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

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5
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1answer
257 views

Convert latitude of lowest altitude to argument of perigee?

I am designing an orbit around Mercury. I know the values I want for the semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination, and RAAN. I want the altitude of closest approach (periapse) to occur at ...
5
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4answers
512 views

Are galactic stars spiraling inwards?

Are the stars in our galaxy spiraling inwards towards the center, or are they in a permanent orbit? And if we are heading towards the center then what is the rate of this process? I started ...
3
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2answers
1k views

When is the right ascension of the mean sun 0?

I understand that the right ascension of the mean sun changes (at least over a specified period) by a constant rate, but where is it zero? I had naively assumed that it would be zero at the most ...
2
votes
2answers
321 views

The validity of the Longitude of Perihelion

As I understand it from Astronomical Algorithms, by Jean Meeus, the Longitude of Perihelion is a very common numeric value associated with planets, even used as one of the planetary orbital elements. ...
6
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2answers
746 views

How did pre-Copernican astronomers accurately predict planetary position?

Copernican elements (circular orbital elements) are not very accurate. But Copernicus simplified our understanding a great deal by placing the Sun at the center of the system. Im astonished by the ...
8
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2answers
1k 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 ...
52
votes
5answers
4k views

Is there a small enough planet or asteroid you can orbit by jumping?

I just had this idea of orbiting a planet just by jumping and then flying upon it on its orbit kind of like superman. So, Would it be theoretically possible or is there a chance of that small body to ...
0
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2answers
144 views

Definitions of Lagrange points: $L_4$ and $L_5$

We have the the five Lagrange points (let consider Earth and Sun): $L_1$ - lie between Sun and Earth; $L_2$ - beyond the Earth; $L_3$ - beyond the Sun; And what's the difference between $L_4$ and ...
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4answers
3k views

Can a balloon float into space? (+orbital velocity)

After watching the recent "space jump" a question arose. Why can a balloon not float into space? Can one be made/designed to do this? Next, everything in orbit is falling back to earth. It only ...
0
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1answer
122 views

What is the orbital motion where both foci are located at one point?

What is the orbital motion where both foci are located at one point? I know that an ellipse orbit is motion with two distinct foci.
1
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2answers
756 views

Result of increasing the radius of earth?

How can increasing the radius of earth may cause an impact on the solar system ? Like, would earth may start making a bigger orbit (due to increase in size and wait) or vice versa ? or else ? PS: The ...
12
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2answers
482 views

What accounts for the discrepancies in my calculations of year lengths?

A common exercise in many introductory astronomy texts is to use the lengths of various kinds days to calculate the approximate length of the corresponding year. For example, ratio $k$ of the length ...
3
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1answer
515 views

How long will it take for a bullet to reach a Geostationary orbit?

I'm curious to know this. Neglect air friction and imagine a bullet that were shot normal to the Earth's surface, from the Equator. I will have to consider the Coriolis effect and so I expect the path ...
2
votes
2answers
480 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
934 views

James Webb Space Telescope's halo orbit at Lagrange point L2

The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is expected to be launched in 2018 and operate in the L2 vicinity, about 1.5 million km from Earth. It will be placed in a halo orbit around the unstable L2 ...
0
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1answer
568 views

Is there a simple, accurate formula for calculating transit times from rise and set times?

I have access to "rise" and "set" times for astronomical objects, and want to determine the corresponding times of culmination. Is there a reliable and accurate way to do this? It isn't clear to me ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Kepler Orbital Elements to Cartesian (xyz)

I'm not really sure if this is the place to ask this, but anyway here is my question: Let's say I have the Kepler orbital elements of the ISS, for example, (NASA stuff). Now I want to compute the ...
3
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0answers
116 views

Is Earth/Luna tidal lock approaching faster?

Wikipedia pegs the mass of Earth at $5.972\cdot 10^{24}\,\text{kg}$ or $5.972\cdot 10^{21}\,\text{metric tons}$. Assuming Earth accumulates approximately $30,000\,\text{metric tons}$ annually. To ...
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vote
2answers
143 views

A particle of charge $-e$ orbits a particle of charge $Ze$, what is its orbital frequency?

