Questions tagged [orbital-mechanics]

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

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4
votes
1answer
84 views

Precise localization of another ship in a Orbit-to-Orbit scenario

Here is the scenario. Two ships are orbiting an uninhabited planet (no sensors on the ground and no other satellites in orbit). At time zero they are far away (let's say 50,000 Km apart) following ...
4
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2answers
142 views

Would a spherically distributed solar system inevitably become flat, i.e., develop a plane of the ecliptic?

Notes I have tagged this as hard science - If it turns out that current science has no research on the subject or cannot cope with calculations about this sort of ...
3
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2answers
93 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 ...
12
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4answers
1k views

Would the displacement of materials caused by creating a Dyson Swarm have an impact on Orbital Mechanics (the n-body problem)?

I'm learning about how to account for the fact that we can't really model (to a perfect degree of accuracy) an Orbital system with more than two bodies - I [very, very barely] understand this as the n-...
6
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3answers
115 views

Inclinatory Cycles and Seasonbuilding

I was doing some tests in Universe Sandbox a while ago and I noticed a strange behavior shown by giant planets on highly inclined orbits. In the simulation I placed an Earth at 1 AU around the Sun, ...
6
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8answers
305 views

Could a planet with many moons see a different moon each night?

This is just an idea I have been toying with. Taking Earth as an example with 7 days in a week, my idea would that there would be 7 moons in orbit around the planet. They would not necessarily share ...
1
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0answers
58 views

What differences would there be inside a world where the sun/moon are in orbit around the Earth? [closed]

Suppose some crazy-ass god or whatever decides to create its beautiful project: the planet Earth. And of course it is the central key of its universe. The sun, the moon, nearby planets, all of they ...
14
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12answers
3k views

Mostly realistic weapons to assault a planet from orbit

I'm looking for a few weapons which I can use to attack a planet from orbit. I'm not looking to destroy it or make it uninhabitable, just wreck a few things until the occupants stop launching anti-...
4
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1answer
104 views

If Theia had settled into a slower, near orbit to Earth, how would that effect climate activity?

I am building a paradigm wherein the planet Theia did not strike the Earth, but settled into a orbit around the sun a third of the distance between the Earth and Mars. I wanted to ask people in the ...
3
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3answers
144 views

orbital ring in slow decay, what's the fallout?

An orbital ring was just bombed by a terrorist group, causing just enough damage to push the ring out of orbit too far for a readjustment to save it. Assuming that all escape craft have already ...
4
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2answers
263 views

Are Saturn's rings a safe place for adolescent space-hoppers?

Are Saturn's rings a safe place for adolescent space-hoppers? As you know, space-hopper toys are based on the real-life creature. These are roughly balloon shaped and have two "horns". The ...
7
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1answer
207 views

Three Moons and Simultaneous Full Moons?

In my story's world, the planet is roughly Earthlike in terms of size but it has three moons. I have written in something called "brightnight", when all three moons are full at the same time ...
11
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2answers
151 views

Delta-v budgets and modified gravity

I'm building a soft sci-fi world where gravity works a bit differently: the acceleration due to gravity drops off at a rate much greater than our inverse-square; and the acceleration due to gravity &...
3
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4answers
83 views

Earth-sized Moon with Host Planet launched from Star System

Could a planet with the size and characteristics of the Earth orbit a gas giant and would the earth-like moon be able to maintain its orbit if the gas giant went rogue and was launched from its host ...
5
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3answers
585 views

Is it possible for a moon to stay on the same side of its planet relative to the sun?

I'm building an earthlike world that has a moon orbiting a gas giant. Is it possible for the moon to always be between the planet and the sun? Also, is it possible for a moon to rotate around its own ...
19
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6answers
3k views

I want ten Earth-years long day on my planet. Can I have it?

I need ten Earth years long day-night cycle on my planet. Hemera is a world I am creating as a setting for my story. Name comes from Greek deity - personification of Day. Needs of storytelling have ...
3
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2answers
101 views

Could co-orbital planets also be double planets?

Double or binary planets are a really cool science fiction idea. A second Earth hanging ominously in the sky. Co-orbital or trojan planets are also interesting in that you have them on more or less ...
8
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3answers
1k views

How close an orbit could you get to Earth with a planet-sized object/ship without severely disrupting Earth's orbit?

My idea involves an alien spaceship inside a roughly Earth to Mars sized/massed planet, but the whole planet is displaced when the drive is activated. If you wanted to travel back to our solar system ...
7
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2answers
393 views

Making the exoplanet with the most complicated seasons

I was wondering how/if it would be possible to create an earth-like (atmosphere, gravity, average temperature, etc. are close enough) rocky exoplanet with more than two or three significant ...
7
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1answer
141 views

How to Calculate Apparent Magnitude/Brightness of Planets from Within the same Solar System

I'd like to be able to determine the appearance of the night sky from an Earth-like planet, in a solar system with multiple other planets, moons, and other bodies. Here on Earth, we can directly ...
5
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1answer
169 views

Binary Star System Build - Alpha Centauri

I'm not sure if this site or Astronomy would be better, but I figured I would try here instead. I am attempting to create a [semi]plausible star system in Alpha Centauri for a series. The system was ...
3
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1answer
147 views

If Earth had a sideways axial tilt (like Uranus), would Earth still have tornadoes?

