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2
votes
1answer
38 views

Testing the accuracy of a solar system simulation

I've written a java program to model the solar system, and I need to test its accuracy. What would be some good ways to do that? I've checked for conservation of energy and angular momentum. I'm using ...
0
votes
1answer
51 views

Orbital but stationary motion

Is there a place between the Moon and Earth where an object can rest freely and revolve with the Moon? What is that called?
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Angular Momentum and Kepler's Second Law

Let me preface by saying that I get the gist of the conservation of angular momentum, at least qualitatively. To better illustrate my question, I will consider the case of a planet orbiting a star. ...
0
votes
2answers
45 views

Remotely finding the mass of a satellite

I have a question similar to one I've asked earlier (Calculating mass of an orbiting body with force and acceleration), but without a specific formula... How can you find the mass of a satellite body ...
-1
votes
2answers
113 views

No energy consumed in planetary motion? [closed]

Most of the orbits of planet are elliptical. How is it then that no energy is consumed?
5
votes
3answers
115 views

Elliptical orbit changing as a star's mass increases

I'm studying Kepler's Laws, specifically the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. I know that if the Earth was more massive, the orbit would not be significantly affected. If the Sun was more massive, I ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Maths of elliptical orbits

I have a simulation of the solar system that currently gives me circular orbits. I'm not 100% sure where I've limited my simulation to this, but probably it starts when I use $$v=\frac{2 \pi r}{T}$$ ...
0
votes
1answer
36 views

Find the velocity of three planets about their centre of mass

Just wanted to check if I've done this right, because it isn't working. Mercury: mass $$3.285 \times 10^23\ \mathrm{kg}$$ position: $57,910,000,000\ \mathrm{m}$ from sun Earth: mass $$5.972 \times ...
0
votes
0answers
82 views

3-body system centre of mass

I have a three body system of point masses that represent mercury, earth and the sun. I want them to orbit about a common centre of mass, but I think the centre of mass will move. I need the centre of ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Calculating speed of satellite in vacuum?

Satellite speed is $35\ \mathrm{km/s}$ after burn for $500\ \mathrm{ sec}$ and after some days or months this speed is reduced automatically $34$, $33$, $32$ respectively. Questions: How the ...
0
votes
3answers
417 views

What would become of the earth's orbit if half of the sun's mass were suddenly to disappear? [closed]

I shall assume that the sun is at rest, so before the half mass disappear, the orbit of earth is an ellipse.
1
vote
2answers
344 views

Why Sun is not able to attract mercury closer?

As sun have a huge amount of attraction pull force , why its not able to pull tiny mercury? Is the whole solar system works in a push and pull network? Why bigger planets like earth, Saturn and ...
-3
votes
1answer
83 views
1
vote
0answers
52 views

Questions related to Lagrange points

For me, these two graphs are inherently different. The first graph portrays a "forbidden region" which is completely filled in, the other shows a collection of curves. Whats the difference here? Whats ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

Minimum energy required to remove the satellite from its orbit to infinity?

My book says that minimum energy required to remove the satellite from its orbit is equal to its total energy (K.E+P.E). But shouldn't it equal to only the potential energy difference of satellite in ...
1
vote
2answers
141 views

Does the International Space Station always travels in the same path?

From the 3d visualization http://www.satflare.com/track.asp?q=25544#TOP (the right image with the red line indication the path of the ISS) it looks like always the ISS takes the same path. Is it the ...
1
vote
0answers
32 views

What is exactly gravitational potential energy and explain P.E. $= -GMm/r$? [duplicate]

I was studying gravity and I came to know about $P.E.= -\frac{GMm}{r}$ which is derived by $GMm(\frac{1}{\infty} - \frac{1}{r})$ which the work done by the body to displace it from infinity to $r$. ...
3
votes
3answers
135 views

What is the distance between two objects in space as a function of time, considering only the force of gravity? [duplicate]

What is the distance between two objects in space as a function of time, considering only the force of gravity? To be specific, there are no other objects to be considered and the objects in question ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

Why does Goldstein's derivation of orbits from Newton's law not yield the orbit consisting of symmetric oscillation along a line thru center of Sun?

