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3
votes
2answers
33 views

Why is the Milky Way flat?

I read recently that the galactic "flatness" of the Milky Way is due to the rotation of the galaxy combined with a vast stretch of time. Yet, I also read where 1) the Milky Way rotates once every 225 ...
3
votes
0answers
62 views

A proof for Newtonian origin of residual perihelion advances in solar system

In an Amazon book it is given a very simple formula $$\delta = \frac{k}{T^{5/3}}$$ conforming to which the so-called residual advance of perihelion $\delta$ of each inner planet in solar system ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

My python trajectory calculator for a small mass in a gravitational field - why is energy conservation violated?

I wrote this thing to calculate the next position of a small mass, given its current position and velocity, and a vector field determines acceleration. It sort of works - except I can never get the ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Tidal locking of a planet to a satellite

As in the case of Pluto and its moon Charon, both the bodies are tidally locked to each other, will the Earth ever be tidally locked to the Moon? Is there any effect on the rotation of the Earth ...
2
votes
0answers
29 views

What is the difference between Saddle points and Lagrangian points between Earth and the Sun?

I am studying MOND bubble effects in the Solar System (Paper). In "mond habitats.." (last reference) first page, the author says MOND bubbles reside on the saddle points but I fail to understand the ...
1
vote
2answers
26 views

Calculating the velocity of an elliptical orbit

I need an explanation as to why my solution to this problem doesn't work (please do not give me an answer or tell me exactly how to do it as this is a homework question that I need to do myself, hints ...
1
vote
2answers
47 views

What is the zero of potential?

A satellite of mass $m$ is travelling at a speed $v_0$ in a circular orbit of radius $r_0$ around a fixed mass at $O$. Taking the zero of potential at $r=\infty$, show that the total energy of the ...
1
vote
2answers
179 views

What would Earth have been without the Moon?

Would Earth rotation have been more slowed down because of the tidal effect from the Sun, as seems to be the case with Mercury and Venus? Due to the giant impact hypothesis the angular momentum from ...
0
votes
1answer
31 views

Reg position of satellite

Is it possible to put an artificial satellite into an orbit in such a way that it will always remain direct over a city (I mean at any specific place)?
1
vote
2answers
54 views

How does the Moon stay in orbit?

How does the Moon stay in orbit? The Moon has not reached escape velocity from the Earth, then how does the Moon stays in orbit?
34
votes
7answers
4k views

“Falling upward” - how far you have to be from Earth to start falling to the Moon?

Talking about gravity with my 9 y/o she asked when do we start "falling upward" to the Moon. What is the distance at which the Moon's gravitational attraction is higher than that of the Earth and thus ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Algorithm for calculating lunar crescent visibility

Is there a simple algorithm for predicting lunar crescent visibility. Simple enough to do with a calculator at least. Those offered in Meeus' Astronomical Algorithms are a bit too involving to do by ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

How to calculate orbital eccentricity from the ratio of satellites' velocities?

I have a problem with working out how to calculate the orbital eccentricity from the ratio of two satellites' linear velocities. We know that two satellites encircles the Earth in two elliptical ...
0
votes
2answers
131 views

How can Rosetta spacecraft orbit an object with such a low mass?

Comet 67P Churyumov–Gerasimenko's mass is 11 orders of magnitude lower than Earth's. That means that the comet's gravity force is also weaker than Earth's in the same proportion. Provided that also ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

Collisions of celestial objects

When massive, spherical, celestial objects collide, how long does it take for the objects to coalesce into a new, larger, spherical entity under the influence of gravity etc.? Examples of the above:- ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

What motion can emerge in a still universe? [duplicate]

I consider a very large non homogeneous cloud of dust in isolation. No external gravitational interactions. It is initially completely still and start collapsing under the its own gravity. Can the ...
7
votes
3answers
184 views

What is the origin of spin of celestial objects?

