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1
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1answer
56 views

Can 4 collinear planets exist?

Imagine 4 planets, A has moon a and B has moon b. A and B are binary planets. Is it possible that a and b and A + B all have same the period, so that the 4 planets are collinear?
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2answers
280 views

Was Leverrier-Adams prediction of Neptune a lucky coincidence?

According to historians both Adams and Leverrier used Bode's law to guess the distance to Neptune, which led to a vast overestimation of its orbital period (Adams - 227 years, Le Verrier - 218 years, ...
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0answers
17 views

Calculating stable orbital resonance and other factors into orbits

Firstly here is a brief summary of what I trying to accomplish. From a predetermined total solar system mass , star count in that system, per-star classification and mass I am building a system of ...
0
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1answer
46 views

Inverse square law in one dimension [closed]

A point of mass $m$ is at rest at position $b$ and subjected to a force $f(x) = -k x^2$. We are to show that the time required for the particle to reach the origin is $$ \pi \left( \frac{m b^3}{8 ...
4
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1answer
55 views

How “large” is a Lagrange point?

When placing an object at a L-point, the natural assumption, as with all things gravity, is that you needn't place it in an exact spot to achieve a stable configuration. How much room do you have to ...
1
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1answer
57 views

Which ellipse does the Earth's semi-major axis refer to?

In Wikipedia the semimajor axis of the earth is reported to nine digits of accuracy (nearest kilometer), and the eccentricity to eight. But to which ellipse exactly does that apply? Sun-at-the-focus? ...
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0answers
50 views

Planetary alignment of the gas giants?

There is this nice and new applet of the orbits of the planets around the sun: Solar System Orrery You can click and drag any planet and watch their relative orbits evolve in time. I was curious ...
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3answers
65 views

Orbit of the Earth

The question I have really is in a few parts. First what if anything could cause the orbit of the Earth to start to diminish start to go towards the Sun closer on each revolution? ( edit to remove ...
3
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1answer
167 views

How does the Pluto-Charon orbital 'dance' affect Pluto's elliptical orbit around the Sun?

Like many Scientists (and people in general), I have been watching the New Horizons mission results with great interest. One aspect in particular caught my attention - the Pluto-Charon orbital ...
1
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1answer
31 views

Observations of erratic rotation of asteroids

An asteroid generally has an irregular shape, therefore, one would expect its rotation is quite erratic in some sense. Are there any observational examples?
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0answers
43 views
0
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0answers
31 views

Anomalous orbit of pluto [duplicate]

Can anyone explain, why, like unlike all planets, Pluto does not have a regular orbit? Why does it have an orbit that meets the orbit of Neptune? Why does it never collides with Neptune? Is it ...
0
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0answers
43 views

Gravity between Moon and Earth [duplicate]

It's known that the greater the mass the stronger its gravitational force. Hence, Sun's gravity is definitely stronger than Earth's. So the question arises that why does the Moon orbit around the ...
3
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0answers
41 views

Why does planetary spin affect the stability of orbits?

Reading about the Hill Sphere I notice that "the region of stability for retrograde orbits at a large distance from the primary, is larger than the region for prograde orbits at a large distance from ...
1
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2answers
62 views

Deriving the velocity for circular orbital motion

I'm trying to derive the (circular) orbital velocity for a given height from the center of mass of a body, like Earth. First I used the equation of the circle $x^2 + y^2 = r^2$ to get $y = \pm ...
3
votes
2answers
372 views

Do the planets really orbit the Sun?

This is a duplicate of this question on Space Exploration.SE. So why would I ask it again here? Read below. The question reads We often say that the planets orbit the Sun, which is usually a ...
0
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2answers
65 views

Physical Meaning of Cone used in Conic Section for Orbital Mechanics

Does the polar angle (complement of $\theta$ below) of a cone which intersects a plane to yield a conic section have a physical meaning in orbital mechanics? Note that the angle of incident ...
0
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0answers
39 views

Elliptical path of planets [duplicate]

Why are the planet's orbits in the form of an ellipse and what is the proof that earth moves in an elliptical path with the sun at its foci? Initially it was thought that earth moved in a circular ...
0
votes
3answers
146 views

How often does the earth rotate around the common center of mass with the moon?

