Questions tagged [orbital-mechanics]

For questions dealing with how bodies interact with each other in space via gravitation.

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6
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1answer
76 views

What would the effects be on a planet whose moon orbits at a speed just faster than a geosynchronous orbit, so there are more months than days?

Would anyone be able to check some math/ let me know if I'm thinking of this the correct way? I had an idea of the moon appearing basically stationary in the sky, but in fact it orbits just faster ...
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2answers
75 views

Inverse orbital direction

Is it possible that a planet/moon will have inverse direction comparing to the rest orbiting material? For example Mars would go in counter direction comparing to other planets in solar system. If ...
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5answers
8k views

Can two moons have intersecting orbits yet be guaranteed not to collide?

Working on a D&D campaign. As a physics nerd, I'd like the orbital mechanics of the planet, its sun, and its moons, to follow standard Newtonian/Keplerian mechanics. I'm trying to come up with ...
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2answers
73 views

Navigation on a planet with an eccentric orbit

On this planet, there is a nomadic tribe of humans who are the descendants of unwilling colonists from thousands of years prior. They are a nomadic tribe because of the incredibly extreme seasons, ...
4
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1answer
130 views

Are elliptical rings feasible?

Around a rocky planet or small gas giant, could there be a system of rings that follow an elliptical orbit? I have used a gravity simulator (this one) to test it, but the way it handles its particles ...
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2answers
62 views

Feasibility of extra-lunar capture

Using our own Earth and Moon as a template is it possible for a second large body (One quarter to a third of the Moon’s Size) drifting close by to be captured in a stable and permanent orbit? ...
8
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4answers
167 views

How can an Earth-like moon meet these angular diameter conditions?

NOTE: If there is anything about this question that needs clarification or editing, please don't hesitate to let me know in the comments. Get ready, because you're in for quite a ride. I have tried ...
6
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2answers
137 views

Binary World Mechanics

I’m trying to develop a realistic system with a limited understanding of astrodynamics. Is it possible to have two binary worlds capable of sustaining atmosphere and complex life orbiting one another ...
6
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5answers
342 views

What star can give an earth-like planet a 1-day year?

I did the orbital period for a planet orbiting a mass = 1 sol with a 24-hour year, it’s got a semi-major axis of 1.82 million miles - far and away beyond the Roche limit, still beyond the corona, but ...
2
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1answer
79 views

What is the highest theoretical escape velocity a 2 billion metric ton vehicle can achieve using a >20° gravitational slingshot?

I want to send a flying saucer (a $\frac{1}{10}$ scale Independence Day City Destroyer - calculated as a sphere cap 112m high with 1.2km segment radius, $\rho$ about 43.3kg/m3) away from the sun as ...
5
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2answers
131 views

Creating “Sunfall” on the moon of a gas giant

I'm attempting to figure out the orbital physics of a system that has a habitable body that has intense periods of waxing and waning sunlight. I've come to the assumption that the best body for this ...
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9answers
1k views

Realistic ways a Planet or Large Moon could have Variable Day/Night periods

Hello I imagine this is a pretty straightforward question, perhaps already covered in another post, but I wanted to get extra perspectives and options for achieving this type of planet or moon. So ...
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2answers
111 views

Can an Unstable Ternary Star System Last Several Hundred Years?

After reading the following question, I know that there are not that many solutions to the 3-body problem, and I know that a ternary system is unstable. The 3 stars all orbit each other in a rotating ...
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3answers
4k views

Can planetary bodies have a second axis of rotation?

Is it possible for a planetary body to have a secondary axis of rotation? For example let's say there's an Earth-like body that is spinning with its North Pole facing the Sun. Imagine that the North ...
0
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1answer
664 views

Stabilizing Synchronized Orbit

The planet in my story, Ser, is actually in reality a moon orbiting a larger body called planet Rea. Ser is located in the L1 Lagrangian point, which means it takes the same amount of time to orbit ...
7
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2answers
181 views

What are the size limits on an spin-gravity space station?

