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

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Is the Moon freely falling towards the Earth?

The Moon is revolving around the Earth and its centripetal acceleration is towards the Earth. Does it mean that the Moon is freely falling towards Earth? What is the cause of the Moon orbiting around ...
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2answers
45 views

Centrifuge speed of an object higher than a stationary orbit

In the question At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other?, I asked how high a tower on the equator has to be such that at its top, gravitational and ...
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0answers
23 views

Could an object higher than the stationary orbit be returned to the outgoing point on this orbit?

In the question Centrifuge speed of an object higher than a stationary orbit, I asked: Does an object higher than the stationary orbit move slower or faster around the world than the top of a tower ...
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2answers
73 views

At what altitude above equator do gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel each other? [on hold]

How high has to be a tower at equator to get on its peak the same - but of course inverted sing - value of gravitational and centrifugal forces?
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0answers
76 views

Do doomsday arguments influence doomsday hypotheses?

The doomsday argument supposes that in the absence of any other knowledge, if we know the age of something now, we may assume that we are seeing it in the middle of its lifetime and then calculate our ...
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3answers
54 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? ...
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14answers
5k views

Why do we say that the earth moves around the sun?

In history we are taught that the Catholic Church was wrong, because the Sun does not move around the Earth, instead the Earth moves around the Sun. But then in physics we learn that movement is ...
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4answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
198 views

Satellites and gravitation

A satellite with mass $m$ orbits a planet of mass $M$ in a circular path with radius $r$ and velocity $v$. Due to some internal technical failure, the satellite breaks into two, similar parts with ...
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1answer
36 views

Why doesn't no rotation imply tidal locking?

That I know of, in most parts of physics 0 movement means the body is resting, all the forces are in equilibrium. Why in orbital mechanic 0 rotation speed doesn't mean tidal lock as it would be the ...
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0answers
9 views

Is it possible to calculate Lagrangian isolines for local stars?

Is it possible to calculate Lagrangian isolines for local stars? SciFi descriptions of 'hyperspace' always talk about travel routes between the stars following some sort of route. As a thought ...
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1answer
30 views

By what factor a planet travels (in circular orbit) faster than another

Question: It is known that radius of Neptune in a circular orbit around the sun is 30 times greater than that of Earth's. Does Neptune travel faster than earth and by what factor? Attempt: For a ...
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3answers
75 views

Are retrograde capture orbits “easier” than prograde capture orbits?

After reading up on irregular moons in the solar system - moons that are thought to be captured, most seem to be in retrograde orbit around their parent body. That led me to wonder if retrograde ...
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1answer
72 views

Potential that is proportional to distance

Does anybody know of a treatment of the case where a potential field is proportional to the distance, i.e. in 3 dimensions: $$V(\vec{r}) ~\sim ~ |\vec{r}|~?$$ Essentially the question is: What are ...
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2answers
65 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 ...
2
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0answers
40 views

When Did Structures Begin to Orbit in the Universe?

In Big Bang Cosmology, I am familiar with the radiation era, and the moment of last scattering, but I am just not familiar with the physics of orbits, or of the “falling outward,“ if you will, that ...
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5answers
6k views

Where does the extra kinetic energy come from in a gravitational slingshot?

I read in this answer in this site that the KE a free-falling ball acquires is not originated by the attracting body but that energy was actually stored in the ball when it had been lifted to the ...
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1answer
42 views

Robertson-Walker metric and stable orbits

The RW metric is defined using 4 spatial dimensions, but stable planetary orbits require 3 spatial dimensions. Does this indicate a problem with the assumption of the RW metric to describe the cosmos? ...
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0answers
58 views

Effect of small variable transverse force on satellite orbital precession

Consider a small satellite which moves in a 2D elliptical orbit around a much larger body (e.g. the Sun) under the influence of Newtonian gravitational acceleration $$Ar = G.M/d^2 $$ Next imagine ...
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0answers
22 views

Numerical tests of Titius–Bode formula for artificial planetary orbits [duplicate]

Titius–Bode law is an empirical formula stating that positions of planets in Solar system is described by: $$a=0.4+0.3 \times 2^m [AU],$$ where $m$ are natural numbers. All planets, with exception ...
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4answers
4k 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 ...
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1answer
50 views

Earth-Moon system

While learning about motion of centre of mass, I came across this statement online, It is also more accurate to say that the Earth and Moon together revolve about their common center of mass. ...
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1answer
340 views

How fast must a torus spin to have a felt gravity? [closed]

Given a rotating torus (like a gyroscope or a rotary) with a radius of 1km, how fast must it rotate to have someone inside the torus feel normal gravity of 1G?
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1answer
100 views

How can a planet gravitationally capture objects?

