Questions tagged [celestial-mechanics]

Questions regarding the motions of celestial objects.

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Where can i get epoch j2010.0 values for stars? [closed]

I just want to know that where can i find the epoch j2010.0 values for stars, their ra and dec values. is there any resource? any pdf or software library that gives these values? Thanks ^^
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What is the longitude of the winter solstice for the various planets?

I am looking for data showing the longitude at which the various planets in the solar system reach their winter solstice. Where could I find this data?
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Keplerian Elements

So, I've been doing endless research, and I've found a bit of information, all in different places, that is. Now, I'm getting really confused about it; I can't keep up with it all anymore, so, now, it'...
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Accuracy of calculating the vernal equinox?

Calculating the exact time of the vernal equinox is essential for many ephemeris calculations. NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies uses (at least for some purposes) the following, rather short ...
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Open source code for the maths behind a heliostat?

Theoretically, using a Raspberry Pi, (at least) one mirror, and two motors, one should be able to build a heliostat, i.e. a device which redirects sunlight to a fixed spot, like a scrub in the shadow ...
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Why temperature of dark side of moon is not 3 Kelvin

The temperature of the space between Earth and the Moon is around 3 Kelvin ($\approx -270^\circ {\rm C}$). The moon has no atmosphere, therefore the heat convection is not possible from the bright ...
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Why won't the Sun set for days at N66.2 which is below the arctic circle?

Correct me if I am wrong, but if we count sunsets by the center of the Sun apparently crossing the horizon then the Sun is supposed to set every day at latitudes under the arctic circle. (Yes if you ...
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What pulls the Sun above the galactic plane and pulls it below the galactic plane?

Since the sun climbs above the galactic plane and it even dives below the galactic plane we can't deny that it wouldn't climb upward unless there is something above the galactic plane that pulls it ...
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Apsides Calculation

I’m trying to calculate the precise moment of Earth’s apsides (perihelion and aphelion). The only formulas I find are in Astronomical Algorithms by Jean Meeus (1998). However, they give erroneous ...
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Why are solar systems stable and not chaotic?

I am not trained in applied mathematics and am asking as a layperson. It seems that the motions of the planets can be reliably predicted for thousands of years. Yet, if we consider a relatively simple ...
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Do moons experience periods of no sunlight when orbiting “behind” their planet?

I'm writing a story that takes place on the Saturn moon Iapetusand I was thinking that especially since Iapetus only has an inclination of about 17 degrees from the ecliptic, wouldn't there be a point ...
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North Stars of each Solar system planet?

What are the North Stars of each individual body points too? E.g. Earth points to Polaris. Mars points to Deneb/Alpha Cygni. What about Sun, Mercury, Venus, Moon, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, ...
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How to track orbit of an exoplanet?

I was wondering if there is an established method to keep track of the orbit of an exoplanet assuming we know a - the semi-major axis of the orbit, e - the eccentricity of the orbit, and i - the ...
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Launch windows for Venus transit; how to convert heliocentric longitudes to date?

Being a bit familiar with celestial mechanics, I know that the Hohmann transfer orbit is the quickest way to transfer between two circular orbits of different radii around a central body in the same ...
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Problem with Tychonian model of geocentric universe?

Just like other proposed models of universe in history, Since Tycho's aren't being used, there MUST be any flaws in compare with widely agreed today understanding Is there any detailed reference ...
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Researching mechanics without “fixed stars”

In the history of humanity, easily observable extra-(Solar System) objects greatly helped understanding certain phenomena inside the Solar System. Importantly, the “precession of the equinox”, and ...
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Has any moon achieved “retrograde equatorial orbit”?

There are many moons which have low (almost negligible) inclination and can be considered to rotate at the planet's equatorial plane. For instance, Galilean moons have almost negligible inclination (&...
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Constants of three body problem(2 fixed centers)

I was solving two fixed centers problem and got answer in quadratures. After that i want to find constants of motion. First one is full energy - E. Second is $p_{\varphi}$. And third one comes from ...
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How to derive Kepler's 1st Law?

I was going through the derivation of Kepler's 1st Law in the textbook "An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics" by Carroll and Ostlie. From there, I got stuck in a few places in their ...
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Variation in g acceleration due to gravity

I want to find a routine which will enable me to calculate the variations in g as a result of the motion of sun and moon. I need to have the date as a variable. I realise that Dennis Milbert's earth ...
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Discrepancy between my results of Great Conjunction 2020 and Wikipedia

Using python-skyfield to calculate the upcoming conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. I'm off a few minutes with the times on Wikipedia. Wikipedia Great conjunction times (1800 to 2100) Using Right ...
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Does the Honey moon have a precession problem?

In Steven Colbert's interview with Neil deGrasse Tyson after about 03:16 the following is explained: But wait, all the moons - all the full moons of the year have ...
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Will the United States Presidential Election (day asteroid) be back soon?

My google news feed is awash with mono-themed articles, including a near Earth asteroid that passed by around election day 2020 in the US. We can all hope that neither will lead to an extinction level ...
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Is there an antonym for 'transit', i.e. the transit of a celestial body through the meridian

I'm writing software to calculate the rising, transit, and setting of a body on the celestial sphere for a specific location and date. It seems to me that the opposite of transit, at least in the case ...
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The possibility of rapidly changing the Earths orbit via a passing astronomical object

I assume that the Earth could be “gently” (without colossal tidal or volcanic catastrophe) displaced by a passing extra solar star, brown dwarf or planet and end up perhaps 10% further away from the ...
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Historical Lunar Tables and the Associated Error Bound

Consider as an example, AstroPixel's ``Six Millennium Catalog of Phases of the Moon''--- http://astropixels.com/ephemeris/phasescat/phasescat.html My question is two-fold: How are these tables which ...
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Why doesn't Earth's leading tidal bulge cause the Moon to start spinning in the opposite direction than its original spin?

