# Questions tagged [eccentric-orbit]

Questions about orbits with high eccentricities, which deviate greatly from perfect circles.

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### Comets with mutable orbit

Can a comet change drastically the timing of its periodical return to Earth's proximity? To be even more explicit, can a comet spend, for example, 1000 years between two passages near Earth, and then ...
310 views

### Orbital resonance and the precession of the periapsis

I was reading up on orbital resonance and came across something on Wikipedia stating that the 1:2 orbital resonance of Io-Europa is "imperfect". I mean that when you simply take the period ...
80 views

### Can there be multiple periapsides?

Consider the following image of a barycentric orbit of a binary star system. I could draw their relative orbits by drawing a line connecting both bodies at each point in their rotation. In this ...
89 views

### Find position of orbiting body along orbit efficiently

I'm coding a game, and a fundamental mechanic is celestial bodies moving in elliptical, Keplerian orbits around a single gravitational point in a planetary system (not our solar system). The bodies ...
326 views

### Could Eris have a permanent atmosphere?

In Wikipedia they write that Eris has an atmosphere when around perihelion (close to the Sun) which collapses when Eris moves away from the Sun. So it behaves similar to a comet's tail. However, they ...
2k views

### What are the orbital velocities of the other planets? For objects in a 'Low-Earth-Orbit' around planets other than Earth, e.g.?

I was pondering this question recently, but most sites I can find only mention the speeds/velocities of the planets around the Sun when I look for 'orbital velocities' of the planets. I tried ...
381 views

### Velocity Verlet algorithm creating odd orbits

I am using the velocity Verlet integration to make an N-Body simulator but the results are odd. If I use simple Newtonian physics I get a closed orbit (btw im testing with 2 planets at first) but if I ...
24 views

### Confused about the derivation of the x co-ord of the focus in the Lambert solution? [closed]

I'm looking into how the Lambert solution works but there's one bit I'm stuck on. From Wikipedia's Lambert's problem; Solution for an assumed elliptic transfer orbit (starting at Eq. 11): I don't ...
122 views

### Is the process responsible for Triton's nearly perfect circular orbit going to happen in my fictional world?

First of all, I'd like to point out that I'm a worldbuilder and I like my worlds to be as physically possible as... possible. I am in the process of building a world with a habitable moon orbiting ...
463 views

### Why didn't Johannes Kepler use data about more planets?

In Astronomia Nova (1609) Johannes Kepler used observations of Mars in order to refute circular orbits. Throughout Astronomia Nova he hardly even mentions other celestial objects than Mars, Earth and ...
744 views

### What is the difference between barycentric-centered and heliocentric-centered coordinates?

When talking about celestial bodies orbiting the sun with a decently circular orbit or small aphelion, the heliocentric orbital parameters are almost identical to the barycentric parameters. However, ...
176 views

### Neptune's eccentricity stability

Will Neptune's orbital eccentricity remain lower than earth's forever? It currently is at around 0.008, compared to Earth's 0.0167.
225 views

### Lagrange points for bodies in elliptical orbits?

Lagrange points are points of relative stability near the orbit of another, more massive body. Most of the examples of such points regard orbits with relatively low eccentricity. However, after ...
1 vote
345 views

### derivation of binary mass function for eccentric orbit

When investigating methods to detect exoplanets, I learned about binary mass function(BMF) which could be applied to obtain radial velocity and the mass. I've derived BMF for a circular orbit, but I ...
9k views

### Can one approximate the semi-major axis of an orbit as the average orbital distance for eccentric orbits?

Kepler's 3rd Law (regarding the relation between orbital period and the semi-major axis of an orbit) applies to all elliptical orbits. But as I understand it, the only reason it is safe to use the ...
125 views

### How can I find the width of an orbit knowing some values?

I need to find the width/x-radius of an orbit, which is ellipse shaped, knowing variables like the orbit's length(perihelion + aphelion in this case) and the eccentricity. I am not sure if this is ...
103 views

### Why are asteroids with circular orbits rare?

Regarding this excellent question by Swike: Why are asteroids with zero orbital inclination rare?, I recently proposed that orbits with zero inclination are rare as a natural result of the statistical ...
152 views

### On gravitational wave radiation and arrangement of galaxies post- big bang

Orbits of planets and stars decay due to gravitational wave radiation. An elliptical orbit would become more circular with time. This is especially observed well in binary systems. Taking the example ...
3k views

### The newly discovered comet NEOWISE has been given the name C/2020 F3. What is the meaning of the F3 and the C in this name?

