Questions tagged [orbital-mechanics]

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

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5
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3answers
899 views

Double planet climate

How far would 2 tidally-locked (to eachother) planets need to be from their blue star host to be habitable, but have a cold-weather climate similar to our Ice Age?
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Central planet in binary star system?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Habitability_of_binary_star_systems The wikipedia article describes P-type and S-type orbits for planets in binary star systems. There are possibly some other ...
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1answer
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Would This Solar System Be Stable?

The question isn't whether this system would be natural or artificial--it'd work either way. At the center of this solar system is a binary of yellow dwarves, each one rated F5 (120% the diameter, 130%...
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2answers
95 views

Could asteroids getting shredded in low Earth orbit by an alien probe result in Kessler syndrome capable of preventing ICBMs from functioning?

Now, one good answer to "could deliberately induced Kessler Syndrome stop ICBMs?" is that the amount of mass required for such a thing is in the realm of ~2.5 trillion kilograms of matter, ...
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2answers
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Why would a planet orbiting a black hole have a year lasting just over one month?

This question is based on this description of the Cormoran Supermassive Black Hole in the Orion Arm's website: Orbiting the black hole in hundreds of concentric circles are more than a million ...
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6answers
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Could an Irregular Orbit Cause Significantly Longer Seasons?

I have a fantasy world I'm making, with a planet and sun similar to our world, except the length of the seasons are significantly longer. Each of the seasons last two years, and the full seasonal ...
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1answer
90 views

Would 6 Earths Separated by 60 Degrees Have Day-Night Cycles?

This picture is taken from one of Sean Raymond's Planet Planet articles, Cohorts of co-orbital planets. What the article doesn't explain, however, is the basis for the question. In a solar system in ...
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3answers
106 views

Is the orbit of this comet realistic?

I would like to know if the orbit behaviour of this comet is realistic and if not what could be altered to make it so. The setting: The solar system The system is quite similar to our own A single G-...
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0answers
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Would my revised gas giant moon be habitable?

I have recently reworked the parameters of my habitable moon and I would really appreciate if you could tell me wether or not it would be hospitable to life for a sufficiently long period of time, ...
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2answers
76 views

Would my gas giant have rings?

The gas giant in question is about 3 times the mass of jupiter with a density of 3.58 grams per cubic centimeter. It formed naturally beyond the system's forstline and then migrated into the habitable ...
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1answer
71 views

What orbital structures could be raised around a gas giant's moon?

My narrative project takes place on an habitable moon (0.7 earth masses) orbiting a gas giant 3 times the mass of jupiter at a distance of about 1003000 kms and is in a 5:2 spin-orbit resonance with ...
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1answer
74 views

Does this F-star solar system make sense?

The setting for the narrative project me and my team are working on is a solar system with centred by an F-star 1.3 to 1.32 times more massive than the sun aged 2.5 to 3 Billion years. Here is how the ...
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1answer
59 views

What are the conditions required for a tidally locked world to be in orbital resonance?

I have been looking into the orbital mechanics of tidally locked worlds lately and saw some interesting things. Namely that would-be tidally locked moons/planets can have rotation periods that differ ...
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2answers
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Is it plausible to have a double-planet between a gas dwarf and an Earth-like planet? if so, can the Gas dwarf protect the planet from solar winds?

In my story, I plan to make a double-planet between a gas dwarf and an Earth-like planet, so is it plausible in a red dwarf or Ultra-cool red dwarf system? and if so, could the gas dwarf protect the ...
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4answers
631 views

Is it possible to create ice on a planets equator using planetary rings?

I was looking into creating a planet with an icy ring around the equator while also having ice at the poles and bands of warm/tropical areas in between. The way I thought to do this would be having ...
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3answers
231 views

Could a terrorist organization or rogue state purposely trigger Kessler syndrome?

Assuming that a terrorist organization or rogue state has the capability of getting crude rockets up to orbit, could they trigger Kessler syndrome by detonating simple fragmentation warheads in the ...
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7answers
403 views

Earth-killer challenge

Related to this question. A lot of the discussion there got sidetracked from the question of orbital physics, into questions about alien motives and what the humans would do, so I want to start a new ...
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9answers
2k views

Mechanics of infrequent meteor attacks

There is an Earth-like world, at a level of technology similar to the ancient Romans. Roughly every 20 years, one of the largest, most prosperous cities in this world is annihilated by a meteor ...
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1answer
101 views

What would a Haumea-shaped Moon look like from Earth?

