I Free orbit insertion

Summary
General querie about a recnt discussion with a collegue
Good evening,

This week I had a discussion/conversation with one of my coworkers about the posibility of a mass from outer spate that could start orbiting the earth. The issue is, I believe you cannot, whithout a proper change of energy (velocity) start orbiting a celestial body just by coming whithin its sphere of influence. My friend, however, argued that although basically impossible it is mathematically feasible to do just that and a body could start orbiting another indefinetely.

I would appreciate if you guys gave us some insight on whether this is possible or, indeed, you would need to temper with the bodys kynetic energy.

Thanks in advance!
 
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Vanadium 50

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If the body is coming ni from infinity, it has the energy needed to return to infinity. You need to remove energy, perhaps by an interaction with the moon.
 
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If some other process can slow it down enough (likely the gravtational influence from another solar system body) then yes it could be captured and start orbiting.

When you say outer space do you mean originating from within our solar system? If so the larger gas giants have captured objects that now orbit them that originated within our solar system.

If you mean from outside the solar system, then any such objects are likely to have such a large velocity that no gravitation interactions taking place within the solar system are likely to be able to slow it down enough, not unless the object is very small, probably too small for us to even detect.
 

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