The path a body takes while moving through space under the influence of the gravitational forces of other bodies

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Kepler's Laws to Determine Radius of Circular Orbit

"In nonrelativistic limit of general relativity there is a correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential energy $−h/r^3$ with $h = αL^2/(mc)^2$, where c is the speed of light, α = GMm and L is ...
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1answer
37 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 ...
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1answer
21 views

Question on Gravitation and Time Period [on hold]

The time period of revolution of satellite is $T$. The kinetic energy of the satellite is proportional to A) $T$ B) $T^2$ C) $T^3$ D) $T^{-2/3}$
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22 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 ...
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2answers
34 views

Conceptual doubt about mechanic energy and two body problem [on hold]

Suppose that two bodies are in plane, let's call the first m and the second M: In the first case m is moving in plane, so it has kinetic energy. M is attached at the origin (i.e not moving), so it ...
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1answer
28 views

Why do objects experiencing centripetal acceleration not end up at their centers?

A satellite rotates around the earth; a ball on a string rotates around my hand. Each of these things experiences a net force equal to $ mv^2/r = F_{centripetal}$. Why does no object end up at the ...
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2answers
52 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 ...
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1answer
21 views

Inclination of planets

What is the inclination of each planet with the equator of the Sun? Doesn't this have a relationship with the eccentricity of the planet's orbit?
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2answers
121 views

Collision of two satellites

In a theoretical situation in which two identical satellites travelling around the Earth in opposite directions collided head on so that there velocities relative to the earth both became 0, would ...
2
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1answer
71 views

Does spacetime have symmetric curvature around an object? If yes, then why do planets revolve around the Sun in elliptical orbits?

Does spacetime have symmetric curvature around an object? If yes, then why do planets revolve around the Sun in elliptical (as opposed to circular) orbits?
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2answers
90 views

Why are orbits around black holes stable?

Black hole theory involves space (or space-time), itself, being sucked into the black-hole, with the event horizon marking the point at which space/space-time is moving faster than the speed of light. ...
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1answer
32 views

Find out the expression for angular speed in terms of time

Here is the equation that describes the motion of a planet under the gravitational field generated by a fixed star: $$u=\frac el\cos\theta+\frac 1l$$ where $u$ is the reciprocal of the radial ...
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21 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 ...
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11 views

Can objects orbit around gravitational lensing of a black hole's gravity waves?

In a previous post I was told that gravitational lenses focus gravitational waves. Can objects orbit around gravitational lensing of a black hole's gravity waves?
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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 ...
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1answer
32 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 ...
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0answers
19 views

Why does the Moon not rotate about its axis, relative to Earth's rotation [duplicate]

One of the common features of the Moon is the fact that only one face of the Moon is ever visible from Earth, regardless of how much of its orbit the moon has made about the Earth. This would imply ...
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2answers
29 views

How did the planets (in the Solar System) start to revolve around the sun if they were attracted towards the Sun via the gravitational force? [duplicate]

The planets in the Solar System revolve around the Sun in almost circular paths called orbits. The Sun pulls the planets with the gravitational force,but the planets do not get drawn to the Sun but ...
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2answers
65 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, ...
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3answers
107 views

Does the Earth revolve around the Sun?

I am aware of this Phys.SE question: Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun? but I don't think this is a duplicate. In a binary star system, where the masses of the 2 stars are not so ...
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2answers
65 views

Orbital Velocity Question

I have a satellite in a stable trajectory around Earth, of a Mass $m$. I know that its velocity is: $$ v = \sqrt{mG/r}\, $$ But now it begins accelerating directly against the gravity vector (i.e. ...
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1answer
72 views

Is it possible to have a black hole in empty space?

If the escape velocity of two very massive objects is near the speed of light, and those objects are orbiting each other (let's ignore the Roche limit for this exercise), is it possible that the ...
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1answer
28 views

Orbital variations [closed]

My question relates to relativity and the warping of spacetime. If the geodesics approaching the star are coplanar with the ecliptic how can polar planetary orbits form?
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1answer
51 views

What is a nongeodesic orbit?

I have read that in the Schwarzschild spacetime for a nongeodesic circular orbit the radial acceleration becomes positive for $r<3r_S$. Intuitively, the acceleration should be negative, pulling the ...
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1answer
290 views
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1answer
50 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 ...
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2answers
194 views

Will an object falling into Earth's orbit start spinning?