Basically what it says on the tin, I'm writing a fantasy world and I'm testing some exotic types of moons for this one. Then I came across Haumea, a dwarf planet located beyond Neptune. Quoting ...
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4answers
354 views

How best to arrange a network of light-focusing satellites closely orbiting the sun

It is the not-too-distant future in an alternate timeline, and humanity has tripled-down on solar power. We built a network of solar focusing satellites that orbit Sol at close range (so they can ...
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5answers
4k views

How much warning will the Earth get if an asteroid that will hit earth "appears out of nowhere?"

This is another branch of my previous question. Currently, in real life, space agencies around the world charts and tracks asteroids and other objects that orbit the sun. They project the object's ...
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9answers
3k views

Oscillating orbit: how to produce one in the real world?

This is unabashedly stolen from this recent question: What would be the structural impact of an oscillating orbit on a planet? with its sweet sweet gif from that question Around this white-hole ...
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3answers
140 views

Could a "gentle" collision of a planet into another cause tidal locking and still support life later on? What other side effects could appear?

After a few years I seem to have come back to the topic of the possibility of tidal locking on a planet with life. I love speculative biology and designing these sorts of scenarios but tidal locking I'...
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2answers
123 views

Would this planet be habitable for intelligent lifeforms

I am trying to make a universe using math and this is a planet from the first solar system I am making. Firstly the star. This star, which I don't have a name for, has a mass of 1.3 solar masses, a ...
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2answers
117 views

Could a second Trojan moon orbit Earth, as in, a second moon orbiting Earth from the same distance as our moon?

Here's the basic gist about our moon--it's one-quarter the width and one-eighth the gravity of Earth, it's rocky, it has no atmosphere and it orbits Earth from a distance of approximately 240,000 ...
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4answers
139 views

How to calculate solstices and equinoxes?

I know the orbit of my fictional planet, and I can set its rotation rate with precision. I know that, in our real world, the equinoxes and solstices are measured, not calculated, but I want to know if ...
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1answer
87 views

A Hyperadvanced Civilization Had Created a Solar System From Scratch. Would the Specified Details Work?

Yes, you read that title right. A "hyperadvanced" civilization, an alien race with technology so advanced that we humans can currently dismiss it as alien-space-bat-magic. At the center of ...
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3answers
125 views

Secondary moon with negligible effect on planet

I'd like to know how to set up a secondary moon for a very much Earth-like planet that I could use for religious and time measurement purposes in a novel but that would not change general situation on ...
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1answer
82 views

Predict The Orbital Eccentricity Of A Planet In A Circumbinary Orbit

Okay, I have a planet smaller than Earth that has a mean orbital radius of .9 AU, and it orbits twin suns. The larger sun has a mass of 1.15 solar masses, and the smaller sun has an mass of .45 solar ...
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0answers
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In this infant (<500 million years) solar system, how far would each orbit be to be stable?

Here's the story: There is a solar system that is still a baby, less than 500 million years old. There are a total of eight stars clumped into four binaries, each one with its own habitable zone. ...
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3answers
56 views

Is the following plausible: a moon at an L1 point orbits a gas giant, which orbits a sun. the moon is submerged in half daylight half moonlight

I'm writing a sci-fi & fantasy novel, I won't get into details, but in essence it's set on a fantasy moon that orbits a gas giant, which orbits a sun. The moon is at an L1 (Lagrange 1) point, and ...
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2answers
180 views

Is it plausible for a planet to have a face constantly sunlit while the other is constantly moonlit, with the sun/moonlit territories never changing?

I'm writing a sci-fi & fantasy novel, I won't get into details, but in essence it's set on a fantasy planet that orbits around a sun, and has a moon. The basic premise (that I'm hoping for anyway) ...
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1answer
74 views

What will Earth's orbit around the sun look like if it were standing at an axial tilt of 66.5 degrees? [closed]

Earth currently stands at an axial tilt of 23.5 degrees, low enough for seasons to form. Here is the diagram below: In the spring and autumn months, Earth parallel to the sun. In the summer, it ...
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6answers
2k views

Can a planet move itself?

