# Orbital path of reduced mass?

• stinsonbr
In summary, the orbital path of reduced mass refers to the path that the center of mass of two bodies follows as they orbit around a common point. This path is calculated using the concept of reduced mass, which takes into account the masses and distances of the two bodies. Factors such as the initial velocity and direction of the bodies can also influence the shape of the path. This differs from the path of a single body in orbit, as it considers the motion of two bodies around a common point. The orbital path of reduced mass can change over time due to external influences, resulting in alterations to its shape, size, and orientation.

#### stinsonbr

In a system of two rotating masses about a point (i.e, the sun), would the reduced mass (used for calculations) trace out another ellipse?

yes it would.

## 1. What is the orbital path of reduced mass?

The orbital path of reduced mass is a concept used in celestial mechanics to describe the motion of two bodies orbiting around each other. It is the path that the center of mass of the two bodies follows as they orbit around a common point.

## 2. How is the orbital path of reduced mass calculated?

The orbital path of reduced mass is calculated using the concept of reduced mass, which takes into account the mass of both bodies and their distance from each other. The equation for reduced mass is μ = m1m2 / (m1 + m2), where m1 and m2 are the masses of the two bodies. The orbital path can then be calculated using the laws of motion and gravity.

## 3. What factors influence the orbital path of reduced mass?

The orbital path of reduced mass is influenced by the masses of the two bodies and their distance from each other. The shape of the path, whether it is circular, elliptical, or hyperbolic, is also influenced by the initial velocity and direction of the bodies.

## 4. How does the orbital path of reduced mass differ from the path of a single body in orbit?

The orbital path of reduced mass takes into account the motion of two bodies around a common point, while the path of a single body in orbit only considers that body's motion around a larger body. The path of reduced mass may also vary depending on the relative masses and distances of the two bodies, while a single body's orbit is determined solely by its mass and the mass of the body it is orbiting.

## 5. Can the orbital path of reduced mass change over time?

Yes, the orbital path of reduced mass can change over time due to external influences such as gravitational forces from other bodies, collisions, or changes in mass or velocity of the two bodies. These changes can result in alterations to the shape, size, and orientation of the orbital path.