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

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0answers
14 views

Meteor hitting the moon?

Could a meteor hit the moon enough to cause a decay in its revolution around earth hitting the atmosphere causing molten rock to rain? I learned also the the moon was blasted out of Earth could that ...
2
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1answer
26 views

Velocity of satellite to crash into the earth

I was reading through this post today and was very impressed by the response that was given. However, what would have to happen to the velocity in order to collide with the Earth? Velocity of ...
6
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1answer
331 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 doesn'...
2
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2answers
496 views

Kepler's laws to determine radius of circular orbit

"In nonrelativistic limit of general relativity there is a correction to the Newtonian gravitational potential energy $−h/r^3$ with $h = αL^2/(mc)^2$, where $c$ is the speed of light, $α = GMm$ and $...
0
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2answers
45 views

When do two point masses orbit or collide? [on hold]

Suppose we have a universe containing two point particles with possibly different masses and initial positions/velocities (with respect to some fixed reference frame). Neglecting relativity and ...
0
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1answer
44 views

How do gravitational sling shots work? [duplicate]

How can an object move faster after leaving the gravity of a planet, should a gain in potential energy by moving away from the planet lead to a loss of kinetic energy? Or am I missing something ...
-1
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0answers
27 views

How can a polar orbit of a satellite be achieved? [on hold]

I mean an orbit in which the satellite is above antarctica on southern hemisphere and above arctic circle in northern hemisphere? I guess it won't be possible to be exactly above the axis but closer ...
34
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7answers
5k views

Why don't we feel the subtle speed change of Earth's elliptical orbit?

Earth's orbit is a slight ellipse, so to conserve momentum its speed increases when it is closest to the Sun. If the speed changes there is an acceleration. If there is an acceleration there is a ...
1
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2answers
80 views

Why does Goldstein's derivation of orbits from Newton's law not yield the orbit consisting of symmetric oscillation along a line thru center of Sun?

Why does Goldstein's derivation of Keplerian orbits from Newton's law of gravity not yield the orbit consisting of symmetric oscillation along a line passing thru the center of the Sun? The fact that ...
5
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2answers
146 views

Kepler Orbits: Small Perturbations->Elliptical Orbits

A group of my physics classmates and I have been stuck on this problem. We have tried a few approaches. The problem is to show that a body following a circular orbit, when given a small radial ...
-2
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0answers
41 views

Satellite collides with earth [duplicate]

Suppose we have a satellite in a circular orbit around the earth. We know that the velocity is given by $$v = \sqrt{\frac{GM}{r}}$$ I'm curious as to what conditions on a velocity change would require ...
0
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1answer
19 views

Is the motion of rotation perfectly symmetrical? [duplicate]

Scientifically, can we say that one of these assertions is more "correct" than the other? (philosophically we can say that the first one is more correct because it makes the motion of other planets "...
-2
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0answers
10 views

Newton's law - satellite position (in 2D) for specific moment of time [on hold]

I’m trying designate function that calculate satellite position (2 dimensional) for specific moment of time for better understanding Newton's law of gravity. To verify my calculations I created second ...
5
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0answers
180 views

Why do they think WT1190F is low density?

A piece of space debris WT1190F is in the news in part because it has been far from earth (farther than lunar distance) in the past but will re-enter earth's atmosphere in a few weeks. See this open ...
2
votes
1answer
113 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 ...
1
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3answers
59 views

How to calculate transit time for a specific section of an orbit?

I've searched high and low and I haven't been able to find a formula for this. I'm trying to calculate the time it will take to transit through a defined arc length of an elliptical orbit, whose ...
0
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0answers
16 views

Find the mass of Europa, one of the Moons orbiting the Jupiter [closed]

Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter, was discovered by Galileo in $1610$. Europa has a circular orbit of radius $6.708\times 10^5$ km and period $3.551$ days. Find the mass of Jupiter. My attempt: ...
10
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2answers
214 views

Charged Accelerometer in Orbit

It is well known that an accelerometer (or any other object for that matter) in a gravitational orbit will register nearly zero acceleration. According to this answer, this is because the object is, ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

Possible to redirect atmosphere lost to space back to a planetary body [closed]

So I understand that lower gravity planetary bodies tend to lose atmosphere at a pretty quick rate, and as I understand it when the gases break free they are blown away in the direction that the solar ...
3
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0answers
156 views

Travel time in elliptical orbit around the sun [closed]

Hi I'm calculating a problem, and I think it ought to be correct - but the result I get isn't. The problem is described as follow: A spacecraft is traveling from Earth to Venus in an elliptical, ...
1
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0answers
22 views

How does the Giant Impact Hypothesis resolve impulse for orbital insertion?

The Giant Impact Hypothesis describes that Earth's moon was formed from collision between a proto-Earth and another Mars-sized object. This collision ejected mass from the Earth into orbit, whereupon ...
2
votes
1answer
39 views

Eccentricity of planetary orbits: What information is contained?

I'm having a little trouble understanding what makes a planetary orbit explicitly elliptical. Is it simply that the initial velocity was different from the circular orbit case for a given starting ...
0
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0answers
35 views

How to calculate the mechanical energy of a planet orbiting a Sun in a ellipse orbit? [closed]

I learned how to calculate the energy of the planet orbiting in a circle. then what about ellipse? I mean, why does the planet's energy is same when we model the planet's orbit into a circle which the ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What may be effect of air friction to the velocity of satellite?

What is the effect of air friction to the velocity of satellite? I have heard satellite's speed increases with air friction. But I'm in confusion how is it possible?
3
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1answer
51 views

Effective Potential in General Relativity

I would like to clarify a concept about the Effective Potential in General Relativity when the kinetic energy term is not unitary. Suppose (in spherical coordinates) one has a generic line element of ...
43
votes
4answers
3k views

How far ahead can we predict solar and lunar eclipses?