Most questions in this vein seem to center around the inhabitants of a planet moving it. I have a significantly different spin on this idea, though. So, you're a big ball of rock spinning around a ...
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3answers
755 views

What is the largest possible appearance of a celestial body in the sky?

In SciFi Art we often see planets/moons/stars fill enormous amounts of the visible sky. I'm wondering what the theoretical limit for this is realistically, since there are maxima for the possible size ...
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5answers
3k views

Could We See a Lagrange Giant in the Sky?

The "Lagrange giant" in the title refers to a gas giant that orbits its star in the same distance as Earth does. The alternative description is "Trojan planet" or, to be most ...
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3answers
189 views

What if a moon orbits far away and extremely fast?

Imagine an Earth-massed moon orbiting around a Saturn-massed planet in a period of 28 days. This calculation tells me that is possible if the moon is 1.8 million km away. If so, the moon must be ...
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1answer
113 views

Would Sean Raymond's "Ultimate Solar System" Work in This Particular System?

Presented here is a system in which a binary of orange dwarves orbits a binary of yellow dwarves. Each yellow dwarf is 105% as wide, 110% as massive and 126% as bright as our sun. Each orange dwarf ...
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1answer
132 views

Could orbital neodymium magnets create a magnetic field for mars?

I'm wondering if, using enough neodymium magnets (dont worry where the material is coming from) in a low martian orbit, could you produce a powerful enough magnetic field to protect the atmosphere ...
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6answers
2k views

How would a space probe determine its distance from a black hole while orbiting around it?

Let's say that a space probe is sent to swing once around a black hole. Now, as long as our knowledge of physics goes, if the spaceship stays outside the event horizon it can, at least in principle, ...
6
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1answer
237 views

Can a fast planetary rotation create a planet with an equatorial continent, preferably with very high mountains and two polar oceans?

I’m trying to create a planet with two small polar oceans with equatorial supercontinent in the middle. The land is in turn divided in two by high mountains that act as barrier and a source of water ...
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4answers
115 views

Functionality of a horseshoe orbit around a gas giant in a binary star system

So I'm starting a book and this idea popped in my head. Horseshoe orbits are really cool and all, but what if you throw in another star. Of course it did have a reason, I want my main civilization ...
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1answer
142 views

How dangerous would a moon with rings be?

Just like the title says, how dangerous would it be for the inhabitants of a planet if the moon had rings? Assuming that the planet is roughly the size of Earth and the moon is a little bigger than ...
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3answers
245 views

What are good lower and upper bounds on year length for habitable planets?

In science fiction dealing with multiple intelligent species, "year" is still often used as a unit of time - like when describing a character's age - even when dealing with species that ...
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2answers
215 views

In This Picture, How Far Can One Binary Orbit the Other?

In an alternate Milky Way in an alternate universe, there is a cluster of stars so dense that nights are over 60 times brighter than our full moon. In that cluster is a solar system presented (albeit ...
3
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1answer
165 views

Orbital Warfare Maneuvers

So lately I’ve been re-rereading (again) some of the articles on Atomic Rockets and I was metaphorically struck by the idea of orbital combat as presented on the site. To summarize, it involves using ...
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0answers
44 views

How to stabilize the tilt of a planet without heating its core from tidal forces

I saw that this question was asked here: Stabilizing the obliquity of a planet except that the consensus was that a moon is mandatory. For my scenario: What should an inactive planet's topology be ...
3
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1answer
129 views

How Many Red Dwarves Can Make One Stable P-Orbit?

Red dwarves are the most common stars in our galaxy, if not the whole universe. They are small--the largest don't exceed one-half of a solar mass--but scientists still believe in their potential for ...
3
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1answer
104 views

Could a "super-Enceladus" moon exist?

Firstly, let us define the term "Super-Enceladus". In the context of this question, a "Super-Enceladus" is a moon that has permanent or near-permanent polar jets spewing out matter ...
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1answer
89 views

Creating a stable, liveable ringworld orbiting a binary black hole/stellar pair

I'm creating a setting for a sci-fi RPG. I would like to check whether the concept is physically possible. The main action happens on a giant ringworld which centrifugally orbits a paired black hole ...

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