4
votes
6answers
1k views

Why does the moon stay with the Earth?

Naturally, I know it to be true that the moon goes around the Earth and that the Earth goes around the sun. However, attempting to picture this has confused me a bit. Why doesn't the moon just get ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

How would the solar system change if the Earth were removed

I was reading a closed question with the same title and wondered if it would be on-topic with the following change: Could a large-mass object from interstellar space pass through the inner ...
1
vote
0answers
53 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
31 views

Could an object higher than the stationary orbit be returned to the outgoing point on this orbit?

In the question Centrifuge speed of an object higher than a stationary orbit, I asked: Does an object higher than the stationary orbit move slower or faster around the world than the top of a tower ...
1
vote
2answers
53 views

Centrifuge speed of an object higher than a stationary orbit

In the question At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other?, I asked how high a tower on the equator has to be such that at its top, gravitational and ...
0
votes
2answers
78 views

At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other? [closed]

How high has to be a tower at equator to get on its peak the same - but of course inverted sing - value of gravitational and centrifugal forces?
0
votes
0answers
9 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
51 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. ...
9
votes
1answer
108 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 ...
62
votes
5answers
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 ...
5
votes
5answers
484 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 ...
1
vote
5answers
118 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
860 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 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 $m_2$: ...
9
votes
2answers
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
95 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 $U_k$ ...
5
votes
3answers
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?
7
votes
2answers
222 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
94 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 ...
14
votes
5answers
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 ...
2
votes
0answers
67 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
62 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
65 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 $r$ ...
0
votes
3answers
89 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
72 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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 $R$ ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
94 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
70 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, ...
0
votes
0answers
36 views

Can we design the orbit of a satellite with Einstein’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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 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.
1
vote
2answers
120 views

Why does earth have a minimum orbital period?

Using the equation for Kepler's constant for Earth $K$: $$K = \frac{GM}{4\pi^2}$$ $$K = 1.01 \times 10^{13} \;\rm m^3/s^2$$ Finding time ($r = 6.4 \times 10^{6} \;\rm m$ (radius of Earth)): $$K = ...
1
vote
0answers
102 views

Application of trigonometry to the slingshot effect/gravity assist

I have been trying to understand the formula $$v_f^{2}=v_i^{2}+2V(V(1-\cos\beta)+v_i(\cos(\alpha-\beta)-\cos\alpha))$$ as it relates to Fig. 2 on page 5 of this exposition: ...
1
vote
1answer
55 views

Help for orbits of planets

Suppose that an asteroid) that moves at a velocity $v$ passes near to a planet: now I know that the gravity force of the planet will curve the trajectory of the asteroid so I tried to make a draw of ...
5
votes
3answers
491 views

Derivation of Kepler's laws

How can analytically be derived the Kepler's laws? I found some extremely synthetic equations which from the Newton's laws (in particular $\mathbf{F} = m \mathbf{a}$) tried to obtain the Kepler's ...
2
votes
3answers
76 views

Question about (complex) motion of Moon

In an ideal situation, we can use a simple formula to determine the velocity at which a body revolves around a massive body at a particular distance. I was wondering if there is an intuitive way to ...
3
votes
4answers
629 views

Why are people weightless whilst in orbit around the Earth? ISS? Satellites? [duplicate]

Had physics for 2 years now on highschool, but there is a thing I am wondering about. You know the in the height above the earth surface around where the satellites are (Or the ISS), I've calculated ...
2
votes
2answers
247 views

Why do we orbit around the sun instead of one the other stars?

I am still very new to many physics theories, however while sat in class today, a thought came to mind that I have not been able to answer from simple googling. What is so specific about our sun ...
1
vote
1answer
93 views

Could an orbiting mass generate power?

If an heavy object (e.g. 10 tons) orbiting around Earth at 370 miles high, is connected with a cable back to Earth, we assumed either Earth is going to pull the mass or vice versa (or it will fall ...
0
votes
2answers
48 views

Velocity required for orbit of satellite

I am very confused about orbital velocity for satellite launched from earth. It is states that: $$ v=\sqrt{\frac{GM}{r}} $$ Some says that it is equal to 8000 m/s and some say 3.1 km/s. Please remove ...
4
votes
3answers
143 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
97 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
85 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.
0
votes
0answers
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.
0
votes
2answers
88 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
211 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?
0
votes
0answers
99 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
69 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
3answers
125 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
166 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 ...