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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
1answer
658 views

What is the precise definition of Gravitational Sphere of Influence (SOI)?

I am trying to understand the gravitational sphere of influence (SOI), but all I get by searching is the formula that you can find on Wikipedia, that is $$ r_{SOI} = a \left( \frac{m}{M} ...
4
votes
1answer
128 views

Gravitational resonances for satellites

I read on the website of European Space Agency that the altitude of Galileo satellites, which is 29600 Km from the center of the Earth, is chosen to avoid gravitational resonances so that station ...
4
votes
1answer
332 views

Oberth Effect in deep space

Does the Oberth effect only apply when in orbit of a planet or would a rocket generate more and more thrust (if kept on) even in deep space? Wikipedia explains that the faster the rocket goes, the ...
4
votes
3answers
228 views

Is there a mathematical relationship here or am I looking for relations when there are none?

When I was taking classical mechanics, we dealt a lot with pendulums, and orbiting bodies problems. This lead me to think about the two situations depicted above. Left: Shows two balls of equal mass ...
4
votes
2answers
61 views

Why is the Milky Way flat? [duplicate]

I read recently that the galactic "flatness" of the Milky Way is due to the rotation of the galaxy combined with a vast stretch of time. Yet, I also read where 1) the Milky Way rotates once every 225 ...
4
votes
0answers
76 views

Calculus used by Gauss to find Ceres' position?

With very little data, the great mathematician Gauss was able to predict the exact location of where to find the asteroid Ceres. If possible I would like a reconstruction of his work, from the data ...
4
votes
0answers
75 views

Why rendezvous attempt failed on Gemini 4? [closed]

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 ...
4
votes
2answers
211 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
385 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
570 views

Is the escape velocity at Geosynchronous Earth Orbit 0km/hr?

Follow-up question to How long must escape velocity be maintained? Is the escape velocity at GSO 0?
3
votes
4answers
2k views

Historically, how do we know that Earth moves around Sun? And it does so in an elliptical orbit?

I know the basics of solar system like how Earth moves around Sun, and that we have so many planets, elliptical orbit of earth, and how far is sun from earth etc etc. I want to take a step back and ...
3
votes
2answers
409 views

Deviation from Earth's orbit

How much orbital deviation is required for the Earth to get knocked out from current orbit so it either moves away from Sun or towards the Sun?
3
votes
4answers
726 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
3k 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
4answers
1k views

Two masses in deep space - collide or orbit?

If two identical masses are somehow "released" into deep space (that is, they're subject to no other gravitation forces but their own, and are initially at rest to each other). What decides whether ...
3
votes
2answers
641 views

Is there a conserved quantity that enforces planar orbits in central force motion?

From what I remember, one of the first steps in finding the equations of motion for an orbiting body is to argue that the body's motion has to be restricted to a plane, because the central force has ...
3
votes
2answers
163 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
990 views

Angular momentum power plant on Earth

If tidal power plants are slowing down Earth's rotation then is it theoretically possible to build a power plant that would drain energy from Earth's angular momentum (thus slowing down it's ...
3
votes
2answers
269 views

Is it possible to orbit the sun next to Earth?

With Geostationary orbit your limited to the equator and ~36000km. Would it be possible to orbit the sun at the same speed as Earth, and then in basically the same place so that the distance to the ...
3
votes
4answers
755 views

Why do people claim electrons are accelerating

A lot of text books mention that one of the reasons that classical mechanics failed to explain atomic and subatomic processes is that electrons which accelerate should release energy in the form of ...
3
votes
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 ...
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?
3
votes
1answer
395 views

How do I calculate the time it would take for a space craft launching from earth to reach another planet?

I am making a matlab program the my final project for my programming class in college. I have chosen this problem, but I am bashing my head against the wall trying to figure out the equations and how ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Measuring acceleration of earth due to its fall around the sun

Every orbiting of a satellite around a mass is nothing else but a constant fall - and therefore acceleration - towards this mass. In a way it is a "falling around" that mass. My question Is it ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
176 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
votes
3answers
350 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). ...
3
votes
1answer
424 views

Where does energy for high and low tides come from?

High and low tides are caused by Moon gravity attracting water. Now there's friction, waves cause erosion, their energy is used in power plants yet the tides work for millions of years and are ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

How does electron excitation relate to atomic orbitals?

