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

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3
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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 ...
2
votes
2answers
19 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 ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

In circular motion, with a constant distance, why does the mass of the orbitting object have no effect on its revolution at all?

Using Newton's universal equation and some circular motion equation, the orbiting object's mass cancels out. But can someone please explain why this is without using pure algebra?
0
votes
1answer
44 views

In circular motion, what's preventing me from calculating the circumference of the circle, dividing it by time to find the speed of the object?

There are equations to solve for the speed in circular motion. However, is there anything preventing me from calculating the circumference from the given radius, and then divide that over the time to ...
1
vote
1answer
47 views

Why doesn't an airplane simply go up in the air and stay there?

To get where a plane wants to go for example if I wanted to go from California to Japan, why can't an airplane simply stay up in the sky and let the earth rotate underneath it? Is it the ...
-1
votes
2answers
125 views

Why are planets in unstable equilibrium in a stable orbit

It is well known that a planet in stable orbit is in unstable equilibrium. If e.g. the moon was just a few m/s slower in velocity, or a few m closer to the earth than it is, the gravity would ...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

What is the particle distribution in Saturn's Ring System?

In watching the scientifically scream-inducing film 'Interstellar', there was a shot of the spacecraft moving through the Rings of Saturn. In this shot, and in every graphical representation of the ...
0
votes
0answers
21 views

How to find the nature of an orbit knowing 2 altitudes and the time interval? [on hold]

A body was observed at an altitude of $366 km$ and then at $633 km$, after $12.5$ minutes. Angular separation between the 2 measurements is 45 degrees: find nature of orbit and true anomalies at 2 ...
0
votes
1answer
136 views

Calculate orbit height from tangential velocity

Is it possible to calculate the altitude of a satellite orbiting a planet, just from the planet's mass and the satellite's velocity, assuming that the satellite is in a perfect circular orbit? If so, ...
1
vote
2answers
133 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 L is ...
11
votes
1answer
585 views

Apollo and orbital mechanics: orbital decay if the Trans Earth Injection (TEI) burn had failed

I'm reading Jim Lovell (Apollo 8 and 13) and Jeffrey Kluger's book Apollo 13, which is a fantastic read about a long past era I only have kindergarten memories of. On page 54 there is a paragraph that ...
2
votes
4answers
154 views

Why does unequal mass distribution cause orbital decay?

It's well known that in low orbits around astronomical bodies with uneven mass distribution, orbits will shift around, and the orbiting object may crash into the surface. Why is this the case? ...
1
vote
3answers
61 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

Can you see a solar eclipse from the International Space Station?

Inspired by last week's solar eclipse, I'm wondering under what conditions one can see a total solar eclipse from the ISS. How often does it happen? I guess it doesn't last very long because of the ...
-1
votes
1answer
22 views

Question on Gravitation and Time Period [closed]

The time period of revolution of satellite is $T$. The kinetic energy of the satellite is proportional to A) $T$ B) $T^2$ C) $T^3$ D) $T^{-2/3}$
0
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0answers
27 views

Is there any free open source planetary orbit simulator software?

I need a free open source planetary orbit simulator software that should be able to calculate orbit stability for a couple simple planetary systems. Basically, I need to calculate orbit durations for ...
0
votes
1answer
118 views

Orbital mechanics: hyperbolic trajectory: periapsis

The question is formulated as follows: A satellite is some distance, r, from the centre of the earth, traveling at a speed $2v_e$, where $v_e$ is the escape velocity. The angle between the velocity ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Why do objects experiencing centripetal acceleration not end up at their centers?

A satellite rotates around the earth; a ball on a string rotates around my hand. Each of these things experiences a net force equal to $ mv^2/r = F_{centripetal}$. Why does no object end up at the ...
2
votes
2answers
54 views

How to solve the inverse square law equation of motion

From $$m\boldsymbol{\ddot{r}}=\boldsymbol{\hat{r}} f(r)$$ I can get $$r''-r \theta '^2=-\frac{k}{m r^2}$$ $$2 r' \theta '+r \theta ''=0$$ Now it seems that all the books tells me the method to solve ...
-1
votes
1answer
21 views

Inclination of planets

What is the inclination of each planet with the equator of the Sun? Doesn't this have a relationship with the eccentricity of the planet's orbit?
1
vote
2answers
125 views

Collision of two satellites

In a theoretical situation in which two identical satellites travelling around the Earth in opposite directions collided head on so that there velocities relative to the earth both became 0, would ...
2
votes
1answer
76 views

Does spacetime have symmetric curvature around an object? If yes, then why do planets revolve around the Sun in elliptical orbits?

Does spacetime have symmetric curvature around an object? If yes, then why do planets revolve around the Sun in elliptical (as opposed to circular) orbits?
5
votes
2answers
107 views

Stability of Laplace resonance

Someone is making a mod for the video game Kerbal Space Program (KSP), which implements propper N-body with point masses into the game (and possibly in the future also other dynamics), instead of the ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

What made Kepler think that orbits are not circular which came to be elliptical?

Kepler formulated his laws in a sort of time where human began to believe in heliocentric universe and telescope was not yet invented/ discovered. So what made Kepler think that orbits aren't ...
2
votes
2answers
90 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
91 views

Why are orbits around black holes stable?

