Questions tagged [orbital-mechanics]

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

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4 votes
2 answers
63 views

How do I make longer seasons realistic on an earth like planet?

I am making a setting for a various TTRPGs that me and my friends want to play. I want this world to have longer seasons than earth. I was thinking about 3-4 earth years each season. This is difficult,...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Can an earth-like planet exist in a circumbinary orbit around two k-class stars?While also having up to two dozen other planets in circumbinary orbit?

I have a plot arc in mind, but it all hinges on the feasibility of an earth-like world existing in circumbinary orbit around two k-class (or g-class) stars. The looming danger in the story arc is that ...
2 votes
2 answers
111 views

How fast should my planet spin in order to be tidally locked?

I am designing a habitable planet with a diameter of 12.879 km. orbiting around a K5V orange dwarf star. Due to a number of planetery collisions during its creation, the planet ended up being tidally ...
2 votes
2 answers
72 views

How would a planet with three suns, orbiting only one work?

Okay, I am planning to make a planet that has three suns, and orbits one of them. Each of the suns has its own orbital path, so it's possible for the planet to have one sun, two suns, or three suns in ...
4 votes
2 answers
135 views

Could a double binary system support planets?

Disclaimer: I know that the term ‘double binary’ isn’t real (yet). Hypothetically, there is two pairs of binary systems with the center of gravity for the individual binaries are orbiting in a binary ...
6 votes
1 answer
181 views

If Venus were at .85 AU, Earth at 1.1 AU, and Mars at 1.4 AU from the Sun, would they disrupt each other's orbits at conjunction?

I have returned to this forum from Astronomy with this question because it immediately got down-voted. Maybe these hypothetical questions are more appropriate here? I am happy to take advice from ...
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17 votes
5 answers
3k views

Where could we add a new planet to the inner solar system?

Assume there was a super advanced alien race that for some reason, wanted to add a new planet, of lets say 1 Earth mass, into the Solar System. Where in the inner Solar System (The part of the solar ...
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2 votes
1 answer
61 views

How would the synodic period of Venus change if both Venus and Earth were moved equal distances away from the Sun? [closed]

Let us say that Earth and Venus are both moved 10 million additional miles from the sun. How would the synodic period of Venus appear to change for an observer on Earth? If 584 days is Venus' current ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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What is mathematical formula for finding the mean surface temperature on a planet in our solar system?

This question is to assume the common solar luminosity of approx $4 \times 10^{26}$ Watts. The mean flux of Earth at, for example, 1.1 AU would be about 1176 watts--but how can I calculate mean ...
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4 votes
1 answer
53 views

Planet Orbital Zone and Year Length

So I'm building a fantasy world that takes place on a planet with a circumference of about 18,500 miles (it's average temperature is 40℉), and it orbits a Blue-Giant. How long would a year be, and how ...
-2 votes
1 answer
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How fast do binary stars orbit each other? [closed]

Specifically I am wondering how fast a Class G star and a white dwarf would orbit each other in a type P binary system. How far away would they have to be from each other to have a stable orbit and ...
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4 votes
2 answers
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How close can a planet with an elliptical orbit get to another planet?

I am writing about a fictional cluster of different solar systems and in one of them I created a planet that harboured life. I wanted to make it a bit more interesting and came up with the idea that ...
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6 votes
2 answers
114 views

How would I make my Quintuple Star System Stable?

So I've been working on a star system that I want to have inhabitable planets, so by stable I mean stable on the timescale of the stars themselves; billions of years at least. So my initial plan was a ...
3 votes
2 answers
119 views

How large would a chunk of ice have to be to do lasting harm if it were 'thrown' at Earth?

I'm working on a story involving life on Europa being upturned dramatically by contact from a probe sent from Earth. I know the chances of life, let alone intelligent life, are pretty slim on Europa, ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Could a large chunk of Europa's ice crust be 'thrown' at Earth?

