Questions regarding an object 'falling around' another object, due to a combination of gravity and momentum.

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Calculating orbits for beginners [migrated]

I'm a game developer, and I'm working a space game, where I have to simulate a spacecraft's orbit, traveling from the earth to the moon. I would need the apoasis and periapsis of the orbit. I have the ...
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1answer
80 views

How much time does the ISS take to repeat its orbit?

I used to go to my roof to see the ISS, but it is not always visible. Then it appears again but does it appear with the exact same orbit as I saw before? Thanks!
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3answers
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Why do the gas giants in the Solar System have comparatively large orbits compared to the inner planets?

Ever since I observed the depictions of the Solar System, I was obsessed with the question of why the gas giants (outer planets) have very large orbits, compared to the planets that are closer to the ...
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30 views

How common are Stars that have no orbiting planets? [duplicate]

How common are Stars that have no orbiting planets compared to Stars that do?
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91 views

Two body orbit of equal masses

Given two bodies of equal mass in an elliptical orbit: I know they will be orbiting about a common center of mass, i.e. the barycenter. But, do the velocities have to be equal in magnitude and ...
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1answer
35 views

Longitude of the Ecliptic

I originally went to math.stackexchange.com and they suggested I try here as well. I'm trying to figure out how to calculate times of moonrise and moonset for a given position on the earth on a ...
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66 views

What would happen if we changed Earth's orbit? [closed]

If one day we have enough technology to push the Earth away a bit further from the sun to reduce global warming, is it true that it will start to distort the orbits of Mars and Venus, giving them a ...
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1answer
45 views

Simulates Orbit [duplicate]

I IT developer, and I would code a small program that simulates the orbit of two bodies, the problem of two bodies eventually. I have no problem on the part programming but I have a little trouble ...
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1answer
49 views

Can we apply Kepler's law of planetary motion to the moons motion around the earth?

I have been trying to understand Kepler's law of planetary motion for a while. So I was thinking, if it would even apply to the moon orbiting around the earth. Does the moon too orbit in an ellipse ...
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1answer
64 views

State vectors of “interesting” multiple stars

I'd like to show a demonstration of Runge Kutta integration of real systems using examples of interesting multiple stars, where "interesting" means you can see through a small telescope that they are ...
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1answer
101 views

Are there any hot jupiters orbiting red dwarfs?

Do we know of any hot jupiters that could be orbiting a red dwarf (or, more probably, orbiting a barycenter between the two)? Is this scenario even physically possible?
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2answers
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Would it be possible to equip an asteroid to collect space junk in Earth's orbit? [closed]

We all have heard about the problem with space junk in low earth orbit. NASA has a plan to put an asteroid in orbit around the moon. Would it be possible to equip propulsion systems onto an asteroid ...
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2answers
62 views

Determining distance from semi-major axis and eccentricity

I am trying to obtain the distance covered by an object in orbit around the earth within a specified amount of time past its perigee passage. The object is in an elliptical orbit with eccentricity 0.2 ...
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1answer
103 views

Is this Universe scenario correct? [closed]

I will try to give you my reasoning behind my scenario. Ok I've researched and found That 95 percent of the galaxy has been formed already, And the other 5 percent is still to ...
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2answers
162 views

Lack of objects between heliopause and Oort cloud?

If we take a look at a logarithmic scale of the Solar System, there appears to be a large gap between the heliopause and the Oort cloud: Why is that? There are some objects in the gap, but why are ...
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1answer
118 views

Best planets profile for a tattoo of the solar system [closed]

I want to get a tattoo of the solar system. The gap between the planets should not be preserved and the differences in sizes will only be symbolic. I found the following My question is if all stars ...
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2answers
125 views

Are there ever any simultaneous transits of both Mercury and Venus as seen from the Earth?

Transits of Mercury happen fairly frequently due to its short period, but transits of Venus are less frequent. I've looked over the data available to me and found that there have been transits of ...
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1answer
66 views

Stability of orbital resonance

Recently I've become more interested in the topic of the stability of planetary systems. I have been reading about it and it seems that orbital resonances play an important role in the stability of ...
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3answers
51 views

What is the centre of rotation of Pluto?

I know that Pluto and Charon have been found to circle round each other, hence the reason Pluto is no longer a planet I believe, which would mean that the centre of rotation is an arbitrary (!) point ...
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1answer
103 views

What is the shape of the Sun's orbit around the Earth taking into account elliptical orbits?

Consider the non-inertial frame that is at rest with respect to the Earth's revolution around the Sun. (Ignore the Earth's rotation around its own axis.) My question is, what is the shape of the ...
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Resources on planetary stability

I am a fifth (and last) year undergraduate student in Physics with good level of Mathematics formation and basic Astrophysics formation. I recently read some theories about Solar System formation and ...
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21 views

Accuracy of Laplace Method for determining orbital elements

Recently I had to implement Laplace method and apply it to 3 observations of Mars (10 days in between two observations). The results were pretty good, with discrepancies with real data well below 5% ...
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3answers
42 views

Is the duration of a sidereal year stable?

According to this essay by Phil Plait, the duration of Earth's sidereal year is 31,558,149 seconds. Is this figure stable? If I were to meaure Earth's orbit several million (or billions) of years in ...
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2answers
102 views

Why doesn't Jupiter increase the chances of an asteroid to strike the Earth?

I often hear the hypothesis that Jupiter decreases the chances of an asteroid strike on the Earth, but my question is, why does it only decrease the chances ? While Jupiter can deflect some ...
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1answer
117 views

Are there accurate equinox and solstice predictions for the distant past?

I am trying to find information on the equinox/solstice dates before 1600, more exactly referring up to 10,000 BCE so as to create a sort of calculator on an Excel spreadsheet. I have read about the ...
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2answers
103 views

Can planets have orbits other than elliptical or circular orbits?