I would expect that any asteroid or other object originating far away but passing near a planet would pick up speed and energy as it approaches, but unless it comes into contact with the atmosphere ...
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1answer
93 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 ...
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1answer
57 views

Movement of the Moon

EDIT:Recently , I have been observing the moon and i realised the moon seems to be moving very quickly from one place to another, and back to its initial position in a short cycle(few minutes),the ...
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5answers
466 views

Why are orbits elliptical? [duplicate]

Just wanted to know why planetary orbits get to be elliptical? I'm not debating how stable these orbits are (obviously almost completely stable), but why don't planets revolve in the special ellipse ...
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0answers
275 views

Projectile motion equations @ very (!) high starting velocity

I've already searched Physics StackExchange for some similar question but I didn't find anything about this. Assumptions: Earth is a perfect sphere with it's core (X,Y,Z) -> (0,0,0) as a ...
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5answers
111 views

Satellite Collision Problem

I'm stuck on a problem of two satellites going towards each other. The mass of the first satellite is 400kg and the mass of the second satellite is 100kg. The altitude of the satellites is 1000km. I ...
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2answers
197 views

Gravitational slingshot maximum

I have recently read an article about gravitation slingshot assist used by Voyagers 1-2, and was thinking on why this hasn't been used for travel between solar and other systems. I mean sligshot can ...
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2answers
543 views

How did pre-Copernican astronomers accurately predict planetary position?

Copernican elements (circular orbital elements) are not very accurate. But Copernicus simplified our understanding a great deal by placing the Sun at the center of the system. Im astonished by the ...
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1answer
137 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 ...
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1answer
63 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, ...
7
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5answers
516 views

Why aren't all rocks in space orbiting bigger rocks?

Why do only big rocks (planets) have satellites, and not small ones? Why doesn't cosmic dust orbit rocks that are many times heavier than the dust grains? If dust is still too heavy then what about ...
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1answer
90 views

What is the constant $K_1$ in these orbital equations?

I want to compute the derivatives of argument of periapsis and longitude of the ascending node of the orbit of a GPS satellite from the following formula. $$\frac{d\Omega}{dt} = -K \cos{i} \\ ...
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2answers
856 views

Having trouble weighing the sun

So I gather the way you (and Vera Rubin) calculate a galaxy's mass is by measuring a star's orbital velocity $v$ and its distance $R$ from the galactic center, and then plugging them into this ...
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4answers
78 views

Find a central force given the orbit

I've been trying to solve the following problem for a long time. Let's consider a particle of mass $m$ in $\mathbb{R}^3$ with polar coordinates $(r,\theta,\phi)$. The particle moves on the orbit ...
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0answers
36 views

How much would the orbit of the earth change if we launched all 'garbage' into outer space

I know it's not economically feasible, but is there a simple equation telling you the ellipse earth would follow if you theoretically launch all of the landfills, i.e. garbage, beyond our orbit, thus ...
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1answer
49 views

Unexpected eccentricity in moon orbit simulation

I've used Mathematica's NDSolve function to calculate the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. I used the following initial positions (perigee): ...
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1answer
50 views

Getting first and second time derivative of mean motion of spacecraft - without TLE?

The Celestrak website provides information on reading the TLE ( Two-Line Element Set ) format. In Line 1, Column 34-43 & 45-52 give information about ...
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1answer
56 views

Reduced mass and harmonic mean

In two-body problems, a reduced mass has the form: $\frac{m_1 m_2}{m_1+m_2}$, which by appearance, is half of the harmonic mean of $m_1$ and $m_2$: ...
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4answers
3k views

Can a balloon float into space? (+orbital velocity)

After watching the recent "space jump" a question arose. Why can a balloon not float into space? Can one be made/designed to do this? Next, everything in orbit is falling back to earth. It only ...
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2answers
1k views

Put a bullet into orbit around the moon

While I was watching this beautiful video, the absence of air friction pushed me to ask myself: While standing on the surface of the moon, what is the initial velocity by which you can fire a bullet ...
3
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1answer
61 views

How to determine satellite position in J2000 from latitude, longitude and distance from Earth?

Due to my task of writing orbit prediction routines I am trying to understand the reference frames better and how to use them ( particularly for Earth orbits ). I think I get the idea of what ECI ...
3
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3answers
76 views

The motion of the particle satisfies $\textbf{v} = \textbf{c}\times \textbf{r}$

Why does a particle with position $\textbf r(t)$ that satisfies $\textbf{v}(t) = \textbf{c}\times \textbf{r}(t)$ follow a circle that lies in a plane perpendicular to $\textbf{c}$ with centre on a ...
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2answers
94 views

Changes in planetary orbit?

Forgive a novice and her naive curiosity, but I was wondering about planetary orbit and the aging of planets. As a planet ages, does its transit around its sun/star decrease or increase in speed? ...
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5answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
191 views

How to derive Kepler's equation?

The Internet lacks, so far as I know, a derivation of Kepler's equation $$ M = E - e\text{sin}(E) $$ where $M$ is the mean anomaly, $E$ the eccentric anomaly and $e$ the eccentricity. Since there ...
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1answer
81 views

My orbiting body is orbiting about the wrong focus of it's elliptical orbit… why?

I am coding in c++ and am computing the position of an orbiting body as a function of time. Everything is almost working. I have a nice elliptical orbit. Except, my orbiting body speeds up as it ...
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4answers
323 views

What's is the origin of Orbital Angular Momentum of electrons in atoms?

Consider the Hydrogen 1s electron. We know that, in the quantum picture, the electron isn't orbiting or rotating at all, rather we simply state that the electron is spread over the entire space with ...