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Rigorous Science

Posts tagged orbital-mechanics

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Rigorous Science Centripetal Burn in Orbit

Imagine a spacecraft in a highly eccentric orbit. Say the craft burns at periapsis towards the planet such that its orbital eccentricity does not change and the craft's periapsis moves with the shi...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by Josh Hyatt‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Olin Lathrop‭

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Rigorous Science 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. I...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Zavael‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Rigorous Science What is the highest theoretical escape velocity a 2 billion metric ton vehicle can achieve using a >20$^{\circ}$ gravitational slingshot?

I want to send a flying saucer (a $\frac{1}{10}$ scale Independence Day City Destroyer - calculated as a sphere cap 112m high with 1.2km segment radius, $\rho$ about 43.3kg/m3) away from the sun as...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭  ·  edited 2y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Rigorous Science 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 me...

0 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by A.E. Stephenson‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by A.E. Stephenson‭

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Rigorous Science 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 hos...

4 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by user76027‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by user76027‭

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Rigorous Science 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 o...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by LonelyCryptid‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by LonelyCryptid‭

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Rigorous Science 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 hav...

6 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Zjerzy‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Zjerzy‭

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Rigorous Science 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 w...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by user72655‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by user72655‭

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Rigorous Science 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 ...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Udon Nomaneim‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Udon Nomaneim‭

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Rigorous Science 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...

2 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by Axion‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by Axion‭

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Rigorous Science 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 syst...

3 answers  ·  posted 2y ago by DWKraus‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by DWKraus‭

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Rigorous Science 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 sto...

1 answer  ·  posted 2y ago by user6760‭  ·  last activity 2y ago by user6760‭

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Rigorous Science 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.

7 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Double_S‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Double_S‭

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Rigorous Science 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 ac...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user72655‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by user72655‭

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Rigorous Science 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 ...

0 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by user72655‭

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Rigorous Science 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....

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by user72655‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by user72655‭

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Rigorous Science 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...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by WhittlesJr‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by WhittlesJr‭

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Rigorous Science Gravity/Ecosystem on a peanut-shaped planet?

I'm interested about whether or not and how gravity would be affected on deformed planets. You could think of this as whether or not mega-asteroids would be able to sustain life? If so, would diffe...

2 answers  ·  posted 5y ago by DiagonalCorgi‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by DiagonalCorgi‭

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Rigorous Science What would be the impact on Titan, Saturn and the Solar system if aliens harvested as much hydrocarbons as possible from Saturn's moon?

The scenario Many science fiction novels are concerned with aliens visiting Earth, but what if aliens have no interest in Earth at all and yet they arrive at the Solar system for the sole purpose ...

2 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by toncha‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by toncha‭

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Rigorous Science Would it be more efficient to build fleets in orbit?

My Dino theme park business didn't end well and I reluctantly fall into depression and decided to go into suspended animation to seek a cure. 200 years later, a lady claims she works with the milit...

9 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by user6760‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by user6760‭

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Rigorous Science 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 t...

10 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by mrkv12‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by mrkv12‭

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Rigorous Science 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...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Rigorous Science 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 li...

12 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by WillRoss1‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by WillRoss1‭

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Rigorous Science The Nightfall / Kalgash System

"Nightfall" by Isaac Asimov (you can hear the story here on escapepod, if you need it) postulates a planet in a multi-sun system. The orbital mechanics of the 6 suns result in all of the sides of t...

1 answer  ·  posted 4y ago by Trish‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Trish‭

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Rigorous Science 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...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Dawidek‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Dawidek‭

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Rigorous Science 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 terrestr...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by mico villena‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by mico villena‭

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Rigorous Science 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, 250,000...

3 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Axion‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Axion‭

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Rigorous Science What size asteroid is needed to move the Sun?

What kind of asteroid would it take to hit our sun out of its current position, even by just 50 meters? And how big does it need to be in order for it to do so? Would it continue to travel throug...

