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

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How do you calculate the effects of precession on elliptical orbits?

Kepler's first law states that planets (and all celestial bodies orbiting another body) travel in elliptical orbits, which have well-known formulas that make it relatively easy to calculate the ...
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1answer
30 views

Is axial tilt direction correlated with semi-major axis direction?

Earth comes closest to the Sun every year around January 3. Winter solstice is at 21-22 December, merely some 12-13 days away. That means projection of Earth rotation axis onto the plane of its ...
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2answers
78 views

How do I calculate the positions of objects in orbit?

In a model of the solar system, given the Sun is at the point $(0, 0, 0)$, an given the six orbital elements for each object in orbit ($a$, $\epsilon$, $i$, $\Omega$, $\omega$, $M_0$), how can I ...
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Leonid meteor showers and the Tempel-Tuttle comet

I've been reading about the Leonid meteor showers and am struggling to understand one piece of information. On Wikipedia (Tempel-Tuttle), it states: The orbit of 55P/Tempel–Tuttle intersects that ...
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0answers
29 views

What are the azimuths of the planets' orbits?

I am creating a virtual solar system model and I want it to be as realistic as possible (e.g. orbits are ellipses, not circles, and orbits are oriented correctly, not all coplanar). In order for me ...
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1answer
91 views

Where did this famous Planetary Precession Formula come from?

The following equation (which I shall term the Planetary Precession Formula, PPF for short) famously appeared in a 1915 publication by Einstein where he indicated how it could be derived from his ...
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1answer
101 views

Can General Relativity indicate phase-dependent variations in planetary orbital acceleration?

In a previous question about differences in Newtonian and GTR gravitional force for the case of star-planet gravitational interactions an approximate relationship was noted between the expressions for ...
6
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1answer
85 views

Explanation for the mathematics behind Venus' retrograde motion

I've always been interested by the pattern within Venus' orbit around the sun. I found this image and formula of its retrograde motion in the upper right hand corner which confused me. What does it ...
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1answer
70 views

Orbiting supermassive black hole or galactic center of mass?

One of the ways they measure the (supposed?) supermassive black hole at the galactic center of the milky way is to measure those tens of stars right at the galactic center that are orbiting what ...
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1answer
196 views

Exercise: 2D orbital mechanics simulation (python)

Just a little disclaimer beforehand: I have never studied astronomy or any exact sciences for that matter (not even IT), so I am trying to fill this gap by self-education. Astronomy is one of the ...
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2answers
79 views

Is there a standard mapping of symbols to terms for celestial and orbital mechanics

Is there a standard mapping of symbols to terms for celestial and orbital mechanics (and physics in general)? For example here are some ambiguities Angular Momentum: L, H, J, $\Gamma$, Orbital ...
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1answer
42 views

How to compute satellite coordinates (lat,long) given antenna's coordinates, angles and satellite height

Given an Earth station (antenna) coordinates (in lat,long) ant its Elevation (El) and Azimuth (Az), how to compute the satellite coordinates (lat,long), known its height? For simplification purposes, ...
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1answer
113 views

What would be the dynamics of a double-planet system, similar to Earth / Moon, but with both bodies nearly Earth-sized?

Researching a sci-fi story involving a "twin-planet" system. Is such an arrangement (however unlikely) physically possible? And if so, must they be tidally locked with each other, similar to the moon, ...
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1answer
123 views

What is the correct ratio of Newtonian to General Relativistic gravitational effects for Sun + single planet orbital system

For a hypothetical orbital system (Sun + single planet) the Newtonian model and the General Relativity (GR) model produce different expressions for the gravitational effect of the Sun on the planet. ...
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1answer
71 views

Is Earth's orbital eccentricity enough to cause even minor seasons, without axial tilt?

I was reading the answers to this question about an exoplanet having seasons without axial tilt, and several responders mention that orbital eccentricity could cause a similar effect, but that the ...
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2answers
55 views

Why Earth's perihelion occurs 3rd January rather than 1st?

