# What is this elliptical orbit?

Most natural elliptical orbits are one sided as shown below from wiki. What is an elliptical orbit where perigee and apogee are closer to being equal in distance than not? The object would have to skip off the atmosphere to maintain this orbit. I have learned that this orbit would not be possible without spending energy and is not a stable orbit. Which makes this question off-topic no matter how I word it. I have flagged it for being off-topic.

• That orbit does not appear to be physically possible (without some external force acting on the orbiting bodies). In a 2-body system the centre of mass has to be at one focus of the ellipse. Perhaps you need to explain the diagram some more? – Rob Jeffries Oct 28 '18 at 21:20
• What is an elliptical orbit with 2 equal sides called? All ellipses have equal sides relative to the center. Relative to the foci, the sides are equal if you compare both sides along the semi major axis. You seem to want equal sides along the semi minor axis relative to the foci. That's a circle. A circle is a specific type of ellipse. It's no longer an ellipse if you create some kind of theoretical pumping motion or energy exchange. Your orbit would need to be created artificially and it would no longer be an ellipse. I'd call it an artificial, perturbed or manipulated orbit. – userLTK Oct 28 '18 at 22:51
• I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because you're asking the name of a path you describe as an orbit, but no such orbit is possible, so it has no name. – StephenG Oct 29 '18 at 3:04
• @StephenG I am voting this question to "leave open", because your comment is not a close reason, but the correct answer. – peterh Oct 29 '18 at 5:10
• The answer to this (completely changed) question is - a circle. – Rob Jeffries Nov 3 '18 at 11:16

## 1 Answer

That second picture is not an elliptical orbit (at least, not as elliptical as depicted). It is a roughly circular orbit viewed from the side.

Any orbit that appears as such (elliptical, but with the main body in the middle rather than at one of the two foci) is just a circular orbit viewed from just above or below the plane of the orbit.

• An ellipse is in fact a planar cross section of a cone. Which means it is a projection of a circle onto a plane. However the OP, from his question here and on Space Exploration SE, does not mean the paths he shows are views from some angle but is the actual path in the plane of the orbit. So I don't think you're answering the question. – StephenG Oct 29 '18 at 6:09
• There is no such orbit that exists. Either the picture is on an angle or was drawn badly. This is the answer. – Ingolifs Oct 29 '18 at 8:51
• You#re making an assumption about the OP's intent, something you should be asking them to clarify (via comment) before answering. I see no basis for your assumption and IMO it contradicts the clear intent of the OP's question. – StephenG Oct 29 '18 at 16:24