I understand that in a 2-body system a circular orbit is gravitationally stable in General Relativity. In Newtonian dynamics, an elliptical orbit is also stable, but is this also true in GR? I understand that the orbit precesses, but I do not intend that to change my meaning regarding stability.(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({});

What prompts this question is the now documented phenomenon of a pair of black holes radiating away their mutual gravitational potential energy as gravitational waves, and ultimately collapsing together to form a single black hole. I am curious about whether this phenomenon depends on an elliptical orbit or on some other mechanism.

If an elliptical orbit is unstable in GR, how does the eccentricity change during the collapse? Does it grow, shrink, or remain the same?

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**

Join Physics Forums Today!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

# I Is a 2-body elliptical orbit stable in GR?

Have something to add?

Draft saved
Draft deleted

**Physics Forums | Science Articles, Homework Help, Discussion**