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Latest Orbit Stories

Spanish Team Says Russian Meteorite Originated From Apollo Asteroid Group
2013-02-26 10:01:50

Lawrence LeBlond for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online The Chelyabinsk meteorite that exploded over Russia´s Ural Mountains region on Friday, February 15, has had its origins mapped by scientists. Initially, albeit wrongfully, some attributed the meteoric event to that of another celestial event that occurred on the same day: the close Earth flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14. After looking at amateur video footage, a group of researchers from Colombia were able to plot out the...

Binary Star Orbit Shifts Could Force Planetary Ejections
2013-01-07 03:28:35

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The orbits of distant binary stars can become altered over time, potentially causing violent disruptions in their planetary systems and possibly causing worlds to become scattered or ejected, an international team of astrophysicists has discovered in a new study. According to the researchers, all planetary systems in which one star is orbited by a second, companion star, can be altered by the gravity of the companion star, but...

Planet Found Orbiting Two Stars
2012-10-15 13:37:20

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A team of international astronomers, along with Planethunters.org volunteers, found the first reported case of a planet orbiting twin suns that in turn is orbited by a second distant pair of stars. Researchers said that only six planets are known to orbit two stars, and none of these are orbited by distant stellar companions. "Circumbinary planets are the extremes of planet formation," said Meg Schwamb of Yale University and lead...

Planetary Systems Compared To Pancakes
2012-10-15 12:14:06

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers from UCLA using NASA's Kepler space telescope have determined that most planetary systems are "flatter than pancakes." The team wrote in a paper submitted to the Astrophysical Journal that they developed a computer model of planetary systems and compared them to the properties of Kepler data. They found that the more than 85 percent of planets have inclinations of less than three degrees, making the planetary systems...

Kepler-30 Distant Solar System Similar To Our Own
2012-07-26 06:01:50

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Astronomers have used NASA's Kepler to help spot another planetary system that has its planets neatly aligned, similar to our own Solar System. The study shows the trio of planets orbiting the star within one degree, relative to each other, and relative to the star's equator, showing a sense of geometry in its alignment. “In our solar system, the trajectory of the planets is parallel to the rotation of the sun, which shows...

Gravity Satellite Will Benefit Future Missions
2012-07-20 15:21:31

ESA´s GOCE satellite is not only mapping Earth´s gravity with unrivalled precision, but is also revealing new insight into air density and wind in space. This additional information is expected to improve the design and operation of future Earth observation missions. Most satellites orbit Earth higher than 400 km. Lower than that and atmospheric drag causes them to slow down quickly and reenter the atmosphere prematurely. This posed a problem for the designers of the GOCE...

Vastly Different Planets Found Closely Orbiting Same Star
2012-06-22 04:33:13

Researchers working on NASA's Kepler Mission have discovered an unlikely pair of planets -- one similar to our planet, and the other roughly the size of Neptune -- locked in a surprisingly close orbit around a distant star located more than a thousand light years from Earth. The work, which was led by Joshua Carter of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and University of Washington Associate Professor of Astronomy Eric Agol, discovered that the smaller planet, which was...


Latest Orbit Reference Libraries

9_4e0ee555c18ad7f31f4e1417f556ae6a2
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Satellite -- A satellite is an object that orbits another object. With sufficient tangential velocity, the object does not collide with the primary object it orbits, but maintains a distance from that object as the rate at which it falls towards that object is similar to the rate that it travels away, thus the object orbits the primary object and becomes a satellite. In other words: gravitational force serves as the centripetal force needed to make the object circle the primary...

8_1e2e2011b36872dcb4753873588746382
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Lagrangian Point -- In Lagrangian mechanics, a Lagrangian point (or L-point) is one of five positions in space where the gravitational fields of two bodies of substantial but differing mass combine to form a point at which a third body of negligible mass would be stationary relative to the two bodies. Bodies at the L-point will not move relative to the parent bodies if they are not perturbed by other gravitational forces. They are sometimes also referred to as libration points. The...

8_d7f84ec36dbfda23aff1a01e00a4b5e62
2004-10-19 04:45:44

Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion -- The astronomer Johannes Kepler's main contribution to astronomy was his three laws of planetary motion. Kepler found these laws empirically by studying extensive observations recorded by Tycho Brahe. He found the first two laws in 1609 and the third one in 1618. Isaac Newton was later able to derive the laws from his laws of motion and gravity, thereby producing strong evidence in favor of Newton's inverse-square gravitational law. Kepler's First...

6_15cc05865f89c4801c5ff2a85d74a93c2
2004-10-19 04:45:42

Orbit -- An orbit is the path that an object makes around another object under the influence of some force. The classical example is that of the solar system, where the Earth, other planets, asteroids, comets, and smaller pieces of rubble are in orbit around the Sun; and moons are in orbit around planets. These days, many artificial satellites are in orbit around the Earth. Understanding orbits There are a few common ways of understanding orbits. -- As the object moves, it...

6_e1c9b89b48eaf2af7055b7bbebf1a19c2
2004-10-19 04:45:41

Escape Velocity -- An escape velocity is the minimum speed at which an object without propulsion can move away from a source of a gravitational field indefinitely if there is no friction. This definition may need modification for the practical problem of two or more sources in some cases. In any case, the object is assumed to be a point with a mass that is negligible compared with that of the source of the field, usually an excellent approximation. It is commonly described as the speed...

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Word of the Day
caparison
  • A cloth or covering, more or less ornamented, laid over the saddle or furniture of a horse, especially of a sumpter-horse or horse of state.
  • Clothing, especially sumptuous clothing; equipment; outfit.
  • To cover with a caparison, as a horse.
  • To dress sumptuously; adorn with rich dress.
This word ultimately comes from the Medieval Latin 'cappa,' cloak.
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