Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Weird Question About Satellites

  1. Apr 21, 2006 #1
    If you had a pair of celestial rotating in a circle, both of equal mass size. Would it be possible for the planets to have a shared satellite?

    Thank you for reading, Alex
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2006 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Sure. Put the satellite into a large orbit around the centre of mass of the binary system. That's how trinary star systems (such as Centauri) work.

    (But you were probably thinking of a satellite whose orbit switches between the two parents, weren't you?)
  4. Apr 22, 2006 #3
    Would you expect the orbit of the satellite to have a less spherical orbit?

  5. Apr 22, 2006 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    You mean less circular? Even with one gravitating body, there's no reason a satellite should have to be in a circular orbit. It depends on the relative amounts of energy and angular momentum in the satellite. If the satellite started in a circular orbit about a single body, the addition of another gravitating body would certainly perturb that orbit. The amount it was perturbed would depend upon the relative separations of the satellite and the gravitating bodies.
  6. Apr 22, 2006 #5


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Gold Member
    Dearly Missed

    There are weird Newtonian orbits with, for example five bodies, where one body "is dirven to infinity in a finite time". Sorry I don't have a link for this statement, I read the paper about 20 years ago.
  7. Apr 23, 2006 #6
    Okay, thank you very much everyone. Alex
  8. May 20, 2006 #7
    wouldn't that be very onstable?
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Weird Question About Satellites
  1. Question about taurus (Replies: 1)