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2
votes
2answers
132 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
311 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
70 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
88 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
49 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
286 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
75 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
176 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
116 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, ...
38
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
75 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
472 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
0answers
20 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
50 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
38 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
89 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
93 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
113 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
38 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
167 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
171 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
163 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
109 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
54 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
276 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
505 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
96 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
75 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
136 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
87 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
99 views

What are Lagrange points in gravitation fields? [closed]

What are Lagrange points in gravitation fields? Additionally, what are their properties? For example, if a satellite or asteroid rested at a Lagrange-point.
2
votes
1answer
271 views

Why do the planets orbit the Sun? [duplicate]

Why do the planets orbit the Sun? If it's because the gravity of Sun then why don't they just fall in and burn up?
5
votes
1answer
479 views

How to derive Kepler's equation?

The Internet lacks, so far as I know, a derivation of Kepler's equation $$ M = E - e\text{sin}(E) $$ where $M$ is the mean anomaly, $E$ the eccentric anomaly and $e$ the eccentricity. Since there ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Convert constant of gravitation to days and AUs

I'm working on a problem with celestial bodies and for my purpose days and AUs are more appropriate units than seconds and meters. So I tried to convert the constant of gravitation, $G$, like this: ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

Radial and tangential velocities of a star

(source) Early in this piece it states that the radial and tangential velocities are: $$V_r = V_c \cos(\alpha) -V_{c,0} \sin (l)$$ $$V_t = V_c \sin(\alpha) -V_{c,0} \cos (l)$$ but I am struggling ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

Finding sphere of influence in multibody system

I would like to draw a boundary illustrating the sphere of influence of each body in a 3 body system. What is the best way to find such a boundary? My understanding is at the edge an SoI is the ...
3
votes
0answers
135 views

Isn't the Jacobi constant just the Lagrangian times 2?

At this wikipedia page the Jacobi constant is expressed as: $$C_J=2\left(\frac{v^2}{2}-U\right)$$ where $U$ is the potential energy and $v$ is velocity. If kinetic energy $T$ is defined (as it ...
3
votes
1answer
204 views

Can a very small portion of an ellipse be a parabola?

We consider that when a body is projected from any height from the earth surface with a speed lesser than the orbital speed ( tangentially to the earth surface at that point.) it follows an elliptical ...
4
votes
2answers
233 views

Is tripleaxis planet possible?

Imagine. Our solar system. Our sun. Then earth and moon orbiting it. And you have "powers" to create any planet you want, any size, any density, any weight and any velocity. Would it be possible for ...
0
votes
2answers
47 views

Why turning velocity of star towards point “A” makes it's satelites, change their apoapsis to side opposite of velocity vector?

Why turning velocity of star towards point "A" makes it's satelites, change their apoapsis to side opposite of velocity vector? Sentence above turned a bit crazy or not understandable (possible ...
1
vote
1answer
186 views

Determine orbital position after change in velocity

I am working on a satellite simulator for a project/game and I am stuck on this one bit of physics. So far I have a satellite that revolves around earth on a 2D plane following Keplerian motion using ...
2
votes
3answers
390 views

Gravitational field has no curl? What about gas discs around stars, black holes, etc.?

So everybody says the gravitational field has no curl, and is not comparable to a liquid swirling around a drain. Observationally, of course, there are many examples of vector fields (which I think ...
5
votes
0answers
279 views

Why is the orbital resonance of the Galilean moons stable?

It is well known that the orbits of Ganymede, Europa and Io are in a 4:2:1 resonance. Most online sources (including but not limited to Wikipedia) say that such an orbital resonance, along with the ...
2
votes
3answers
402 views

How to find a hyperbolic escape orbit with a starting point and a desired velocity after sphere exit

How would you find an escape orbit which includes a given starting point (not assuming a circular starting orbit) and escapes the sphere of influence of the current body with a given remaining ...
1
vote
1answer
215 views

Do convection currents under the crust affect Earths motion in the solar system?

Whilst browsing through this website I began to wonder whether all of that molten rock underneath the Earth's crust would have a notable effect on how the Earth moves in it's orbit of the Sun. ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Converting between Galactic and Ecliptic coordinates

I was hoping someone would be able to tell me the formula to convert between ecliptic and galactic coordinates. I've been able to convert values using ...
1
vote
2answers
714 views

Why do orbital speeds decrease further away from the focus?

Why do orbital speeds decrease further away from the focus? A simple question, but I want to make sure I am understanding this correctly: Is it ONLY a function of the gravity well? As in, the ...