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Revision as of 03:05, 4 September 2013

Welcome to the explain xkcd wiki!

We have an explanation for all 1552 xkcd comics, and only 0 (0%) are incomplete. Help us finish them!

Latest comic

Go to this comic explanation

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?

Explanation

Ambox notice.png This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a BOT - single answer then added by a human.

This comic is a list of questions which Randall has about the Solar System, which at first glance may appear to be things that Randall would like to learn about. In actual fact most of the questions have not been satisfactorily answered or proven by anyone in the scientific community.

Question given Answer given by Randall (in Red) Comments
Why is 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? ... Hadean
Is the Oort Cloud a real thing? ... The Oort Cloud is a theoretical spherical cloud of icy planetsimals centred around our sun.
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!] The probe New Horizons 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, Dawn (spacecraft).
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? ... Many objects in the Kuiper Belt have a reddish hue. A possible explanation is that they are covered in organic molecules formed by the irradiation of their surface ices. The New Horizons probe might also shed light on this.
What are those spots on Ceres? ... Ceres
What's in the seas under Europa's ice? ... Europa
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? ... Lakes of Titan
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 Solar neutrino problem
Why is there so much air on Titan? ...
Why 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? ... Miranda is the smallest of Uranus's five round satellites. Also possibly a Firefly reference since Miranda is the name of a planet in Serenity, a film in the Firefly series.
Did Uranus and Neptune change places? ... The Nice model is a theory of how our solar system formed, which suggested the possibility of Uranus and Neptune having swapped places before reaching their current positions. Work by Professor S. Desch also came to this result.
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? ... See, e.g., The Menace From Earth, a 1957 short story by Robert Heinlein.
(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

Transcript

Ambox notice.png This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.


Is this out of date? Clicking here will fix that.

New here?

Last 7 days (Top 10)

Lots of people contribute to make this wiki a success. Many of the recent contributors, listed above, have just joined. You can do it too! Create your account here.

You can read a brief introduction about this wiki at explain xkcd. Feel free to sign up for an account and contribute to the wiki! We need explanations for comics, characters, themes, memes and everything in between. If it is referenced in an xkcd web comic, it should be here.

  • List of all comics contains a table of most recent xkcd comics and links to the rest, and the corresponding explanations. There are incomplete explanations listed here. Feel free to help out by expanding them!
  • If you see that a new comic hasn't been explained yet, you can create it: Here's how.
  • We sell advertising space to pay for our server costs. To learn more, go here.

Rules

Don't be a jerk. There are a lot of comics that don't have set in stone explanations; feel free to put multiple interpretations in the wiki page for each comic.

If you want to talk about a specific comic, use its discussion page.

Please only submit material directly related to —and helping everyone better understand— xkcd... and of course only submit material that can legally be posted (and freely edited). Off-topic or other inappropriate content is subject to removal or modification at admin discretion, and users who repeatedly post such content will be blocked.

If you need assistance from an admin, post a message to the Admin requests board.

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