I've really enjoyed watching some of JPL's von Karman lecture series on YouTube. I'd really like to have more good quality stuff to watch online about solar system exploration - "good quality" meaning probably lectures and even rather technical ones, but not the slick, graphics-heavy, ominous voiceover discovery-channel sort of stuff (and definitely not the endless PROOF OF ALIEN LIFE ON TITAN stuff that makes searching for the good stuff so difficult). Any recommendations?
...then what would the names of those days be? I started wondering about that after reading this Wikipedia article about the names of the days of the week. [more inside]
Help me think of a space-themed gift for an awesome 35-year-old guy. [more inside]
What were the best photos we had of the planets in our solar system before the Pioneer and Voyager missions? [more inside]
How likely is it that fire (as in open flame) will exist on extra-solar planets? [more inside]
I'm looking for a short book or series of books for my 7.5 year old son describing the history of the search to explain planetary motion. [more inside]
I'm working on a computer game, and I need names for about 8000 planets. Wikipedia has these great lists of "fictional planets in science fiction" and such. What is the legal and accepted ethical practice towards re-using these names? [more inside]
Curiosity is making me curious. What would it feel like to stand on the surface of Mars? Let's say, first of all, it's without a space suit -- what would kill me first? The carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? The temperature? Then, if we found some way to breathe and function normally, what would it be like to be there? Would it be hot? Cold? Too windy to stand up? Paint a picture for me, if you can.
If the expanse of the universe is infinite, does it necessarily follow that the number of stars and planets is also infinite?
Another name that tune: A 60s rock version of Gustav Holst's Jupiter? [more inside]
Please help me fact-check the following claims about the solar system. [more inside]
Is there a distance at which a satellite will orbit a body indefinitely? Is this distance a universal constant? [more inside]
Our son is getting too old for the animals on his wall, and we'd like to do a space theme (rockets, the real planets, etc). We've found that by enlarging an image and printing it out on clear label paper, we can make murals using our favorite illustrations, either found online or in books (technique originally posted here). So, we're looking for cool illustrations of the planets, rockets, etc. Preferably with a Mary Blairish, 1950's feel. Any suggestions, either on the internet or book recommendations?
Planetary magnetic fields and life: Is there any reason to believe that strong magnetic fields on rocky inner planets are relatively uncommon? [more inside]
Where do I find nerdy T-shirts and other clothes for a 4 year old in Europe? And by nerdy I mean space, science, alphabet, math all the usual autistic obsessions. :-) [more inside]
Seeking the definitive recording of Gustav Holst's The Planets. [more inside]
I'm working on a computer simulation of the solar system, but I need data on the positions and velocities on planets and their moons. (more inside) [more inside]
Would an expanding Sun really swallow the inner planets? [more inside]
Why hasn't anyone invented cheap space probes? Some kind of thing that could be sent up en mass to gather just base data we don't have on all the planets/moons/etc . . .? [more inside]
Given our current state of technology and the world's nuclear armaments, I ask the question that the world needs an answer to: Could we destroy Mars? [more inside]
How would I determine sunlight levels for the planets in the outer solar system? [more inside]
I want to buy my son, who is turning six, a telescope for his birthday. I don't want to spend a fortune, but one site I looked at for advice said anything less than $300 is a piece of junk. Anyone have any advice (including specific models) on one I can by this budding astronomer for $100 or less?
If the sun's gravity is so strong as to keep whole planets circling it in orbit, how come light and heat can escape?
ScientificIlliterateFilter: If the sun's gravity is so strong as to keep whole planets circling it in orbit (even ones million of miles away), how come light and heat (incredibly fragile things compared to planets) can escape as rays (or whatever they are)?