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

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37 views

Finding the distance a spaceship would travel given a time of departure and velocity

Let's say a spaceship leaves Earth at a day t and with velocity v. Is there a way to know how many kilometers it will cover to arrive on Mars? This would be a trivial question were it not by the fact ...
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1answer
217 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
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1answer
161 views

What is the angular distance between Ptolemaic perigees of Mercury?

In his excellent treatment of the history of the science of astronomical distances and sizes, Albert van Helden says (p.29) that The complicated [Ptolemaic] model of Mercury has the curious ...
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1answer
61 views

Small particle rotating around neutron star

First let me say I have read the article at "users.ictp.it › lns003 › Ruoff › Ruoff.ps.gz" about a small particles orbiting a neutron star and causing excitation of different modes of gravitational ...
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1answer
21 views

Seasons of Earths Orbit

I live in Northern hemisphere. Closer to the sun during winter. Planet traveling fastest in orbit. Does this mean a shorter winter season compared to the south?
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1answer
49 views

Bohr radius question [on hold]

I'm doing a homework problem where it asks to calculate the diameter of a hydrogen atom with $n=600$. I used the equation $r=\frac{n^2a_0}{Z}$ where $a_0=0.529e^{-10}m$. Solving for $r$ yields: ...
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1answer
2k views

Conservation of angular momentum in Earth-Moon system

We all know about the fact that tidal friction is slowly slowing down the Earth's rotation about its axis, and that subsequently the Moon is slowly drifting away, in order for the angular momentum of ...
3
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2answers
41 views

Why is there ice at the Earth's poles? [duplicate]

I beg your pardon for such a silly question, but I've never really understood the explanation they gave in the Geography textbooks. If the slanting Sun's rays due to the Earth's axial tilt can cause ...
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2answers
357 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, $α = GMm$ ...
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0answers
34 views

Could a satelite be pulled away by gravity while the object it was orbiting keeps unaffected in its own orbit?

I'm asking this, since I try to educate my self a bit in the field of astrophysics. From my point of knowledge the by title given scenario could occur. But I haven't yet read anything that sounded ...
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2answers
78 views

How has the world remained in balance?

In the center of our galaxy, there is a Supermassive black hole. We were told in early astronomy units of school that black holes are giant vacuums that will absorb/consume the area around it. My ...
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1answer
17 views

Latitude from initial conditions

I'm a programmer trying to model satellite orbits. What formula can I use to determine the latitude of a satellite after a quarter orbit, given the initial launch latitude and inclination? For ...
2
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1answer
35 views

Gravity well and constant total energy in circular orbit [closed]

According to this question, the total energy of an object in a circular orbit in a $1/r^2$ potential does not depend on the radius of the orbit. However, if you look at "circular orbits" in a gravity ...
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1answer
554 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 ...
3
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1answer
106 views

Relation between eccentric and true anomalies

If $v$ is the true anomaly and $E$ the eccentric anomaly, how can I show that $$\frac{dv}{dE}=\frac{b}{r}=\frac{\sin v}{\sin E}~?$$
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1answer
189 views

Planetary alignment of the gas giants?

There is this nice and new applet of the orbits of the planets around the sun: Solar System Orrery You can click and drag any planet and watch their relative orbits evolve in time. I was curious ...
13
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4answers
7k views

Can the Earth leave orbit if the population of humans and other live forms increases?

I don't know a lot about physics, but this seemed like the correct place to ask my question. I apologize in advance if it is a ridiculous one. It's actually a two part question: If the population ...
4
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1answer
101 views

Why does planetary spin affect the stability of orbits?

Reading about the Hill Sphere I notice that "the region of stability for retrograde orbits at a large distance from the primary, is larger than the region for prograde orbits at a large distance from ...
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2answers
53 views

Why is meteor speed what it appears to be?

Is the speed of a meteor through our sky because of the speed of the earth's axis rotation, or because the meteor is speeding towards us at that speed?
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1answer
81 views

How much force would it take for you stop the Moon from crashing into the earth once it has started to fall?

In my previous question, I asked how much force it would take to destabilize the Moon's orbit enough for the moon to start falling into the Earth and collide. Assume this has already happened. Now, ...
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1answer
53 views

How much force would be required to destabilize The Moons orbit enough for it to crash into the Earth?

It is known that the moon slowly drifts away from the Earth. How much force would be required to destabilize it in the opposite direction enough for it to accelerate and crash into the Earth? What ...
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0answers
39 views

Solution to gravitational two-body problem in case of hyperbolic orbits [closed]

Given two bodies and their positions and velocities at a given time $t_0$, as well as their masses, and the knowledge that their relative velocity is high enough that they will not be gravitationally ...
1
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1answer
51 views

Generation of artificial gravity by rotation

I have been trying hard to understand how Artificial Gravity is produced by Rotating a satellite around its own axis. Thus far, I have understood (probably wrong) that as a satellite is spun, walls ...
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0answers
22 views

Topic on relativistic celestial mechanics [closed]

I have to do a small 10-15 minutes presentation about celestial mechanics, and I am searching for a topic. As a mathematician my background in physics is not very extensive, but I have some notions ...
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0answers
16 views

What orbital elements would show earth orbiting in the opposite direction?