The new comet C/2020 F3 was first spotted by NASA's NEOWISE satellite in March 2020. It is now visible in the NE sky just before dawn. The C may refer to it's non-periodic nature (so far). What does ...
250 views

### Kepler's equation and eccentric anomaly

From the wiki article about eccentric anomaly follows: $$\cos E = \frac{x}{a}$$ $$\sin E = \frac{y}{b}$$ where E - eccentric anomaly, a - semi-major axis, b - semi-minor axis, P = P(x,y) a point on ...
113 views

### What kind of effects can maintain Uranus' rings' eccentricities?

The recent paper Thermal Emission from the Uranian Ring System has been in the news recently. The introduction mentions: The ε ring, the brightest and most massive of the narrow rings, was shown to ...
89 views

### What maintains the high orbital eccentricity of many exo-planets near their sun?

Over the last decade we've discovered that many exoplanets not only have highly eccentric orbits, but also orbit very close to their sun. This is true of many classes of stars. I definitely have a ...
466 views

### How close to circular is the Earth's equator

Earth's orbit is about 99% circular. How circular is Earth around the equator? I know it bulges around the equator and is a spheroid. I also know it is not smooth and has oceans and mountains and all ...
319 views

### Can the Moon provide momentum to an object in Earth's orbit? Gravity Assisted Boost [closed]

Can a satellite maintain an equatorial orbit around Earth near the Moon's orbit to receive partial gravitational boosts by gaining momentum as the satellite passes though the Moon's gravity well? I'...
604 views

### How would one calculate the synodic period of the Earth and an elliptical orbit?

For example, when would someone with a telescope be able to see Starman and his Roadster (when will the Tesla roadster's elliptical orbit cross ours again, and how would that be calculated?) For two ...
811 views

### Does the Giant Impact Hypothesis explain how the Moon circularized its orbit?

I just read most of Wikipedia's article on the Giant Impact Hypothesis. Basically a large object impacts Earth and creates debris that soon coalesces into the Moon. But there is something I did not ...
207 views

### How to mathematically describe a planet's eccentric orbit?

Is there a formula for describing a planet's position along an eccentric orbit over time? I am particularly interested in the elliptical case (0 < e < 1). I understand that the planet has a ...
146 views

### snapshot of solar system

I am working on a little project where I want to simulate the solar system to teach myself working with python and OOP. I want to calculate the orbits "real", from tangential velocities and ...
344 views

### Orbital eccentricity variation of the other planets?

On Earth, it's fairly well published, mostly in climate change related articles, that the Earth's orbital eccentricity operates on a 413,000 year cycle with roughly 90,000–125,000 year variation ...
167 views

### Is the eccentricity of a planets orbit relevant to finding whether the distance between said planet and its host star determines seasons?

The tilt of the Earth is the main factor that determines the seasons. It's also true that the eccentricity of Earth's orbit is very close to zero, implying that aphelion and perihelion distances are ...
115 views

### Average effect of a planet on a comet

I'm considering a problem involving star S, planet A, and a comet B. The orbits of the planet and comet are eccentric, with eccentricities $e_A$ and $e_B$. I'm trying to calculate the average change ...
1 vote
132 views

### attractors of Mercury's spin-orbit relation

Mercury rotates at such a rate that the Sun appears to stand nearly still at perihelion, when the tide is strongest. Is there a mechanism that tends to adjust the orbital eccentricity to improve the ...
1 vote
150 views

### Actual observable horizon for satellites on an orbit line map?

On a casual star walk, (for comparison of identifying different objects) I witnessed some meteors, quite a few satellites gliding on their smooth and straight trajectories, and some airplanes with ...
619 views

### Would we be able to feel the acceleration of a planet with a highly eccentric orbit?

Even though our Earth moves on average 67,000 miles per hour around the Sun, we cannot feel its movement since its speed is fairly constant. More precisely, its change in speed is very low and our ...
17k views

### Why do planets move in an elliptical orbit? [duplicate]

I am a student of class 9 and recently came to know about kepler's law of planetary motion and got confused about the foci and elliptical orbits of planets and some stars.
592 views

### How did the moon's orbit become eccentric?

The Moon's orbit is more eccentric, 0.0549, than most planets. I can understand that planets get eccentric by disturbing each other like under the late heavy bombardment. And likewise for multiple ...
1 vote
450 views

### How does 'centre of mass' concept work?

We know that two celestial bodies rotate around a center of mass. How does this concept work in case of solar systems where there are several planets versus one/two stars? (Even if the center of mass ...
74 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 ...
721 views

### Determining effect of small variable force on planetary perihelion precession

Is there an analytical technique for determining the effect of a small variable transverse acceleration upon the rate of aspides precession (strictly not a precession but rotation of the line of ...