Imagine Object 1 beeing the earth and object 2 beeing the moon having a orbit around earth, like the yellow line is demonstrating.

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Could something like this anyhow naturaly as standalone occur? I'd say it couldn't but if I'm wrong: Could it stay stable? And if nothing of both is true, would this be possible with the gravitation of a third object affecting object 2? Or would it then just transform into some other form of orbit?

  • $\begingroup$ How would you imagine this occurring with 3 or more objects? $\endgroup$ – Feyre Jun 30 '16 at 12:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Feyre: No idea. My intuition says this wouldn't be possible but so I ask for backup, since just using intuition and then relying on it is no good concept, is it? $\endgroup$ – Zaibis Jun 30 '16 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ Well no, but I actually recently wrote a program which numerically solves any n-body problem,and was looking forward to testing some things out in case you did have something in mind. $\endgroup$ – Feyre Jun 30 '16 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ If you have two objects only, they will both orbit about the system's center of mass, so your situation can't work. $\endgroup$ – march Jun 30 '16 at 13:40
  • $\begingroup$ @march: Note OP also considers a third body that might make this possible. $\endgroup$ – Zaibis Jun 30 '16 at 13:41

This cannot work in a 2-body scenario.

In a 3-body scenario, yes, and this can even be shown from real world examples.

Lagrangian orbits are reasonably well understood, where a 3rd body orbits a location defined by the masses and orbits of the first 2 bodies. the L4 and L5 locations follow or lead the 2nd body, but have stable orbits around them that do not go round the 2nd body.

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  • $\begingroup$ Your wikipedia link looks to me as it would require the OP scenario to have a mass in the center of object2's yellow orbit circle. Did I get that wrong? $\endgroup$ – Zaibis Jun 30 '16 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ Of course - hence 3-body. The system as a whole is in orbit around the central body, but the local system can meet the OP's needs. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Jun 30 '16 at 14:48

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