Black hole theory involves space (or space-time), itself, being sucked into the black-hole, with the event horizon marking the point at which space/space-time is moving faster than the speed of light. ...
13
votes
7answers
10k views

Why don't planets have Circular orbits?

This might be a completely wrong question, but this is bothering me since many days ago. Given the mass (Sun) curves the space around it, gravitation is the result of such curved space (Correct me if ...
0
votes
1answer
32 views

Find out the expression for angular speed in terms of time

Here is the equation that describes the motion of a planet under the gravitational field generated by a fixed star: $$u=\frac el\cos\theta+\frac 1l$$ where $u$ is the reciprocal of the radial ...
0
votes
0answers
23 views

Question about changing the orbits of Kuiper Belt Objects (KBOs)

So, lets say, hypothetically, for space travel or terraforming, we want to move a good sized mostly ice Kuiper Belt Object into a stable planetary orbit around the earth or mars. Looking at the ...
0
votes
0answers
11 views

Can objects orbit around gravitational lensing of a black hole's gravity waves?

In a previous post I was told that gravitational lenses focus gravitational waves. Can objects orbit around gravitational lensing of a black hole's gravity waves?
1
vote
2answers
97 views

Finding sphere of influence in multibody system

I would like to draw a boundary illustrating the sphere of influence of each body in a 3 body system. What is the best way to find such a boundary? My understanding is at the edge an SoI is the ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Create a star system fit to conic equation

For simulation purposes, I'm trying to create a binary star system. If I have a conic equation such as $ax^2 + by^2 = c$, and the masses of two stars, how would I find the $x$- and $y$- velocity ...
2
votes
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
votes
1answer
114 views

Calculating the eccentricity of an exoplanet

I'm wondering how to calculate the eccentricity of an exoplanet by its radial velocity vs. phase graph. To clarify my question I will take an exoplanet called WASP-14b 2 as an example ...
1
vote
1answer
273 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
666 views

Does everything orbit around some universal “center of mass”?

I have read many questions about the center of the Universe. I even have some favorite ones. I understand the fact that every point in the universe experiences inflation the same way. Also that it ...
4
votes
2answers
66 views

Why isn't the time between apogee and perigee constant?

I've assumed since the translational speed of the moon along its orbit undergoes the same boosts and reductions over its orbital course, the time between the apogee and the pedigee (and respectively, ...
-2
votes
2answers
29 views

How did the planets (in the Solar System) start to revolve around the sun if they were attracted towards the Sun via the gravitational force? [duplicate]

The planets in the Solar System revolve around the Sun in almost circular paths called orbits. The Sun pulls the planets with the gravitational force,but the planets do not get drawn to the Sun but ...
0
votes
0answers
20 views

Why does the Moon not rotate about its axis, relative to Earth's rotation [duplicate]

One of the common features of the Moon is the fact that only one face of the Moon is ever visible from Earth, regardless of how much of its orbit the moon has made about the Earth. This would imply ...
11
votes
1answer
644 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
114 views

Does the Earth revolve around the Sun?

I am aware of this Phys.SE question: Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun? but I don't think this is a duplicate. In a binary star system, where the masses of the 2 stars are not so ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

Clearing up confusion about orbital mechanics

When I see an orbital mechanics problem, I recall the following things from my "toolbox": Angular momentum is conserved for a body orbiting a planet, since the torque due to gravity is 0. Kinetic ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

Orbital Velocity Question

I have a satellite in a stable trajectory around Earth, of a Mass $m$. I know that its velocity is: $$ v = \sqrt{mG/r}\, $$ But now it begins accelerating directly against the gravity vector (i.e. ...
0
votes
1answer
177 views

My python trajectory calculator for a small mass in a gravitational field - why is energy conservation violated?

I wrote this thing to calculate the next position of a small mass, given its current position and velocity, and a vector field determines acceleration. It sort of works - except I can never get the ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there any relationship between the $E=mc^2$ equation and the $a_n=\kappa v^2$ formula for the normal component to acceleration?

To clarify, I know very little about physics and don't pretend to have any insight whatsoever into relativity beyond what has entered the popular imagination; my knowledge is more or less at the level ...
1
vote
3answers
254 views

Gravity on the International Space Station - General Relativity perspective

My question is an extension to this one: Gravity on the International Space Station. If all the outside views of the ISS was sealed, then the crew inside would not be able to tell whether they were ...
1
vote
1answer
72 views

Is it possible to have a black hole in empty space?

If the escape velocity of two very massive objects is near the speed of light, and those objects are orbiting each other (let's ignore the Roche limit for this exercise), is it possible that the ...
0
votes
1answer
29 views

Orbital variations [closed]

My question relates to relativity and the warping of spacetime. If the geodesics approaching the star are coplanar with the ecliptic how can polar planetary orbits form?
3
votes
1answer
53 views

What is a nongeodesic orbit?

I have read that in the Schwarzschild spacetime for a nongeodesic circular orbit the radial acceleration becomes positive for $r<3r_S$. Intuitively, the acceleration should be negative, pulling the ...
6
votes
2answers
196 views

Will an object falling into Earth's orbit start spinning?

Assume an object falls towards Earth (I've drawn a hyperbolic orbit, but this would apply to any orbit). The object starts at $A$, and at this point it is not rotating i.e. an observer on the object ...