# Tagged Questions

49 views

### Earth-Moon system

While learning about motion of centre of mass, I came across this statement online, It is also more accurate to say that the Earth and Moon together revolve about their common center of mass. ...
92 views

### How can a planet gravitationally capture objects?

I would expect that any asteroid or other object originating far away but passing near a planet would pick up speed and energy as it approaches, but unless it comes into contact with the atmosphere ...
6k views

### Where does the extra kinetic energy come from in a gravitational slingshot?

I read in this answer in this site that the KE a free-falling ball acquires is not originated by the attracting body but that energy was actually stored in the ball when it had been lifted to the ...
457 views

### Why are orbits elliptical? [duplicate]

Just wanted to know why planetary orbits get to be elliptical? I'm not debating how stable these orbits are (obviously almost completely stable), but why don't planets revolve in the special ellipse ...
110 views

### Satellite Collision Problem

I'm stuck on a problem of two satellites going towards each other. The mass of the first satellite is 400kg and the mass of the second satellite is 100kg. The altitude of the satellites is 1000km. I ...
851 views

### Having trouble weighing the sun

So I gather the way you (and Vera Rubin) calculate a galaxy's mass is by measuring a star's orbital velocity $v$ and its distance $R$ from the galactic center, and then plugging them into this ...
51 views

### Reduced mass and harmonic mean

In two-body problems, a reduced mass has the form: $\frac{m_1 m_2}{m_1+m_2}$, which by appearance, is half of the harmonic mean of $m_1$ and $m_2$: ...
1k views

### Put a bullet into orbit around the moon

While I was watching this beautiful video, the absence of air friction pushed me to ask myself: While standing on the surface of the moon, what is the initial velocity by which you can fire a bullet ...
78 views

### How to show that the gravitational potential energy of a two particle system is -2 times the total kinetic energy, without using the virial theorem?

Consider a two-particle system with identical masses, orbiting in circles about their center of mass. I'm supposed to prove that: $$U_p = -2U_k$$ With $U_p$ potential energy of the system, and $U_k$ ...
2k views

### Why does Pluto's orbit cross Neptune's orbit?

Why does Pluto's orbit cross Neptune's orbit? Is this a fault in Newton's law of gravitation?
181 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 ...
84 views

### Could two identical stars revolve around each other in a common orbit if we only account for Newtonian physics?

Both a parent star and its planet revolve around the center of mass of the system, the reason we see stellar wobble. But if we take this to be true, which it is, there can be a configuration in which ...
1k views

### Why are these periods the same: a low earth orbit and oscillations through the center of the earth?

Related: Why does earth have a minimum orbital period? I was learning about GPS satellite orbits and came across that Low Earth Orbits (LEO) have a period of about 88 minutes at an altitude of 160 ...
59 views

### How to calculate launch angle for tangentially launched satellites?

What is the value of theta for a satellite not falling back to the Earth if it is launched from the direction tangent to the surface of the Earth? I have found the escape velocity which is 11.18km/s, ...
57 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 ...
63 views

### Difference in calculated and simulated ellipsies

My task here is to determine orbit parameters, using current values: $\mu=GM$ - standard gravitational parameter $r$ - distance to the object with Mass $M$ $v$ - speed of the object in the point $r$ ...
84 views

### Why doesn't an orbiting body keep accelerating?

As a physics newbie I'm trying to get a grip on basic orbital mechanics. I think I'm beginning to get grasp on how bodies interact with each other. When a body approaches another body it accelerates ...
69 views

### Will two perpendicular orbits settle into a disc?

Scenario: one "fixed" object (like the sun...) of mass X two "planets" (P1 and P2) of mass Y P1's orbit is perpendicular to P2's orbit, and the sun is the center of both orbits P1 and P2 will never ...
53 views

### Orbital speed in an elliptic orbit [duplicate]

I want to have a general solution for calculating orbits. Wikipedia says how to put object on circle orbit. We must give it speed $v_1 = \sqrt{g(h_o +R)}$ Where $h_o$ - is the orbit height, and $R$ ...
39 views

