Questions tagged [celestial-mechanics]

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927 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 3:...
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1answer
426 views

Why does planetary spin affect the stability of orbits?

Reading about the Hill Sphere I notice that "the region of stability for retrograde orbits at a large distance from the primary, is larger than the region for prograde orbits at a large distance from ...
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What happens in the event that the cooling radius is shorter than the virial radius of a Cold Dark Matter Halo?

The cooling radius of a cold dark matter halo is defined to be the time at which the cooling time $t_{cool} = t_{free fall}$ where $$t_{cool}=\frac{\rho \varepsilon }{\Lambda \left ( T \right )n_{H}...
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1answer
106 views

Regularization: What is so special about the Coulomb/Newtonian and harmonic potential?

I wanted to know if the procedure for regularization of the Coulomb potential outlined in Celletti (2003): Basics of regularization theory could be generalized to arbitrary polynomial potentials. So ...
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2answers
230 views

Orbital period and nodal precession & apsidal precession

In classical orbital mechanics as per Newton/Kepler, the time taken to complete one orbit around a body of mass $M_e$ is: $$ T = 2 \pi \cdot \sqrt { \frac {a^3} {G \cdot M_e} } $$ But also, for ...
3
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1answer
163 views

Gravity assist, Coordinate system transformation

I am currently learning about the physics and the mathmatics behind gravity assist. I have a question regarding the coordinate transformation between the planet frame and the sun frame. I want to ...
3
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1answer
961 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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513 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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267 views

Simple model of the solar system. Parameters? Accuracy?

I was thinking of making a simple 2D model of the solar system, with planets moving along ellipses like $$x(t) = k_x \sin(t + k_t) (\sin(k_\phi) + \cos(k_\phi))$$ $$y(t) = k_y \cos(t + k_t) (cos(k_\...
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61 views

Horseshoe orbit cycle times

I asked on Worldbuilding originally, but was directed here instead I've been working on a habitable moon system for a story, and I'm now trying to populate the other moons around the parent planet. ...
2
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1answer
73 views

Why do the orbit equations have to be symmetric about two axes even the orbit is not bounded?

In the book of Classical Mechanics by Goldstein, at page 88, it is given that However, the orbit might not be bounded, so there might not be two turning point; just one. In such a case, how can we ...
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45 views

A question about almost stationary orbits

For an orbit around the earth with period equal to a sidereal day with eccentricity $e=0$ and inclination $i=0$, the path on earth would be a single point on the equator. I have done some simulations ...
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417 views

Proof of unsolvability of $n$-body problem for $n\geqslant 3$ in general

We know there are general solutions for 1-body problem and 2-body problem and also we know in some "special cases" there are some possible solutions for $n$-body problem for $n \geqslant 3$ and there ...
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336 views

Calculating stable orbital resonance and other factors into orbits

Firstly here is a brief summary of what I trying to accomplish. From a predetermined total solar system mass , star count in that system, per-star classification and mass I am building a system of ...
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1answer
70 views

Coexistence at Lagrange points

I was wondering how precise the location of an object in a Lagrange point needs to be to maintain stability, since it seems that several natural objects (asteroids) exists together in some of these ...
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395 views

What is the difference between Saddle points and Lagrangian points between Earth and the Sun?

I am studying MOND bubble effects in the Solar System (Paper). In "mond habitats.." (last reference) first page, the author says MOND bubbles reside on the saddle points but I fail to understand the ...
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523 views

How to calculate orbital eccentricity from the ratio of satellites' velocities?

I have a problem with working out how to calculate the orbital eccentricity from the ratio of two satellites' linear velocities. We know that two satellites encircles the Earth in two elliptical ...
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0answers
290 views

Story about a mathematician, a dinner party, and the three-body problem

I remember dimly hearing a story, coincidentally also at a dinner party, and I was trying recently to track the details down with no success. I was hoping someone here might have also heard this story ...
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776 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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42 views

Why are so few inclined circumbinary planets known?

For a research project I'm studying the orbits of circumbinary planets, most of these planets orbits are coplanar. However I was wondering if orbits with a high inclination could be stable. I made a ...
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1answer
75 views

Two bodies orbiting around common barycenter

Assume $2$ bodies of mass $M_1$ and $M_2$ orbiting in a plane around their common barycenter $G$. It means the axis $(M_1M_2)$ is rotating in the plane around a vertical axis through $G$. [Please ...
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63 views

Mass distributions within two bodies such that the orbit is no longer Keplerian?

The trajectories of two point masses or spherically symmetric masses with respect to their center of mass are conic sections or Kepler orbits. Consider that the bodies have finite size with respect ...
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34 views

Restricted 3-body problem - Rotating coordinate system

I'm trying to follow the formulation of the restricted 3-body problem in Taff's "Celestial Mechanics" book as I'm writing an essay on Lagrange points and am confused by the transformation into the ...
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1answer
34 views

The shape characteristics of gravitational wells given different masses and spread of objects

I am curious as to research that calculates the shape of gravitational wells, and their limits, and affect on time, for different masses and spread of mass. The actual question is st the end. For ...
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1answer
84 views

Good sources to get velocity/position vectors for all planets and moons in the Solar System for building an orbital simulator?

I’m building an $N$-body simulator, and I have everything ready to begin simulating. But my issue is is that I have no idea how to get all the starting positions and velocities for the celestial ...
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85 views

Planar Precession Frequency of Orbit

What is the general relation between orbital precession $\Phi$, orbital frequency $\Omega$ and a radial perturbation frequency $\omega$? For certain cases the answer is "clear", for example: 1) If $\...
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1answer
52 views

How can I obtain the position of the Earth on the orbit for given date?