Why Earth's perihelion occurs 3rd January rather than 1st January? Is there any effort to correct this discrepancy?
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2answers
52 views

Is there a lower limit for the altitude of orbiting objects?

As I understand it, one object can orbit another at a variety of altitudes, and the stability of the orbit is determined by (among other things) the speed of the orbiting object. Go too slowly and ...
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0answers
26 views

Advancement of perihelion, data

I was looking for accurate and up-to-date data regarding the advancement of the perihelion of the planets in the Solar System, the only ones I've found so far are at least 90 years old bout I really ...
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1answer
45 views

Is there a general term for epicycles, deferents, and eccentrics in Ptolemaic astronomy?

According to Ptolemy's (c. 150 CE) account of the motions of planets, planets moved in circular paths ("epicycles") around center points that in turn moved around the center of the earth along a path ...
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2answers
77 views

How fast is a comet moving when it crosses Earth's orbit?

Is it about the same as Earth's orbital speed?
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1answer
126 views

What is the difference between Sphere of Influence and Hill sphere?

Wikipedia's definition of Hill sphere is: An astronomical body's Hill sphere is the region in which it dominates the attraction of satellites. To be retained by a planet, a moon must have an orbit ...
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3answers
104 views

Can you explain the pattern of Hill sphere sizes of the objects of the Solar system?

I found this image on calculations of Hill sphere for planets/dwarf planets of the Solar system. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hill_sphere_of_the_planets.png I found it interesting that ...
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2answers
48 views

Birthdate differences calculation relative to earths orbit duration

I have got a question as i am trying to figure out what the real difference between the birthdate of my friend and me is. I am born on 1983 6th February 7 am. My Friend is born on 1984 7th February 1 ...
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4answers
161 views

The Existence of Natural Satellites in Geostationary Orbits

While browsing through Physics SE, I noticed a question about satellites in geostationary orbit (unrelated to the one I'm asking here), and for a moment I interpreted it as referring to natural ...
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3answers
65 views

Are multiple satellites required to handle geostationary orbits?

Do geostationary satellites need to have the equator as the plane of rotation, and the earth's centre to be the centre of rotation? Can it rotate over, say, the Tropic of Cancer, focusing on a single ...
3
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1answer
129 views

Could a habitable satellite of a gas giant have a stable subsatellite?

I have set a science fiction story on a moon, orbiting a gas giant (which orbits its star at approximately the same orbit as the Earth around the Sun), and given this moon its own satellites. The ...
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3answers
421 views

How does a gravity slingshot actually work?

From what I know of elliptical orbits, an object speeds up near the periapsis and slows down at the apoapsis, much like we learned in high school physics how a sphere would roll down and back up a ...
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2answers
130 views

Is there any point on earth where the moon stays below the horizon for an extended period of time?

When I was teaching a class why the earth has seasons today, I mentioned how the poles of the earth experience months of daylight and darkness. Then one of my students asked whether the moon ...
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1answer
78 views

Derivation of the formula for longitude of ascending node for a satellite

I've been looking into the document IS-GPS-200H to understand how to calculate satellite location in the ECEF coordinate. I am having problem understanding the formula to derive $\Omega$, the ...
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2answers
121 views

How did Kepler determine the orbital period of Mars?

As I understand it, Kepler used the orbital period of Mars, along with observational data of Mars' and the sun's position in the sky to derive the orbits of Earth and Mars. (As described, here: ...
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1answer
46 views

Finding the radius of an eccentric orbit at any point

Knowing the apoapsis, periapsis and therefore period of an orbit, how can I find the radius of an object in an orbit at a given angle or time, whichever is needed. For example, if I have an object m ...
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0answers
29 views

Singularity in Laplace Method for Orbit Determination

I have a question about Laplace angle-only method for orbit determination where the line of sight vectors are being interpolated. I read somewhere that the method fails (due to a matrix being ...
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1answer
389 views

In 2016, the summer solstice will coincide with a full moon. How often does this happen?

