Questions tagged [celestial-mechanics]

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5
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1answer
74 views

Did the principles of celestial mechanics affect the development of electromagnetism?

Much of the early theoretical work in electricity and magnetism appears to have been the result of applying celestial mechanical principles to electrostatics. Examples include Cavendish's inverse-...
6
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1answer
94 views

What calculation did Halley or anyone else do to estimate the effects of Jupiter and Saturn on Halley's comet's return in 1758/9?

This answer to the question First observation that the movement of a planet or asteroid in its orbit was affected by another planet says: In 1705, with the mathematical assistance of Issac Newton, ...
5
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1answer
73 views

How did scientists (or researchers ) discover prograde and retrograde burns?

Prograde burn and retrograde burn are quite basic maneuvers in orbital mechanics. But how did the scientists (or researchers) discover that (the mathematical interpretation)? Did they try any ...
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2answers
123 views

Who was the first to understand the concept of outer-space?

Who first understood that celestial bodies (stars, planets, and moons) are moving in a 3D space and not points of light moving on Earth's dome? Also, when and how did they realize that celestial ...
3
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1answer
140 views

Poincare's last geometric theorem

Which problem in celestial mechanics led Poincare to his conjecture about fixed points of area preserving maps of the annulus to itself? I believe he was working on some differential equations. What ...
3
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1answer
206 views

Did Newton find geodesics on curved surfaces in Principia?

My question reffers to section X of book 1 of Isaac Newton's Principia, that deals with motion of particles on curved surfaces. I read that in proposition 56 Newton found the trajectory of a particle ...
2
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1answer
412 views

What are epicycles, deferents, eccentrics, equants, etc.?

What are epicycles, deferents, eccentrics, equants, etc.? Who first introduced them, and when? Why were they introduced? How do they work? Are there visualizations of this? e.g., what is St. Thomas ...
8
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3answers
611 views

How did Newton and Kepler (actually) do it?

Today if I want to calculate an elliptical orbit of some object due to the gravity of another, I use Runge-Kutta integration, and I can see the individual steps I use shown in that article. Back "in ...
3
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2answers
324 views

Was “Kepler's third law” deduced from the Galilean moons, or from planetary motion?

I have read that Galileo was able to start observing the four large satellites of Jupiter in 1610. Did he ever attempt to estimate the relative sizes of the four orbits, and their periods? I made a ...
6
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1answer
358 views

Why did scientists think the orbit of Mars had the shape of a limaçon in the geocentric model?

While looking up the old Copernican model for orbits, I encountered the following image (courtesy Wikipedia): This seems... weird. Not only would it be an odd thing to come up with or express in ...
7
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1answer
385 views

What 19th century developments contributed to the General theory of Relativity?

Regarding General Theory of Relativity, I'm interested to find out whether there are some contributors to this theory in 19th century or not. In fact I want to know whether there are some physicists ...
3
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2answers
317 views

Why does JPL at NASA give two different values in astronomical units for planetary distances?

Why is it that JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) at NASA gives astronomical unit values for the planets for two different time periods, namely 3000 B.C. to 3000 A.D., and 1850 to 2050?
17
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1answer
370 views

Did Archimedes use epicycles in his planetarium?

Archimedes constructed a planetarium where as described by Cicero "he had thought out a way to represent accurately by a single device for turning the globe those various and divergent movements with ...
12
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2answers
374 views

What happened in astronomy between Hipparchus and Ptolemy?

Hipparchus applied Apollonius's epicycle/eccenter construction to the motion of the Sun and the Moon, but not to the planets. There are speculations about epicyclic gears for planets in the ...
17
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2answers
302 views

What data did Kepler work out his laws from?

It's well known that Kepler worked out his laws by fitting curves to Tycho Brahe's data on the trajectories of planets through the sky. What was this data? How does one record the trajectory of a ...