A point particle $P$ of charge $Ze$ is fixed at the origin in 3-dimensions, while a point particle $E$ of mass $m$ and charge $-e$ moves in the electric field of $P$. I have the Newtonian equation of ...
0
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1answer
891 views

Satellite Orbital Period [closed]

I know I can calculate the period of a satellite orbit by Kepler's third law, but somehow it does not work out. The sattelite is 20200km from surface of the earth. $r=$orbits radius=earths ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Single plane Ring system [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are our planets in the solar system all on the same disc/plane/layer? I've noticed this in many pictures, Planets are shown with a single ring around them (in some ...
1
vote
1answer
237 views

Is Earth's orbit altered by recoil from take-off/launch/recovery of aero/space vehicles?

Just what the title states. Pretty much all movement on Earth is by pushing against the much greater mass of Earth. Given there are easily thousands of aircraft taking flight/landing, and a lesser ...
2
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3answers
245 views

How closely may an artificial satellite orbit Earth without decaying appreciably each orbit?

Just what the title states. An artificial satellite will orbit Earth with some defined angular momentum. An aircraft,on the other hand, relies upon it's engines to provide continuous forward velocity ...
0
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3answers
2k views

Uniform Circular Motion

Why does the object not go inward, into the circle if the acceleration is inward? I think its because the velocity to outward? So they sort of cancel each other out? But if the speed is kept ...
0
votes
1answer
342 views

What is the pause called at the apex of an object's trajectory?

My apologies for such a basic question--I am a musician, not a physicist. But I cannot anywhere find the word, if one exists, that describes that elegant pause of an object such as a ball, thrown ...
1
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1answer
159 views

What are “cycles of anomaly” and “cycles of longitude”?

In several early (pre-1600) astronomical texts I read about "cycles of anomaly" and "cycles of longitude", but it us unclear to me what these terms mean. They were clearly familiar to authors at the ...
0
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1answer
374 views

What path would advanced spaceships take to move between planets? [closed]

Right now, space travel is all about carefully moving between orbits. If you want to go from Earth to Mars, you wait until the two planets are correctly aligned, and then place yourself into an ...
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0answers
132 views

What is the angular distance between Ptolemaic perigees of Mercury?

In his excellent treatment of the history of the science of astronomical distances and sizes, Albert van Helden says (p.29) that The complicated [Ptolemaic] model of Mercury has the curious ...
5
votes
1answer
248 views

Earth-Moon orbiting each other after being engulfed by Red Giant

Recently some exoplanets were discovered which are thought to be the leftover cores of giant planets that had survived a star becoming a Red Giant and then shrinking back to a subdwarf. If giant ...
2
votes
1answer
844 views

How did Copernicus establish the relative distance to the superior planets?

I understand that the relative distances to the planets had been calculated using various methods since ancient times, and, in particular, that the assumptions of the Copernican model of the Solar ...
2
votes
1answer
354 views

Did Aristarchus take the radius of the Earth into account in calculating the distance to the Moon?

My text says that Aristarchus (310 BC – ~230 BC) measured the "angle subtended by the Earth-Moon distance at the Sun" ($\theta$ in the figure below) to establish the relative Earth-Moon and Earth-Sun ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Would a rocket burn more fuel to get from Earth's surface to LEO, or to get from LEO to GEO?

Would a rocket burn more fuel to get from Earth's surface to Low Earth Orbit, or to get from LEO to Geosynchronous Earth Orbit?
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0answers
57 views

Would ferromagnetic space debris have been magnetized by their orbit in the Earth's magnetosphere?

Given a nail, and a magnet it is possible to magnetize the nail by patiently rubbing the nail until it is magnetized; albeit the field strength may be less than that of the source. With several ...
4
votes
1answer
203 views

Is the fuel burn for a satellite launch affected by the position of the moon relative to the launch site?