I'm working on a story involving life on Europa being upturned dramatically by contact from a probe sent from Earth. Found this community while researching, and have found a lot of great ideas. I know ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
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How could I explain how a “three body or more system” orbit works? [closed]

Three-body orbits are said to be unstable and non-existent. Star Wars introduced us to Utapau which is likely highly unstable. Yet in that universe it works. What are some possible explanations for ...
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4 votes
2 answers
311 views

Possible deltaV savings by usage of Lagrange points in intra-solar transit

The question here is actually pretty straightforward (not), So I'm going to expound upon it. Lagrange points are areas within a gravitational system which experience near null gravity. At least, that'...
3 votes
1 answer
67 views

Torus orbit for Dyson swarms

For a Dyson swarm (a large collections of advanced SBSP satellites usually in heliocentric orbit), the orbit is an important and difficult component. A possible orbital system is a torus-shaped orbit (...
2 votes
2 answers
75 views

Gas behavior in geosynchronous orbit

I am trying my hand at worldbuilding a sci-fi setting, specifically a partial/broken ringworld. Specifically I have trouble wrapping my head around gases. I have 3 scenarios, solutions of which will ...
6 votes
4 answers
2k views

Would dumping debris into orbit around a planet keep its inhabitants from being able to leave? [closed]

Assuming a planet of similar mass and atmosphere as earth, how much and how often do I need to add orbital debris to prevent space travel?
4 votes
5 answers
998 views

How would a spaceship not affected by gravity navigate between planets?

Presume there exists a metal called X-matter that has all the properties of steel, except it is repulsed by normal-matter instead of attracted. (For instance, a block of it would accelerate 9.81 m/s/s ...
6 votes
2 answers
145 views

Where could artificial satellites be placed in a binary planet system?

I’m building a binary planet system, and I want to know where I could place large groups of satellites. I’m worried centrifugal force and coriolis effects will prevent a satellite from occupying any ...
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7 votes
3 answers
66 views

Ferrovolcanism on an asteroid caused by rotating induction heating

I found out about Ferrovolcanism on asteroids and its a pretty neat idea for a space sci fi setting. Moreover, I have come up with a hypothetical way that an asteroid could be heated by induction ...
3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Length of seasons on a planet with eliptical orbit

In my sci-fi story, I have a binary star system with two Sun-like stars orbiting each other in nearly circular orbits. The separation allows them to have planets in stable orbits, and their habitable ...
2 votes
4 answers
321 views

How long until all detectable space debris leaves orbit of a planet?

Let's say an extinct alien civilization inhabited an earth-like planet a few million years ago. The had a number of satellites, orbiting the planet, all of which got blown up quite violently (dealer'...
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2 votes
2 answers
179 views

How do I make a moon into a world?

I am currently worldbuilding for a D&D campaign. And while many campaigns have worlds with one or more moons, I wanted to change it up by making this world the moon of a much larger world that is ...
3 votes
1 answer
150 views

Can moon people generate electricity using a gravity dynamo that is turned by the gravity of their host planet?

On Earth, we generate electricity from the Moon's orbit using tidal turbines. Would it be possible for denizens of the Moon to generate electricity using the Earth's gravity, using a windmill-sized ...
6 votes
8 answers
2k views

Is it possible to have a habitable planet with 2 sun that have sunset for one and sunrise for the other at the same time?

One of my characters is a bit of a romantic, he also have a post singularity fleet of spaceships at his disposal which he plans on using to scour the galaxy to find what he considers the ultimate ...
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4 votes
2 answers
118 views

Would seasons be affected on two planets sharing the same orbit?

I'm writing a science fantasy short story where two planets share the same orbit (ie, they don't orbit around each other, then orbit their star, they orbit the star, but one of the planets follows ...
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20 votes
9 answers
5k views

How Does Orbital Warfare Work?

Let's say in the near future(so no fusion drives or anything exotic like that, VASIMR engines are the "best" engines placed on ships, not on expendable weapons), two space ships, armed with ...
-3 votes
2 answers
85 views

Elliptical orbit verses extreme axis [closed]

What could be the differences between adaptations to a planet with extreme axial tilt and one with a highly elliptical orbit? The only difference I think is the tilt world's winters could be avoided ...
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0 votes
0 answers
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Two planets - "exchange orbit" scenario - Does it cause climate shift? [duplicate]

I have an earth-like planet with a roughly earth-like orbital period, that is in a stable co-orbital scenario with another largish body. Similar to Janus and Epimetheus but planets rather than moons. ...
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4 votes
2 answers
114 views

Day/night cycle and tracking celestial positions in S-type binary star system

I know this has been asked before but I'm going to pose the question again under slightly different circumstances and with a more specific goal. I'm trying to work out the details of how the day/night ...
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3 votes
1 answer
120 views

Two planets - "exchange orbit" scenario - Does it cause earthquakes?