I found that the solstices work on a 400 year cycle based on this. I can't find anything similar for the lunar cycle. Is there a formula I can use to calculate the date of the full moon?
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1answer
302 views

Average amount of annual daylight at any place on earth

If this is the wrong group please direct me to the correct one. It seems intuitively obvious that the amount of daylight per annum should be the same for any latitude on earth. For example, 12 hours ...
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1answer
57 views

Orbital Elements Transformations

I'm a third year undergrad, and for the project I'm doing this summer, I need to figure out the Earth's position and velocity from the moon's point of view. From the reading I've done, it seems like ...
3
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1answer
82 views

What is the optimal escape trajectory from near a black hole?

Consider a space ship that is being drawn closer to a black hole. The crew begins to notice the effects, and discovers that they are nearing the black hole. They then manage to halt their ...
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1answer
76 views

Is there a ceiling for stable L4 or L5 masses?

L4 and L5, the Lagrange points 60 degrees leading and trailing an orbiting body, are famous for being stable. I will label the central mass S, orbiting mass J and the L4 mass T: It's said S/J ...
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2answers
126 views

Why are spacecraft not air-launched from airplanes

I searched on the subject, thinking it could probably be cheaper to fly the spacecraft aboard a plane and then launch it from altitude. The only thing I found was this Wikipedia page, but it only ...
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2answers
53 views

Do origin theories imagine each planet to first orbit the Sun very irregularly before stabilizing?

What I was wondering is that, for example, toss a few balls into zero gravity space randomly, what would be the steady state motion? Would not all the balls go on weird directions and undergo ...
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2answers
94 views

Does Earth revolves around Milky Way?

As we know Earth rotates around Sun and Sun around Milky Way but then Sun must have some velocity/angular momentum (I don't know that much physics terms). So as Earth revolves around Sun, it must ...
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2answers
270 views

When will all eight planets in our solar system align?

Ignoring expansion of the universe, entropy, decaying orbits, and interference from any bodies colliding with or otherwise interfering with their orbits, will the eight planets known planets in our ...
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1answer
86 views

Why planet's orbit is not perpendicular or random ?

Why planet's orbit is not perpendicular or random ? It always seems each planet is revolving on the same geometric-plane around the star.
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1answer
347 views

Why is the solar system often shown as a 2D plane?

Whenever I have learned about the solar system I always see the orbits displayed as a virtually flat plane. Are all of the orbits in the solar system really like this? If so, why? It seems like a ...
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2answers
84 views

Satellite/Planetary Orbits

All planetary orbits contain 5 unusually stable points. These points are particularly important because they allow man-made satellites to orbit the Sun with a period equal to that of Earth’s. 3 of ...
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2answers
151 views

What mechanism causes oscillations of the solar system's orbit about the galactic plane?

In a recent paper (news release here) Lisa Randall and Matthew Reece propose that a dark matter disk coinciding with the galactic plane together with the solar system's oscillations through the ...
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1answer
38 views

Is there online data on asteroid axial tilts?

I am hoping to find axial tilts for asteroids and also their spring and fall equinox. Some of the asteroids I'm interested in are: 4 Vesta, 1 Ceres, 24 Themis, 65 Cybele, 153 Hilda, 624 Hektor
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1answer
150 views

Why are most planetary orbits nearly circular

In our solar system, with the exception of Pluto all planets follow a relatively circular orbit around the Sun, at the same inclination. They also all rotate in the same direction, none are ...
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1answer
99 views

What is the orientation of planetary orbits?

I'm working on a planetary motion simulator. I've been working through the equations anomaly, eccentricity, etc. The one thing I'm curious about is if all the ellipses are oriented the exact same way ...
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2answers
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Apogalacticon and Perigalacticon

What is the length of the apogalacticon and perigalacticon of the Sun and Milky Way? The general terms seem to be apoapsis and periapsis. My greatest efforts at Googling have failed miserably. If ...
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Earth's gravitational pull on ISS

How do they make International space station to orbit the earth beyond earth's gravity acting on it? We all know that ISS is rotating at an altitude of just 350km away.How could ISS escape earth's ...