Why does Goldstein's derivation of Keplerian orbits from Newton's law of gravity not yield the orbit consisting of symmetric oscillation along a line passing thru the center of the Sun? The fact that ...
0
votes
0answers
53 views

Finding position with respect to time along a trajectory across a sphere (orbital mechanics)

When trying to find an object's position with respect to time on a ballistic trajectory along a curved surface, what equation should I use? I know that when adding force to an object to achieve the ...
1
vote
0answers
18 views

Can we use the planets and Sun to fling out a craft at relativistic speeds? [duplicate]

E.g. The Voyager crafts took various assists from the planets. Sun being much more massive, wouldn't a spacecraft gain much more energy from such a flyby on the correct trajectory? If so then what ...
2
votes
3answers
108 views

(How) can we determine mid-point on Earth's orbit?

The eccentricity of earth's orbit varies with time, but at present time its eccentricity is roughly mean e (0.0167). The position of equinoxes is far more complicated than I thought and it is not at ...
2
votes
1answer
37 views

Acceleration in an elliptical binary system

So I'm having a bit of a problem dealing with binary systems. I'm looking at acceleration in a stellar system and am not sure where to begin. Assuming both stars are of equal masses, they'd be equal-...
-1
votes
2answers
55 views

Why does using the modified Kepler's 3rd law and using the gravitational parameter yields different results?

$p^2=\frac{2\pi a^3}{\mu}$ ($p$ is the orbital period in seconds) gives slightly different result from $p^2=\frac{4\pi^2}{GM_1}a^3$.
1
vote
1answer
69 views

Units in gravitational N-body simulations

I use a code in Python to simulate a binary system interacting through gravity. You can find it here; The code works fine. I am however having problems with the units of length and velocity. I ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

What happens if you slow down a moon?

Let's say you'd put a whooping big rocket engine on the surface of the moon, and slow down its orbital velocity. Not to a complete stop, mind you. Just a bit slower than it was going before (a couple ...
1
vote
1answer
115 views

How do I calculate the effect of a prograde, retrograde, radial and anti-radial burn on the orbital elements of a two-dimensional orbit?

My relevant knowledge: This question works in two dimensions, with a two-body problem (see bottom for context). To my understanding, a two-dimensional orbit has the following orbital elements (3D ...
-1
votes
2answers
117 views

Calculate the Earth’s velocity in its orbit (assumed to be circular) around the Sun [closed]

Data: GM of the Sun: $\text{GM} = 1.327 \times 10^{20} \;\mathrm{m^3 s^{-2}}$ Radius of the Earth’s orbit: $r_{Earth} = 1.496 \times 10^{11} \;\mathrm{m}$ Orbital period of a planet in seconds: $T = ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Can a natural satellite have a synchronous orbit?

I was thinking about space-elevators and large masses being put into geosynchronous orbit, when I considered the possibility of a natural satellite being in a synchronous orbit. I did a little digging ...
3
votes
3answers
185 views

Gravitational Null Point between Earth and Moon

I need help finding the gravitational null point point between the Earth and the Moon, the point beyond which you start falling towards Moon. I am having difficulty in taking into account the orbiting ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Confusion about proportionality in Kepler's 3rd law of planetary motion

I was reading about Kepler's third law on planetary motion and came across in two books $R^3\propto T^2$ and in the other $T^2\propto R^3$. So, I asked the following question on Math.SE. If both mean ...
2
votes
1answer
95 views

Why does Moon always poses the same face towards Earth?

If both Earth and Moon are rotating as well as revolving around some focus, shouldn't they have drifted out of phase with each other long ago? So, why do we always see the same side always?
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Is Voyager 2 slowing down?

Voyager 2 will leave the dominating gravitational influence of the Sun for a region where other stars have comparable influence on the craft. By the time it gets that far away, how much will it have ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why do we launch rockets during the day?

The clips that I have seen of rockets launching all seem to be carried out during daytime. However, we learnt at school that rockets are fired closer to the equator and towards the east to take ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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?
16
votes
2answers
398 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, ...
1
vote
0answers
61 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
votes
1answer
69 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 k}...
4
votes
1answer
154 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
vote
1answer
84 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? ...
2
votes
2answers
313 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 ...
-1
votes
3answers
97 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
votes
1answer
295 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 'dance'...
1
vote
1answer
44 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?
0
votes
0answers
53 views
0
votes
0answers
33 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
votes
0answers
46 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
122 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
vote
2answers
88 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 \sqrt{...