Please refer to the image below: My question is, why doesn't Earth's leading tidal bulge (encircled in the green circle 1) pull on the moon's tidal bulge (encircled in green circle 2), leading to a ...
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How to calculate the point on the globe with maximum magnitude with given Besselian elements and given time for a partial solar eclipse?

I am currently working on improvement of an Android app that calculates solar eclipses. For many days now I have not been able to solve a mathematical problem concerning solar eclipses, so I decided ...
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Charged black holes selective eaters

We have a charged black hole which is negatively charged. For this simple case the black hole is not rotating. If a negatively charged particle approaches the singularity the electromagnetic repulsion ...
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Where do we have it from that the Moon is migrating away from Earth?

I know Neil Armstrong placed a mirror on the Moon and people shoot lasers there which get reflected, by this, measuring the time the light is needing, they can conclude the current distance of the ...
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How can the Earth and the Moon be in synchronous rotation if the Moon won't be in geostationary orbit?

It is said that the Moon moves away from Earth and that during the Sun's red giant or white dwarf phase the Moon will be about 40% farther than now and in a synchronous rotation ("hantle rotation&...
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What celestial mechanics parameters define a lunar occultation of Venus visible from Earth?

As a carry on from the following thread Are lunar occultations visible to the naked eye? Is it correct that the following parameters must hold true if we use Moon occult Venus as an example [LongMoon ...
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How to calculate eclipses the heliocentric way?

It is my understanding that modern methods for calculating the time and location of solar and lunar eclipses (e.g. NASA website https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/eclipse.html) are integrating equations of ...
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Is Venus in some way tidally locked to… Earth?

The video here demonstrates how Earth sees the same face of Venus every inferior conjunction (i.e., two planets are the closest to each other): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m_ouMC61-w (or https://...
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Rotating observer plane inside celestial sphere with a given coordinates, time and date [duplicate]

I have plotted stars around the surface of a celestial sphere. At the centre of this sphere, I have a brown plane which is the land. This plane can be rotated in the x,y and z axis. When x,y,z ...
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If Saturn's rings cannot coalesce into a moon because of tidal forces, then how are shepherd moons able to exist?

From Wikipedia: In celestial mechanics, the Roche limit, also called Roche radius, is the distance within which a celestial body, held together only by its own force of gravity, will disintegrate due ...
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When and why was zero right ascension defined to be at the vernal equinox?

When (and why) was zero right ascension defined to be at the vernal equinox? Who established or defined this standard?
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Why does east and west appear to be mirrored in the celestial sphere?

I'm wondering why East is left and West on the right of the celestial sphere if you look at images of it? Example below: (source)
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Why does the latitude of an observer affect the hour angle of a body in Stellarium?

I am using Stellarium for astronomical data to help in studying celestial navigation. While trying to track down a source of errors in my sextant reading or sight reductions I noticed that the local ...
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Explanation about the resonance, mean motion resonance and libration

I am studying for a project the dynamics of multi-planetary system in resonance. I have two questions about this domain. In many articles they speak about 'mean motion resonance', what is the ...
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Strange asymptotic behavior on the Kozai-Lidov cycles

So, in Naoz et al. (2013) is described the Kozai mechanism on three-body systems. I've tried to solve the equations (B1) - (B17) for the example described in the Figure 3 and I got something like this:...
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1answer
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How to calculate local position, knowing the RA and Dec of the center of an image, RPY of the camera, and precise time?

Given a picture of stars - assume it is possible to identify the stars and their Right Ascension (RA) and Declination (Dec). By choosing one near the center of the image (or interpolating RA/Dec to ...
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Why does the Sun track out a seemingly sinusoidal path on the celestial sphere?

The question arose because I wanted to understand the path of the ecliptic after reading about it here: https://community.dur.ac.uk/john.lucey/users/solar_year.html Is the sinusoidal path due to ...
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Ecliptic line data [duplicate]

I would like to get the data of ecliptic line with respect to celestial equator for a particular day. Is there any specific URL that can give me this. I only have data for declination of Sun and the ...
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1answer
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Hohmann transfer orbit (Earth-Jupiter system)

Consider the Hohmann transfer orbit of a probe launched from Earth to Jupiter. Assume the orbits of Earth and Jupiter are circular. I want to calculate the following: The semi-major axis and ...
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1answer
480 views

Planetary Declination and Axial Tilt

Is it a coincidence that Earth's axial tilt and maximum declination are both approximately 23 degrees? Mechanically speaking, do planets physically cross the Solar equator, or is declination due to ...
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Eccentricity from Analemma

Can the eccentricity of a planet's orbit be found just from the analemma of its star? We can draw an analemma given the axial tilt and eccentricity, but how do we find the reverse? Note: I already ...
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Undisturbed planetary alignment after galactic collision

How do planets still orbit around the empty space where a black hole was after a black hole absorbs the milky way's black hole and keeps moving through space without disturbing surrounding planets ...
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Determine Julian Date from Gregorian without formula

As an exercise, I am trying to calculate the JD from a given date in the Gregorian Calendar at a time given in UT. Furthermore, I want to do so from first principles without relying on any formula. ...
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How was Cruithne's orbital time calculated?

How was it determined that Cruithne takes 770 years to complete its cycle with Earth? Janus and Epimetheus were disovered long enough ago, and have short enough cycle times, that we've had time to ...