Quantcast

Latest Orbit Stories

'Supermoon' Expected This Weekend
2012-05-05 15:05:08

The biggest and brightest full moon of the year will occur this weekend. An estimated 16% brighter than normal, this spectacular ℠Supermoon´ will be visible in the night sky on Saturday (May 5) at 11:35 p.m. EDT, according NASA. Click here for video. The scientific term for the phenomenon is "perigee moon." Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon's orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side ("perigee") about 50,000 km closer than...

Working Models For Phobos Gravitational Fields Updated
2012-03-05 05:05:42

Phobos is the larger and closer of the two natural satellites of Mars. Despite decades of Martian exploration, we still know very little about Phobos. Many fundamental properties of this small potato-shaped body stay vague, for example, its gravitational field. SHI Xian and coauthors from Shanghai Astronomical Observatory and Technical University Berlin recently updated working models for the gravitational field of Phobos. Their work, entitled "Working models for the gravitational field of...

A New Take On Planetary Accretion
2012-02-29 09:39:21

The prevailing model for planetary accretion, also called fractal assembly, and dating back as far as the 18th century, assumes that the Solar System´s planets grew as small grains colliding chaotically, coalescing into bigger ones, colliding yet more until they formed planetesimals. The planetesimals then collided until they formed planets as varied as the Earth and Jupiter. The model assumes that this occurred in an extremely hot (as high as 1,600 degrees Celsius) environment for...

Image 1 - Kepler Finds Two More Two-Sun Planets
2012-01-12 05:42:31

Astronomers announced the findings of two new circumbinary planets, or worlds that orbit two different stars, during the American Astronomical Society (AAS) meeting in Austin, Texas on Wednesday. The discovery, which was presented by San Diego State University (SDSU) Associate Professor Dr. William Welsh and published online in the journal Nature, used data from NASA's Kepler Mission to locate a pair of transiting circumbinary planet systems. The two worlds, which have been dubbed...

Could A Two Sun System Support A Habitable Planet Or Moon?
2012-01-11 09:44:13

A team of University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) astrophysicists are suggesting that a habitable Earth-like planet could exist in a distant solar system recently discovered by NASA´s Kepler Space Telescope. Kepler-16b, a cold, gaseous planet orbiting two stars -- similar to the fictional Tatooine of Star Wars -- in the Kepler-16 system, was discovered by Kepler back in September. Based on the discovery, the UTA team conclude that an Earth-like planet could exist in the system´s...

More Than One Moon For Earth?
2011-12-22 08:43:02

Researchers at the University of Hawaii, Honolulu say they have found that Earth could have at least two moons orbiting it at any one time, after finding a near-earth satellite (NES) in our orbit just a few years ago. The scientists then created a model showing how other satellites interact with our gravitational pull. "At any given time, there should be at least one natural Earth satellite of 1-meter diameter orbiting the Earth,” said Mikael Granvik of UH Honolulu and his...

Image 1 - NASA Announces Kepler Discovery Of Earth-Size Planets
2011-12-20 13:38:58

[ Watch the Video ] NASA announced on Tuesday that its Kepler mission has discovered the first Earth-size planets orbiting a star like our sun outside our solar system. Planets Kepler-20e and Kepler-20f are too close to their star to be in the habitable zone where liquid water could exist, but NASA said they are the smallest exoplanets ever confirmed around a star like our sun. The space agency said that the discovery marks the next important milestone in the search for Earth-like...


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...

More Articles (5 articles) »
Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
Related