### Quick question on derivation of mass of star

How do I show that for a binary star system, if one star has mass $M_s$, speed $V_s$, period $P$, the mass of the other star is given by: $$M_P^3 \approx \frac{V_s^3}{2\pi G} PM_s^2$$ I showed it ...
91 views

### Does the opening angle of the cone matter?

When discussing orbital mechanics, you learn that all orbits roughly follow an ellipse which is obtained as the intersection of a cone with an inclined plane, creating conic sections. Below is a ...
63 views

### Calculate orbit height from tangential velocity

Is it possible to calculate the altitude of a satellite orbiting a planet, just from the planet's mass and the satellite's velocity, assuming that the satellite is in a perfect circular orbit? If so, ...
33 views

### Can we design the orbit of a satellite with Einsteinâ€™s curved space?

I think that the most successful theory of gravity is that the orbit of planet can be explained with this theory and the orbit of satellite was designed with this theory. To design an orbit of a ...
48 views

### Finding at a distance from the Earth speed of satellite [closed]

A satellite at 8000 km from Earth where gravity is 6.4 m/s^2. What is the velocity of satellite? I don't the formula to find speed of satellite.
117 views

133 views

### Why aren't there more natural satellites orbiting the Earth than just the Moon?

Considering that there's a lot of debris in space and that impacts fling out rocks into space all the time, why do we only have one large natural satellite - the Moon? Shouldn't there be all kinds of ...
95 views

### Gravitation - why is it so confusing?

First, does gravity emit from all directions around a star or planet equally. Secondly, how is it that gravity pulls a planet closer, then it goes further out, without the planet changing orbit ...
81 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.
29 views

### What will change if we have another Earth in the space near Earth? [duplicate]

If a new Earth came and orbit our Earth within 300,000 km to Earth? I just did not know. thanks.
81 views

### A small object on the opposite side of the earth's orbit with 0 velocity,“in line” with the core - would it collide with the earth?

If a small object (say mass 1 kg), at the opposite side of the earth's orbit (six months away), was placed in the same orbital position as the earth's core, at zero velocity in all directions, would ...
204 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?
86 views

### Calculate trajectory of projectile with gravity from disk planets in 2D?

I'm making a 2D game where you control a spaceship and fly between disk-formed planets of differing size (mass/pull). The planets are small and you can fly near several at once. I need to calculate ...
64 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 ...
124 views

### How many celestial bodies could be in stable orbit at roughly the same distance from a star?

How many planet-like celestial bodies of roughly the same mass (say within 50%) could orbit a star at roughly (say within 10%) the same distance from the star and be in stable orbits. By stable I ...
156 views

### How do scientists place satellites into orbit?

How do scientists place satellites into orbit? How do they calculate the gravity acting on the spacecraft in order to generate exact opposite force by means of Kinetic energy to keep the satellite ...
207 views

### Two suns, one moon, and one planet?

I have a question about how would seasons and the moon cycle be affected in a system where one planet orbits Sun #1, and Sun #1 orbits a second sun. Online I found this description: "Type II: ...
100 views

### Where does the potential energy go when mass is lifted out of Earth's gravitational field?

There is a finite amount of energy needed to be spent on a rocket or a rock that is taken out of the Earth's gravitational field. Lets suppose the rock is taken far enough to have no effect of Earth's ...
93 views

### Simulating orbits using Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation

I've been having a go at programming an orbital simulator from scratch (without using any existing libraries) using the formula below to find the acceleration first for particle A and then for ...
185 views

### Using 2D position, velocity, and mass to determine the parametric position equations for an orbiting body

I have a gravity-related question. I am programming an orbit simulator. I have everything up and running, but I would like to render the smaller body's orbital path (the larger body is fixed). To do ...
172 views

### Would a considerably big asteroid be disintegrated by the Earth's Roche limit?

If there was a big asteroid with a diameter of say 50km+ in a collision course with the Earth (not orbiting), would it disintegrate into smaller chunks due to the Earth's Roche limit, or the time it ...