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
926 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
263 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
479 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
81 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
176 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? ...
5
votes
4answers
767 views

What causes matter to initially rotate/spin/orbit?

What causes matter to initially rotate/spin/orbit? All I can find is the statement that in space particles of dust/gas/matter contract into a spinning disk due to gravity (to form stars, solar ...
8
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3answers
2k views

What if the Moon was 100x more massive: Binary planets?

I was reading a couple of Earth-Moon related questions (Mars just collided with Earth! A question of eccentricity, Could the earth have another moon?) and they got me thinking about planet-moon ...
12
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1answer
691 views

Mars just collided with Earth! A question of eccentricity

One of the standard theories behind the formation of our Moon is the giant impact hypothesis, according to which Earth was struck by a Mars-sized body (about $10\%$ the mass of Earth) early in its ...
0
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0answers
94 views

What is the equation for Lin-Shu density wave theory?

Lin-Shu density wave theory is a (very good) theory to explain the spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. Where can I find the equations that underlie this theory? I've seen its computer ...
3
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2answers
209 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 ...
0
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1answer
248 views

Solving differential Equation for the Two-Body Problem

So, I'm following the derivation in D. Morin, Introduction to Classical Mechanics, of the equations for a two-body system. I understand all of it, aside from this one step. When he's talking about ...
8
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1answer
406 views

How can one get the eccentricity of the orbit of the Sun around center of the Milky Way?

How can one get the eccentricity of the orbit of the Sun around center of the Milky Way? Can it be measured?
3
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2answers
105 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,?
-1
votes
1answer
482 views

Newtons Cannon ball problem [closed]

Let's I have a Newton's Cannon ball of 15 kg and want to fire so it will round the earth and back to me. My query is which law can evaluate the speed that cannon ball will revolve round the sun ...
2
votes
1answer
187 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 ...
6
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0answers
210 views

Derivation of Universal Variables

Does anyone know of link to the derivation of the Universal Variables? This is in regards to Kepler's equations. The Wikipedia link didn't have enough information for me, and the Colorado page ...
1
vote
1answer
272 views

Solving equation of motion of two massive particle exerting the gravitational force each other

I'm trying to analyze the motion of the particles which exert the gravitational force each other. Let $M_1$, $M_2$ be the masses of the particles, and the equation of motion of particle $M_1$ $$ ...
6
votes
2answers
399 views

Practical limits on the size of orbiting objects: could two pebbles orbit each other

As I understand it, gravity is inherent to mass and therefore even a small rock has its own gravitational pull. It seems entirely plausible then that a rock 1" in diameter could orbit a bigger rock, ...
11
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3answers
533 views

No closed orbits for a Newtonian gravitational field in 4 spatial dimensions

We are supposed to show that orbits in 4D are not closed. Therefore I derived a Lagrangian in hyperspherical coordinates $$L=\frac{m}{2}(\dot{r}^2+\sin^2(\gamma)(\sin^2(\theta)r^2 \dot{\phi}^2+r^2 ...
-5
votes
1answer
117 views

What would happen if the moon was in perpetual opposition of the sun [closed]

What would happen if an artificial force made the moon to stay at a perpetual opposition from the sun? Assume that the artificial force necessary is possible, and capable of making the moon stay at ...
9
votes
3answers
1k views

How is it that the Earth's atmosphere is not “blown away”?

The Earth moves at a high rate of speed around the Sun, and the solar system is moving quickly around the Milky Way. How is it that the Earth's atmosphere is not “blown away”?
0
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2answers
396 views

Planet in which satellite(moon) and star(sun) appear together once a year

With a hypothetical system, where the moon would be always on the opposite side of the planet than the sun, in a way that the moon would only be visible at night on the planet. I don't know if this ...
12
votes
2answers
752 views

Does an elliptical orbit of a satellite maintain its orientation as the Earth revolves?

Imagine a satellite in an elliptical orbit around Earth. As the earth travels around the sun, does the elliptical orbit of the satellite swing around Earth, as pictured in A, or does it maintain a ...
1
vote
1answer
160 views

How to find distance of closest approach for a Schwarzschild geodesic?

