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Orbit
In physics , an ORBIT is the gravitationally curved trajectory of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet about a star or a natural satellite around a planet. Normally, orbit refers to a regularly repeating path around a body, although it may occasionally be used for a non-recurring trajectory around a point in space. To a close approximation, planets and satellites follow elliptic orbits , with the central mass being orbited at a focal point of the ellipse, as described by Kepler\'s laws of planetary motion . Current understanding of the mechanics of orbital motion is based on Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein
's general theory of relativity , which accounts for gravity as due to curvature of spacetime , with orbits following geodesics
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International Space Station
The INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION (ISS) is a space station , or a habitable artificial satellite , in low Earth orbit . Its first component launched into orbit in 1998, and the ISS is now the largest human-made body in low Earth orbit and can often be seen with the naked eye from Earth. The ISS consists of pressurised modules, external trusses, solar arrays , and other components. ISS components have been launched by Russian Proton and Soyuz rockets, and American Space Shuttles . The ISS serves as a microgravity and space environment research laboratory in which crew members conduct experiments in biology , human biology , physics , astronomy , meteorology , and other fields . The station is suited for the testing of spacecraft systems and equipment required for missions to the Moon and Mars
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Earth
EARTH is the third planet from the Sun and the only object in the Universe known to harbor life . According to radiometric dating and other sources of evidence, Earth formed over 4 billion years ago . Earth\'s gravity interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon , Earth's only natural satellite . During one orbit around the Sun , Earth rotates about its axis about 365.26 times; thus, an Earth year is about 365.26 days long. Earth's axis of rotation is tilted, producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface. The gravitational interaction between the Earth and Moon causes ocean tides , stabilizes the Earth's orientation on its axis, and gradually slows its rotation. Earth is the densest planet in the Solar System and the largest of the four terrestrial planets
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Mass
In physics , MASS is a property of a physical body . It is the measure of an object's resistance to acceleration (a change in its state of motion ) when a net force is applied. It also determines the strength of its mutual gravitational attraction to other bodies. The basic SI unit of mass is the kilogram (kg). Mass is not the same as weight , even though mass is often determined by measuring the object's weight using a spring scale , rather than comparing it directly with known masses . An object on the Moon would weigh less than it does on Earth because of the lower gravity, but it would still have the same mass. This is because weight is a force, while mass is the property that (along with gravity) determines the strength of this force. In Newtonian physics , mass can be generalized as the amount of matter in an object
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Barycentric Coordinates (astronomy)
The BARYCENTER (or BARYCENTRE; from the Ancient Greek βαρύς heavy + κέντρον centre ) is the center of mass of two or more bodies that are orbiting each other, which is the point around which they both orbit. It is an important concept in fields such as astronomy and astrophysics . The distance from a body's center of mass to the barycenter can be calculated as a simple two-body problem . In cases where one of the two objects is considerably more massive than the other (and relatively close), the barycenter will typically be located within the more massive object. Rather than appearing to orbit a common center of mass with the smaller body, the larger will simply be seen to wobble slightly. This is the case for the Earth– Moon
Moon
system , where the barycenter is located on average 4,671 km (2,902 mi) from the Earth's center, well within the planet's radius of 6,378 km (3,963 mi)
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Pluto
PLUTO (minor-planet designation : 134340 PLUTO) is a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt
Kuiper belt
, a ring of bodies beyond Neptune
Neptune
. It was the first Kuiper belt
Kuiper belt
object to be discovered. Pluto
Pluto
was discovered by Clyde Tombaugh
Clyde Tombaugh
in 1930 and was originally considered to be the ninth planet from the Sun. After 1992, its status as a planet was questioned following the discovery of several objects of similar size in the Kuiper belt. In 2005, Eris , a dwarf planet in the scattered disc which is 27% more massive than Pluto, was discovered. This led the International Astronomical Union
International Astronomical Union
(IAU) to define the term "planet" formally in 2006, during their 26th General Assembly. That definition excluded Pluto
Pluto
and reclassified it as a dwarf planet
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Charon (moon)
CHARON, also known as (134340) PLUTO I, is the largest of the five known natural satellites of the dwarf planet Pluto
Pluto
. It was discovered in 1978 at the United States Naval Observatory
United States Naval Observatory
in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
, using photographic plates taken at the United States Naval Observatory Flagstaff Station (NOFS). With half the diameter and one eighth the mass of Pluto, it is a very large moon in comparison to its parent body. Its gravitational influence is such that the barycenter of the Pluto–Charon system lies outside Pluto
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Physics
PHYSICS (from Ancient Greek : φυσική (ἐπιστήμη) _phusikḗ (epistḗmē)_ "knowledge of nature", from φύσις _phúsis_ "nature" ) is the natural science that involves the study of matter and its motion and behavior through space and time , along with related concepts such as energy and force . One of the most fundamental scientific disciplines, the main goal of physics is to understand how the universe behaves. Physics is one of the oldest academic disciplines , perhaps the oldest through its inclusion of astronomy . Over the last two millennia, physics was a part of natural philosophy along with chemistry , biology , and certain branches of mathematics , but during the scientific revolution in the 17th century, the natural sciences emerged as unique research programs in their own right
