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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2answers
490 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 ...
2
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3answers
252 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 ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Sunrise time across the globe?

This question is more astronomy related, I started thinking when I heard from one of my friends living in Jiamusi, that Sun rise at 02:00 and sets at 14:00, I know that this place is more near to ...
2
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2answers
65 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. ...
2
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2answers
98 views

Can the epicycles of the geocentric model of the solar system be dismissed due to the laws of physics?

With enough epicycles, the motions of the planets can be accounted for in a geocentric model, but do the laws of gravity make such motions impossible? Did Newton's laws not only provide a simpler ...
2
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1answer
41 views

Can a general n-body system emit gravitational waves?

I know that (for example) binary neutron stars can emit radiation in the form of gravitational waves. This question got me thinking about the case of three or more objects. I wrote in my answer that ...
2
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1answer
432 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 ...
2
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1answer
147 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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1answer
75 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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1answer
309 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. ...
2
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2answers
893 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 ...
2
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1answer
181 views

Understanding Kepler's problem

I wanted to know a few things about elliptical motion, that I do not understand so far. Let's imagine that we have an attractive gravitational two body problem where both bodies carry out elliptical ...
2
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1answer
156 views

Acceleration due to gravity?

I was looking into orbitals and found something I haven't been able to understand. http://www.math.ubc.ca/~cass/courses/m309-01a/hunter/satelliteOrbits.html There is a part on the page which states ...
2
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2answers
70 views

Towing of asteroid

I recently studied that NASA has planned to tow and place it in the orbit of the moon. My doubt is when asteroid is placed in the orbit near moon.since the gravitational field of earth is very ...
2
votes
1answer
309 views

Can we transfer burn to another planet at any time?

Assume delta-v isn't a problem and circular orbits. EDIT: Assume that you're already in orbit so you don't have to shift a massive load of fuel up, and the absolute ideal is something that has a ...
2
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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 ...
2
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1answer
861 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
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1answer
359 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 ...
2
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1answer
38 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 ...
2
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1answer
43 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?
2
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2answers
25 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 ...
2
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0answers
21 views

Orbits of binary pulsars. How to calculate? [duplicate]

If I may ask: How can the orbits of binary pulsar stars, with similar mass, be calculated from Kepler's laws? Considering that both large central masses must be located at their mutual foci. Also, how ...
2
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1answer
29 views

Coexistence at Lagrange points

I was wondering how precise the location of an object in a Lagrange point needs to be to maintain stability, since it seems that several natural objects (asteroids) exists together in some of these ...
2
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1answer
64 views

How did Kepler formulate his second law from data?

It's amazing that Kepler derived his three laws emperically and then Newton rederived them from his own laws of motion. Its conceivable how Kepler derived the first and third laws, but the second law? ...
2
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1answer
75 views

Why doesn't no rotation imply tidal locking?

That I know of, in most parts of physics 0 movement means the body is resting, all the forces are in equilibrium. Why in orbital mechanic 0 rotation speed doesn't mean tidal lock as it would be the ...
2
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1answer
162 views

Unexpected eccentricity in moon orbit simulation

I've used Mathematica's NDSolve function to calculate the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. I used the following initial positions (perigee): ...
2
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0answers
35 views

What would the properties of a particle be that would allow light to orbit it? [duplicate]

What would the properties of a particle be that would allow light to orbit it? Light travels fast. Really fast. Almost to the point where we consider that it's instantaneous, and moves only in a ...
2
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0answers
146 views

How to calculate launch angle for tangentially launched satellites?

What is the value of theta for a satellite not falling back to the Earth if it is launched from the direction tangent to the surface of the Earth? I have found the escape velocity which is 11.18km/s, ...
2
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0answers
37 views

Would a large, small mass object in orbit experience induced rotation

Imagine a large (multiple earth radii), very small-mass ring orbiting The Sun. Half of the ring would be closer to The Sun than the outer half. Since orbital velocity decreases with distance, two free ...
2
votes
1answer
93 views

What is the constant $K_1$ in these orbital equations?

I want to compute the derivatives of argument of periapsis and longitude of the ascending node of the orbit of a GPS satellite from the following formula. $$\frac{d\Omega}{dt} = -K \cos{i} \\ ...
2
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0answers
95 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 ...
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?
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 ...
2
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0answers
380 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
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2answers
329 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
310 views

Can a photon be made to orbit a known (or undiscovered theoretical) body?

Can a photon through some process be made to orbit a celestial or any other object? Two follow-up questions. Can this orbit be described as the photon crossing its own path. Will this ...
2
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0answers
290 views

Projectile motion equations @ very (!) high starting velocity

I've already searched Physics StackExchange for some similar question but I didn't find anything about this. Assumptions: Earth is a perfect sphere with it's core (X,Y,Z) -> (0,0,0) as a ...
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 ...
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vote
6answers
1k views

Can orbital energy be a source of perpetual power?

A thought just came to me, and I want to comfirm it here: If we figured out a way to harvest the energy from the orbit of the Moon, would that be perpetual? The Moon has been orbiting the earth for ...
1
vote
1answer
4k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
78 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
172 views

Rocket needed to send 100 gram of mass to outer space? [closed]

What kind of rocket would be needed to send 100 gr of mass to outer space? The mass can be moulded in any shape, but it would need not raise above 40 °C of temperature during the ...
1
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1answer
301 views
1
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1answer
149 views

Is it possible for a solar system to have planets orbiting the star(s) in a spherical pattern?

By the question I mean that the planets spin in their ellipse but all ellipses describe the surface of a near-sphere shape around a star. Same question but for a solar system with 2 stars of ...
1
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5answers
258 views

Satellite Collision Problem

I'm stuck on a problem of two satellites going towards each other. The mass of the first satellite is 400kg and the mass of the second satellite is 100kg. The altitude of the satellites is 1000km. I ...
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2answers
91 views

On constancy of cometary orbits

how are the comets able to keep to a nearly fixed orbital period, though they lose a certain amount of mass during their perihelion?
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2answers
2k views

Why an object travels a circular path?

It might sound stupid but seriously I couldn't find why? We have a mass with a constant speed, which is acted on by a unit force which is always at right angles to its direction of motion. Why do ...
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2answers
100 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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2answers
66 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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3answers
69 views

In Orbital Mechanics what is the quantity described below called?

I seem to recall that $r^2 \dot{\theta}$ is a conserved quantity in orbital mechanics, which I just proved using the Euler-Lagrange equations. Namely via: $ \mathcal{L} = \frac{m}{2} (\dot{r}^2+r^2 ...