I have an earth-like planet with a roughly earth-like orbital period, that is in a stable co-orbital scenario with another largish body. Similar to Janus and Epimetheus but planets rather than moons. ...
  • 131
-2 votes
1 answer
61 views

Major moon on a geosynchronous orbit of a planet (20 hours)

So, here are the characteristics of the planet: 1.14 times earth radius. 1.16 times earth mass. rotational period of 20 hours. it orbits a star of 1.1 solar masses at 1.02 AU. I want to know if it ...
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

How close can my brown dwarf orbit the sun and still realistically be undetected? [duplicate]

I have an idea to put another life-bearing planet in the solar system. You could have a brown dwarf orbiting perpendicular to the solar ecliptic. It's a brown dwarf so that it can send infrared ...
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6 votes
2 answers
174 views

How close to themselves could be two planets orbits?

There's some pattern within our solar system and many others as well such as the planetary orbits lay within some gradually increasing distances. I assume they could be spread less regularly (looking ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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Short and long term effects of an Earth sized planet entering Earth's orbit [closed]

In this scenario a Earth analog planet is accidentally pulled into Earth's orbit through the creation of a wormhole. The planet would orbit Earth at about 80,000 miles (128747.52 Km). The planet has ...
2 votes
1 answer
220 views

Creating stable gravitationally bound alternatives to a single ultra massive galaxy?

Before the accelerating universe makes it impossible without FTL to reach other galaxies the advanced civilization in my story aims to create their own super system, which will remain gravitationally ...
2 votes
0 answers
64 views

How to Create Tidal Tsunamis

In my world, I have the problem of dealing with a world that doesn't experience seasons or significant latitudinal variation when it comes to climate (it is essentially all tropical rainforest), and ...
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3 votes
2 answers
128 views

Would it be possible to produce energy using copper coils on the moon interacting with the Earth's magnetosphere?

How possible is it to turn the Magnetosphere and our moon into a generator? Lets say we have all the materials and labor needed to perform the construction and that we have the delivery method for ...
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2 votes
1 answer
76 views

Orbital Towers & Tethered Asteroids

In my story I have an orbital tower or space elevator on a world the size of Earth. Yes, it goes up to geosync orbit. The tower has a tethered asteroid -- how big can it be without exerting ...
0 votes
1 answer
126 views

How large can individual Dyson segments be before they get torn apart by tidal forces or orbital variations?

Yet another follow up question in my Dyson sphere series. Assuming the arrays are orbiting at 1 AU, the distance between an inclination of 0.01 degrees is 26,109,754 meters, meaning that there must be ...
0 votes
1 answer
72 views

In this binary, how far would the secondary planet orbit the primary planet and still have its own day-night spin?

A scenario I've been exploring lately: Orbiting a binary of G0 stars (each one 105% as wide, 110% as massive and 126% as bright as our sun) from a distance of 2.065 AUs is a planetary binary. The ...
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4 votes
3 answers
128 views

Can two planets orbit a star in a binary fashion?

There are several questions similar to the one I'm asking, but I'm not sure this fits exactly with them. Basically, I have two habitable planets, for the sake of this, let's just assume they are ...
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1 vote
1 answer
74 views

Relative masses of Binary Systems

I'm writing a sci-fi novel and I have an some astrophysics questions. First, is it possible for a binary system to be made up of a large gaseous planet and a dwarf star? I know it's possible to have ...
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5 votes
4 answers
190 views

What (natural) phenomenon could cause an earthquake on O'neill cylinder?

There is an O'Neill cylinder about 10,000km long and 10km wide in diameter orbiting a blue giant star. The crew on board have been complaining about the tremors or sometimes a powerful 6.8 magnitude ...
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6 votes
2 answers
158 views

What would cause a moon to not orbit around the center of the planet that has it as its satellite?

There is no world or setting attached to this question but it does have me curious and might be useful for those who do actually want to build a world with this as a feature. Imagine a luna-like moon ...
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2 votes
1 answer
143 views

How Should I Make a Calendar for Trappist-1

Alright, so I have already asked a few questions about this system, but this is the most important one. Firstly, I am needing to see if I got a relatively simple math problem right, and then I need ...
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1 vote
1 answer
123 views

stability of two moons

Is there a good way to measure the orbital stability of two moons around a planet? Here I mean something like a mathematical constant or an equation that can approximate the stability of the orbits of ...
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