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

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31 views

How may one calculate the escape velocity of a binary system at a given radius from the COM?

Apologies if this is a bit general, even some pointers in the right direction would be great (reading material etc.) Given an object of mass $m_3$ travelling outward at speed $v$ from the centre of ...
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41 views

Why does planetary spin affect the stability of orbits?

Reading about the Hill Sphere I notice that "the region of stability for retrograde orbits at a large distance from the primary, is larger than the region for prograde orbits at a large distance from ...
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2answers
62 views

Deriving the velocity for circular orbital motion

I'm trying to derive the (circular) orbital velocity for a given height from the center of mass of a body, like Earth. First I used the equation of the circle $x^2 + y^2 = r^2$ to get $y = \pm ...
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1k views

Is the Earth the center of the Solar System? [duplicate]

Alright guys, so I attracted you with the title. Now, to preface the question, I am fully aware of the work of Copernicus, as well as the concepts of Heliocentrism and Barycentric Coordinates. I have ...
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2answers
373 views

Do the planets really orbit the Sun?

This is a duplicate of this question on Space Exploration.SE. So why would I ask it again here? Read below. The question reads We often say that the planets orbit the Sun, which is usually a ...
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66 views

Physical Meaning of Cone used in Conic Section for Orbital Mechanics

Does the polar angle (complement of $\theta$ below) of a cone which intersects a plane to yield a conic section have a physical meaning in orbital mechanics? Note that the angle of incident ...
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42 views

Elliptical path of planets [duplicate]

Why are the planet's orbits in the form of an ellipse and what is the proof that earth moves in an elliptical path with the sun at its foci? Initially it was thought that earth moved in a circular ...
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1answer
29 views

Orbital motion (in a plane) Speed at a given mean anomaly

For a small simulation I'm working I'm in need to provide an instantaneous speed (and acceleration). The system is a basic "2 dimensional" orbit system. The orbits follow kepler's law of orbits. ...
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153 views

How often does the earth rotate around the common center of mass with the moon?

I could not find anywhere how long does it take for the earth to rotate around the center of mass of the earth moon system, which is located inside the earth but off-center. And does this motion have ...
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2answers
60 views

Why are L4 and L5 Lagrange points stable as points and not part of a circle?

I read this Phys.SE thread which is similar Why are L4 and L5 lagrangian points stable? but I did not want to necro that thread. It seems that most discussions of a three body problem are presented ...
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28 views

Minimal set of invariants to specify a Kepler orbit

In the Kepler problem, we know that there are various invariants, including: Energy Angular momentum vector Runge-Lenz vector All together these consist of 7 parameters. On the other hand, the ...
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40 views

Foci of elliptical path

I have read the Kepler's laws of motion where I came across the term foci of elliptical path. But what is really a focus? Can anyone please explain what is a focus (maybe with a diagram) and why a ...
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57 views

Can I launch an object into orbit using only a cannon?

My friends and I were reminiscing about our intro physics classes and decided to revisit an old problem were we were required to calculate the orbital velocity of a cannonball fired from 1 meter above ...
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100 views

Drift of Earth's orbit?

How much has Earth drifted (inwards or outwards) from its orbit about the sun? Or has Earth has not moved at all, compared to, say, 1000 years ago? 10,000 years ago?
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89 views

Time to fall in a non-uniform gravitational field

In an uniform gravitational field the loss in potential energy (the work done) by gravity is given by $\text{-}mg\Delta h$ and the time to do so (assuming no friction and no initial velocity) is given ...
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3answers
121 views

What makes an orbit stable or unstable?

I have an assignement, where I have a given central potential $V(x)=-\frac{K}{6r^6}$ and object with an angular momentum $L$. I've calculate the radius of a circular orbit, which I've done by ...
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1answer
76 views

Velocity of an object in a decaying orbit

The velocity of an object in a stable orbit is well known and (relatively) easy to derive. I have a problem involving a decaying orbit. An object, M2, in a vacuum is orbiting another object, M1, but ...
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44 views

How do you calculate perihelion precession in the general spherically symmetric space time?

I am trying to find the approximate solution of the differential equation obtained for the the motion of massive particle around Riessner-Nordstrom-AdS solution, equation and its solution are given in ...
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3answers
147 views

Since the gravitational force is only attractive, why does matter not just concentrate into a small sphere?

This doubt has been wandering in my head for a long time. The gravitational force is only attractive force not a repulsive force. Since gravitational force is only attractive force, why not the ...
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1answer
48 views

How did the Moon survive next to the Earth since earth and Moon came into existence?

What mechanism(s) prevented the gravitational effect of the earth on the moon from shattering the moon when it was closer to the earth than the Roche Limit some 4.5 billion years ago?
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78 views

Gravitational Force vs. Centripetal Acceleration

Can someone please explain this conceptually: Suppose we have two probes, one one the surface of the earth and one in geosynchronous orbit. Since $a_c = \omega^2r$, the probe that is further out, ...
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1answer
104 views

Determing Velocity of Moons

I have a question that I believe is relatively easy to answer, I am working on an $N$-body simulation of a fictional star system and am having trouble finding the velocity of moons so that they will ...
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2answers
117 views

In the time of the dinosaurs the Earth rotated once in 17 hours rather than about 24 hours, where did the rotational energy and angular momentum go?

where did the rotational energy and angular momentum go? Some claim that the angular momentum went to the Moon. Astronauts put a corner reflecting mirror on the moon and reflected a Laser and timed ...
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66 views

Do 2-body elliptic orbits precess in special relativity?

