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Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Interesting discussion about unconventional orbits
Interesting discussion about unconventional orbits
GameDate: Thursday, 18.12.2014, 17:43 | Message # 1
Space Tourist
Group: Users
Netherlands
Messages: 22
Status: Offline
Hey there guys!

When browsing Reddit just now this thread happened to catch my attention. A user asks if planets can orbit between two stars, resulting in an 8-shaped orbit. According to the explanations in the comments, a relatively stable orbit between binary stars should be possible, though rare. Apparently the phenomenon is known as an Arenstorf orbit. One comment even gives an example of a much weirder 3-body interaction.

Now, I know that elliptical orbits have been in past versions of the engine, and were removed due to it causing problems such as intersecting orbits. This leads me to assume that even stranger orbital trajectories are difficult to realize. Meaning that we shouldn't expect to see this any time soon.

Still, I would love to see exotic situations like this in the future of Space Engine. I never even considered the fact that orbits don't have to be circular.

Either way, discuss!
 
WatsisnameDate: Thursday, 18.12.2014, 18:47 | Message # 2
Galaxy Architect
Group: Global Moderators
United States
Messages: 2604
Status: Offline
Elliptical orbits are in Space-Engine. It's only the very highly eccentric ones (like, e>>0.1) that were removed, and I think this is only temporary until they can be implemented without producing crossing orbits. As for figure-8 orbits and other more bizarre types, although they are valid solutions to gravitationally interacting particles, these solutions assume that there is only 3-body interaction. They are violently unstable in n-body interaction, and so you will never see them in nature. Hence they should not be in SE.

You can still have interesting orbits in n-body dynamics though, such as Horseshoe orbits for co-orbiting bodies, or precessing and zoom-whirl orbits in strongly curved space-time. And then there are orbits in Kerr space-time (near rotating black holes) that are absolutely bonkers.

Quote Game ()
I never even considered the fact that orbits don't have to be circular.

You mean elliptical? Not even Earth's orbit is circular. smile





 
Forum » SpaceEngine » Feedback and Suggestions » Interesting discussion about unconventional orbits
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