two-body problem

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The mathematical problem of finding the positions and velocities of two massive bodies attracting each other gravitationally, given their positions, masses, and velocities for a starting time. The problem was first solved by I. Newton, who showed mathematically that the orbit of one body about the other was either an ellipse, a parabola, or a hyperbola, and that the centre of mass of the system moved with constant velocity.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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