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

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2
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4answers
780 views

Why the center of our galaxy doesn't absorb us?

Depending on the theories, the center of our galaxy is a super massive black hole, this is easy to accept as a truth, but what I couldn't simply devour is how the solar system is orbiting around it ...
3
votes
0answers
68 views

Why rendezvous attempt failed on Gemini 4?

It is said in Wikipedia, that On the first orbit, McDivitt attempted to rendezvous with the spent Titan second stage. This was unsuccessful for a number of reasons: NASA engineers had not ...
2
votes
2answers
198 views

Mathematical model for this graph of a simplified binary star system?

Unnecessary background for question: I had a school assignment asking us to relate a quadratic equation to a real life example relating to our future dream career, making sure to express the accuracy ...
2
votes
3answers
563 views

Gravitational Potential Energy (GPE) to Kinetic Energy (KE) transfer in Satellite Orbits

I am stumped by a mundane A Level Physics question (teacher of physics here obviously a bit short of practice!). My colleagues and I are stumped and were wondering if any one could help us. It ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

How can you calculate the tidal gradient for an orbit?

In the movie Gravity, two characters are dangling from the international space station by a long tether. I've previously wondered exactly how you could calculate the tidal forces that act on an ...
2
votes
1answer
62 views

What are the steps and energetic requirements for getting from the HST to the ISS?

There have been several general critiques of the realism some of the physics depicted in the movie "Gravity" notably regarding the the orbital mechanics of the transition from the Hubble Space ...
2
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0answers
76 views

How to travel between tidally locked binary planets

Two planets of roughly the same volume and mass are orbiting each other. What would be the most efficient way to travel from one to the other? Seems unlikely, but could a rocket positioned at the ...
1
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1answer
73 views

What is most infeasible about a sky hook (as in space travel not Batman)?

We need to get things into space but it costs too much. Lots of people talk about space elevators but no one talks about the skyhook idea. I'm referring to this: Skyhook (Wikipedia), not the thing in ...
8
votes
2answers
226 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Time it takes two oppositely charged particles to collide

I think this is supposed to be a simple problem but I am having a hang up converting it to a one-body problem. It's one-dimensional. +q and -q a distance d apart, held stationary then let go at t=0. ...
4
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2answers
173 views

Gravitation not instantaneous = non elliptic orbits?

When I studied physics some time ago my teacher explained that if we consider the gravitational atraction not instantaneous, such as the General Relativity says, the planets would be attracted towards ...
4
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2answers
92 views

Is such an orbit possible that allows a satellite on Earth and another on Mars to always be in direct line-of-sight?

If not always, how much "most of the time" could it get? Or would a multi-satellites setup be more suited?
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Orbital speed for a circular orbit?

I wanted to look up the formula for orbital speed for a circular orbit on Wikipedia, and I found 2 formulas: All bounded orbits where the gravity of a central body dominates are elliptical in ...
5
votes
1answer
75 views

Do all celestial objects have stationary orbit?

Do all celestial bodies of sufficient mass such big asteroids, moon, planets etc. have orbit such that the period of revolution is same as the sidereal period of that object (such as geostationary ...
1
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0answers
89 views

Collision of two asteroids in the main belt [closed]

If there are two asteroids $A$ and $B$ of equal mass (and density of 3000kg/m^3), with the same semi major axis of $a=$2.2 AU with asteroid $A$ having a circular orbit and no inclination, and ...
1
vote
0answers
62 views

Interpretation of a quantity from the reduced three body problem [closed]

Consider two bodies $S$ and $J$ that gravitate about their center of mass $O$, under the influence of mutual attraction. A third massless body $P$ is moving in the same plane. What is the ...
7
votes
2answers
642 views

Where does tidal energy come from?

Kind of an odd, random question that popped into my head. Tidal energy - earth's ocean movement, volcanism on some of Jupiter's moons, etc. - obviously comes from the gravitational interaction between ...
3
votes
2answers
157 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?
3
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3answers
183 views

How does the gravity of a massive non-spherical object act on things around it?

Firstly, not sure if this question ought to be in the space SE site. Please let me know if it should. (Posted in both for now) Secondly, I don't know a whole lot about physics (I'm just inquisitive). ...
1
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3answers
237 views

Accelerating towards the center of your orbit

If you are in a perfectly circular orbit and accelerate perpendicular to your velocity (directly towards the center of the orbit), what would happen to your orbit? Would it just shift in the direction ...
6
votes
1answer
143 views

When can a natural satellite be in polar orbit around it's primary?

A circular/inclined to the equator/non-polar orbit is typical for natural satellites; apparently a consequence of the energy/velocity requirements. This is applicable to natural satellites around ...
-2
votes
1answer
133 views

Calculation of 12000 Lunar Orbits/Earth Day [closed]

I am really interested in the calculation of the following speed value in meter-per-second unit: Speed of something that is able to travel in one earth day the distance that it would take for the ...
-1
votes
2answers
70 views

orbitting around the earth

Does a space station need an initial velocity (tangentially) to be able to orbit around the earth or just the gravitational force acting downward on the station at certain height from the ground is ...
1
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3answers
181 views

If there's no atmosphere in space shielding from particles, why is not dangerous for spaceships/humans?

