Questions tagged [celestial-mechanics]

Questions regarding the motions of celestial objects.

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6
votes
3answers
2k views

Need Simple equation for Rise, Transit, and Set time

I've been looking, unsuccessfully, for hours for a simple set of equations: Input: RA and Dec of an object Observers Lat and Lng Current Time Output: Rise Time Transit Time Set Time (and, ...
9
votes
2answers
642 views

Is Io's orbit or rotation affected by its volcanism?

The rotations of comets and asteroids are affected by outgassing volatilities. Io is very volcanically active. Does this give Io a varying orbit and a slow rotation? Tidal forces should take longer ...
0
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1answer
505 views

Two body orbit of equal masses

Given two bodies of equal mass in an elliptical orbit: I know they will be orbiting about a common center of mass, i.e. the barycenter. But, do the velocities have to be equal in magnitude and ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

Is the motion of the Sun around the Galaxy a result of gravitational pull?

Does the orbit of the sun (and other stars within the Milky way) around the galaxy result directly from radial gravitational force toward the objects in the center of the galaxy, or is there ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

Has celestial navigation been materially impacted by the imperfect nature of celestial reference frames over time?

In this video on inertial reference frames, it is mentioned that the stars are humanity's best inertial reference frame: the earth experiences a subtle acceleration relative to the sun due to the ...
0
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1answer
60 views

Why is it so difficult to discover the earth Trojan?

It is discovered only in 2011. Why is it so late? We know where to find it.
2
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1answer
312 views

In a binary star system, what relation determines the eccentricity of the three orbits (for $m_1$, $m_2$, and the reduced mass)?

In a binary star system, why does $$e_1 = e_2 = e$$ where $e_1$,$e_2$, and $e$ are the eccentricities of the three orbits of $m_1$,$m_2$, and the reduced mass, respectively.
2
votes
1answer
373 views

Why don't the stars in a binary star system of equal masses always orbit their center of mass in a circular orbit?

If I have a binary object system of equal masses, why don't they always have the same circular orbit around their center of mass, like in the photo?
3
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1answer
168 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?
9
votes
2answers
825 views

clarification of the Kozai mechanism

As Wikipedia says, In celestial mechanics, the Kozai mechanism, or the Lidov–Kozai mechanism, is a perturbation of the orbit of a satellite by the gravity of another body orbiting farther out, ...
3
votes
2answers
283 views

How do rogue planets orbit around stars in other planetary systems?

I got some interesting answers for What would happen if a rogue planet hit one of the planets in our Solar System? But I have seen some documentaries that state that rogue planets from other ...
5
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1answer
4k 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, ...
4
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1answer
219 views

Determining North-South Line Via Watch Method: Theory & Reason

I recently read that if you're in the northern hemisphere and have an analog watch, then you can point the hour hand at the sun and know that a south line lies between (bisection) the hour hand and ...
2
votes
1answer
665 views

Roll, Pitch and Yaw of Orbital Planes

I have been reading about celestial mechanics and particularly about planetary orbits. I understand that a planet's orbit can be tilted (pitched) with respect to the Earth's ecliptic and that it might ...
6
votes
1answer
545 views

Could an ejected “extra ice-giant” still be lurking in distant solar orbit?

BACKGROUND Hot Jupiters are thought to have migrated inwards, implying that another giant planet has been ejected in order to conserve the orbital momentum of those planetary systems. The number of ...

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