Taking off from the Rutherford-Bohr model, Figure 1. Rutherford-Bohr model. when an electron absorbs energy (from light, heat, or otherwise) it jumps to a higher energy level, or shell. Then when ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

Why does the Cassini probe experience jerky acceleration in deep space?

I was looking at this plot of speed over time for the Cassini probe. What's going on at the right, after mid-2004? Why does it keep slowing down and speeding up again?
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Can a very small portion of an ellipse be a parabola?

We consider that when a body is projected from any height from the earth surface with a speed lesser than the orbital speed ( tangentially to the earth surface at that point.) it follows an elliptical ...
3
votes
3answers
436 views

What is the reasoning behind the Hill Sphere?

According to Wikipedia, Hill Sphere is : the volume of space around an object where the gravity of that object dominates over the gravity of a more massive but distant object around which the first ...
3
votes
2answers
180 views

Can the axis of rotation of a celestial body point in any arbitrary direction?

I am developing a small computer program that involves moderately simple simulation of elliptical Kepler orbits for fictional, generated star systems. I'm doing this without much prior knowledge of ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

How does Earth carry Moon with it, if it can not force Moon to touch it by gravitational force?

Earth's gravitational force is acting on its Moon in such a way that it forces the Moon to rotate round its orbit by centripetal force and carries it while rotating round the Sun by gravitational ...
3
votes
3answers
485 views

Orbital mechanics of Dragon's Egg

In the novel Dragon's Egg, the human crew use one asteroid to swing other asteroids in place to counter the gravity of the neutron star. I understood that it was similar to a gravity sling shot, but I ...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Is the best data about Mercury's perihelion shift really 60 years old?

The advance of the perihelion of Mercury is one of the four classical tests of general relativity. I wonder what's the most precise modern measurement of it. However, while scanning the literature, ...
3
votes
2answers
104 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
214 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?
3
votes
2answers
100 views

Does spin of the earth vary at different locations?

Does the spin of the earth around its axis vary at different distance from the sun?,if so how does it correspond to the length of day and night,?
3
votes
1answer
94 views

Why doesn't this equation for orbital motion change with position in the orbit?

The question and answer are on pg.8-10 of this PDF: At first, I went through it, thinking nothing of it. But then, I wondered: "What if we picked a final state in which the space junk was NOT at ...
3
votes
2answers
131 views

Orbits within a $-\vec{r}$ field

Let's say that we have a cold dark matter theory, so we imagine weakly interacting particles. Now, let's say that one of those dark-matter particles has a rare interaction while traveling through the ...
3
votes
1answer
725 views

About binary stars and calculating velocity, period and radius of their orbit

I saw somewhere about being able to measure the velocity, period and radius of a binary star orbit by looking at red shift and blue shift. I understand it but can someone give me an example of ...
3
votes
3answers
77 views

The motion of the particle satisfies $\textbf{v} = \textbf{c}\times \textbf{r}$

Why does a particle with position $\textbf r(t)$ that satisfies $\textbf{v}(t) = \textbf{c}\times \textbf{r}(t)$ follow a circle that lies in a plane perpendicular to $\textbf{c}$ with centre on a ...
3
votes
2answers
75 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
87 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
1answer
77 views

multibody problem and determinism

Given that there is no exact general solution to the $N$-body problem, can it be concluded that the Universe is non-deterministic, even for the Newtonian case (ignoring relativistic and quantum ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

Where can I find the list of the planetary motion equations?

The planetary motion equations are written in the ellipse equation format, i.e. $x^2/a + y^2/b = 1$. Can anyone please tell me where I can find the list of all the planetary motion equations, ...
3
votes
2answers
181 views

How does Kepler's laws and Newtons universal gravitation for two bodies come together?

Does Newton's laws of gravitation and Kepler's laws give exactly the same orbit for two bodies? Could someone please explain the derivation if so?
3
votes
2answers
111 views

Cannon on spacecraft: hitting yourself

Some Soviet space stations reportedly had anti-aircraft cannons installed. Could such a cannon hit the firing space station accidentally on a subsequent orbit? The muzzle velocity of the cannon is ...
3
votes
1answer
115 views

Does a reference or classification standard for altitude classifications of geocentric orbits exist?

I'm looking for a primary reference of the altitude classifications of geocentric orbits (LEO, MEO, GEO, HEO), but I was not able to find something so far. I noticed that there is very different ...