# Tagged Questions

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

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### Hyper/parabolic kepler orbits and “mean anomaly”

In an elliptical kepler orbit there is an easy recipe to describe the motion/position of a satellite at time $t$. One just follows the following steps - an important detail for me is that the ...
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### Reference frame, gravitation and kinetic energy

English is not my primary language. I apologize (and would like corrections) if the terms I use are not the right ones. In a geocentric reference frame, the moon rotates around the Earth. So its ...
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### As planets orbit around the Sun, does the force of gravity due to the Sun remain constant?

I know that the force of gravity is: $$F = GMm/R^2$$ Where $G$ is gravitational constant, $M$ is mass of sun, $m$ is mass of the orbiting planet and $R$ is the distance between the center of their ...
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### Would an astronaut floating in space at zero speed get drawn to the Earth?

The question came to mind after watching this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MTY1Kje0yLg If the Earth and Moon can bend space-time, and if the Earth's gravity is strong enough to reach the ...
480 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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### What would be the long-term effects of stopping the Sun?

TL;DR: In an orbital simulation, what are the effects of pinning the major body to the origin, and how could these effects, if any, be mitigated? Consider an orbital motion simulator; your basic ...
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### Orbital parameters of more than two bodies

I am not even entirely sure that the question makes sense except in certain simple cases, but let me explain what I am trying to do, but with the question first. The question is essentially: Given n ...
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### 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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### Calculating true anomaly of a hyperbolic trajectory from time

I'm creating a simulation for orbiting bodies with my primary challenge being calculating the true anomaly of a trajectory with respect to time. I have figured out circular, elliptical, and parabolic ...
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### Orbital speed for a circular orbit?

I wanted to look up the formula for orbital speed for a circular orbit on Wikipedia, and I found 2 formulas: All bounded orbits where the gravity of a central body dominates are elliptical in ...
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### Velocity Related To Gravitation [closed]

Which Equation is correct $v^2=\large{\frac{2GM}r}$ OR $v^2=\large{\frac{GM}r}$? I am getting confused here.
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### Why is there a gap in porkchop plots?

On a porkchop plot for a given departure date (X axis), why are there two local energy minimums along the arrival date (Y-axis) for a transfer between Earth and Mars? The Hohmann transfer orbit seems ...
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### Why doesn't orbital body keep going faster and faster? [duplicate]

If we consider the change in velocity during an infinitesimal interval of an orbit: where body B is orbiting body A, we can see that the magnitude of the resultant vector (the green arrow) is ...
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### Why Sun is not able to attract mercury closer?

As sun have a huge amount of attraction pull force , why its not able to pull tiny mercury? Is the whole solar system works in a push and pull network? Why bigger planets like earth, Saturn and ...
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### Why doesn't an orbiting body keep accelerating?

As a physics newbie I'm trying to get a grip on basic orbital mechanics. I think I'm beginning to get grasp on how bodies interact with each other. When a body approaches another body it accelerates ...
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### Distance of closest approach of a satellite after star explodes [closed]

Problem: A satellite is in a circular orbit about a star, when it explodes spherically symmetrically, to a large distance from the star and in negligible time. The star loses 2% of its mass. I want ...
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### 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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### Why doesn't the earth collide with the sun in 64 years?

According to another answer on this site, the time it takes for two bodies in space to collide can be computed with the following formula: $$\frac{\pi}{2\sqrt{2}}\frac{r_0^{3/2}}{\sqrt{G(M+m)}}$$ ...
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### Orbital Velocity & LLR

As I understand it, light that is emitted from a source is not imparted with the motion of the source and so always follows a "straight line". If this is correct, I am having a difficult time ...
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### What is exact difference between gravitational force and magnetic force? [closed]

I've read that gravitational force is due to mass only and magnetic field is due to moving charged particles. But my question is: what are other difference between them? Can we set up a small ...
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### Keplerian orbits and radial velocities: problem with true anomalies

I am writing a pure Python code to calculate radial velocities of stars with massive objects orbiting them. I am following the formalism from Murray & Correia (2011) (hereafter MC11). In a given ...
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### If we threw a baseball from the ISS, could we deorbit the ball?

Clearly this is a hypothetical question. Say we bring a star baseball player into NASA, prep them appropriately for a mission in space, and fly them up to the International Space Station. They go on ...
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### Calculate the speed of Halley's comet at his perihelion [closed]

Knowing that Halley's comet orbita the sun every 75,3 years, that the semi-major axes is 17.83 AU, the semi-major axes is 4.53 AU and at his perihelion he is 0.586 AU away from the sun. With these ...
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### How would I find the velocity of an object after it doesn't fully enter the gravitational pull of a planet and is kind sling shot out of its gravity?