A spin-gravity space station, a ring-shaped structure that creates a faux gravity on the inside of the ring via inertia, has been depicted as no bigger than a house and as massive as a solar system. ...
13
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7answers
2k views

Gravity on an Orbital Ring

Added 9-15-19: Thank you all for your comments. I will be reading them through carefully. I have quickly skimmed through the answers and I do appreciate your corrections on terminology and ideas, and ...
4
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1answer
51 views

A Stable Red Giant Trinary System

In an alternate universe, we have a spot in the Orion Arm where we have nine Earth-like planets orbiting three red giants. Judging from the size and luminosity of each star, it's been conferred that ...
7
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3answers
2k views

Moons that can't see each other

Could 2 moons that orbit same terrestrial planet never see each other if they orbit the planet at same time? Moons have different mass and gravity.
7
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2answers
262 views

Is there a website that will run orbital simulations because I don't have a PhD in math

I'm just trying to write a RPG adventure for a sci fi company. So when I have to figure out what kind of orbits, masses, major axis, etc are needed for the system I need to design and I see: $T=2\pi$...
5
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2answers
169 views

What could cause a planet to be in shadow for a 6 earth month period every couple of earth years?

My previous question ruled out having a moon orbiting a gas giant. I've got an interesting ecosystem (my bad, biome was the wrong word) that evolved based upon the idea that the world is eclipsed for ...
4
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2answers
246 views

If Earth Were a Gas Giant's Moon

Here is what we know of Earth: Mass: 5.972 sextillion metric tons Diameter: 7,917.5 miles Density: 5.51 grams per cubic centimeter Rotation: 24 hours Revolution: 365 days Core: 760 miles wide, ...
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3answers
217 views

In Search of a Super-Bright, Super-Stable Star

Long ago, I asked a question on how to make possible turning the nine realms of Norse mythology--Midgard, Asgard, Vanaheimr, Jotunheimr, Alfheimr, Hel, Nidavellir, Niflheim and Museplheim--into nine ...
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2answers
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Could a planet have a naturally occuring moon at one of its Lagrange points?

Would it be possible for a planet to naturally have a moon or large natural satellite at one of its Lagrange points? If so would it then also be able to have a second moon that would be orbiting this ...
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1answer
87 views

Could a single highly elliptic orbit be used to redirect to another planet?

I'm modeling this on the Voyager 2 flight path. I want to have this flight at this particular time, and not wait for a more advantageous launch window. Based on this orbital configuration (1st ...
4
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1answer
107 views

How Far Can The Stars Ve and Vili Orbit The Main One, Odin?

In this solar system, there are three K-type main sequence stars, or "orange dwarves", named Odin, Vili and Ve. At the center of this solar system, Odin is 80% the mass of our sun. The middle star, ...
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5answers
2k views

In order to successfully have 3 orbital rings around a planet how do you have to orient them?

I am writing a short story about an overworked planet whose civilization has achieved space elevators and orbital rings. The planet, which is earth-sized, has three complete orbital rings in stable ...
5
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1answer
155 views

How many terrestrial moons can my planet hold?

I have a Gas Giant with 13x the mass of Jupiter. How many satellites of Earth size and mass can it hold safely in its orbit? Edit: This gas giant lies smack dab in the middle of its parent star's (...
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3answers
302 views

Super earth habitability

I'm trying to build a super Earth that's capable of sustaining human life for space exploration in a way that's close to reality. So far I'm lacking some understanding of planetary science and human ...
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4answers
2k views

Where should a runway for a spaceplane be located?

If a spaceplane like the Rockwell X-30 existed and was flying to a location in geostationary orbit, would it be substantially more efficient to take off from a runaway at the equator, or would it not ...
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0answers
140 views

I'm inventing a new calendar. What are good criteria for the choices of first day, first year, and first hour? [closed]

I'm inventing a new calendar: It will be used worldwide. It uses an intercalary (366th) day to be inserted every 4 years. If extremely successful (unlikely I know), it will replace the Gregorian ...
10
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1answer
206 views

Moons in Binary Orbit

Writing a werewolf story, and decided for a bit of flair, so I wanted two moons in orbit. Did a bit of digging, and I found out that to do that, I'd need to either have them in separate orbit (no ...
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5answers
165 views

Axis of rotation of a wheel space station [duplicate]

Is it possible for the axis of rotation of a rotating wheel space station in orbit to be aligned with the center of the Earth? I'm wanting a situation where a person on the station could look out one ...
2
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4answers
186 views

Rotation period of a planet around a star (sun)

Is it possible for a planet to be much further away from its star than earth is from the sun (because for example the star is much brighter/Hotter) yet still have a comparable (as in not tens if not ...
8
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3answers
277 views

Which moon is most favourable as a refuelling station?

