elements, orbital

'elements, orbital' can also refer to...

orbital elements

elements, orbital

elements of an orbit

elements of an orbit

elements of an orbit

Stability of Terrestrial Protoplanet Systems and Alignment of Orbital Elements

Do the physical properties of Ap binaries depend on their orbital elements?

Spectroscopic orbital elements for the helium-rich subdwarf binary PG 1544+488

Synaptic Connections between GABAergic Elements and Serotonergic Terminals or Projecting Neurons in the Ventrolateral Orbital Cortex

Influence of the time variation of the gravitational constant on the orbital elements of planets

Orbital elements of comet C/1490 Y1 and the Quadrantid shower

Studies of multiple stellar systems — III. Modulation of orbital elements in the triple-lined system HD 109648

The 2006 Orionid outburst imaged by all-sky CCD cameras from Spain: meteoroid spatial fluxes and orbital elements

Moment Approach to Determining the Orbital Elements of an Astrometric Binary with a Low Signal-to-Noise Ratio

The eccentric massive binary V380 Cyg: revised orbital elements and interpretation of the intrinsic variability of the primary component*

Orbital elements, masses and distance of λ Scorpii A and B determined with the Sydney University Stellar Interferometer and high-resolution spectroscopy

Contribution to the search for binaries among Am stars – VI. Orbital elements of ten new spectroscopic binaries, implications on tidal effects

Contribution to the search for binaries among Am stars – VII. Orbital elements of seven new spectroscopic binaries, implications on tidal effects

Cyclotron resonance energies and orbital elements of accretion pulsar 4U 0115+63 during the giant outburst in 2008


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Six quantities that describe the size, shape, and orientation of an orbit. They can be used to calculate the position of a body in its orbit at any given time. For planets orbiting the Sun, the ecliptic and the vernal equinox (the first point of Aries) are used as a reference plane and reference direction respectively (see the diagram). The orbital elements are then: the longitude of the ascending node, Ω; the inclination, i; the argument of perihelion, ω; the semimajor axis, a; the eccentricity, e; and a final number that gives the position of the planet in the orbit at a given time (or epoch). This can be the time of perihelion passage, T (or τ), the longitude at the epoch, L, or the mean anomaly at the epoch, M. For a comet with a highly eccentric orbit, the semimajor axis is usually replaced by the perihelion distance, q.

If the orbiting body is the Moon, the orbital elements are modified; the argument of perihelion is replaced by argument of perigee, and time of perihelion passage by time of perigee passage. Furthermore, if the orbiting body is an artificial Earth satellite, the ecliptic is replaced as reference plane by the equator, and the longitude of the ascending node is replaced by the right ascension of the ascending node, α.

For any other body with satellites, such as Jupiter or Saturn, the reference plane is either the planet's equator if the satellite is near the planet, or the planet's orbital plane if the satellite is strongly perturbed by the Sun.

When an orbit is subject to significant perturbations, its orbital elements are given for a specified time; these are known as osculating elements.

elements, orbital: The elements of a planet's orbit around the Sun.

A aphelion

P perihelion

N1ascending node

N2descending node

S Sun

vernal equinox

Ωlongitude of the ascending node


ω argument of perihelion

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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