I could not find anywhere how long does it take for the earth to rotate around the center of mass of the earth moon system, which is located inside the earth but off-center. And does this motion have ...
0
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2answers
59 views

Why are L4 and L5 Lagrange points stable as points and not part of a circle?

I read this Phys.SE thread which is similar Why are L4 and L5 lagrangian points stable? but I did not want to necro that thread. It seems that most discussions of a three body problem are presented ...
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2answers
52 views

Gravity effect on moving bodies

If we imagine two suns of equal mass, and a small object in their combined center of gravity, which is not moving, it will stay there forever. If the object is displaced a little bit towards one of ...
0
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0answers
28 views

Minimal set of invariants to specify a Kepler orbit

In the Kepler problem, we know that there are various invariants, including: Energy Angular momentum vector Runge-Lenz vector All together these consist of 7 parameters. On the other hand, the ...
0
votes
3answers
40 views

Foci of elliptical path

I have read the Kepler's laws of motion where I came across the term foci of elliptical path. But what is really a focus? Can anyone please explain what is a focus (maybe with a diagram) and why a ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Determing Velocity of Moons

I have a question that I believe is relatively easy to answer, I am working on an $N$-body simulation of a fictional star system and am having trouble finding the velocity of moons so that they will ...
1
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2answers
114 views

In the time of the dinosaurs the Earth rotated once in 17 hours rather than about 24 hours, where did the rotational energy and angular momentum go?

where did the rotational energy and angular momentum go? Some claim that the angular momentum went to the Moon. Astronauts put a corner reflecting mirror on the moon and reflected a Laser and timed ...
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0answers
26 views

References on the 3 body problem

Does anyone know good references for the general 3 body problem? I'm looking for both analytical and numerical approaches.
4
votes
1answer
64 views

Do 2-body elliptic orbits precess in special relativity?

Einstein famously explained the anomalous precession of Mercury by showing that in general relativity elliptic orbits precess even in the 2-body problem. But apparently in the early days of quantum ...
1
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2answers
150 views

If Earth and Jupiter are orbiting around Sun in same orbit, will they have same time period?

Let us suppose that Earth and Jupiter are orbiting around the Sun in same orbit, If we talk about at any particular point. (Which is not possible but for the sake of question) I was wondering that ...
1
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2answers
118 views

Earth-Sun distance on a given day of the year

The Earth-Sun distance on a given day of a year, can be calculated using the formula (source pdf): $$\frac{d}{\rm AU} = 1 - 0.01672\cos(0.9856({\rm day}-4))$$ where $\rm day$ is the count of days ...
1
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1answer
121 views

Finding the initial velocity vector of an orbiting body

I'm writing a program that simulates Newton's law of universal gravitation by simply calculating the force and applying it on the objects. The simulation works very well, but now I want to simulate ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Can you see a solar eclipse from the International Space Station?

Inspired by last week's solar eclipse, I'm wondering under what conditions one can see a total solar eclipse from the ISS. How often does it happen? I guess it doesn't last very long because of the ...
1
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0answers
83 views

Is there any free open source planetary orbit simulator software?