Obviously that question doesn't have a lot of jargon having to do with math and physics. I am not a physicist, I'm not a mathematician, I'm trying to make a game and simulate some physics found in ...
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### Is it possible for a particle to orbit a singularity inside the event horizon [duplicate]

Event horizon just means a distance from singularity, where there is no "going-away" from the black hole. But is it possible, that there are particles with enough momentum to actually orbit the ...
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### Tidal heating of body

I am trying to make a plausible, though not necessarily accurate model of tidal heating of a body moving close by a gravitational attractor, not necessarily in orbit and not considering the spin of ...
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### Experiment proving that the Earth is rotating around the Sun [duplicate]

Is there any simple experiment done on Earth proving that the Earth is rotating around the Sun? Something in the same spirit of what Foucault did proving that the Earth is rotating around itself. ...
51 views

### Mathematically calculate if a Planet is in Retrograde

How do you mathematically calculate if a Planet is in Retrograde when you are given both the Earth and the Planet Keplerian Elements value and rate? Keplerian Elements are: a - Semi-Major Axis; e - ...
295 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 ...
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### Simulation of relativistic probe passing through an external solar system

I recently read about the Breakthrough Initiative to launch "StarShot", a nano-probe that is designed to travel to Alpha Centauri at $0.2c$. One of the challenges to be solved involves the precise ...
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### Which force transfers angular momentum in tidal locking?

The moon is in tidal lock with the earth, but a long time ago it was not. As the moon became tidally locked with the earth, its angular momentum changed and the delta went into it's orbit and possibly ...
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### Relationship Gravitational Potential and the Tangential Velocity of a Satellite

So gravitational potential is given by $V(r)={\frac{GM}{r}}$ and the tangential velocity of a satellite is the square root of $V$, i.e. $\sqrt V$. So how do these two relate, if at all?
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### Derivation of Bohr model equations (1) in his original paper

My question is rather straightforward. In his original paper ("On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules") Bohr provides equations (1) for the frequency and major axis orbit: \begin{align} \omega ...
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### Finding mass with an estimated gravitational force

As asteroids orbit the sun, they experience gravitational force exerted on them by the sun, and they in turn exert a very minute force back on the sun. Because of their small size, asteroids don't tug ...
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### Vector interpretation of Kepler's 2nd law ( r X a = 0 )

I just read the vector interpretation of Kepler's second law and the conclusion put me in a confusion. The interpretation concludes by demonstrating that r X a = 0, where boldfaced r and a are ...
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### Why are objects (such as planets) in motion and not static? [duplicate]

I am just curious, why are all the planets, rocks etc in motion? Would they fall into objects with larger gravity if they were not in motion? What is stopping the earth from falling into the sun or ...
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### How can a Satellite's position/orbit be calculated using only range measurements from ground stations?

This task is often done in a process known as Satellite Laser Ranging (SLR). SLR stations (of known coordinates) track satellites, recording range measurements to the satellite at known times. I would ...
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### Orbital period and velocity around a Kerr black hole relative to fixed stars

I've been trying to make progress on some of the smaller pieces of this question about the environment around a Kerr black hole. In order to calculate the effects of special relativistic Doppler shift ...
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### Why can't we detect the Earth's orbital motion when looking at the sky and stars?

After I read that speed of earth orbit around the sun is 30 km/s, I looked at sky and I didn't notice any change when compared to the start location. 30 km/s can be converted to (30 * 60 ) km/minute ...
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### How to calculate the mass of the orbiting body given only its orbital information

A question asks the following: Using Newton’s Law of Gravity, show that the mass of a planet can be written: $$M = \frac{4\pi^2a^3}{ GP^3}$$ where $a$ is the semi-major axis and $P$ is the orbital ...
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### How does the total change in energy being negative indicate the direction of the Force?

To be more precise consider the following situation: Suppose a satellite is orbiting at a distance of $r_1$ from the centre of the earth. After some time, rockets are fired such that the new distance ...
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### Methods for handling close approaches in $N$-body simulations

In direct gravitational $N$-body simulations, what are the preferred methods for handling close approaches between bodies in order to preserve the accuracy of the evolution of the system?
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### Orbiting in space (free fall) and centripetal force?

So basically astronauts are weightless b/c they are free falling. But to get to that state they need to be moving real fast. So why doesn't that speed along with the centripetal force affect them? I ...
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### Deriving Stumpff functions for parabolic and hyperbolic orbits

I would like to know how I can derive Stumpff functions analytically for hyperbolic and parabolic orbits? It would be nice if you could tell me where I can read about it. Thanks, KS
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### Can a satellite be put into orbit such that it will always remain directly over a city? [duplicate]

Isn't it possible if we just set it high enough so that it's angular speed matches with the earth's? I think that the city must be on the equator to make this happen. Am I correct? Please can anyone ...
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### Can a satellite remain directly over a city?

Is it possible to put an artificial satellite into an orbit in such a way that it will always remain direct over a city (I mean at any specific place)?
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### Show that Newtonian orbits are closed and periodic

I want to prove to show that the change of the rotation angle of a body in a two-body-problem is exactly $\Delta \phi = 2\pi$. I know that the whole energy of the system is given by  E = ...
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### Difference between circular motion and rotational motion

Are rotational motion and circular motion different or the same? If different then when can we say that a body is in circular motion, and when it's in rotational motion? I find several answers where ...