The gross mass of a satellite rocket is tiny compared to that of Earth, and Luna. Between them, however, the two bodies set up tides in bodies of water which itself is again considerable mass. At ...
5
votes
1answer
659 views

When and how were relative distances to the planets first measured?

I understand that the absolute distance to a planet can be measured using earth-baseline (e.g., diurnal) parallax, and that the first reasonably accurate such measurement was made for Mars by Cassini ...
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Could we make a trebuchet that could launch objects to a stable orbit?

Inspired by this xkcd, which calculated the energy requirements for accelerating individual humans to escape velocity (regardless of consideration for what that would do to your organs), I am ...
9
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2answers
495 views

Was Jupiter's mass “guessed at” by Kepler or Galileo?

Following Kepler's publication of his 3rd law of planetary motion1, $$p^2 / r^3 = 1$$ in 1619, it would have been possible to use telescopic observations to arrive at an estimate of the orbital ...
2
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2answers
999 views

What the difference between “orbital” and “orbit”?

What's the difference between "ortibal" and "orbit"? Which one should be used in physics? In quantum mechanics, is "atomic orbital" or "atomic orbit" used? And what about in classical mechanics? A ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Why no image of the North or the South Pole Weather? [closed]

I was watching a youtube video which refers to National Geographic and other metereological sources that the US govenrment has banned access to the weather and metereological data of both Poles. What ...
5
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2answers
574 views

Consequences of destroying a space elevator

Suppose there is a fully functional space elevator built on Earth. The base is attached to coordinates $ (\lambda, \varphi) = (0,0) $ e.g., on the equator on the zero-meridian. What would happen ...
0
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2answers
1k views

Does effective potential for a gravitational force have a maximum below $E=0$?

The relevant figure is below (taken from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics). This figure plots the effective potential for a gravitational force. Does the effective potential $V'$ go flat below $E_2=0$? ...
2
votes
1answer
270 views

Do Lagrangian points actually maintain a fixed distance?

I was reading on up Lagrangian points and the restricted three-body problem. From what I was able to tell, the Lagrangian points are 5 points in a two-body system such that a third body would be ...
0
votes
1answer
523 views

Condition for circular orbit

I am a little confused about the condition for circular orbit. Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has the condition for circular orbit as $$f'=0\tag1$$ where $f'$ is the effective force. I understand ...
0
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2answers
436 views

Energy required to kick a planet orbiting the Sun from an elliptical to a parabolic path

I am trying to solve the following problem from Goldstein's Classical Mechanics: A planet of mass $M$ is in orbit of eccentricity $e=1-\alpha$ where $\alpha<<1$, about the Sun. Assume that the ...
6
votes
2answers
305 views

Why is there this asymmetry between the two foci of an orbital ellipse?

Why does the Earth revolve with the Sun at one of its foci? Does the other focus do nothing? Why is there this asymmetry in our solar system?
2
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference between a bounded orbit and a closed orbit?

Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a puzzling few sentences in his discussion of orbits. Referring to the case of orbit where the energy is low enough for the orbit to be bounded, he says :"This ...
2
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3answers
502 views

The theory of moon creation when a Mars size planet hit Earth

As we know the predominant theory where does the moon come from is that a Mars size planet hit the earth and took a chunk out of it which eventually materialized into moon. My question is that if a ...
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1answer
158 views

Cyclic co-ordinates implying the constant velocity motion of center of mass of a system of particles

I'm reading the section on Central Force in my textbook (Goldstein's Classical Mechanics has a similar argument in the chapter titled "The Central Force Problem", first section), where we have the ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What happened to Apollo's Saturn-third-stage rockets?

I read recently the original Apollo 11 press release and it mentions that the Saturn V's third stage (used for Trans-Lunar Injection) was deployed into a solar orbit of some kind: (Source: Press ...
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1answer
162 views

Determining Orbital Velocity

Is there any way to determine the orbital velocity of a point around another stationary point, if I don't know the mass of either of the points but know the force that gravity exerts and the distance ...