9 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by Gerwin‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Gerwin‭

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Rigorous Science 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 whil...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by SRM‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by SRM‭

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Rigorous Science What did the night sky look like 63 million years ago?

I'm working on a comic which is essentially alternate-history fiction, and a big upcoming part of it involves the formation of the Chicxulub crater 63 million years ago. As I am a stickler for acc...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by fluffy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by fluffy‭

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Rigorous Science A supermassive black hole is coming our way. When's the latest that we would notice?

I'm trying to build a story around a supermassive black hole, which is ejected from a merger of two galaxies, that is hurtling our own way. What is the smallest realistic distance at which the blac...

3 answers  ·  posted 4y ago by bantu‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by bantu‭

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Rigorous Science What kind of event, if any, would knock the moon off its orbit, without destroying it?

I am recalling the Space:1999 nuclear waste containment explosion; this has been criticized because such an explosion would have actually destroyed the moon. I am curious for events that could happ...

9 answers  ·  posted 8y ago by guido‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by guido‭

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Rigorous Science 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 be...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by WillRoss1‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by WillRoss1‭

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Rigorous Science 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...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by levininja‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by levininja‭

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Rigorous Science Is it safe to orbit HDE 226868?

I'm considering a story where an exploration is devised to explore a binary system containing a black hole; the choice is Cygnus X-1, with its companion supergiant star HDE 226868. It would likely ...

5 answers  ·  posted 6y ago by HDE 226868‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by HDE 226868‭

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Rigorous Science 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 p...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Axion‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Axion‭

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Rigorous Science 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 th...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Tommy‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Tommy‭

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Rigorous Science 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 th...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by P. M. B.‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by P. M. B.‭

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Rigorous Science Can two moons have intersecting orbits yet be guaranteed not to collide?

Working on a D&amp;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 wit...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Frank Harris‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Frank Harris‭

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Rigorous Science 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 i...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Hunt Castle‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Hunt Castle‭

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Rigorous Science 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 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by StrandsW‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by StrandsW‭

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Rigorous Science Duplicate Earth and Moon, where should I put it?

Duplicate Earth and Moon, where should I put it? This question partly arises from the criticisms of stories that claim a hidden planet obscured by the sun, how it would have been detected and if s...

3 answers  ·  posted 7y ago by Jazzylee‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Jazzylee‭

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Rigorous Science 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 particl...

1 answer  ·  posted 3y ago by Greenie E. - Reinstate Monica‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Greenie E. - Reinstate Monica‭

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Rigorous Science 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, ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by John Lewis‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by John Lewis‭

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Rigorous Science 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? ...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Darius Arcturus‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Darius Arcturus‭

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Rigorous Science If the Moon Titan Orbits Earth

Long ago, I made a post with a scenario on how planet Earth would be affected if our moon were the size of Mars. But I've decided that it be more reasonable if our moon were closer in size to Tita...

1 answer  ·  posted 7y ago by JohnWDailey‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by JohnWDailey‭

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Rigorous Science 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 t...

4 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by overlord - Reinstate Monica‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by overlord - Reinstate Monica‭

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Rigorous Science 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 anot...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Darius Arcturus‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Darius Arcturus‭

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Rigorous Science Can an Unstable Ternary Star System Last Several Hundred Years?

After reading the following question, I know that there are not that many solutions to the 3-body problem, and I know that a ternary system is unstable. The 3 stars all orbit each other in a rotati...

2 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by overlord - Reinstate Monica‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by overlord - Reinstate Monica‭

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Rigorous Science What star can give an earth-like planet a 1-day year?

I did the orbital period for a planet orbiting a mass = 1 sol with a 24-hour year, it's got a semi-major axis of 1.82 million miles - far and away beyond the Roche limit, still beyond the corona, b...

5 answers  ·  posted 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭  ·  last activity 3y ago by Vogon Poet‭