Assume an object falls towards Earth (I've drawn a hyperbolic orbit, but this would apply to any orbit). The object starts at $A$, and at this point it is not rotating i.e. an observer on the object ...
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2answers
34 views

Would a black hole's rotational axis precess in orbit around the sun?

The earth rotates, and its axis of rotation precesses due to the gravitational pull of the sun and moon and other planets upon the mass of the earth. If an earth-sized, rotating black hole was in ...
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2answers
137 views

What made Kepler think that orbits are not circular which came to be elliptical?

Kepler formulated his laws in a sort of time where human began to believe in heliocentric universe and telescope was not yet invented/ discovered. So what made Kepler think that orbits aren't ...
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1answer
40 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 ...
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2answers
53 views

Air Drag in orbit

Artificial satellites don't orbit the earth forever. Eventually the Earth's atmosphere, thin as it may be up there, will bring them down. But did you know the linear speed of a satellite in a near ...
2
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1answer
26 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 ...
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1answer
62 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 ...
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1answer
20 views

In astronomy, what is a 'reflex orbit'?

In astronomy, what is a reflex orbit? The term is used in one of my books, but u don't find a definition for it. Googling it gives me articles about 'Oculocardiac reflex' which is not what I want. ...
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6answers
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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 ...
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5answers
113 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?
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1answer
81 views

Why do planets not stop revolving around the Sun? [duplicate]

Why do planets revolving around the Sun not stop revolving? Note I am not asking why planets do not collapse with Sun.
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6answers
4k views

Throwing an object around the Earth. Is it possible?

Some of you might be familiar with the cartoon called Astérix. In one of the episodes, Obelix (the really strong fat guy in the stylish striped pants) enters a spear throwing competition. He beats the ...
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0answers
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What are the equations of motion that model near light speed orbits of a massive body about incredibly massive bodies?

In Kip Thorne's recently published book, The Science of Interstellar, he describes, by means of an illustration, the complex nature of a spacecraft orbiting a massive black hole with velocities ~ ...
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1answer
53 views

Calculating eccentric anomaly using the Newton-Raphson method

Yesterday I asked a question on calculating the eccentricity of an exoplanet only knowing the radial velocity vs. phase graph an the mass of the star (question). The answer I got helped me a lot, but ...
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1answer
53 views

How did Kepler formulate his second law from data?

It's amazing that Kepler derived his three laws emperically and then Newton rederived them from his own laws of motion. Its conceivable how Kepler derived the first and third laws, but the second law? ...
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1answer
81 views

Clearing up confusion about orbital mechanics

When I see an orbital mechanics problem, I recall the following things from my "toolbox": Angular momentum is conserved for a body orbiting a planet, since the torque due to gravity is 0. Kinetic ...
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0answers
141 views

The Solar System explosion in the Nice model

This video depicts one variant of the Nice model (pronounced "neese", like the city in France). I'll briefly describe it in case the link ever dies. Here is the initial configuration: The four ...
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1answer
111 views

Calculating the eccentricity of an exoplanet

I'm wondering how to calculate the eccentricity of an exoplanet by its radial velocity vs. phase graph. To clarify my question I will take an exoplanet called WASP-14b 2 as an example ...
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2answers
109 views

Why are planets in unstable equilibrium in a stable orbit

It is well known that a planet in stable orbit is in unstable equilibrium. If e.g. the moon was just a few m/s slower in velocity, or a few m closer to the earth than it is, the gravity would ...
2
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1answer
99 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 ...
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0answers
23 views

Obtaining angular velocity of a general orbit

Provided you are given a effective potential function i.e. $$ V_{eff}=\dfrac{J^2}{2ml^2sin^2(\theta)} + mgl(1-cos(\theta))$$ how do you obtain the angular velocity for different types of orbits; i.e. ...
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3answers
67 views

Why does reduced mass help when talking about two body problems?

I hear people say that reduced mass, $\mu$, is used for two body problems, but what sort of problems? Is it so that the two body system can be treated as one body or is it to simplify calculations ...
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1answer
49 views

Orbital configuration for two bodies at fixed distance from each other

Suppose two bodies are orbiting about their common center of mass, and the distance between the bodies is a fixed distance $d$. Surely one possible configuration is the following: each body moves in a ...
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2answers
83 views

Orbital mechanics problem

Here is a problem from the 2009 $F=ma$ contest on orbital mechanics: Two stars, one of mass $M$, the other of mass $3M$, orbit their common center of mass. When the stars are collinear with the ...