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

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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 ...
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1answer
81 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
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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.
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2answers
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Why do the planets in our solar system orbit in the same plane?

(Yes I'm excluding Pluto from this the same way it was excluded for not being a planet) Observing the planets orbit of the Sun they all seem relatively planar and roughly all orbit along the same ...
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548 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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63 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, ...
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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 ...
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1answer
134 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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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 ...
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1answer
103 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
114 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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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 ...
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Are trojans in L5 more likely than in L4?

Mars has much more trojans in L5. Does it reflect a common pattern?
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8 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 ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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2answers
3k views

How did Kepler “guess” his third law from data?

It is amazing that Kepler determined his three laws by looking at data, without a calculator and using only pen and paper. It is conceivable how he proved his laws described the data after he had ...
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1answer
115 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 ...
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4answers
244 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 ...
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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 ...
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2answers
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What is the distance that the Moon travels during one orbit around the Earth?

Also, does it always take the same amount of time, or does it fractionally differ on each revolution?
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1answer
1k 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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2answers
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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 ...
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4answers
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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: ...
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1answer
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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 ...
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1answer
132 views

The tidal locking problem concerning Earth sized planets in habitable zone around Red Dwarfs

Would twin planets orbiting around each other present a solution to tidal locking of habitable planets in red dwarf systems? It's an awfully easy equation to set up. I'm fibbing; I can't do it. I was ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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47 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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27 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?
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2answers
406 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: ...
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1answer
52 views

What is the most populated/numerous stellar system in which the orbits of all objects are known?

I posed a question or two on here a couple months or so ago about the orbital patterns of each of the seven stars in the two septenary star systems Nu Scorpii and AR Cassiopeiae. They remain ...
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1answer
64 views

What are the equations for an orbit with time as parameter?

I am preparing a talk on the Equation of Time, and I want to produce an animation of the movement of the earth around the sun, in an exaggerated ellipse, to illustrate the speeding up and slowing down ...
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50 views

What is the largest object on which the Yarkovsky effect has been observed?

The Yarkovsky effect is responsible for changes in the rotation and orbit of some celestial bodies, most notably asteroids. It has been measured on asteroids, such as 6489 Golevka and 1999 RQ36. What ...
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69 views

Is there a theory / equation showing whether or not two passing bodies will go into orbit around each other?

I am looking for a theory that shows whether or not two passing celestial bodies will go into orbit. I assume there would have to be a critical point where the gravitational attraction is stronger ...
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2answers
102 views

Is the North star going to stay in the North sky?

Considering how the our solar system, and how every other star in the galaxy is traveling through the cosmos, it seems like it's a miracle that the stars and constellations in the sky stay as constant ...
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2answers
91 views

How long for a complete solar system cycle

Considering the solar system as a closed system, how long until all the planets pass twice by the same position relative to each other? I would say that you'd have to get the length of the year in ...
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Does the Sun's light travel fast enough to have a straight path to Earth?

Hopefully this question isn't too silly. When we travel through space, we use a curved path following an orbit to reach our destinations. As far as I'm aware, we could take a more straight line ...
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2answers
51 views

Can we know the orbital planes of extraterrestrial planetary bodies?

Astronomers can tell if there are any exoplanets orbiting its parent star using but not limited to the following methods: Transit As an massive object usually a planet passing in front of a star ...
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6answers
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Why doesn't Earth's axis change during the year?

My understanding is that the Earth's axis points in the same direction in space during its entire orbit around the sun. And this is what causes our seasons. My question is why doesn't the axis follow ...
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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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are all the planet in the same plane? [duplicate]

are all the planet in solar system the same plane in the space or not ? if yes is there any especial reason ? and if no how do they orbits then ? as far as i know they are in the same plane , but is ...
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1answer
50 views

Is there a threshold on distance/size for a tidal locking?

I know that some systems tend to tidal locking (such as earth-moon), which occurs basically because the difference in the gravitational pull on one side is significantly different from the pull on the ...
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1answer
147 views

Does our sun/solar system orbit around any other celestial objects? [duplicate]

Does our solar system orbit around another massive celestial object? Like a massive star or black hole for instance? From my understanding our sun rotates around the centre of our galaxy, thus our ...
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2answers
213 views

Is it possible that the Sun has a binary partner (the Nemesis Theory) that has eluded detection?

I just recently learned about the theory that our Sun has a small companion star with a 26 million year orbit. This theory came about when it was realized that mass extinction events happened ...
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26 views

Orbital resonances and position of planets

I am interested in quick generation of planetary systems for programs similar to Space Engine or Pioneer Space Simulator. As far as I understand, formation of planets is a complex process and the ...
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27 views

How to calculate the new orbit after a instantaneous change in a well defined initial one?

Say one has a simple two body system (and one body is much more massive than the other, for example a star, planet system) where all the quantities about it are know, that is the eccentricity, masses, ...
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How much light does Jupiter project onto the surface of Ganymede?

I suppose the answer would be a range as the Jupiter-facing side of Ganymede passed from Jupiter's light side to its shadow side. I'd also like to know how much light the sun projects onto the surface ...