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Planetary Orbits

Dimitri Deliyiannis
Physics Department,
Aristotle University
of Thessaloniki.
(Dated: July 13, 2015)

Lets consider the motion of a planet of mass m in

the gravitational field, which is produced, by the sun of
mass M . The planet moves in a plane (x,y) around the
sun which is at the origin (0,0). If (r,) are the polar
coordinates of the planet, then from the Newtons second
law we obtain

From the second equation of (3) is obvious that if T0 is

the sidereal period of the last revolution of the planet at
time t = 0, then the sidereal period of the last revolution
at time t is T T0 (1 + 5t) and therefore the increment,
of the sidereal period of the planet, after time t will be


r r2 + r = 2
mr = m0 r0 0 = P = constant

T = T0 5t

P is the angular momentum. We simplify our problem

by assuming that the orbit of the planet is circular. In
this case equations (1) apply as
mr = m0 r02 0
r2 =


We set m m0 (1 t), M M0 (1 t) and then we

solve (2) with respect to r and to obtain
r r0 (1 + 3t)
0 (1 5t)

Now lets apply the equations (4) and (5) in the case
of the Sun-Earth system.
Data for the orbit of Earth:
Average distance from the Sun r0 = 149, 597, 870Km.
Sidereal period T0 = 1year.
Using the value of , which is = (1.69 0.05)
1018 sec1 and the data for the orbit of Earth, we obtain
via equations (4) and (5) the following results:
1) The increment of the average distance Earth-Sun is
r = (23.94 0.71)meters/year

2) The increment of the sidereal period is

That is, if r0 is the present distance of the planet from

the sun, then the increment of this distance will be
r = r0 3t




T = (8.42 0.24)milliseconds/year