1
vote
0answers
58 views

How to show circular orbit as a precessing ellipse

A uniform distribution of dust in the solar system adds to the gravitational attraction of the sun on the planet an additional force linear in $r$ where m is the mass of the planet, k is a constant ...
0
votes
0answers
63 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
276 views

Intuitive explanation of why orbits are closed?

Yesterday my brother asked me how orbits work. Suppose for the sake of the question that you are trying to put a rocket in orbit around the Earth. I explained that orbiting is essentially being in ...
3
votes
2answers
173 views

Mercury's orbit

Mercury has a weird orbit, it's elliptical orbit rotates around an axis, but for no reason. My question is why? What is causing this?
0
votes
2answers
75 views

Possibility of low-radius orbit?

Please bear with me, as I'm not in the field of physics, this question may seem a bit simple. This question is concerning stable circular orbits around celestial bodies. I know the equation relevant ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

What are the determining factors for the velocity of orbiting bodies?

Please bear with me, as I'm not in the field of physics, this question may seem a bit simple. The scenario is the following; A specific stable orbit radius of a small body, say a satellite, to ...
3
votes
3answers
358 views

Are elliptical orbits really elliptical?

I have wondered for a long time how elliptical orbits can work. It seems awkward for a freely-moving object to come very close to a source of gravity and then return to the exact point where it ...
1
vote
0answers
159 views

Mercury's Orbital Precession in Special Relativity

I am researching Mercury's orbital precession. I have considered most perturbations and general relativity. I am still not satisfied. I need your help. I need a solution to Exercise 13, Chapter 6, in ...
8
votes
2answers
581 views

What happens to orbits at small radii in general relativity?

I know that (most) elliptic orbits precess due to the math of general relativity, like this: source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-body_problem_in_general_relativity I also know that something ...
2
votes
2answers
424 views

Does the length of the sidereal day vary systematically?

I'm confused about some properties of the sidereal day, in particular whether its duration varies systematically over the course of the year.1 It seems to me that that must be the case, but the ...
17
votes
4answers
6k views

What did general relativity clarify about Mercury?

I frequently hear that Kepler, using his equations of orbital motion, could predict the orbits of all the planets to a high degree of accuracy -- except Mercury. I've heard that mercury's motion ...
19
votes
4answers
3k views

How do you calculate the anomalous precession of Mercury?

One of the three classic tests of general relativity is the calculation of the precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit. This precession rate had been precisely measured using data collected ...