Questions tagged [orbital-mechanics]

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

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2 votes
4 answers
300 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'...
1 vote
2 answers
154 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
124 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
56 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 ...
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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
116 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. ...
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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
108 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 ...
-3 votes
2 answers
77 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
186 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
18 views

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. ...
4 votes
2 answers
196 views

What is the Roche Limit of a White Dwarf Compact Star?

Far, far away in the universe (specifically, 542 million kiloparsecs from here), a galaxy stands as an enduring legacy of a long-extinct hyperadvanced alien civilization, high among the Kardashev ...
0 votes
2 answers
2k views

What would make a planet have 8 discernable seasons?

One region on my Kepler Bb earth-like world has a total of 8 seasons for some physical reason. 4 of those are transition phases. Calendar Divisions Their year begins on the first day of spring and ...
-2 votes
1 answer
56 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
423 views

Is it possible for a planet to orbit a binary system at the same speed as the stars themselves?

I know next to nothing about astrophysics, but I've read a few Wikipedia articles, and it seems like a "normal" kind of binary system includes two stars of similar mass orbiting a common center. I ...
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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
128 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
74 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
86 views

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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
228 views

Habitable low mass super earth and its habitable high mass moon feasability

So, I've got a fantasy world where there is a super-earth with Earth-like gravity (aim is approximately half-again the diameter of Earth) that is the homeworld of non-native humans(introduced to the ...
1 vote
2 answers
200 views

What are the upper and lower year lengths for a habitable planet of 40 Eridani A?

In short, I am asking about the range of year lengths for a planet orbiting in the circumstellar habitable zone of 40 Eridania A. Since Vulcan, one of the most famous planets in science fiction, is ...
1 vote
0 answers
55 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
118 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
73 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
62 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
164 views

Orbit resonance: Is it possible to have exactly 3 months in a year?

It is possible for a planet to have orbital resonance with a sun (e.g. Mercury has a 3:2 spin resonance with the sun). It is also possible for a moon to have orbital resonance with a planet (e.g. our ...
4 votes
2 answers
121 views

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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
119 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 ...
13 votes
3 answers
991 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
71 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
131 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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
180 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 ...
5 votes
3 answers
344 views

Would the seasons on this solar system be too extreme for Earth life to thrive?

In this artificial galaxy, there is a trinary of quasar stars at the center, each one 1.5 trillion times as massive and 995 trillion times as bright as our sun, each one having its own ring of mirrors,...
6 votes
2 answers
140 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 ...
4 votes
5 answers
250 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
110 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 ...
6 votes
2 answers
464 views

How big an asteroid to hold a ship in stable orbit?

A derelict space craft, 1MKg in mass is in a 100km (more or less) orbit above the surface of an asteroid out in the asteroid belt. How big should the asteroid be to have the ship maintain this orbit ...
2 votes
1 answer
109 views

How many co-orbital Earths can we fit and NOT get them tidally locked?

According to Sean Raymond, a co-orbit of six Earth-sized planets, separated by 60 degrees of space, will stay stable for millions of years. And in his latest blog, he has gone a bit further and ...
2 votes
4 answers
309 views

Could a space-based telescope 'sense' something extraneous?

If a fist-sized artefact was to attach itself to a space telescope (of near-term build, such as the Nancy Grace Roman) situated in L2 of a Lagrange point, would Ground Control be able to detect it?
0 votes
5 answers
710 views

If we built spaceships on the Moon, would we have more fuel to burn for trip to Mars [closed]

I read somewhere that a lot of the fuel used for Earth-to-Mars trips is burned up in the first few hours -- leaving Earth's gravity well. Working on the premise that it takes a whole lot of fuel to ...
3 votes
2 answers
160 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 ...
5 votes
4 answers
265 views

A Planet Approaching being a tidally locked planet

I am world-building an adventure for the Alien RPG. As a world approaches being tidally locked, and by this, I mean in the process of slowing down, but not stable. In such a world that no longer ...
-1 votes
1 answer
70 views

How would i make the solar eclipse a monthly occurrence? [duplicate]

How would i make the solar eclipse a monthly occurrence? I'm going to try and put the solar eclipse into a creatures life cycle, so how could I make it a monthly occurrence?
5 votes
3 answers
1k 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?
6 votes
6 answers
359 views

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 ...
3 votes
4 answers
1k views

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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
82 views

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%...
23 votes
7 answers
7k views

How big can a moon be where you can physically jump out of its orbit, to its planet?

So, imagine a team of space marines, fighting some sort of space bug zombies on a planet's moon. Things are going pretty bad for them, and the last surviving protagonists are running for their lives. ...
2 votes
2 answers
121 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, ...
-1 votes
2 answers
102 views

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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