The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [solar-system]

For questions regarding a star and the area comprising its gravitational dominance. While they are not part of its technical definition, it colloquially refers to the planets, moons, asteroids and other bodies orbiting the star.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
104
votes
11answers
23k views

This sword is forged from meteorite iron - but how is that any good?

You know the common trope in fantasy. Meteorite iron is amazing. My armor is made of sky iron, made for me. A bear's armor is his soul, just as your daemon is your soul. You might as well take him ...
94
votes
9answers
16k views

What could make a star green?

Stars are never green. When a star's spectra "peaks" in the green range, it also releases a significant number of waves of the adjacent colors - so "green" stars appear yellow or white. I want a ...
61
votes
24answers
12k views

How could a planet have a sky without stars at night?

Is it possible for a planet in our part of the galaxy to have a night without stars? I'm looking for some kind of natural phenomena that would hide the stars, but allow the sun to rise and fall as ...
57
votes
17answers
11k views

Where in the solar system is the most viable place to put my colonists, after Mars and Luna?

Mars and Earth's moon already feature in a lot of fiction about space colonization. After these two planets, and assuming that other solar systems are too far away, what is the best place within this ...
48
votes
12answers
6k views

How would a Martian colony be able to celebrate Christmas?

Accept that we had a reason to go to Mars, managed to build a colony there, and what we found on Mars is valuable enough to ship back to Earth. There is now a self sustainable colony living under the ...
45
votes
6answers
4k views

What happens if the sun disappears and then reappears some days later?

In the Norse prophesy of Ragnarok, Fenrir eats the sun. Considering the Earth is not immediately consumed by a supernova, it must be assumed that he swallows it whole and it just ceases to exist on ...
44
votes
12answers
9k views

Could two planets follow the same orbit and never “see” each other?

Imagine two identical planets planet A and planet B, orbiting the same star. Is it possible that these two planets follow the exact same "route" as they orbit their sun, but are just distant enough ...
42
votes
7answers
10k views

What's the largest body in the solar system that you could destroy without endangering humanity?

You're an alien that really likes pyrotechnics. Nothing that goes boom on your home planet (in a safe and responsible manner) satisfies you any more. Why not blow up a planet and see what that's ...
30
votes
18answers
6k views

Why might a valued mineral be only found on one planet?

According to an answer to a previous question, it would be comparatively impractical to conduct mining on a rocky planet when there are moons, asteroids, comets, etc. that have smaller mass, so much ...
29
votes
13answers
6k views

Can a planet have a day that's always longer than night?

This question has been rewritten to incorporate all clarifications. On Earth, half the planet is illuminated at any time (let's ignore eclipses). Axial tilt lets day lengths vary, but over the course ...
28
votes
12answers
5k views

Nine Different Earths in One System--How to Make That Possible

Astronomers place planet Earth under what they call a "Goldilocks Zone"--a spot in the solar system where conditions are ideal for liquid water to form, thus making the creation of life possible. In ...
25
votes
14answers
8k views

How do you non-catastrophically reduce the mass of the Sun by half?

In my previous question, I asked how much mass the Sun would have to lose in order for Saturn's orbital velocity to be its escape velocity. The answer proved to be somewhat unexpected - when the Sun ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

How would interplanetary stock-exchanges work?

Today, a major company gets itself listed on stock exchanges so that people can buy a portion of the company while it can raise money. While the distances and time lags involved aren't much of a ...
23
votes
13answers
6k views

What could cause the Earth to be so endangered that mankind needs to relocate to another system?

I am looking at realistic options that could damage the Earth so severely that it would be impossible for mankind to survive there and that would also not allow us to just colonize other planets or ...
23
votes
9answers
4k views

What are the possibilities of a dwarf planet orbiting opposite Earth's orbit?

I am drafting a short story about a small object orbiting the Sun at the precise 'speed' as Earth's opposite the Sun, undiscovered by us due to its position. The problems I see with this include the ...
22
votes
11answers
4k views

How would an advanced civilization have constant communication between planets?

