ELIPTICAL ORBIT

1.1 INTRODUCTION

By definition, Elliptical Orbit is an orbit that traces out an ellipse as the orbiter rotates around another body (which is located at the focus). Animation shows elliptical orbits with different eccentricities it also shows how the Sun is at the math behind elliptical orbits. You may think that most objects in space that orbit something else move in circles but that isn¶t the case. Although some objects follow circular orbits, most orbits are shaped more like ³stretched out´ circles or ovals. Mathematicians and Astronomers call this oval shape an ellipse. All of the planets in our solar system, many satellites and most moons move along elliptical orbits.
1.2 EARTH¶S ELLIPTICAL ORBI T

The Earth moves around the Sun in an elliptical orbit. Earth¶s orbit is almost a perfect circle; its eccentricity is only 0.0167! Pluto has the least circular orbit of any of the planets in our solar system. The Sun isn¶t quiet at the center of the planet¶s elliptical orbit. An ellipse has a point little bit away from the center called ³Focus´. The Sun is at the focus of the ellipse. Because the Sun is at the focus, not the center, of the ellipse, the planet moves closer to and furthers away from the Sun every orbit. The close point in each case is called ³Perihelion´. The far point is called ³Aphelion´ When a satellite traces out an orbit about the center of the earth, its most distant point is called the apogee and its closest point the perigee. The perigee or apogee height of the satellite above the earth's surface is often given, instead of the perigee or apogee distance from the earth's center. The ending -gee refers to orbits about the earth; perihelion and aphelion refer to orbits about the sun; the ending -astron is used for orbits about a star; and the ending -apsis is used when the central body is not specified. The so-called line of apsides is a straight line connecting the periapts and the aphasias.
1.3 ELLIPTICAL ORBITS

When one is in orbit around another object, the orbit is usually an elliptical orbit. For example, all of the planets in our Solar System move around the Sun in elliptical orbits. An ellipse is a shape that can be thought of as ³stretched out´ circle or oval. An ellipse can be very long and thin, or it can be quite round-almost like a circle. When an object is in an elliptical orbit around another larger (more massive) object, the larger object is not at the center of the ellipse. When an object is in an elliptical orbit around larger (more massive) object, the larger mass is not at the center of the ellipse. Objects moving in elliptical orbits move fastest when they are closest to the central body, and most slowly when they are furthest from the central body. ³Johannes Kepler´, a German astronomer who lived in the early 17th century, discovered some important laws about orbits. Kepler¶s First Law of Planetary Motion states that planets move in elliptical orbits. His Second Law explains how planets move faster when they are close to the Sun (near perihelion) than when they are far away (near aphelion). Historically the apparent motions of the planets were first understood in terms of epicycles, which are the sums of numerous circular motions. This predicted the path of the planets quite well, until Johannes Kepler was able to show that the motion of planets were in fact elliptical motions. Sir Isaac Newton was able to prove that this was equivalent to an inverse square law, instantaneously propagating force he called gravitation. In Physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of one object around a point or another body, for example the gravitational orbit of a planet around a star. A planet has a circular orbit, with the exception of Pluto. A comet has a large but elliptical orbit. An asteroid has no orbit unless it becomes a moon. A meteor has no orbit. It usually flies in a straight line either burning up in the atmosphere or impacting on a planets surface. BY: NABEEL BALA ZAKARI thenobleperson@yahoo.com; (+2347028525227, +23480322196 26.)

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