Hello, total layman here. I have some questions & ideas, but no one to discuss them with, so here I am. 1. In the continuum between a completely circular orbit, and a maximally elliptical orbit, what characteristics of the orbital body and the gravitational source are the prime determinants of the degree of ellipticality? 2. As the orbit becomes more and more elliptical, wouldn't the speed of the body increasingly vary? (ie. Speed up as it "falls" towards the sun and slow down once it slingshots past and is recaptured by gravity - much in the pattern of a comet falling from the Oort cloud...) 3.1 Is it true that everything in the universe is in (to some degree) circular/spiralic motion around something else? In other words, as with fractals; on a micro scale, electrons orbit the nuclei in all known matter, and on a macro scale, planets orbit around a sun, and so on up the scale? If so, is our solar system in rotation around something? Is it the Sirius cluster? 3.2 If that is true, do we know what the length (in time) of the cycle is? 3.3. Also, do we know the degree of ellipticality of the orbit? (Is it more like a cometary orbit, or more like a planetary orbit? 3.4 Assuming for a moment that the orbit surpassed some threshold of ellipticality that would then cause some level of speed up and slowdown, would we have solar-system solstices and equinoxes? In other words, would there be critical points where the motion changed from "coming" to "going"? Or even more extremely, a "crack of the whip"? 4. If there is some degree of ellipticality in the Solar System's grand orbit, at the point closest to the "gravity well", could matter, or even space/time compress to some degree? Please coach me up if I am using inappropriate or inaccurate terminology. Thanks !