The solar system is non-integrable and has chaos. The sun-earth-moon three-body system might be chaotic. So, how far into the future can we predict solar eclipses and/or lunar eclipses? How about ...
1
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1answer
43 views

Change in gravitational effect between Earth and the Sun

SPOILERS FOR "INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE" ABOUND. I just watch ID:R and had a question about a plot point. In the movie, a large alien ship, which looked to be about 10-20 percent the size of Earth ...
3
votes
1answer
64 views

How can an asteroid fall to a planet?

According to the Kepler's first law, the orbit of an asteroid would be an ellipse having the planet at one of the focuses (to a good approximation). Then how come can it ever fall to the planet?
7
votes
1answer
101 views

Lyapunov stability of circular orbits

I'm studying Classical mechanics on Arnold's "Mathematical Methods of Classical Mechanics". In a problem i'm asked to find for which $\alpha$ the circular orbits in the central field problem are ...
46
votes
5answers
7k views

What does the Moon's orbit around the Sun look like?

I'm curious as to what the Moon's orbit around the Sun looks like. If there's an answer, what's the intuition for it? Here are some things I'm assuming when trying to tackle this question: The Moon'...
2
votes
1answer
375 views

How to show circular orbit as a precessing ellipse

A uniform distribution of dust in the solar system adds to the gravitational attraction of the sun on the planet an additional force linear in $r$ where m is the mass of the planet, k is a constant (...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

Why is Larry Niven's Ringworld Unstable?

In his 1970 science fiction novel Ringworld, author Larry Niven describes the eponymous Ringworld, a gigantic structure shaped as a ring with a radius of around 1 AU, rotating around a star in the ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

Juno probe's speed is in relation to what frame of reference?

When describing the velocity of space probes in general (the Juno probe in particular) what frame of reference is the velocity quoted in? This is in relation to the news of the Juno Satellite ...
11
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4answers
5k views

Derivation of Kepler's laws

How can analytically be derived the Kepler's laws? I found some extremely synthetic equations which from the Newton's laws (in particular $\mathbf{F} = m \mathbf{a}$) tried to obtain the Kepler's ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

On the Stability of Circular Orbits

Bertrand's Theorem characterizes the force laws that govern stable circular orbits. It states that the only force laws permissible are the Hooke's Potential and Inverse Square Law. The proof of the ...
0
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1answer
31 views

Is it possible that an object orbits another object without ever tangenting or crossing its equator?

Imagine Object 1 beeing the earth and object 2 beeing the moon having a orbit around earth, like the yellow line is demonstrating. Could something like this anyhow naturaly as standalone occur? I'd ...
1
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1answer
317 views

Determing Velocity of Moons

I have a question that I believe is relatively easy to answer, I am working on an $N$-body simulation of a fictional star system and am having trouble finding the velocity of moons so that they will ...
2
votes
1answer
49 views

Maximum Angular Momentum for an orbit in GR

[The reference for this question is the book Gravitation by Misner,Thorne, & Wheeler.] The trajectories of massive particles around a spherically symmetric body is governed by the effective ...
2
votes
1answer
85 views

Calculate velocity vector in an orbit [closed]

This is a very specific question for a video game that I am the principle developer of. Having calculated the parameters of an elliptical method, I know the following: $G$ = gravitational constant $...
1
vote
1answer
300 views

Question on Binet's equation

Is there a difference in Binet's equation when the force acting on a body is attractive and repulsive? I mean, if the force has a magnitude $F(r)$, is it Binet's equation always $$\frac{d^2u}{d\...
-1
votes
3answers
97 views

Gravity effects when deleting stars or planets

In one of the latest SCIFI movies, they collect a star absorving it entirely in a kind of planet size gun/machine. As mass cannot disappear, I assume it was just concentrated inside their machine (...
0
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1answer
28 views

How to calculate orbit of a sphere around a bigger one in microgravity?

I don't have any knowledge in physics, but in a world building related question, I need to know how can I calculate the orbit or the distance in each point of the orbit around a spherical object in ...
0
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0answers
29 views

Why does the inverse square law cause elliptical orbits? [duplicate]

I've seen it printed multiple places, here for example, that the reason orbits are elliptical is because the gravitational law has an inverse square of the radius. Why does this make the orbits ...
8
votes
2answers
626 views

“Reverse engineering” of a horoscope?

I'll start with a disclaimer -- this is not a question about astrology itself, I'm neither trying to refute nor to defend astrology. I'm interested in purely technical things, which are mostly ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the relation between orbital velocity and escape velocity in strongly relativistic situations?

For practical purposes, I'm considering a non-rotating black hole or neutron star, because I find Kerr black holes a little confusing. The ratio between orbital velocity and escape velocity in ...
1
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0answers
69 views

Confused about the solution to a problem in IPhO 2001

The problem statement is thus. "Assume that M >> m0, so that the ordinary star is basically rotating around the neutron star in a circular orbit of radius r0. Assume that the ordinary star ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

Average of the velocity vector along a Keplerian orbit

I would like to show that the average of the velocity vector $\mathbf{v}$ along one Keplerian orbit vanishes, i.e. $$ \frac{1}{2 \pi}\int_{0}^{2 \pi} \!\!\!\! \mathrm{d} M \, \mathbf{v} = \frac{1}{T}\...
5
votes
4answers
533 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
53 views

Gravity and angular momentum

When a mass moves towards a bigger mass at a constant velocity, they will be attracted to each other such that the smaller mass will revolve around the bigger mass with the same speed as before. ...