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Vermonter
2003-Jun-06, 11:01 PM
Don't mind me, just started my Intro to Astronomy Class.

Have a few dumb questions.

*Which planets can never be seen at opposition? Which planets can never be seen at inferior conjunction?*

I answered that Mercury and Venus cannot be seen at opposition due to their location inside the orbit of Earth. Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Pluto and Neptune cannot be seen at inferior conjunction due to location. Inferior conjunction is when the object is between Earth and the Sun, which the outer planets cannot do.

Am I correct?

dgruss23
2003-Jun-06, 11:08 PM
That's right on Vermonter! But don't forget Saturn - your instructor might want to "ring" your neck for that! (sorry - in a bad pun mood! It'll pass.)

Of course if you want to get people in a tither you can argue that Pluto isn't really a planet!

Vermonter
2003-Jun-06, 11:32 PM
Thanks! I forgot aboot Saturn, I must have just mentally skipped over it.

Perhaps I could do my Astronomy research paper on proving Pluto as a KBO?

Again, thanks for the help.

dgruss23
2003-Jun-06, 11:34 PM
Thanks! I forgot aboot Saturn, I must have just mentally skipped over it.

Perhaps I could do my Astronomy research paper on proving Pluto as a KBO?

Again, thanks for the help.

No problem! That would make a neat topic for a paper!

Vermonter
2003-Jun-07, 12:19 AM
I like the textbook I have for this class, "Discovering the Universe, 6th Edition" by Comins and Kaufmann III. It has great detail and good questions in the back.

One thing the BA and you folks might appreciate is that it has "Movie Misconceptions" dealing with BA in some movies like Tomb Raider. Excellent textbook, I think. Comes with Starry Night Freeman Edition.

tracer
2003-Jun-09, 08:30 PM
Due to the tilt of Pluto's orbit, I'll bet the sun won't be in front of it when it's at conjunction with the sun.

Of course, this would be "superior" conjunction, not inferior conjunction, though. Right?

Glom
2003-Jun-09, 08:40 PM
Due to the tilt of Pluto's orbit, I'll bet the sun won't be in front of it when it's at conjunction with the sun.

Of course, this would be "superior" conjunction, not inferior conjunction, though. Right?

There is only one kind of conjunction with planets further out than Earth. A conjunction is when two objects occupy similar celestial coordinates. For an outer planet such as Pluto, this can only happen when Sol is near to being in front of it. With Venus or Mercury, it could be either that they are in front of Sol (inferior conjunction) or when they are behind Sol (superior conjunction).