My hypothetical gas giant has five major moons. Three of those moons are icy bodies with abundant water ice and volatiles. Any of these could provide fuel for translunar spacecraft, or for spacecraft ...
10
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3answers
476 views

Can I render satellite deployment impossible, or at least impractical, by exploiting the Kessler syndrome?

I want to render impractical the deployment of satellites by exploiting the Kessler syndrome. Why, you ask? Maybe I'm an evil overlord and I don't want those pesky satellites flying over my lair. ...
7
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1answer
1k views

Could a rotating ring space station have a bolo-like extension?

If the outer ring of a rotating space station was producing the equivalent to 1G, but a higher G was needed could in small modules, could a bolo-like attachment be included with the ring to accomplish ...
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5answers
160 views

Is it possible to move planets to get them nearer to Earth? [closed]

Could we move rocky planets such as Mercury, Venus, and Mars to be closer to Earth's orbit? I know it sounds like a silly question and it's impossible right now, but if there is a small possibility, ...
7
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1answer
327 views

Brown Dwarf Star vs Gas Giant as parent for habitable moon

I seek to build a habitable moon of a giant planet, thus I looked at the Rouche Limit Equation to figure out how to get the biggest possible Hill Sphere for my moon to exist in. $r_H = a(1-e)\sqrt[3]{...
4
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1answer
135 views

Would life be possible on a planet that has an axis of rotation that always “pointed” directly at the sun? [duplicate]

Preface: I'll be calling call the orbit described in the question title a "solar-oriented orbit" for the sake of convenience, as "a planet that has an axis of rotation that always pointed directly at ...
15
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7answers
3k views

If a planet has 3 moons, is it possible to have triple Full/New Moons at once?

In the story I created, the Kingdom of Oneirou has 3 Moons--Artemis, Rahu, and Zorya--all of which have their own independent lunar cycles. However, it's officially stated as early as Chapter 2 or 3 ...
3
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3answers
97 views

Object in the orbit or orbiting Uranus's moon Puck

I realize the response to this question is fairly involved but here goes. I need to have an alien spacecraft either in orbit around Uranus's moon Puck or somewhere in Puck's orbit around the planet if ...
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5answers
249 views

Can multiple similar planets share the same orbit without interfering with each other too much?

Let's go with an example. Three planets, all of roughly earth's size, follow the same orbit around a star with a mass of roughly 1 sun. Basically, all three planets are almost identical to Earth, ...
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10answers
2k views

Make solar eclipses exceedingly rare, but still have new moons

Given a system similar to the Earth/Moon/Sun system, how would one go about making solar eclipses rarer than they are here on earth, but keep new moons similar to how they currently are (or at least ...
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18answers
6k views

How could a planet have erratic days?

I want to describe a world where one doesn't know how long the day will be. It can be anywhere between 18 and 30 Earth-hours. Would such days be possible in our reality?
2
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1answer
161 views

Meterology of double planets sharing an atmosphere

If two planets were tidally locked and shared an atmosphere, as described in this question, what would the weather patterns of the planets be like? What weather patterns would form, and could these ...
0
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1answer
129 views

What would the moon look like if its orbit was highly inclined?

How would the phases of the moon change depending on the inclination of its orbit with respect to its primary's equatorial plane? Earth's moon has an orbit that is rather close to the ecliptic, but ...
14
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4answers
5k views

Would mining huge amounts of resources on the Moon change its orbit?

Imagine that humanity builds mining facilities on the moon. We know that the moon has Helium-3 which could be used as fuel for fusion reactors. Also, there are a lot of other resources which could be ...
8
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1answer
168 views

Habitable world orbiting a gas giant orbiting a gas giant

How likely would a habitable world be that orbits a gas giant that itself is orbiting a larger gas giant? Assuming one exists, what are the likely conditions?
8
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1answer
140 views

Planet with big axial tilt, but very close to its star

It is known that when a planet orbits very close around its star, the tidal effects will soon (on an astronomical scale) force the day and the year of the planet to have the same length, making the ...