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

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2
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1answer
138 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" ...
2
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2answers
85 views

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 ...
4
votes
1answer
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 ...
4
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1answer
38 views

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 ...
6
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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.
3
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1answer
62 views

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 ...
3
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1answer
101 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 ...
2
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2answers
193 views

Precessing of the Earth

It's been known that the Earth's axial tilt varies from 22.5 to 24.5. Does this result in a wobbling while the value of the tilt varies about these two limits? If so, how does it affect the mechanics ...
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2answers
132 views

Stellarium 0.10.4: planet orbits change over time?

If I draw the orbit of Mars in stellarium 0.10.4 for 23 Sep 2015, it passes south of Chi Leonis: If I advance the date to 17 Oct 2015, however, the orbit of Mars correctly goes right through Chi ...
6
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4answers
529 views

Moon's orbit around the Sun

The Earth revolves around the Sun and the Moon revolves around the Earth. Out of curiosity I started thinking about the orbit of the Moon around the Sun and expected (assumed) it to be as follows: ...
1
vote
2answers
48 views

Two body transient solution

In the two body problem, if each body is given an initial condition as a momentum vector, what is the transient part of the solution as it settles into the steady state orbit?
6
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1answer
120 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 ...
2
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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?
3
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1answer
238 views

How long does it take Dawn to orbit Ceres?

I haven't been able to find the orbit time of Dawn around Ceres. Do you know how long it takes?
3
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1answer
113 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
124 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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5answers
472 views

Does the Sun turn around a big star?

The moon turns around the Earth. The Earth turns around the Sun. Does the Sun turn around a big star? If so, does this big star turn around a very big star? ... etc ... What are all the intermediate ...
8
votes
5answers
874 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 ...
2
votes
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 ...
0
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1answer
80 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, ...
2
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0answers
115 views

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 ...
9
votes
3answers
756 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 ...
4
votes
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 ...
3
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1answer
5k 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 ...
6
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4answers
478 views

Does Sun have a reflection on Earth?

The new Google Maps1 presents an actual view of Earth, with the current position of Sun illuminating half part of Earth in real time. It is quite an exquisite view. My question is based on the ...
0
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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, ...
2
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1answer
160 views

Should a station in orbit around the Sun travel in the same or the opposite direction to the planets?

If we put a station in orbit around the Sun, and wanted to send transports as regularly as possible without the travel costs being prohibiting; should we have it rotate around the Sun clockwise, or ...
3
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1answer
124 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 ...
10
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4answers
2k views

How can we avoid needing a leap year/second?

Given the Earth's current speed around the sun and current rate & axis of rotation, what is the best way to keep time to avoid a leap year? How many hours should we have in the day and days in a ...
2
votes
2answers
173 views

How many satellites orbit the Earth? At what rate do they orbit the earth? [closed]

I was looking at a full moon the other night with my telescope and noticed a black dot move across the moon quite rapidly. This happened a few times and others who were with me were able to confirm. ...
0
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1answer
84 views

Can Pluto and Neptune collide anytime in future? [duplicate]

We know that, the orbit of pluto ambiguously cuts the orbit of Neptune. I want to know, whether the revolving speed of Neptune is equal to the revolving speed of pluto. If not, is there a possibility ...
3
votes
1answer
132 views

What does the orbit of multiple star systems look like?

How can I find simulations of trinary, 4-nary.. etc. star systems? What do they look like? For example the Alpha Centauri system has 3 stars and possible planets. What does that orbit look like? I ...
2
votes
1answer
172 views

Venus presents same face toward Earth at closest approach. What do you make of that?

Is reference 6 in this Wikipedia article "dubious" and this passage in need of excising or clarifying? Venus's 583.92-day interval between successive close approaches to Earth is equal to 5.001444 ...
3
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1answer
101 views

Supermoon Lunar Eclipse?

I recently read this article: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/supermoon-lunar-eclipse-coming-this-month/ I'm having some trouble understanding how a "supermoon" lunar eclipse is possible. Judging from ...
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vote
1answer
406 views

When will the next summer solstice and a full moon coincide? What day?

What day will the summer solstice and full moon coincide? As far as I know the next time will be in 2016. I would like to know what day.
2
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1answer
60 views

Does tidal heating imply orbit degradation?

What compensate the energy loss in tidal heating? Is it orbital decay?
1
vote
1answer
60 views

How is the heat production inside moons compliant with Conservation of Energy?

A Nova episode said that during stages of some moons' elliptical orbits, the moon is stretched, and friction causes the inside of the moon to heat up. I do not understand how this is compliant with ...
4
votes
2answers
167 views

Why do objects all orbit in the same direction?

In a solar system or a planet that has many moons, why do their orbiting objects all orbit in the same direction? Is it possible for two orbiting masses to orbit in the opposite direction of each ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

Ramifications of black hole stellar system

Recently, I got around to seeing the movie Interstellar. In it, the characters of the movie visit a stellar system that appears to be built around a black hole instead of a star. On top of this, their ...
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1answer
389 views

Earth Rotation and Orbit Geometry

Let Line A be the projection of the axis of Earth's rotation onto the plane of the eliptic. Let Line B the line connecting the center of the Earth and center of the Sun. At what times during the ...
3
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2answers
298 views

Is the ratio between earth's distance from the sun and the speed of light just a coincidence?

I was doing some calculations to see how hard it would be to observe the speed of light and discovered an interesting correlation between the speed of light and the average distance from the earth to ...
1
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1answer
182 views

What is exactly the “longitude of the perigee”

Some moon phase calculation algorithms (apparently derived from Duffet-Smith's book, example here) seem to use a parameter called "longitude of perigee at epoch". What exactly is this? Can I assume ...
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0answers
44 views

Review Content for my Comet Infographic

I've been hard at work in recent months on an infographic that details the anatomy of a comet... I'm a graphic designer and this is a fun little side-project of mine. It's only quite basic in terms of ...
5
votes
1answer
130 views

Is it possible to create a traditional clock solar system?

Is it possible to create the following system of satellites?: Place a satellite that orbits the some object X, once per day. Call it D. Place a satellite that orbits D, once per hour. Call it H ...
3
votes
1answer
48 views

Orbiting and landing on non-sperical objects

If we orbit a non-spherical asteroid or moon at a sufficient distance I believe that we can consider it to be a point mass. Therefore we can take up a conventional orbit. Assuming our lander craft is ...
3
votes
2answers
77 views

How common are exoplanets in distant orbits?

Are there many single transits in the Kepler data, which might be exoplanets with a longer orbital period than the time they have been observed for transits? Can any conclusions be drawn about how ...
9
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1answer
640 views

Do all orbiting bodies eventually collide?

If two celestial bodies are in orbit, will they always eventually collide if not acted upon by outside forces?
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1answer
172 views

How do the orbits of Nu Scorpii and AR Cassiopeiae work?

I apologize for the way this question is worded but I don't think I know the proper verbiage. Basically, I want to know how the stars orbit one another in the two septuple star systems. For example, ...
3
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0answers
35 views

Linear motion in the equatorial frame

I would like to calculate how the RA/Dec changes when an object has an apparent linear motionin the equatorial sphere. For example, more or less what an artificial satellite would do in a circular ...
7
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0answers
116 views

Why are retrograde orbits more stable than prograde ones?

Regarding solar system dynamics, i.e. planets in stellar systems and moons in planetary systems, this is often mentioned in the literature, but it is difficult to find a good analysis/explanation of ...