What is the distance of closest approach in this Wikipedia article? I can't seem to find its definition, and this other question doesn't have an answer I can understand.
3
votes
1answer
100 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
157 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 ...
0
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1answer
117 views

Vector cross product of $\mathbf{r}$ and $\ddot{\mathbf{r}}$ in polar coordinates

I'm struggling with the following question: Question 6 A planet of mass $m$ moves under the gravitational attraction of a central star of mass $M$. The equation of motion of the planet is ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

Defining the star as the ellipse focus rather than the barycenter, what does the other focus do? [duplicate]

There are a lot of images and animations on the internet depicting two bodies orbiting around their common barycenter. The barycenter is defined as the (let's say right) focus of the ellipse. If we ...
1
vote
1answer
389 views

Mercury's Orbital Precession in Special Relativity

I am researching Mercury's orbital precession. I have considered most perturbations and general relativity. I am still not satisfied. I need your help. I need a solution to Exercise 13, Chapter 6, in ...
4
votes
1answer
163 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
352 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
143 views

Uniqueness and existence of polygonal orbits through a spherical shell

Say we have a spherical wire mesh raised to a negative voltage. Then let's say we release a proton from near the surface, and away from the surface, at some angle and speed. Also, imagine that the ...
3
votes
2answers
149 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
319 views

Understanding Kepler's $2^{nd}$ law in terms of angular momentum conservation

A) Explain how Kepler's $2^{nd}$ law - "The radius vector from the Sun to a planet sweeps out equal areas in equal time intervals" - can be understood in terms of angular momentum conservation. I ...
3
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4answers
980 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
300 views

Orbital mechanics and rocketry: Is it ever a good idea to intentionally lower periapsis?

tl;dr: Hohmann Transfer appears to be the optimal way to achieve a circular-to-circular orbit, but is it possible to lower the periapsis in order to achieve a more elliptical orbit with apoapsis at ...
13
votes
4answers
789 views

Is it possible that 5 planets can revolve around a single star in a single orbit?

I'm writing a novel and I'm quite confused if this system could be possible in the real universe. Is it possible that a system exist, where 5 identical planets which could be of same characteristics ...
4
votes
2answers
132 views

Orbit in the vacuum

As the space is a vacuum and there is no friction in space, Can we assume that, if we place an object in gravity in exactly the right distance from a planet with gravity and in the right acceleration, ...
1
vote
2answers
953 views

Semi-major axis and ellipticity of a binary system?

In the image below (source at bottom), it seems to be suggesting that \begin{equation} a = a_{1} + a_{2}, \hspace{8cm}(1) \end{equation} where $a_{1}$ and $a_{2}$ are the semi-major axis of the ...
0
votes
1answer
876 views

Has anyone on Earth ever seen the dark side of the moon and if so where are the pictures? [duplicate]

If the Moon rotates then we should see the dark side right? But as far as I know the Moon only shows one side to Earth, how can this be if it is rotating?
1
vote
2answers
67 views

Solar Catastrophe [duplicate]

Consider all of sudden the sun vanishes. What would happen to planetary motion. Will it continue to move in elliptical path or move in a tangential to the orbit immediately after sun vanishes or move ...
4
votes
2answers
339 views

If the moon was rapid enough would it be able to orbit the earth from a close distance?

If the moon was close in orbit that it's surface was like 100 km away from the earth's surface. And it had a large enough angular velocity will it be able to hold orbit? If this was possible, is ...
2
votes
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 ...
1
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2answers
237 views

Saturn ring stabilization

The rings of Saturn are the most extensive planetary ring system of any planet in the Solar System. I'm wondering, what power is primarily responsible for that stability? © Public Image by NASA ...
5
votes
2answers
563 views

Gravitational potential outside Lagrangian points or Lagrange points

The diagram in Why are L4 and L5 lagrangian points stable? shows that the gravitational potential decreases outside the ring of Lagrange points — this image shows it even more clearly: If I ...
4
votes
3answers
268 views

Runge-Lenz vector and Keplerian Orbits

Is the loss of closed Keplerian orbits in relativistic mechanics directly tied to the absence of the Runge-Lenz vector?
0
votes
1answer
119 views

What Speed Would an object need to leave the earth at to reach L1? [closed]

Let's say the Earth is an airless sphere. What speed would an object weighing 1 kg need to leave the surface at in order to get to and be motionless at L1, where the Moon's gravity becomes stronger ...
1
vote
1answer
230 views

How do you actually define an orbit?

How do you actually define an orbit? I believe, Newtonian Mechanics describes an orbit as one object in free fall around another where projectile paths become elliptical. I think, Einstein describes ...
4
votes
1answer
202 views

(Re-)use of a space elevator (basic mechanics and potential energy source)

It's said that if a space elevator were made then it would be much more efficient to put objects in orbit. I've always wondered about the durability of a space elevator though. I don't mean the ...
11
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4answers
2k views

Is Feynman's explanation of how the moon stays in orbit wrong?

Yesterday, I understood what it means to say that the moon is constantly falling (from a lecture by Richard Feynman). In the picture below there is the moon in green which is orbiting the earth in ...