In an older question from June 2011, Why does each celestial object spin on its own axis?, apparently revived by the system, a user is asking about the origin of the rotation of celestial bodies. The ...
0
votes
1answer
58 views

Is there anything interesting about an n-body system whose potential energy is constant?

I am curious about a system of gravitating bodies with particular characteristics. Before describing the characteristics of the system, let me say what I want to know about it: Can this be a ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Is the best data about Mercury's perihelion shift really 60 years old?

The advance of the perihelion of Mercury is one of the four classical tests of general relativity. I wonder what's the most precise modern measurement of it. However, while scanning the literature, ...
2
votes
1answer
42 views

Prerequisites for Ptolemy's Almagest

I hope this is a valid question to ask on this website (since it's astronomy and not e.g. mechanics, I wasn't so sure). What prerequisites are needed for fully understanding Ptolemy's Almagest. Fully ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Finding the total energy of satellite in orbit with the Earth

I'm given a problem where a satellite with mass $m$ is orbiting the Earth with mass $M$ and radius $R$ ($m<<M$) in a elliptical orbit. The ellipse has semimajor axis $a$ and semiminor axis $b$. ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Why does matter gather as discs around massive objects? [duplicate]

Why do discs, like rings of Saturn and the spiral shape of our galaxy form around massive objects, instead of just a (spherical?) cloud of matter?
6
votes
1answer
98 views

Why is the Oort cloud spherical?

Having read up a bit about the Oort cloud hypothesis, I find I don't quite understand this. Why is the Oort cloud spherical while the rest of the solar system is disk-shaped?
0
votes
1answer
62 views

What would be the dynamics of a double-planet system, similar to Earth / Moon, but with both bodies nearly Earth-sized?

Researching a sci-fi story involving a "twin-planet" system. Is such an arrangement (however unlikely) physically possible? And if so, must they be tidally locked with each other, similar to the Moon, ...
37
votes
4answers
2k views

How far ahead can we predict solar and lunar eclipses?

The solar system is non-integrable and has chaos. The sun-earth-moon three-body system might be chaotic. So, how far into the future can we predict solar eclipses and/or lunar eclipses? How about ...
2
votes
1answer
55 views

Why doesn't no rotation imply tidal locking?

That I know of, in most parts of physics 0 movement means the body is resting, all the forces are in equilibrium. Why in orbital mechanic 0 rotation speed doesn't mean tidal lock as it would be the ...
3
votes
1answer
222 views

Standard gravitational parameter - different formulas

Why we have two formulas for Standard Gravitational Parameter: $$\mu=GM \ \,{\rm and}\, \mu = rv^2 \ .$$ I don't see any direct connection between the two formulas. How can we derive the second from ...
0
votes
1answer
40 views

Binary Mass Function Plot

Suppose that we have a circular eclipsing binary system with orbital period of $P = 2 \text{days}$, and with one star with a radial velocity of $v_{1r} = 100 km/s$. The other star is to dim for its ...
0
votes
0answers
14 views

Is it possible to calculate Lagrangian isolines for local stars?

Is it possible to calculate Lagrangian isolines for local stars? SciFi descriptions of 'hyperspace' always talk about travel routes between the stars following some sort of route. As a thought ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

By what factor a planet travels (in circular orbit) faster than another

Question: It is known that radius of Neptune in a circular orbit around the sun is 30 times greater than that of Earth's. Does Neptune travel faster than earth and by what factor? Attempt: For a ...
0
votes
0answers
31 views

Restricted three body problem

I have the restricted three body problem, which corresponds, to the equation $ \ddot a-2\dot b -a= \displaystyle\frac{\partial U}{\partial a} $ $ \ddot b +2 \dot a-b = \displaystyle\frac{\partial ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Faster spinning moon

Let's say we somehow speed up the moon's rotation. (I'm thinking about a big asteroid smashing into it, but I'm open to better ideas.) Here are some questions: How fast could we get the moon to spin ...
1
vote
1answer
85 views

Earth moving over the Sun instead of around [closed]

Let's say you are observing the movement of the Sun and Earth from very far away. After year 1, the Earth creates an orbital plane around the Sun. Since the objects in the universe induce forces of ...
3
votes
2answers
93 views

What is the “associated scalar equation” of equations of motion?