I need a free open source planetary orbit simulator software that should be able to calculate orbit stability for a couple simple planetary systems. Basically, I need to calculate orbit durations for ...
2
votes
2answers
117 views

How to solve the inverse square law equation of motion

From $$m\boldsymbol{\ddot{r}}=\boldsymbol{\hat{r}} f(r)$$ I can get $$r''-r \theta '^2=-\frac{k}{m r^2}$$ $$2 r' \theta '+r \theta ''=0$$ Now it seems that all the books tells me the method to solve ...
0
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0answers
31 views

Question about changing the orbits of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs)

So, lets say, hypothetically, for space travel or terraforming, we want to move a good sized mostly ice Kuiper Belt Object into a stable planetary orbit around the earth or mars. Looking at the ...
2
votes
0answers
21 views

Orbits of binary pulsars. How to calculate? [duplicate]

If I may ask: How can the orbits of binary pulsar stars, with similar mass, be calculated from Kepler's laws? Considering that both large central masses must be located at their mutual foci. Also, how ...
1
vote
1answer
45 views

Create a star system fit to conic equation

For simulation purposes, I'm trying to create a binary star system. If I have a conic equation such as $ax^2 + by^2 = c$, and the masses of two stars, how would I find the $x$- and $y$- velocity ...
4
votes
2answers
117 views

Why isn't the time between apogee and perigee constant?

I've assumed since the translational speed of the moon along its orbit undergoes the same boosts and reductions over its orbital course, the time between the apogee and the pedigee (and respectively, ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

Relative acceleration of two planets orbiting a star

Let us suppose we know the radii and periods of two planets' circular orbits around a star -say Earth, Venus and the Sun-, which allows us to calculate the planets' centripetal acceleration, ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Does the Moon have rotation about its axis?

As I understand, the Moon is following Earth's curved space. If that's the case, shouldn't the Moon have no rotation if it's tidally locked, and only appear to have rotation? If the Earth suddenly ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Kepler's laws: show the planet always stays in the same plane?

I know angular momentum $L=q \times p$ is conserved, where $p=L_{\dot q}$ is linear momentum. How to apply this to a planet orbiting the star, described by the position vector $q$ relative to the ...
2
votes
4answers
217 views

The fainter the star, the further away it is?

If a star appears to be very faint, would it imply that it's really far away or that it's luminosity is minimum?
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Coexistence at Lagrange points

I was wondering how precise the location of an object in a Lagrange point needs to be to maintain stability, since it seems that several natural objects (asteroids) exists together in some of these ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Prove that orbits are conic sections

How does one prove that an orbit of a satellite around a planet of significantly greater mass than the satellite is a conic section (i.e. an ellipse, circle, hyperbola, or parabola)? Also, there is ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

Intuitive understanding of Lagrange point L3

I learned about Lagrange points today and the physics behind L1, L2, L4 and L5 make intuitive sense to me. But I'm stumped by L3. Wikipedia says "L3 in the Sun–Earth system exists on the opposite ...
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vote
6answers
1k views

Can orbital energy be a source of perpetual power?

A thought just came to me, and I want to comfirm it here: If we figured out a way to harvest the energy from the orbit of the Moon, would that be perpetual? The Moon has been orbiting the earth for ...
3
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5answers
272 views

How gently could a comet/asteroid/meteorite “hit” Earth?

Could an object from outer-space with the right velocity and orbit come into contact with the surface of our planet in a manner that wouldn't cause it to burn in our atmosphere?
3
votes
2answers
133 views

How does one calculate the full perihelion shift of Mercury, including perturbations from other planets?

I'm talking about the full calculation, including perturbations from other planets. I've seen the general relativistic correction done a half dozen times before, but I can't say that I've seen the ...
0
votes
2answers
154 views

Mars and Jupiter colliding [duplicate]

I was going to post a comment on my own theory about Mars and Jupiter colliding, but I just read the rules and it breaks it...badly. I was looking for informal peer review. So my question is, has ...
10
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6answers
359 views

Extended object passing near an event horizon

Suppose a physically realistic object of nontrivial size (such as a star) free-falls past a black hole. The center-of-mass trajectory for the object is hyperbolic and (therefore) completely outside ...
2
votes
1answer
128 views

Solving the Kepler problem

I'm trying to solve the Kepler problem using the Lagrangian, $$L = \frac{1}{2} m (\dot{r}^2 + r^2 \dot{\phi}^2) - U(r) $$ which after quite a bit of fiddling with, by noting that the angular ...