Einstein famously explained the anomalous precession of Mercury by showing that in general relativity elliptic orbits precess even in the 2-body problem. But apparently in the early days of quantum ...
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2answers
84 views

What sort of propulsion technology would allow spaceships to lift off the surface of the Earth and ascend into space like we see in sci-fi movies?

In many sci-fi films, spacecraft are easily capable of lifting off the surface of a planet like a Harrier and ascending into space. It's clear that the propulsion system/jet engines aren't your ...
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150 views

If Earth and Jupiter are orbiting around Sun in same orbit, will they have same time period?

Let us suppose that Earth and Jupiter are orbiting around the Sun in same orbit, If we talk about at any particular point. (Which is not possible but for the sake of question) I was wondering that ...
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2answers
132 views

Where does the angular momentum of the solar system come from? [duplicate]

We inhabit a system with significant angular momentum: http://www.zipcon.net/~swhite/docs/astronomy/Angular_Momentum.html If our solar system formed by gravity gathering its material together to ...
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1answer
38 views

Working out length of taut rope orbiting the earth remaining straight and radially directed [closed]

A taut rope is orbiting the earth with angular velocity $a$. It remains straight and radially directed. If the midpoint is located at radius $r$, find the length of the rope. I can't even imagine ...
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122 views

Earth-Sun distance on a given day of the year

The Earth-Sun distance on a given day of a year, can be calculated using the formula (source pdf): $$\frac{d}{\rm AU} = 1 - 0.01672\cos(0.9856({\rm day}-4))$$ where $\rm day$ is the count of days ...
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67 views

Escape velocity for Schwarzschild metric

I can't fill in the gaps in my solution to this and assistance or a reference would be appreciated. The question begins with the straightforward derivation of the EoM for a massive particle orbiting ...
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1answer
19 views

Superposition of accelerations in multibody problem

I am currently trying to design a game that implements Newtonian gravity, and am trying to code something that draws the trajectory of a small mass being acted upon by the gravity of much larger ...
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1answer
36 views

How do we find the cone angles of the conic sections that are the Newtonian orbits?

In planetary motion, when the eccentricity of a conic section and its semi-latus rectum are known, how do we find out the cone's semi-vertical angle and angle of cutting of the cone by plane?
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758 views

Why aren't satellites increasing speed because of gravitational acceleration?

Satellites orbiting the earth are experiencing almost as strong gravitation as we do, but they don't hit the earth because of their velocity outwards and the earth's curvature. But if they're ...
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90 views

Sun and planets orbit each other

Do not the planets and the Sun revolve in orbits around each other and the shape of the orbit depends on where the center of gravity of the system is? The greater the mass of the Sun, the closer the ...
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53 views

Two Bodies Orbiting Around Each Other and Kepler’s Laws?

If two bodies are orbiting around a central center of gravity, how does Kepler’s first law (the one regarding the ellipse) apply?
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1answer
128 views

Finding the initial velocity vector of an orbiting body

I'm writing a program that simulates Newton's law of universal gravitation by simply calculating the force and applying it on the objects. The simulation works very well, but now I want to simulate ...
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1answer
104 views

Would Special Relativity Predict Time Dilation of a Geostationary Satellite Compared to an Observer on Earth?

Consider a geostationary satellite at some arbitrary distance above the Earth's equator and consider a person directly below it, standing on the Earth's equator. Both satellite and person exist on the ...
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2answers
69 views

Is it possible for a planet to be “axially locked”?

What I mean is, can a planet orbiting its sun have a fixed rotational axis relative to the sun ie in the case of earth the tilt is like this /........(sun)......./. as it goes around the sun. ...
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71 views

Orbital elevators and the Coriolis effect

Consider an orbital elevator simply modelled as a large mass in geostationary orbit (altitude approx 36,000km) around the Earth, connected to a point on the equator via a strong, light, likely ...
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1answer
43 views

System of point masses orbiting a center of mass

I'm working on a programming homework working with a system of point masses/particles. We are given the particles' initial positions (s_x, s_y, s_z), initial velocities (v_x, v_y, v_z) and masses. ...
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1answer
115 views

Would a planet in a binary star system follow Kepler's Laws?

I'm thinking it would not. I am thinking Kepler's Laws were a simplification that were possible with a simple two body (sun, planet) but would not apply for something more complex (sun1, sun2, ...
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2answers
34 views

Does the microgravity environment in highly elliptical orbits differ from circular orbits?

I think everyone understands the microgravity environment broadcast from the ISS. But the ISS stays in a fairly circular orbit, the acceleration of gravity should be fairly uniform, the altitude and ...
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In circular motion, with a constant distance, why does the mass of the orbitting object have no effect on its revolution at all?

Using Newton's universal equation and some circular motion equation, the orbiting object's mass cancels out. But can someone please explain why this is without using pure algebra?
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58 views

In circular motion, what's preventing me from calculating the circumference of the circle, dividing it by time to find the speed of the object?

There are equations to solve for the speed in circular motion. However, is there anything preventing me from calculating the circumference from the given radius, and then divide that over the time to ...
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1answer
60 views

Why doesn't an airplane simply go up in the air and stay there?

To get where a plane wants to go for example if I wanted to go from California to Japan, why can't an airplane simply stay up in the sky and let the earth rotate underneath it? Is it the ...
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0answers
29 views

What is the particle distribution in Saturn's Ring System?

In watching the scientifically scream-inducing film/movie 'Interstellar', there was a shot of the spacecraft moving through the Rings of Saturn. In this shot, and in every graphical representation of ...
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2answers
247 views

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, $α = GMm$ ...
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1answer
51 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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83 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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1answer
41 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 ...