In an essay I am reading on celestial mechanics the equations of motion for a 2 body problem is given as: $$\mathbf{r}''=\nabla(\frac{\mu}{r})=-\frac{\mu \mathbf{r}}{r^3}$$ Fine. Then it says the ...
0
votes
1answer
37 views

What does an $n$-body system with constant $T$ and $U$ look like?

Can someone give an example of a system where the kinetic $T$ and potential $U$ energy are constant (but not zero)? Here's what I have in mind: Say you have $n-1$ satellites of negligible mass ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Unexpected eccentricity in moon orbit simulation

I've used Mathematica's NDSolve function to calculate the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. I used the following initial positions (perigee): ...
1
vote
1answer
97 views

Getting first and second time derivative of mean motion of spacecraft - without TLE?

The Celestrak website provides information on reading the TLE ( Two-Line Element Set ) format. In Line 1, Column 34-43 & 45-52 give information about ...
2
votes
0answers
146 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

My orbiting body is orbiting about the wrong focus of it's elliptical orbit… why?

I am coding in c++ and am computing the position of an orbiting body as a function of time. Everything is almost working. I have a nice elliptical orbit. Except, my orbiting body speeds up as it ...
0
votes
0answers
51 views

How can I describe an equation for multiple objects over time?

Lets say i have $n$ different objects that effects each other only by the classic gravity force. I have their initial locations, masses and velocity's: $$ x_1(0),\cdots,x_n(0) $$ $$ m_1,\cdots,m_n ...
11
votes
3answers
256 views

What could cause an asymmetric orbit in a symmetric potential?

My question can be summarized as: Given a potential with a symmetry (e.g. $z\rightarrow-z$), should I expect orbits in that potential to exhibit the same symmetry? Below is the full motivation for ...
7
votes
2answers
317 views

Gravitational slingshot maximum

I have recently read an article about gravitation slingshot assist used by Voyagers 1-2, and was thinking on why this hasn't been used for travel between solar and other systems. I mean sligshot can ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

Effect of small variable transverse force on satellite orbital precession

Consider a small satellite which moves in a 2D elliptical orbit around a much larger body (e.g. the Sun) under the influence of Newtonian gravitational acceleration $$Ar = G.M/d^2 $$ Next imagine ...
0
votes
1answer
54 views

Initial conditions at Lagrange Points

I'm simulating the restricted three body problem. But I don't know how to found the initial conditions of the object located at the Lagrange points analytically or computationally. I mean my problem ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

Which planet in the solar system is it? [closed]

It is known that the period of revolution of the earth about the sun is $365.3$ days and that the semimajor axis of the earth's orbit is $1.495 \times 10^{11}$ m. An astronomer notes that the ...
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Square Cube Law?

I've heard about something called the square cube law. What is it? All I know of it is that it has something to do with mass of large objects and their gravitational influence.
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Synchronized rotation of the moon

Does the moon rotates? Yes. The rotation matches exactly the orbit of the Earth. Which means in 28 days the moon makes one rotation. Shouldn't this be also happening with the Earth rotation around the ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Rocky Planet in the center of System [duplicate]

We all know that mostly stars are at the center of planetary systems, but is it possible that instead of a star there was a rocky planet in the center with stars (and other planets and moons) orbiting ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

The equation of the location of L1

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point#L1 it says that the location of L1 can be determined as $\frac{M_1}{(R-r)^2}=\frac{M_2}{r^2}+\left(\frac{M_1}{M_1+M_2}R-r\right)\frac{M_1+M_2}{R^3}$, ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Kepler's third law doesn't give earth's orbital period! Why? [closed]

I tried to calculate earth's orbital period using Kepler's third law, but I found 365.2075 days for the orbital period instead of 365.256363004 which is the correct value. I checked everything, and I ...