1547: Solar System Questions

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Solar System Questions
My country's World Cup win was exciting and all, but c'mon, what if the players wore nylon wings and COULD LITERALLY FLY?
Title text: My country's World Cup win was exciting and all, but c'mon, what if the players wore nylon wings and COULD LITERALLY FLY?


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Questions I Have About The Solar System (Some answered)

Question given Answer given in red, if any Comments
Why is the the Moon <sic? or "the The Moon"?> so blotchy? Lava "the the" could be a Randallism (intended or unintended).
Why are all the blotches on the near side? ... The nearside of the Moon is dominated by the blotchy 'seas' (volcanic flats), the far side by craters. Possibly an overabundance of craters obliterate the blotches, and the far side was always more 'exposed' to impacts.
Did Mars have seas? Yes (briefly?) Recent explorations have confirmed there was once standing water (not just occasional flowing water), but not yet how long, save that it created the sedimentary layers that we have seen.
Was there life on Mars? ... One of the big mysteries, not yet answered.
What's Titan like? Cold, yellow, lakes + rivers (methane)
What was Earth like during the Hadean? ...
Is the Oort Cloud a real thing? ...
Why is the Sun's corona so hot? Something about magnets? The corona of the sun is hotter than it theoretically should be. The looping magnetic fields in this area could be responsible.
What are comets like? Precipitous The Philae lander is next to a cliff...
Where's Philae, exactly? ... ...but we're not sure which cliff.
What's Pluto like? [Soon!] A probe may be about to answer both of these questions.
What's Charon like?
Why don't we have in-between-sized planets? ... There is a size-gap between the rocky planets (up to Earth size) and the gas giants
What's Ceres like? [Working on it!] Another probe
Why is Europa so wierd-looking and pretty? Ice over a water ocean
Why is Io so weird-looking? Sulfur volcanoes (? in the wrong places?)
Why are so many Kuiper Belt objects red? ...
What are those spots on Ceres? ...
What's in the seas under Europa's ice? ...
Which of the other moons have seas? Several (Partial/initial list possible? Definition of 'seas' would affect this.)
What are the big white things in Titan's Lakes? ...
What do Jupiter's clouds look like up close? ...
What's all that red stuff in the Great Red Spot? ...
What's pushing the Pioneer Probes? Heat from the RTG Discussed as the Pioneer anomaly. RTG stands for Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator.
What pushes spacecraft slightly during flybys? ... The related Flyby anomaly.
Where are all the Sun's Neutrinos? Oscillating
Why is there so much air on Titan? ...
Why <sic? Where?> does the Kuiper Belt Stop? ... A reference to the Kuiper Cliff.
Why is Iapetus weird-colored? ...
Why does iapetus have a belt? ...
What's the deal with Miranda? ...
Did Uranus and Neptune change places? ... Simulations indicate planets migrate in and out of various orbits.
Did the Late Heavy Bombardment happen? ...
Did life start before it? ...
Is Europa covered in Ice Spikes? ...
Why haven't we build a big inflatable Extreme Sports Complex on The Moon? ...
(Titletext) My country's World Cup win was exciting and all, but c'mon, what if the players wore nylon wings and COULD LITERALLY FLY? ... 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup


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I wonder if "What's the deal with Miranda?" is talking about one of Uranus's satellites or if it's a Firefly/Serenity reference? Keavon (talk) 15:31, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

  • That was my reaction too. Randall is (as he should be) slightly obsessed with Firefly. Cosmogoblin (talk) 19:12, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
    • There are other Mirandas... Miranda Sings, Miranda Hobbes, etc. Smperron (talk) 13:36, 8 July 2015 (UTC)
      • Given that the title of the comic is "Solar System Questions", and Miranda in firefly is not in the solar system, this is clearly a reference to the Uranus moon. Niffe 00:09, 10 July, 2015
        • If it's a reference to Miranda from Sex And The City, it's still a valid question. 12:42, 13 July 2015 (UTC)

Many of the entries can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unsolved_problems_in_physics Cschwenz (talk) 16:16, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

The title text is a reference to the Futurama episode "Butterjunk effect" http://theinfosphere.org/The_Butterjunk_Effect. (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)

What's Titan like? Refernece to Gattaca (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZa83dTf4JA)? The Twenty-second. The Not So Only. The Nathan/Nk22 (talk) 16:23, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

I wonder if Randal is using us as unpaid researchers to answer his questions for him? 16:53, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

  • Crowd-sourcing space probes? I certainly hope so!! Cosmogoblin (talk) 19:12, 6 July 2015 (UTC)
    • I was also thinking that, or at least he might have been thinking, "This oughtta keep those silly people on the ExplainXKCD wiki busy!". ;) KieferSkunk (talk) 20:42, 6 July 2015 (UTC)

Timing is good as it has recently been shown that red organics (Tholins) are produced by the particular UV wavelength called 'Lyman-Alpha' which is almost as bright on Pluto's night-side due to starshine as it is from the Sun during its daytime... the Edgeworth-Kuiper Belt may be the original Red-light District. Go New Horizons! Squirreltape (talk) 15:13, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

Ice Spikes could be a reference to the Ice Spikes biome in Minecraft: http://minecraft.gamepedia.com/File:Ice_Plains_Spikes.png Daedalus (talk) 10:12, 7 July 2015 (UTC)

The last question/the title text could also refer to Robert A. Heinleins "The Menace from Earth": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Menace_from_Earth Bichlesi (talk) 01:13, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

The "big white things in Titan's lakes" may also refer to the magic islands that were observed by Cassini.-- 02:56, 8 July 2015 (UTC)

If they wore wings and could fly you would end up with the Butterfly Derby on the moon from the Futurama Episode "The Butterjunk Effect" 06:23, 14 July 2015 (UTC)

Ideas about the "What pushes spaceships slightly during flybys?": (1) Gravity is slightly stronger near the equator due to the faster relative motion of the planet surface (which is why the plane of orbits of moons, planets, rings, galaxies try to align near the equator of the central mass). (2) Earth's mass is not 100% evenly distributed within it's volume causing minor gravitational distortions. (3) Flybys "behind" the Earth as it moves in its orbit gravitationally slow the Earth (very very slightly) robbing it of KE and giving it to the craft. Flybys "in front" of the Earth in orbit do the reverse. - Ezfzx (talk) 17:46, 1 December 2021 (UTC)