Some time ago I was thinking about this. We know that space is almost matter-free, and also is plenty of particles and objects orbiting around all planets and sattellites. If objects orbit around ...
3
votes
2answers
145 views

Orbit reversal in a gravitational well

A friend recently asked me this, and without wishing to spend a huge time thinking about it, I wondered if anyone knew the answer (or at least had an informed guess), or was familiar enough with these ...
1
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0answers
76 views

What causes an electron to return from a higher orbit to a lower orbit

Ultraviolet light can cause electrons from Hydrogen gas to jump from a lower energy orbit to a higher energy orbit. What causes the electrons to return from the higher energy orbit to the lower energy ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

Why was Galilei “right”? [duplicate]

Considering that all frames are equivalent, isn't it up to the observer to say "The earth turns around the sun" or "The sun turns around the earth"? Isn't this more or less like arguing about which ...
0
votes
2answers
65 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
181 views

Binary star system - Revolution around Primary vs Companion

How likely is it in a binary or multi-star system for a non-star celestial body to revolve around the primary star rather than the companion star?
0
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3answers
86 views

Is it possible to reach the edge of a room if there isn't any gravitational acceleration?

Consider that a large room(an indoor badminton court) is orbiting the earth with a person floating exactly at its center without any relative initial velocity. Consider that the person has no ...
2
votes
1answer
79 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
301 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
1answer
518 views

Why does the moon or the earth revolve anti-clockwise?

The question is very simple: Why does the moon or the earth or any another planet revolve anti-clockwise? And can any planet (or satellite) revolve clockwise? What is the physical law for this ...
2
votes
0answers
171 views

For two planets in a 2:1 mean motion resonance , where will their periastron and apastron points be?

I want to animate the changing orbits of planets when they enter a mean motion resonance. Using a 2:1 resonance, I want to show a low-mass inner planet and a low-mass outer planet being tugged by a ...
2
votes
2answers
108 views

Path of Orbital Bodies

I am trying to figure out how to parametrize the path of a body under the influence of gravity from another body, but I am stuck. I have looked at the Wikipedia page on Kepler orbits, but it is ...
2
votes
1answer
805 views

Calculating specific orbital energy, semi-major axis, and orbital period of an orbiting body

Is it possible to calculate the specific orbital energy $ϵ$, the semi-major axis $a$, and the orbital period $T$ (or $P$) without any of them being available to you? The values I do have available to ...
2
votes
2answers
142 views

How do you travel in a circular orbit around a massive body?

I am trying to figure out how an object could achieve a perfectly circular orbit. Given a mass for the planet or other body the object is orbiting and a distance from the center of mass, how fast ...
2
votes
2answers
184 views

Is it better to build a space elevator from GEO down to the surface of the Earth?

Having just finished Arthur C. Clarke's "The Fountains of Paradise", Clarke seems to make a distinction between starting construction of a space elevator from geosynchronous orbit and working on our ...
1
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0answers
175 views

How would the solar system change if Earth was to just disappear? [closed]

Having just finished Arthur C. Clarke's "Childhood's End", my question is, what exactly will happen to the stability and configuration of our solar system if our planet Earth was to just disappear? I ...
0
votes
2answers
147 views

Initial velocity of an orbiting object that lands on the planet with zero speed w.r.t the surface

How would you determine what initial velocity $v(r)$ of an object would have to be at some arbitrary point in the vicinity of a planet such that the object will end up on the surface of the planet ...
34
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it possible to have a geostationary satellite over the poles?

My understanding of orbital mechanics is very limited, but as I understand geostationary satellite, they stay in place by having an orbital speed corresponding to the spot they're orbiting over. So ...
5
votes
1answer
116 views

Do celestial objects experience drag from the near vacuum of space?

For instance do the planets around the sun experience drag from the near vacuum of space? Or do the (hydrogen) atoms in interplanetary have a mean velocity near orbital speeds? And if so would (small) ...
0
votes
4answers
104 views

Revolution of Earth [duplicate]

If all motion is relative, how do we know that the Earth revolves around the sun? Or we are just making the above statement from the frame of reference in which Sun is at the origin?
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Why don't planets have Circular orbits?

This might be a completely wrong question, but this is bothering me since many days ago. Given the mass (Sun) curves the space around it, gravitation is the result of such curved space (Correct me if ...
1
vote
1answer
174 views

Relative angular momentum in two-particle problem

Assume the two particle problem i.e. two particles with equations of motions as follows: $\ddot{x_i} = -\frac{1}{m_i}\frac{\partial}{\partial x_i}V(|x_1 - x_2|)$ Since the angular momentum is ...
2
votes
2answers
427 views

Can the mass of an orbiting object and the object being orbited be determined by the distance and orbit velocity alone? [duplicate]

This question is the inverse of: "Could an object orbit while moving at twice the speed, but at the same distance, if it had half the mass?" I'm curious about the nature of orbits, but am not well ...
1
vote
2answers
154 views

What's the weight of the earth?

What's the weight of the earth? That is, what's the weight of the earth in the gravitational field of the sun? I imagine it's either $0$, because there's no net fall toward the sun, so the downward ...
8
votes
1answer
277 views

What are common methods for calculating the time dependency of elliptical orbit?

After playing a game called "Kerbal Space Program" I got interested in orbital mechanics and started messing with simplified calculations to determine $\Delta v$ requirements. In which I compared two ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Why is the Pegasus launched from a subsonic airplane?

Considering that the reason typically given for launching spacecraft from sea-level as opposed to mountains is that the limiting factor is velocity, not altitude, then why isn't the Pegasus rocket ...
0
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0answers
123 views

Does the earth really move round the sun? [duplicate]

Is there really any empirical proof that the earth moves round the sun? I've read simple explanations using mass-gravity relation. But then some questions remain, is gravity a function of mass alone? ...