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

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5
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1answer
111 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
755 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
votes
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
votes
1answer
126 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
164 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
67 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?
4
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4answers
206 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?
2
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2answers
133 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), ...
3
votes
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 ...
0
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1answer
85 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
votes
2answers
67 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 man-...
4
votes
1answer
199 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 ...
2
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0answers
133 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 ...
0
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1answer
60 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, ...
7
votes
1answer
323 views

How can one explain the apparent motion of the Sun from a heliocentric point of view?

From a horizontal frame of reference, the path of the Sun looks like a part of a circle in a tilted plane, as shown in this picture:            &...
2
votes
1answer
161 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
195 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. ...
10
votes
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 ...
0
votes
1answer
95 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
142 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
175 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
votes
1answer
107 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 ...
2
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1answer
66 views

Does tidal heating imply orbit degradation?

What compensate the energy loss in tidal heating? Is it orbital decay?
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2answers
136 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
61 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
175 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
531 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
votes
2answers
307 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
vote
1answer
201 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 ...
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
84 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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
353 views

Orbits in a binary star system

I know of three sets of stable orbits in a binary star system: orbiting closely around star A, orbiting closely around star B, or orbiting distantly around both stars (and their mutual center of ...
9
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1answer
647 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?
3
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0answers
36 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
votes
0answers
142 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
86 views

Are trojans in L5 more likely than in L4?

Mars has much more trojans in L5. Does it reflect a common pattern?
3
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0answers
35 views

Semimajor axis variations in co-orbital moons

I've been playing with simulations of co-orbital bodies similar to Saturn's moons Janus & Epimetheus- horseshoe orbits where the two bodies are of comparable mass- and I'm seeing some very odd ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

How far away would a supernucleus comet be visible?

If an instrument like LSST quickly spots something as soon as it reaches magnitude 24½, how far away would a 60km first-time visitor from the Oort cloud be when it is spotted? I'm thinking that a ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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.
6
votes
4answers
513 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

How do astronomers determine the texture of an exoplanet?

So I was wondering how astronomers are able to get the texture/detail of an exoplanet or how they know a planet has water or not. I know how they discover planets by using the light of a star and ...
6
votes
4answers
577 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: ...
5
votes
0answers
131 views

How to calculate geocentric conjunction time and moon altitude at a given time

Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia determine the new moon if these criteria meet at 29th day: The geocentric conjunction occurs before sunset. The moon sets after the sun. I've got the formula ...
2
votes
1answer
135 views

Day Length on Double Planets

Assume two similarly sized bodies tide-locked to one another orbiting a barycenter between the two. That barycenter orbits a star. Since the two are tide-locked, their sidereal rotational period and ...
3
votes
1answer
111 views

Capturing Ceres

Would it be possible to slightly change the trajectory of Ceres to make it end up orbiting the Earth without messing up the Solar System? How much energy would be required and how long would the ...
-4
votes
1answer
74 views

How much time comet is within the Earth's orbit? [closed]

Comet on the parabola orbit flies by Sun. I would like to know what is comet's full energy? What is its distance from Sun at perihelion?
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1answer
63 views

How to calculate full (mechanical) energy on the hyperbolic orbit?

For example, for a comet that travels on the hyperbolic orbit around the sun.
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2answers
121 views

For how many bodies can there be a stable orbit with no very heavy central body?

The question is a bit vague, but let me explain: Take for example 2 bodies of the same mass. They can orbit around their centre of mass/gravity. Is something like this possible with multiple ...