I would like to be able calculate (or at least download some time-series data of) the position of the Earth on it's orbit at given date. For my purposes, it would be sufficient to account for the ...
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47 views

Sign of the action for the harmonic osccilator?

I am confused about the derivation of the action $S(x,\mathbf{J})$ for a harmonic oscillator as given at page 219 in "Galactic Dynamics", J.Binney-S. Tremaine, 2nd Ed. 2008. The part of the derivation ...
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1answer
263 views

Geocentric Ecliptic to Perifocal Coordinate Transformation

I'm self-studying elementary orbital mechanics and am experimenting with transforming satellite position and velocity vectors between different coordinate systems. I know there are coordinate ...
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0answers
150 views

How is the precession rate of planets calculated? For which planets do we know the precession rates?

From what I've read, precession rates of Earth, Mars and Moon are known. Why is that? And how is it calculated?
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49 views

2D N-BODY SOFTWARE

When I had a Mac back at JPL in the 80's, I had software that allowed me to enter the mass and X, Y velocity vectors for a number of bodies. It was fun to play with. Is there anything like that out ...
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1answer
60 views

Would a celestial body in a horseshoe orbit be tidally locked to the planet?

A smaller celestial body like a moon or an asteroid can be in a horseshoe orbit around a planet. Since it might go inside the tidal lock radius (but does not stay inside it all the time), during the ...
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2answers
88 views

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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0answers
834 views

Orbital period of a satellite in Kerbal Space Program

Let me start off by saying I am really bad at maths and physics, but lately I have been trying to calculate the orbital period of a satellite I have put in orbit around a planet called Kerbin in a ...
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28 views

Laplace's method to determine orbits

I am trying to do the second problem by Laplace's method, it is in spanish but the only thing that matters are the asteroid's observations and the coordinates of Earth https://freeshell.de/~rgh/arch/...
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60 views

Questions related to Lagrange points

For me, these two graphs are inherently different. The first graph portrays a "forbidden region" which is completely filled in, the other shows a collection of curves. Whats the difference here? Whats ...
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1answer
739 views

Is there any free open source planetary orbit simulator software?

I need a free open source planetary orbit simulator software that should be able to calculate orbit stability for a couple simple planetary systems. Basically, I need to calculate orbit durations for ...
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0answers
249 views

Reduced Three-body problem

I know that three-body problem in celestial mechanics can't be solved analytically in general. But suppose that the 3rd body is much smaller than the others, so it does not perturb their orbits. This ...
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30 views

The equation of the location of L1

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagrangian_point#L1 it says that the location of L1 can be determined as $\frac{M_1}{(R-r)^2}=\frac{M_2}{r^2}+\left(\frac{M_1}{M_1+M_2}R-r\right)\frac{M_1+M_2}{R^3}$, ...
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1answer
56 views

How can it be known what the Earths periods of eccentricity, perihelion and obliquity are when the observational data only cover at most 3,000 years?

How can it really be known what the earths periods of eccentricity, perihelion and obliquity are when the observational data only cover at most 3,000 years? What I mean is that these parameters ...
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2answers
43 views

Central force problem

Two masses, $m$ and $2m$, orbit around their CM (center of mass). If the orbits are circular, they don’t intersect. But if they are very elliptical, they do. What is the smallest value of the ...
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1answer
40 views

Ever looming shadow

If I'm not mistaken the reason the moon eclipses the sun is because the ratio of distance to size, in regards to the moon and sun, is 1:1. And is it not also true that the reason we only ever see one ...
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How to calculate orthogonal component of trajectory after pass through orbital plane of 2-body system

For an encounter between a stable 2-body system and a 3rd body which has sufficient velocity to escape after a pass through the orbital plane between these two objects, I am setting up the frame of ...
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1answer
33 views

Ptolemaic system parameters

I recently learned about the Ptolemaic system, which seems pretty accurate. There is even a simulator on the Internet: https://astro.unl.edu/naap/ssm/animations/ptolemaic.html You can see that there ...
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1answer
36 views

Can we ever calculate the exact period and semi-major axis for an orbit with strong perihelion precession?

To calculate the period of an orbit with strong perihelion precession we could just pick an arbitrary point in the sky, and time how long it takes for it to pass it again. But wouldn't we get ...
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53 views

Flyby anomaly observations: the Pluto case

Recently, the flyby anomaly was back in the Juno probe. I was wondering if the New Horizons probe also observed it. Any references for the New Horizons probe? Any idea if New Horizons could test it on ...
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29 views

Could a 'pulsar-like' planet exist due to the following properties?

A planet has been discovered with a composition believed to be made up of diamond. If such a planet were to host a massive satellite of high eccentricity, it seems possible that the large tidal forces ...
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1answer
382 views

How do I use Kepler's Laws to propagate an orbit for a Two-Line Element (TLE) Set?

I need to propagate a large number of orbits (get a satellite's position at a certain time) from TLEs (two-line element sets) using Kepler's laws. Ordinarily I'd use a real propagator like SGP4/SDP4, ...
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111 views

Double star system; relative orbit in the case of elliptical orbits

In my physics book they say that the relative distance between two stars (that both have elliptical orbits) in a double-star system equals $4.0 AU$ in the pericenter, and $16.0AU$ in the apocenter. ...
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83 views

Stability of solar system

As far as I understand, the stability of the Solar system means that planets do not collide and will not in near future. The only thing that is stated on Wikipedia is that scientists are concerned ...