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Gravitationally
GRAVITY, or GRAVITATION, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass are brought toward (or gravitate toward) one another, including objects ranging from atoms and photons , to planets and stars . Since energy and mass are equivalent , all forms of energy (including light ) cause gravitation and are under the influence of it. On Earth
Earth
, gravity gives weight to physical objects, and the Moon's gravity causes the ocean tides . The gravitational attraction of the original gaseous matter present in the Universe
Universe
caused it to begin coalescing, forming stars – and for the stars to group together into galaxies – so gravity is responsible for many of the large scale structures in the Universe. Gravity
Gravity
has an infinite range, although its effects become increasingly weaker on farther objects
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Trajectory
A TRAJECTORY or FLIGHT PATH is the path that a moving object follows through space as a function of time. The object might be a projectile or a satellite . For example, it can be an orbit —the path of a planet , an asteroid , or a comet as it travels around a central mass. A trajectory can be described mathematically either by the geometry of the path or as the position of the object over time. In control theory a trajectory is a time-ordered set of states of a dynamical system (see e.g. Poincaré map
Poincaré map
). In discrete mathematics , a trajectory is a sequence ( f k ( x ) ) k N {displaystyle (f^{k}(x))_{kin mathbb {N} }} of values calculated by the iterated application of a mapping f {displaystyle f} to an element x {displaystyle x} of its source. Illustration showing the trajectory of a bullet fired at an uphill target
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Physical Body
In physics , a PHYSICAL BODY or PHYSICAL OBJECT (sometimes simply called a BODY or OBJECT; also: CONCRETE OBJECT) is an identifiable collection of matter , which may be constrained by an identifiable boundary, and may move as a unit by translation or rotation, in 3-dimensional space . In common usage an object is a collection of matter within a defined contiguous boundary in 3-dimensional space. The boundary must be defined and identified by the properties of the material. The boundary may change over time. The boundary is usually the visible or tangible surface of the object. The matter in the object is constrained (to a greater or lesser degree) to move as one object. The boundary may move in space relative to other objects that it is not attached to (through translation and rotation). An object's boundary may also deform and change over time in other ways. Also in common usage an object is not constrained to consist of the same collection of matter
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Planet
_Shown in order from the Sun
Sun
and in true color. Sizes are not to scale._ A PLANET is an astronomical body orbiting a star or stellar remnant that * is massive enough to be rounded by its own gravity , * is not massive enough to cause thermonuclear fusion , and * has cleared its neighbouring region of planetesimals . The term _planet_ is ancient, with ties to history, astrology , science, mythology , and religion. Several planets in the Solar System can be seen with the naked eye. These were regarded by many early cultures as divine, or as emissaries of deities . As scientific knowledge advanced, human perception of the planets changed, incorporating a number of disparate objects. In 2006, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) officially adopted a resolution defining planets within the Solar System. This definition is controversial because it excludes many objects of planetary mass based on where or what they orbit
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Natural Satellite
A NATURAL SATELLITE or MOON is, in the most common usage, an astronomical body that orbits a planet or minor planet (or sometimes another small Solar System body ). In the Solar System there are six planetary satellite systems containing 178 known natural satellites. Four IAU -listed dwarf planets are also known to have natural satellites: Pluto , Haumea , Makemake , and Eris . As of January 2012 , over 200 minor-planet moons have been discovered. The Earth– Moon
Moon
system is unique in that the ratio of the mass of the Moon
Moon
to the mass of Earth is much greater than that of any other natural-satellite–planet ratio in the Solar System (although there are minor-planet systems with even greater ratios, notably the Pluto –Charon system). At 3,474 km (2,158 miles) across, Earth's Moon
Moon
is 0.27 times the diameter of Earth
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Elliptic Orbit
In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics , an ELLIPTIC ORBIT or ELLIPTICAL ORBIT is a Kepler orbit with an eccentricity of less than 1; this includes the special case of a circular orbit , with eccentricity equal to 0. In a stricter sense, it is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity greater than 0 and less than 1 (thus excluding the circular orbit). In a wider sense, it is a Kepler orbit with negative energy . This includes the radial elliptic orbit, with eccentricity equal to 1. In a gravitational two-body problem with negative energy, both bodies follow similar elliptic orbits with the same orbital period around their common barycenter . Also the relative position of one body with respect to the other follows an elliptic orbit. Examples of elliptic orbits include: Hohmann transfer orbit , Molniya orbit , and tundra orbit
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Barycenter
The BARYCENTER (or BARYCENTRE; from the Ancient Greek βαρύς heavy + κέντρον centre ) is the center of mass of two or more bodies that are orbiting each other, or the point around which they both orbit. It is an important concept in fields such as astronomy and astrophysics . The distance from a body's center of mass to the barycenter can be calculated as a simple two-body problem . In cases where one of the two objects is considerably more massive than the other (and relatively close), the barycenter will typically be located within the more massive object. Rather than appearing to orbit a common center of mass with the smaller body, the larger will simply be seen to wobble slightly. This is the case for the Earth– Moon
Moon
system , where the barycenter is located on average 4,671 km (2,902 mi) from the Earth's center, well within the planet's radius of 6,378 km (3,963 mi)
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