what was told: -"Worms" (curved ...