In this universe humans have advanced far enough to be able to colonize planets in our system but not enough to do interstellar travel. Earth is united and they have moved beyond countries and borders....
22
votes
8answers
2k views

How would Earth-Mars trade work with a Musk-like colony?

Let's take a world that is based heavily on Elon Musk's specific ideas of Mars colonization, to whit: Launch technology from Earth evolves to be to <$100/lb cost to launch ratio, due to reusable ...
21
votes
11answers
5k views

Blind spot in the Solar System

An alien spaceship the size of an Empire State Building experiences a technical issues with its cloaking device, their duty technician needs 24 hours to repair and meanwhile the alien wants to avoid ...
21
votes
5answers
3k views

What are the main problems with beaming light from the Sun to Saturn?

I recently finished reading the Kim Stanley Robinson novel 2312 - set, of course, in the year 2312. Part of the background to the political negotiations and ongoing terraforming in the outer Solar ...
20
votes
7answers
2k views

Initial conditions for a fluorine hellscape

I'm curious what it would take to get a planet with so much free fluorine that you can have an atmosphere of predominantly or purely fluorine. I realize how improbable a planet like this is, so I'm ...
20
votes
5answers
7k views

How would the sudden destruction of Earth affect other planets within the Solar System?

Earth is destroyed in explosive fashion by an unknown force. How does this affect the rest of the Solar System? Does sudden absence of that mass affect the orbits of the other planets at all? Let's ...
18
votes
11answers
5k views

What would be the first thing humans would mine on Jupiter?

Jupiter is a terrible place to be, but for a number of artistic reasons, I'd like to have my story take place there and only there. "Mining", or resource extraction by any other name, is the usual ...
18
votes
7answers
3k views

How short can Milankovitch Cycles be on a world with a stable orbit?

Okay so there's a project I've been thinking about for a long time wherein humans colonise a world where the climate appears warm and benign only to discover that the local climate oscillates from ...
17
votes
9answers
4k views

How difficult would it be to turn the Asteroid Belt into a single body? What's the best method?

The Emperor (may he live forever) plans to visit the Solar System on a rare royal visit in ten years' time. The Bureau for Interplanetary Tidying have decided that the Asteroid Belt is an eyesore that ...
17
votes
7answers
2k views

How do date/time systems work for an entire solar system?

The species doesn't originate from the solar system, nor do they occupy a single planet or even have any colonies on the planets. They travel around in space ships throughout the solar system Do they ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Starbuilding: What is lacking in the logic behind Cosmos 2 star system generation algorithm?

Preamble The Alternity Cosmos II is a complement to a dice role-playing game that uses heuristics based on hard-science to 'build' plausible star systems for the Alternity game: http://www....
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Are there any software tools available to map the solar system hundreds of years from now?

I am writing a scifi novel based roughly four hundred years from now, and it occurred to me that the planets and other objects might not be quite where I need them to be for certain travel details to ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

Hiding a solar system in a nebula

I have a planetary system with a yellow dwarf similar to our own Sun and three habitable planets. I want to hide this system from sight and long range scans in a nebula, a giant cloud of dust and gas ...
14
votes
26answers
7k views

Plausible reason for Earth not be able to get updates about terraforming on Mars?

I’ve been working on a story where terraforming robots are sent to another world and the colonists come along later. Originally, I had the new world be extrasolar, but for other plot reasons, I’m ...
14
votes
1answer
319 views

Radiation Levels and Effects on Planet with 27 Suns

Other posts from this thread will be posted here: How to make an Earth with 27 suns work (Closed as a duplicate of the follow up, Attempt Two) How To Make an Earth with 27 Suns Work, Attempt Two: ...
13
votes
9answers
3k views

What trade goods would spacers be able to offer Earthlings?

Background Moonshot entrepreneur Elon Branson funds a migration to space. Instead of spending billions of developing safe space technology, he instead finds volunteers and shoots them in to space ...
13
votes
5answers
644 views

Solar recycling or: How to keep your star from dying

I was in the shower the other day thinking about the sun going Nova, you know...like you do, and a thought occurred to me: Could you turn the sun into a stable, mostly closed system? Some details ...
13
votes
3answers
556 views

Is my Solar System scientifcally possible?

