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Do planets wave in their orbits?

by Kev2013
Tags: orbits, planets, wave
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Kev2013
#1
Mar6-13, 12:20 AM
P: 2
Hi,

I was wondering if a planet moves up and down as they orbit the Sun due to the differing inclinations of the other planets? In other words do the planets move in a wave like motion in their orbits or is it smooth?

Thanks in advance.
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mfb
#2
Mar6-13, 07:57 AM
Mentor
P: 11,815
If you consider their height above some (arbitrary!) plane, it roughly follows a sine curve, with one oscillation per orbit.
ImaLooser
#3
Mar6-13, 09:00 AM
P: 570
Quote Quote by Kev2013 View Post
Hi,

I was wondering if a planet moves up and down as they orbit the Sun due to the differing inclinations of the other planets? In other words do the planets move in a wave like motion in their orbits or is it smooth?

Thanks in advance.
Even the Sun doesn't move in a straight line. Everything revolves around the center of mass, which is slightly outside of the Sun. The main influence other than the Sun is Jupiter, then Saturn.


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