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Translational motion of stars & planets

  1. Jun 8, 2006 #1
    I wanted to know if the translational motion of the stars & planets are according to a polynomial sequence or not?? if not then how can the scientists predict the position of a specific star/planet after a specific period of time??

    Thankyou for your answer...
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 22, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Not necessarily polynomial, but more like a transcendantal function (infinite series). Why should they be a polynomial sequence?

    The distances involved are so large that positions, in terms of angles, change very little from year to year, or decade to decade. I am sure models are refined as more observations are catalogued.

    We have only been observing stars for several hundred years (at least the ones we could see with crude telescopes). Wait several more millenia to see how accurate the models are. But then again we will not be around to see.
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