I'm heavily ignorant when it comes to mathematics and just science in general, but I have thought of four habitable planets, all of them revolving around a K-type sun. They're all colonized by humans, ...
13
votes
7answers
563 views

How to protect the Earth from the stellar evolution of the Sun?

Every day the Sun is closer to be a Red giant, making the live of the initial home of the humanity practically uninhabitable. Humans are not there anymore. It's a protected territory, but the Sun ...
13
votes
4answers
927 views

Is there a habitability zone between the primary and secondary stars of a binary star system?

Is there a habitability zone between the primary and secondary stars in a binary star system for a planet orbiting only the primary star at a distance less than that of the secondary star and, if so, ...
13
votes
1answer
457 views

Where can I find data on real world extrasolar planets, to use as inspiration for my imaginary world?

What are the best scientific resources and/or public databases to be taken into consideration when designing real alien worlds? So far, there are thousands of newly discovered alien worlds. Let's say ...
13
votes
2answers
416 views

Impacts of a stellar Jupiter

In the book 2010: Odyssey Two by Arthur C. Clarke, Jupiter is turned into a star. Presumably this is done by making it more dense, so if Jupiter were to reach that density and become a star, what ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Can two stars orbit each other but each have their own planets in stable orbits?

I'm aware that 'tatooine' worlds don't make good habits for planets, normally. From what I've read, either a planet has to orbit one star really closely, or orbit both stars from a really long ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

Make solar eclipses exceedingly rare, but still have new moons

Given a system similar to the Earth/Moon/Sun system, how would one go about making solar eclipses rarer than they are here on earth, but keep new moons similar to how they currently are (or at least ...
12
votes
4answers
2k views

How close could another solar system be without adversely affecting our own?

I would like to know how close two planetary systems could be without having an adverse effect on each other. My goal is to drastically improve the chances of having habitable planets near enough that ...
12
votes
1answer
309 views

How big a population can the solar system support considering only power and living space?

The average power utilization per person is 1 Megawatt. The average living space is 1000 cubic meters per person. The average total mass in use by a person is 1000 tons. Assumptions Solar power ...
12
votes
3answers
417 views

How close to each other can Earth-mass planets plausibly form from the protoplanetary disk?

We occasionally get questions and answers that discuss how close to each other planets can be and still meet some criteria. For example, this answer to the question ''Habitable'' planet close to a ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How Many Earth-Like Worlds Could Be Made Using Only Material From The Solar System?

Assuming that some future civilization of hyper-advanced humans, or aliens for that matter, had the technology to reshape the solar system so that there were several habitable planets the rough size ...
11
votes
2answers
547 views

Stable ringworld interactivity with other solar system objects

I thought of two questions regarding ringworld structures in solar systems with results I can't assume, so I will try to describe each (assume stability): If a (toroidal) ringworld were massive ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How can three planets be close enough to see each other

I've asked another question about trinary planet systems which turned out to not be possible. Is there a way for three worlds to co exist within sight of each other? Sight being defined as making out ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

What factors affect how many moons a planet can have?

A moon is just a natural satellite - something orbiting a planet - so I'm interested in what kind of factors influence how many moons a planet can have, and how many moons a planet will actually have. ...
10
votes
4answers
3k views

What star system beyond Sol would be the first one most likely to be explored?

For my story, I'm trying to figure out where to send a probe that might have a chance at finding an alien civilization similar to ours. What is the closest star system to ours that might have a chance ...
10
votes
3answers
767 views

Could a solar system exist inside of a nebula which is made of breathable gases?

Far, far away from the Earth, there is a nebula. An enormous cloud made of 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen and 2% other non-lethal materials. These gases swirl around a star, and the pressure around it is ...
10
votes
4answers
753 views

Would the inner planets of our Solar System line up?

The protagonist in my SF story is on an asteroid gazing towards the Sun and inner planets. For purposes of the narrative he needs to locate the position of the earth at different times in its orbit. ...
10
votes
4answers
736 views

What could make a star violet?

Part of a series I'm starting since the recent What could make a star green? did quite well and others could use the information here in their worlds. There aren't any "violet" stars. When a star ...