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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1answer
303 views

Stable and Unstable Orbital Resonance

I was wondering if anyone can show me why some orbital resonances are unstable. For example in the asteroid belt there is a depleted distribution at 3:1 resonance with jupiter. What is the cause of ...
8
votes
1answer
212 views

What is the optimal burn direction to lower periapsis of hyperbolic orbit?

I am an engineering student who is interested in orbital mechanics. I am doing some self study before taking some orbital mechanics courses next year. I was learning about various orbit types ...
3
votes
3answers
492 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 ...
0
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2answers
106 views

A revolving astronaut

The concept of orbital velocity tells us that there must be a minimum velocity for a satellite to revolve around earth and the velocity should be such that the gravitational force of earth provides ...
1
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2answers
41 views

Why do “mascons” perturb orbits?

If the moon is a rigid body, why do the mass concentrations on the moon make orbits unstable? Doesn't a satellite just orbit the center of mass of it's parent body? Satellites (e.g. GRACE) seem to ...
1
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1answer
194 views

Do convection currents under the crust affect Earths motion in the solar system?

Whilst browsing through this website I began to wonder whether all of that molten rock underneath the Earth's crust would have a notable effect on how the Earth moves in it's orbit of the Sun. ...
4
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0answers
83 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 ...
0
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1answer
130 views

What happens when half of an orbiting object's matter is annihilated?

Suppose object A orbits object B, and that there are no outside gravitational influences non-Sun gravity influences, and that object A is completely spherical and its mass is evenly distributed. Now, ...
0
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1answer
100 views

A change in the mass of the moon [closed]

Would a change in the mass or radius of the moon have any effect on its speed? When asked this question in an assignment, I stated that it did not. My reasoning being that a change in the mass or ...
1
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2answers
532 views

Why do orbital speeds decrease further away from the focus?

Why do orbital speeds decrease further away from the focus? A simple question, but I want to make sure I am understanding this correctly: Is it ONLY a function of the gravity well? As in, the ...
1
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1answer
157 views

The circumference of the Moon's orbit around the sun?

I know that it orbits the sun in what looks like a 12 sided polygon with rounded corners. But I can't seem to find the radius/circumference anywhere.
-4
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1answer
447 views

Why do you experience low-gravity outside the Earth (but near it), and experience more gravity on it?

Spacecraft, satellites, etc. They also experience zero gravity, weightlessness, or "micro gravity" when outside Earth, about 20-300+ miles beyond the escape velocity zone("atmosphere"). However, you ...
5
votes
2answers
2k views

What made Bohr quantise angular momentum and not some other quantity?

Bohr's second postulate in Bohr model of hydrogen atom deals with quantisation of angular momentum.But, I was wondering why he quantised angular momentum and any other quantity?
6
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1answer
1k views

Proving Kepler's 1st Law without differential equations

Is there a way to show that motion of Earth around the Sun is elliptical (Kepler's 1st law) from Newton's laws without resorting to the use of differential equations of motion?
5
votes
2answers
564 views

Calculating Orbital Vectors in the Future

For the 2D space simulator that I am writing (please note, it is not at all homework), I require formulas that will give me the location and velocity of a spaceship, relative to the parent celestial ...
2
votes
1answer
407 views

How do we know the Earth orbits around the Sun and not the other way around? [duplicate]

I know that describing the trajectory of all planets in the solar system around the Earth is much more complicated than if we take the Sun as the reference point. But besides this, what is the ...
-1
votes
1answer
59 views

tracking a satellite

The following article says that because the GOCE satellite has a polar orbit, it is impossible to track where it will land. "The satellite is one of the few satellites in a Polar Orbit. ...
0
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2answers
219 views

Under what conditions, will a projectile motion follow a half circle?

What came to my mind is to throw an object far from the earth with a particular speed equal to $$V_{sat}=\sqrt{\frac{G\times M_{central}}{R}}$$like satellites. However, it would follow a full circle.
2
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0answers
92 views

Computing 2d Orbital Parameters

When using formulas that describe a 2d orbit around a planetary body: is it actually OK for the semi-major axis $a$ to be negative? when $a$ is negative, it is impossible to compute mean anomaly ...
1
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1answer
186 views

Determine if an object is in orbit

I am planning on doing a space simulation program with full physics and as part of a hack to avoid too many issues with number precision I was going to switch orbiting objects to a calculated orbit ...
2
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1answer
135 views

Elliptical orbits passing 2 points [closed]

I would like to find set of possible elliptical orbits which pass 2 points in plane. I was searching for some solutions in orbital mechanics texts but I didn't found any. There are several possible ...
2
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0answers
54 views

Where are the L3, L4, and L5 points of a hyperbolic orbit?

Do the L3, L4, L5 points exist in hyperbolic orbits? If yes, then where do they lie?
1
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3answers
182 views

A satellite in orbit fires it's engines for a short interval. Is the new orbit closer or further away?

A satellite is in a circular orbit when its engines turn on to exert a small force in the direction of the velocity for a short time interval. Is the new orbit further or closer to the Earth? The ...
-1
votes
1answer
445 views

Details of the new solutions to the three-body problem [closed]

This question is part of this week's Journal Club session. These systems look ridiculously fun to construct. Could someone explain the particulars? What are the various types of solutions, and ...
1
vote
1answer
117 views

Is the trajectory of the Moon around the Earth stable? [duplicate]

I understand how mathematically is possible to have one object with elliptical or circular orbit around another object in space. so can I think of it as a limit cycle? If yes, then is it stable or ...
4
votes
1answer
797 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} ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

Perihelion Advance in curve space

I've been doing some work that involves particle's motion subjected to central forces. I was trying to compute the perihelion advance of the particle's path. For that I've been following this ...
-2
votes
3answers
143 views

Why heavier bodies produce greater gravitational pull than the lighter bodies?

The basic question "Why planets revolve around the Sun?", is explained by taking into account the heaviness of Sun. The lighter bodies are considered to move around heavier bodies,as like lighter ...
3
votes
5answers
4k 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 ...
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
277 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
4answers
1k 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
178 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
74 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
88 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
187 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
295 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
275 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
votes
2answers
223 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
votes
2answers
127 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
3answers
5k 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
130 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
118 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
70 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
1k 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
183 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
417 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
vote
3answers
369 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
345 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
237 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 ...