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

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2answers
47 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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2answers
61 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 ...
5
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1answer
93 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
29 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? ...
0
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1answer
54 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, ...
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1answer
168 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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139 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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0answers
106 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 ...
4
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0answers
71 views

Calculus used by Gauss to find Ceres' position?

With very little data, the great mathematician Gauss was able to predict the exact location of where to find the asteroid Ceres. If possible I would like a reconstruction of his work, from the data ...
3
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0answers
81 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 ...
3
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0answers
109 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 ...
3
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0answers
177 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
57 views

How to calculate launch angle for tangentially launched satellites?

What is the value of theta for a satellite not falling back to the Earth if it is launched from the direction tangent to the surface of the Earth? I have found the escape velocity which is 11.18km/s, ...
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0answers
33 views

Would a large, small mass object in orbit experience induced rotation

Imagine a large (multiple earth radii), very small-mass ring orbiting The Sun. Half of the ring would be closer to The Sun than the outer half. Since orbital velocity decreases with distance, two free ...
2
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0answers
69 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, ...
2
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0answers
80 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
86 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
227 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
31 views

Terrestrial Space Elevator Construction - Plausability

Framework If there was a cable constructed at the equator about the circumference of the Earth, and if this cable had sufficient strength to remain intact while erect, call this tensile strength T. ...
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0answers
94 views

Application of trigonometry to the slingshot effect/gravity assist

I have been trying to understand the formula $$v_f^{2}=v_i^{2}+2V(V(1-\cos\beta)+v_i(\cos(\alpha-\beta)-\cos\alpha))$$ as it relates to Fig. 2 on page 5 of this exposition: ...
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0answers
65 views

Compute and plot satellite position on 2D Earth map

I would like to create a simple satellite tracking software, that will compute the position of a satellite at any time, and show its location on a 2D map of Earth. Let's assume it is possible to ...
1
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0answers
30 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
37 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
87 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
137 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
132 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
51 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
664 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
34 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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0answers
37 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
33 views

Can we design the orbit of a satellite with Einstein’s curved space?

I think that the most successful theory of gravity is that the orbit of planet can be explained with this theory and the orbit of satellite was designed with this theory. To design an orbit of a ...
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0answers
24 views

Ideal suborbital hop

This is actually regarding Kerbal Space Program, but it's more of a physics question than one about the game. If I have a rocket on the surface of a rotating spherical body without an atmosphere, ...
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0answers
66 views

Alternative derivations of vis-viva equation?

The proof of the vis-viva equation of orbital mechanics found on wikipedia looks, in my opinion, somewhat convoluted and unenlightening. Considering the simplicity and importance of the vis-viva ...
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0answers
37 views

Relative effects of forces

Excuse me for my ignorance but I really couldn't find a solution. According to Einstein, every happening is possible to describe by both of interacted objects. Is there any other way to describe the ...
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0answers
82 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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0answers
89 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
56 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
60 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 ...