Would earth rotate in the opposite direction if inclination and argument of periapsis were 180 degrees? Looking at this diagram: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_of_periapsis Thanks!
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0answers
11 views

Initial guess for calculating the Universal Variable Formulation of the two-body Kepler problem

I am trying to simulate orbits using the Universal Variable Formulation of Keplers two-body problem, using the algorithm provided by Howard curtis in Orbital Mecanichs for Engineering Students as per ...
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1answer
264 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 ...
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1answer
297 views

The Solar System explosion in the Nice model

This video depicts one variant of the Nice model (pronounced "neese", like the city in France). I'll briefly describe it in case the link ever dies. Here is the initial configuration: The four ...
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1answer
99 views

Prove that time for planet to fall into the Sun equals $\left( \frac { 1 }{ 4\sqrt { 2 } } \right)$ of the planet's period [closed]

If a planet was suddenly stopped in its orbit supposed to be circular, show that it would fall onto the sun in a time $\left( \frac { 1 }{ 4\sqrt { 2 } } \right) $ times its time period. I am ...
3
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1answer
61 views

Second Kepler's law implies that constant velocity

I was trying deduce that if we suppose that the planet's orbits are circular and de Kepler's secong law is true: A line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areas during equal intervals of ...
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1answer
31 views

How a wheel move on the earth?

I was wondering how a wheel move on the earth ,I mean if friction causes it moves so what causes it stops after a while without any pushing force? I think that the direction of the friction force is ...
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0answers
39 views

Orbit of a planet

Can a planet move around a star in an exact circle? Does Kepler's laws prevent this from happening. Answers with mathematical base will be accepted.
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4answers
69 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 ...
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3answers
97 views

Elliptical orbit changing as a star's mass increases

I'm studying Kepler's Laws, specifically the orbit of the Earth around the Sun. I know that if the Earth was more massive, the orbit would not be significantly affected. If the Sun was more massive, I ...
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2answers
254 views

Are magnetic orbits possible?

I have a small ball with lots of magnets embedded in it with all the north poles facing out and I have a big sphere with lots magnets embeded in it with all the south poles facing out. I set the ...
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1answer
49 views

What powers a comet? [closed]

I know that a comet is a ball of ice, and I have tried the NASA page. http://spaceplace.nasa.gov/dr-marc-solar-system/en/#/review/dr-marc-solar-system/comet-power.html but they swerve around the ...
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1answer
54 views

Why do the stars in a binary system, revolve diametrically opposite to each other?

I encountered this question, as I was reading up on Gravity. The author of my textbook says that the stars orbit a common centre which is their center of mass. I somehow think that this fact might ...
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2answers
36 views

Can outgassing produce a significant thrust on a space ship?

There are a variety of materials that outgas in the atmosphere, and I imagine they would do so even more in the vacuum of space. I imagine an object in space would experience a small force as ...
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0answers
22 views

Laplace's method to determine orbits

I am trying to do the second problem by Laplace's method, it is in spanish but the only thing that matters are the asteroid's observations and the coordinates of Earth ...
3
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1answer
43 views

How are orbits made stable

I understand the concept of object staying in some orbit due to centrifugal force and gravity. However I do not understand how is orbit of a body like satellite or planet has perfect balance between ...
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1answer
53 views

Can a planet's orbit around a star be simulated? [closed]

Say I know all parameters like density, size, rotational velocity of a planet, could I predict its orbit around a star where I also know parameters of it? I want to design a simple model of the solar ...
2
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1answer
144 views

Do the arms of a spiral galaxy spin around like a candy bar in long spirals?

Because the arms of a spiral galaxy have a cylindrical-linear center, perhaps they have a cyilindrical rotation around their center same as a vortex of smoke? Have similar movements within galaxies ...
1
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1answer
386 views

Does the Sun “drag the solar system through space”?

In this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jHsq36_NTU#t=55 at 0:55, it is claimed that "the sun is [...] dragging the planets in its wake". Is this true? My understanding is that the sun and ...
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3answers
89 views

How to predict the location of a planet at a given time? [closed]

I am trying to create a simple two-dimensional computer simulation of a planetary system. While I've been able to understand Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, I do not know enough about the formulas ...
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0answers
49 views

Does a planet's orbital angular momentum affect its rotational angular momentum?

For example: If the moon was closer to the earth, assuming the orbital momentum was conserved and not worrying about earth's rotation, would the moon's rotation rate be effected?
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2answers
1k views

True or false: the Moon was touching the Earth 1.2 billion years ago

A creationist website makes this argument for the 6,000 year old earth. I'm embarrassed to say I don't know how to do the math to evaluate the claim myself. However, the time scales involved seems ...
0
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2answers
106 views

Orbital mechanics: will a satellite crash?

For a satellite given an initial speed and position above a planet, I'd like to know whether it will experience an elliptical, circular, parabolic or hyperbolic trajectory, or crash into the planet. ...
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2answers
29 views

How does the decaying orbit of a satellite maintain its orbit as it descends, as opposed to crashing straight back to Earth?

I understand that as a satellite in low-Earth orbit experiences atmospheric drag, it is slowed down. Therefore it no longer has the velocity to maintain its orbit at that point, as per the orbital ...
0
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3answers
67 views

How is Earth orbit possible? [duplicate]

What force other than gravity acts on objects in Earth orbit? Without such force, continued orbit would be impossible, as the object would be drawn to the Earth.
3
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2answers
100 views

If gravity dropped off with the cube of distance

If gravity, for instance, dropped off with the cube instead of the square of distance from the Sun, would the planets still follow elliptical paths?