Can planets have orbits other than elliptical or circular orbits? All of the planets in our solar system have either a circular orbit or an elliptical orbit (perhaps like Pluto).
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1answer
124 views

Do all planets rotate in the same direction in relation to each other?

In other words, does everything spin counterclockwise according to their axes (in relation to each other)? I suppose my question goes for stars, moons and other objects too. But then again, all you ...
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How to get the longitude of the perihelion to find the Heliocentric Equatorial coordinates of a planet

I'm writing a program to randomly generate star systems and I have been having a difficult time figuring this out. I've found the equations I need to get the heliocentric equatorial coordinates, but I ...
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1answer
77 views

How to cool down a moon?

I'm doing an Astronomy project and need to terraform a moon. It is about the size of Mars and orbits a gas giant which is at a distance of 1.28 AU of its star. I though about putting a sunshade at the ...
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3answers
3k views

What if Earth and Moon revolved around each other like Pluto and Charon?

What would be different for us if Earth and Moon revolved around each other like Pluto and Charon do?
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1answer
111 views

Simulate an orbit with orbital elements

I want to simulate the orbits of the planets from our solar system. I want to use orbital elements to calculate the current position(xyz) at a time t. The simulation doesn't have to be too exact, but ...
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1answer
94 views

Ambiguity in Earth's “Tilt”

It’s well-known that the axial tilt of the Earth (with respect to the ecliptic) is about 23.4 degrees. However, two angles is needed to specify the orientation of any rigid body, so it’s unclear to me ...
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1answer
140 views

Can a star orbit around multiple planets or a planet with massive moons?

Note: I'm not talking about a star orbiting around a single or lonely planet :) I know a star orbiting a planet is almost impossible because if a planet is more massive than a star, that "planet" ...
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2answers
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Alignment of Semi-Major Axis of Orbits

So I'd like to ask whether the semi-major axis of planetary orbits are aligned? Logically, they shouldn't be, but many websites act as if they are. If they're not aligned, what's the angle between the ...
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50 views

How (un)stable are the Lagrangian points 1, 2 and 3?

A couple questions, please: I know that the Lagrangian points 1, 2 and 3 are unstable and special Lissajous orbits plus some station-keeping are required to place a spacecraft around them. But I was ...
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1answer
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Why do spectroscopic binaries have approximate circular orbits?

So for an assignment I have to answer the question what I can conclude concerning the shape of the orbit, knowing that it is both an eclipsing and spectroscopic binary. Now, I think the answer I ...
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1answer
105 views

How were the orbits of planets first mapped out?

I'd like to know how the orbits of planets were first 'mapped out' and to understand the maths behind it. e.g. How do we know what position in space a planet will be at certain time so that spacecraft ...
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2answers
746 views

When was the term “orbit” (in the modern sense) first used and by whom?

Wikipedia coyly suggests that some notions and views kept circulating (apparently since Adam and Eve) until finally Kepler, of all people, ... etc. I find this hard to believe. Please elucidate.
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Is the size and heat of a star important in the development of a solar system?

How do the size and heat of stars affect development of solar systems and what kinds of planets can develop? Is it possible to orbit supermassive stars? Furthermore, would star's unleashing violent ...
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1answer
102 views

Does the Sun orbit the Milky way in a (kind of) flat or inclined orbit or more of a sine wave? [duplicate]

I know it can't be a perfect ellipse or smooth orbit due to all the matter in every direction, and our Sun could be affected by a gravity assist of sorts if it passes close enough to another massive ...
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1answer
129 views

Best approximation for Sun's trajectory around galactic center?

What is the current best approximation for the path the Sun takes around the center of the Milky Way? I have found some information on the approximate position of the Milky Way's center, the speed of ...
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1answer
66 views

Do orbital resonances always form naturally?

For example, if I throw two planets to orbit a star at random direction, would they form an orbital resonance?
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197 views

Inclination in Kepler's laws

So, you can determine the location of an object in an orbit at any given time via Kepler's laws, but how do you determine the orbital inclination at any given point in time?
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2answers
125 views

Could an asteroid knock the moon out of its orbit?

As describe in this CNN article, an asteroid is going to pass near the Earth on Halloween. The article says that As it misses Earth by about 300,000 miles (slightly farther away than the moon), ...
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1answer
114 views

What is meant by matter distribution?

Frustratingly, I find this could be a very simplistic question and may leave me feeling a little stupid for asking it. But I have to ask this. My lecturer keeps refering to "matter distributions" for ...
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1answer
81 views

What causes objects to become tidally locked?

I'm trying to write a gravity simulation (suns planets etc), and was hoping tidal locking could be one feature demonstrated. Using a simple equation for gravity has produced some interesting results, ...
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2answers
64 views

Can a probe orbit Pluto given Charon's gravity?

Is it possible for a man-made probe to orbit Pluto given its closeness to Charon? The gravitational field interaction of Pluto and Charon is likely to make simple orbit structure difficult for a ...
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1answer
167 views

How is it that all planets (and moons) in our solar system are in equilibrium orbits?

Previously, I was told that in order for any bodies to orbit each other for over a long period of time, the orbital period, distance and masses have to be precisely matched such that the bodies won't ...
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Is there a web service providing orbital data of solar bodies (planets, comets, asteroids, dwarf planets)?

I would like to be able to connect to a web-service and retrieve JSON data containing information on current (as of today or so) orbits of planets, comets, asteroids, and dwarf planets in our solar ...
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1answer
51 views

How to get from the earth to another planet/ the moon? What happens on the way? [closed]

I have a problem explaining for my students how to get from the earth to the moon? Is there someone who can give a good explanation? I Think these are words that might be included. Escape velocity, ...