Negative Inclination orbits

  • #1
3
0

Main Question or Discussion Point

What does it mean for an orbit to have a negative inclination? is it equivalent to an orbit with the same positive inclination but a shift in the node \Omega by \pi ?
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Filip Larsen
Gold Member
1,266
194
In what context have you seen this? How much negative is it?

Normally inclination is kept between 0 and 180 deg since, as you hint yourself, it is the angle of the orbital plane wrt the reference plane (e.g. equator) at the ascending node. Mathematically speaking and without knowing the context, I would think the same as you, that a negative inclination somehow is supposed to indicate the ascending node is really the descending node.
 
  • Like
Likes darrelldad
  • #3
stefan r
Science Advisor
840
248
You would need negative inclination in order to do average cumulative changes. Suppose, for example, an object has two encounters and each encounter causes a 5 degree inclination change. The objects inclination could be 10 degrees or 0 degrees.
 
  • #4
Filip Larsen
Gold Member
1,266
194
You would need negative inclination in order to do average cumulative changes.
For the situation you describe (working with small inclination changes near zero inclination) I could see it would be nice if Omega (longitue of the ascending node) do not "flip around" 180 degree just because there is a small change, but that would still be an unconventional way to represent orbital elements. For instance, when giving orbital elements like the two-line elements for earth satellites there are by definition never any negative inclinations, so if you were to see such a set with negative inclination you obviously have to question what that means.
 

Related Threads on Negative Inclination orbits

  • Last Post
Replies
3
Views
6K
  • Last Post
Replies
5
Views
3K
Replies
4
Views
1K
Replies
1
Views
702
Replies
4
Views
986
  • Last Post
Replies
0
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
3K
Top