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

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30 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 ...
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2answers
53 views

How many celestial bodies could be in stable orbit at roughly the same distance from a star?

How many planet-like celestial bodies of roughly the same mass (say within 50%) could orbit a star at roughly (say within 10%) the same distance from the star and be in stable orbits. By stable I ...
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1answer
77 views

How did Kepler arrive at his laws?

How did Kepler arrive at his laws? If one already knows the distances to the planets (and the eccentricity of the orbits etc.) it is understandable how one might proceed to establish the second and ...
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1answer
19 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
126 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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122 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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73 views

Why is the orbital resonance of the Galilean moons stable?

It is well known that the orbits of Ganymede, Europa and Io are in a 4:2:1 resonance. Most online sources (including but not limited to Wikipedia) say that such an orbital resonance, along with the ...
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0answers
56 views

Isn't the Jacobi constant just the Lagrangian times 2?

At this wikipedia page the Jacobi constant is expressed as: $$C_J=2\left(\frac{v^2}{2}-U\right)$$ where $U$ is the potential energy and $v$ is velocity. If kinetic energy $T$ is defined (as it ...
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0answers
66 views

Why rendezvous attempt failed on Gemini 4?

It is said in Wikipedia, that On the first orbit, McDivitt attempted to rendezvous with the spent Titan second stage. This was unsuccessful for a number of reasons: NASA engineers had not ...
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95 views

Is Earth/Luna tidal lock approaching faster?

Wikipedia pegs the mass of Earth at $5.972\cdot 10^{24}\,\text{kg}$ or $5.972\cdot 10^{21}\,\text{metric tons}$. Assuming Earth accumulates approximately $30,000\,\text{metric tons}$ annually. To ...
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0answers
171 views

Calculation of a Gravity Resonance Keyhole

Can anyone describe the mathematics behind the calculation of a resonance keyhole (for a two-body model)? It seems like the size and position of the keyhole should be a function only of mass and ...
2
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0answers
70 views

Computing 2d Orbital Parameters

When using formulas that describe a 2d orbit around a planetary body: is it actually OK for the semi-major axis $a$ to be negative? when $a$ is negative, it is impossible to compute mean anomaly ...
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0answers
76 views

How to travel between tidally locked binary planets

Two planets of roughly the same volume and mass are orbiting each other. What would be the most efficient way to travel from one to the other? Seems unlikely, but could a rocket positioned at the ...
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0answers
163 views

For two planets in a 2:1 mean motion resonance , where will their periastron and apastron points be?

I want to animate the changing orbits of planets when they enter a mean motion resonance. Using a 2:1 resonance, I want to show a low-mass inner planet and a low-mass outer planet being tugged by a ...
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0answers
26 views

Ratio of position error of orbiter to the size of the orbit

This is an assignment question for online AP physics. As if it isn't already tough. This question is killing me. I even asked my physics teacher from last year and my calculus teacher. It stumped ...
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0answers
42 views

Travel time in elliptical orbit around the sun

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, ...
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0answers
37 views

Calculus used by Gaus to find Ceres' position?

With very little data, the great mathematician Gauss was able to predict the exact location of where the asteroid Ceres, having only few data. If possible I would like-a-reconstruction of his work, ...
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0answers
36 views

Where are the L3, L4, and L5 of a hyperbolic orbit?

Do the L3, L4, L5 points exist in hyperbolic orbits? If yes, then where do they lie?
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0answers
74 views

What causes an electron to return from a higher orbit to a lower orbit

Ultraviolet light can cause electrons from Hydrogen gas to jump from a lower energy orbit to a higher energy orbit. What causes the electrons to return from the higher energy orbit to the lower energy ...
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0answers
120 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 ...
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0answers
129 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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0answers
50 views

Would ferromagnetic space debris have been magnetized by their orbit in the Earth's magnetosphere?

Given a nail, and a magnet it is possible to magnetize the nail by patiently rubbing the nail until it is magnetized; albeit the field strength may be less than that of the source. With several ...
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0answers
627 views

Calculating semi-major axis of binary stars from velocity, position and mass

I'm trying to calculate the 'instantaneous' semi-major axis of a binary system with two equal (known) mass stars for an $N$-body simulation. I know their velocities and positions at a given time, but ...
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0answers
48 views

Calculate trajectory of projectile with gravity from disk planets in 2D?

I'm making a 2D game where you control a spaceship and fly between disk-formed planets of differing size (mass/pull). The planets are small and you can fly near several at once. I need to calculate ...
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104 views

How explain this perturbing equation about the 43 arcseconds?

The planetary orbits have been studied as ellipses but the solar system is in motion in relation to the distant stars. Their path is along the tip of an helix and the ecliptic plane is a convenient ...
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0answers
76 views

Simulating orbits using Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation

I've been having a go at programming an orbital simulator from scratch (without using any existing libraries) using the formula below to find the acceleration first for particle A and then for ...
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0answers
76 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 ...
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48 views

How to derive “Anti-Lagrangian” $L_4$ and $L_5$ points

In this paper on co-orbital dynamics the authors discover, numerically, "Anti-Lagrangian" solutions to the restricted 3 body problem. These Anti-Lagrange $L_4$ and $L_5$ points are 120 degrees ahead ...
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0answers
50 views

Deriving the relationship between change in Energy and change in angular momentum in orbital repulsion

I know that for a test particle in between a planet and its satellite, there is a direct relationship between the change in energy and change in angular momentum, when the particle's orbit nears the ...
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53 views

What is the equation for Lin-Shu density wave theory?

Lin-Shu density wave theory is a (very good) theory to explain the spiral arm structure of spiral galaxies. Where can I find the equations that underlie this theory? I've seen its computer ...