Imagine Earth was hit hard by some force so devastating that Earth now has an axial tilt of 90.0 degrees, a far cry from the usual 23.5 degree. The same force somehow eliminates the Moon. In my story, ...
0
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1answer
107 views

Minimal mass of an Earth-like satellite to seriously deter space travel?

I want to write a story taking place on the natural satellite of a gas giant, with said satellite being massive enough to prevent, or at least strongly deter, space travel, such that the resources ...
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7answers
149 views

What kind of lunar orbit would cause a total solar eclipse to happen once a day?

The eclipse needs to be visible from at least one region on the planet every revelation and last about one hour.
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2answers
92 views

Are Orbital Rings feasible to construct in another star system?

In this universe, Earth had a couple orbital rings during the construction of the colony ships that were sent to Alpha Centauri. Humanity has achieved fusion power and efficient space flight (1g ...
3
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2answers
149 views

How long to become a habitable planet

I am creating a world for Sci Fi story in which I am trying to have two non-tidally locked earth sized planets in a binary orbit around Alpha Centauri A. The only way I can think of this happening is ...
3
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1answer
160 views

Binary planets that are not tidally locked

The story takes place in Alpha Centauri, with this binary orbiting just over 1 AU from Rigil Kentaurus. The star system will tightly packed, but following the 10 Mutual Hill Radii separation setup. ...
11
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4answers
2k views

What are the odds that an alien spaceship entering a low Earth orbit would collide with an orbiting body?

After centuries of careful search and travel, some intrepid extraterrestrial explorers have finally found another inhabited world! Elated with their discovery and exhausted after their long journey, ...
12
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10answers
3k views

Can a moon orbit a planet's southern pole?

I am interested in the idea of a moon orbiting only the southern pole of a planet. Could it theoretically be possible (though unlikely) that a moon would, for instance, orbit a planet parallel to the ...
5
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1answer
134 views

How Would These Planets Affect Earth's Eccentricity?

A cleaner, narrower-focused improvement of How This Alternate Solar System Influences the Milankovitch Cycle, so not a duplicate. For further clarification, eccentricity is the shape of a planet's ...
5
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2answers
212 views

What if Jupiter and Mars swapped orbits?

I am wondering how will it affect earth or none at all. Seeing that Jupiter by far is a gas giant and has really strong gravitational pull while Mars is mostly dormant, weak gravity and a terrestrial ...
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3answers
99 views

Would tidal acceleration mean doom for this system?

So we have a Super Earth of ten Earth masses, just on the threshold, and it has three Mars sized moons (so a mass ratio of 100/3, more than Saturn Vs 3 Earths). They go 40,000km, 100,000km, 250,000km ...
3
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4answers
547 views

After surviving a black hole/wormhole, what are the chances of Earth start orbiting in a new solar system?

In the event of our sun suddenly becoming a black hole or wormhole of sorts. It transports the earth to another solar system similar to ours. Would it be possible for our planet to start circling ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Habitable Planet in the L2 Lagrange Point of a Hot Jupiter

If orbiting in the L2 lagrange point of a large planet (doesn't actually have to be a hot Jupiter, just large enough to fully shadow the smaller planet), how close could you get to the host star ...
15
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12answers
3k views

Habitable Planet with Highly Eliptical Orbit

Would it be possible for life to develop on a planet with a highly elliptical orbit? (Similar to a comet, but possibly less extreme.) If so, what conditions would be necessary and what would the life ...
4
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2answers
153 views

Space elevator off Europa without running into a nearby moon?

Would it be possible to build a space elevator off Europa? (The space elevator would only be for the purpose of getting items out of Europa's gravity well relative to Jupiter. At that point, the ...
6
votes
4answers
153 views

Could some natural process on a moon do enough stationkeeping to sustain an impossible orbit?

I have several stories where I've wanted a moon in some weird orbit that is not allowed by orbital mechanics. In the past, I've had to change stories to bow to physics. Today, I had a thought while ...
1
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2answers
147 views

The major effects on the habitability of exomoons orbiting this Brown Dwarf

I'll need to give some background to this question. I'm interested in the idea of a densely inhabited star system, and having large exomoons is one way that they can all orbit roughly at the same part ...
2
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1answer
65 views

General effects (and narrative practicality) of a moon with an extreme elliptic orbit

This is more for fluff and illustrative exotica, but I'm keen on an idea where my new world has a moon that orbits elliptically, but has a fast inward close orbit followed by a longer round trip the ...
3
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1answer
78 views

Ideal sun type and corresponding effects for a terrestrial planet with 256 days in a year?

The planet has 256 days in a year, split up into eight months, each with 32 days. My planet is a bit smaller than Earth: Think, enough space for the continents of Earth’s western hemisphere and the ...
3
votes
1answer
72 views

plausibility of this double planet system? [duplicate]

So, I'm about to start a new worldbuilding project for a fantasy world, but I want to try to make the basic world at least somewhat plausible; the magic in the setting is going to be pretty low-key, ...
1
vote
4answers
131 views

Is this planet-moon system possible?

The planet is 10 Earth-Radii, with a 1 Earth Gravity value. It is a habitable planet. It has a thin atmosphere. It also has 3 moons and a ring system. The moons are rather large. The largest one is ...
6
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1answer
102 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 ...
1
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2answers
108 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 ...
29
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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 ...
5
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2answers
86 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
164 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
67 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? ...
9
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4answers
214 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
156 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 ...

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