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

learn more… | top users | synonyms

2
votes
3answers
49 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
352 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
111 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
40 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
66 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: ...
0
votes
1answer
27 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
24 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
116 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?
2
votes
1answer
68 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
46 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
66 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
60 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
107 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
51 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
81 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
153 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
78 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.
6
votes
1answer
243 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
83 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
95 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
33 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
4
votes
1answer
118 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
84 views

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 ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

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 ...
3
votes
1answer
46 views

Sattelite's orbit

What is the maximum distance for a satellite to orbit the earth? Does earth's gravity has the impact on satellite? I do know that earth's gravity will never be zero and it's gravity is inversely ...
2
votes
2answers
25 views

Locate asteroid in asteroid belt

I was interested in tracking the orbit of 1986 DA. I couldn't find any resource when I looked. Just for fun, so any help appreciated.
0
votes
2answers
53 views

Asteroids turning out to be Meteorites [closed]

What causes an asteroid to loose control over it's orbit and enter in to another objects atmosphere?
1
vote
3answers
55 views

State of the stars

This question may sound silly but I'm really not pretty sure whether the stars are rotating or stationary.If they are not rotating what makes them to be stable?
2
votes
1answer
215 views

Spotting the International Space Station (ISS)

Recently, I visited the NASA website which provides sighting locations to see the International Space Station (ISS). As we all know, we can even see ISS with the naked eye in a clear sky as a passing ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

How can I calculate the orbital periods in a binary star system?

I have two stars, with known masses and known orbital radius. How do I calculate the orbital periods of both stars?
1
vote
5answers
119 views

Can someone explain a Geostationary Orbit in a simpler way?

According to Wikipedia (link), a geostationary orbit, geostationary Earth orbit or geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO), is a circular orbit 35,786 kilometres (22,236 mi) above the Earth's equator ...
7
votes
1answer
109 views

Do stars of a galaxy change their positions relatively to each other?

Complete astronomy noob over here who would be happy if he get a simple answer (and who is also aware that this may be not possible)... I've learned from a tv documentary that the stars at the edge ...
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Rotational speeds of the material forming planets should increase, not decrease

We know that planets form as a result of gaseous material revolving around a center of mass that froze to form planets. However shouldn't the angular speed of that matter increase as they go closer to ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

Can orbital migration cause a planet to crash into the sun?

If the planets move out of their current orbits into other orbits over long periods of time could this cause a planet to crash into the sun? Maybe the term crash is a little dramatic, could the orbit ...
2
votes
2answers
45 views

How do kepler orbits account for planetary migration?

This article got me thinking if kepler orbits explain how a planet moves in a solar system how can a planet migrate as explained in the article. At some point don't the kepler orbits must need some ...
5
votes
4answers
252 views

Does the gravity of the planets affect the orbit of other planets in our solar system?

When one planet passes near another during its trip around the sun, does their gravitational pull is strong enough to disrupt noticeably each other's orbit ?
14
votes
3answers
318 views

Pluto's orbit overlaps Neptune's, does this mean Pluto will hit Neptune sometime?

We know that the orbits of Pluto and Neptune overlap. This means that pluto sometimes crosses the orbit of Neptune; will Pluto hit Neptune in any circumstance?
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Do all moons orbit their planets on the ecliptic?

Do all moons orbit their planets on the ecliptic? Do they all follow this same process as the moon that orbits Earth, or is their some random distribution with some even having extreme polar orbits.
4
votes
2answers
181 views

How to plot orbit of binary star and calculate its orbital elements?

I have a set of dates, position angles ($\theta$) and angular separations ($\rho$) for visual binary star. For example: ...
7
votes
1answer
147 views

Is it possible for a moon to orbit a planet floating free in the galaxy rather than orbiting a star

This article got me thinking, can a planet hold a moon in orbit if it is just floating in the galaxy by itself not as part of a star system? Can a celestial body even qualify as a planet if it is ...
8
votes
3answers
352 views

Why are orbits elliptical instead of circular?

Why do planets rotate around a star in a specific elliptical orbit with the star at one of it's foci? Why isn't the orbit a circle?
11
votes
1answer
143 views

How stable are Lissajous orbits?

Now that the Gaia Space Telescope is on it's way to the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrangian point (SEL2), I start wondering about the stability of Gaia's orbit there. The Planck Telescope is already there, as was ...
8
votes
6answers
592 views

Why don't we have 2 Summers and 2 Winters?

Due to Earth's elliptical orbit, its distance from Sun varies by almost 5 million Kilometers (147 million Kilometers at closest point & 152 million Kilometers at farthest point, i.e. almost 3% of ...
3
votes
2answers
72 views

Is there an orbit that could cause regular debris showers like in the movie Gravity?

[some spoilers] If you were in the ISS and orbiting the Earth roughly every 90 minutes, would it be possible for debris to be orbiting such that it passes you every 90 minutes? While Neil DeGrass ...
2
votes
1answer
56 views

Calculate apsides without knowing eccentricity

How would one go about determining the apsides of an orbit, knowing only the current distance between the 2 bodies, the orbital velocity, and the period? Every formula I've seen requires eccentricity, ...
8
votes
3answers
214 views

Is the rotation of the Sun and the rotation/orbit of the Moon around the Earth a coincidence?

While looking at sunspot information in connection with Amateur Radio, I found that the Sun rotates on a period from 27 days to 31 days. Its rotation is differential, at the equator it spins at a ...
6
votes
1answer
132 views

Does anyone know why three of Jupiter's largest moons orbit in 1:2:4 resonance?

Three of the first four moons ever discovered outside of our own planetary sphere of gravitational influence orbit in very close to perfect resonance. Europa's orbit is almost exactly twice as long as ...
8
votes
1answer
49 views

How was Io not torn apart by tidal forces during its formation?

Jupiter's moon Io is arguably one of the most volcanically active bodies in the Solar System. The reason, according to NASA's page Scientists to Io: Your Volcanoes Are in the Wrong Place is believed ...