The physicists describe an orbit as the path that is gravitationally curved around an object or a point in space. All celestial objects move around in space and they have to do this in an orbit. Each object has its own orbit. An orbit is therefore that path that an object follows as it is moving around another object. This movement is always influenced by another force. In the solar system, all the celestial objects have their orbits in a field that is gravitational. If a small object such as the comet or even the earth happens to be in the sun’s gravitational field, it is possible that certain types of orbits will be created seeing that the sun is a very large object when compared to the moon, comets and planets. The orbits that are likely to be created are as follows.
Types of orbit:
- The Elliptical orbit is a type of orbit which is known to be closed. The asteroids, planets and all other small objects in the solar system have this form of an orbit.
- The circle is another type of orbit. It is a special one and it is rarely seen.
- The hyperbola is a type of orbit that was only seen once when a very fast moving body, which is presumed to be a comet, moved so close to the sun and it has never been seen again. It is also a rare type of orbit.
Some celestial bodies and artificial satellites are known to be bound gravitationally to some of the planets which are in the solar system. These bodies then follow orbits that are at a barycenter around that planet.
The Earth, Venus, Mercury and all those other planets in the solar system have their orbits around the sun. Celestial bodies are not the only things that have orbits in the solar system. The artificial satellites placed in space by the astronauts also move around in orbits. One complete movement of the earth around the sun in its orbit is measured as one year. This corresponds to 365.26 days.
The earth not only moves around on its orbit but it also spins on its own axis as it moves. One complete spin is counted as one day. If you view the earth from the North Pole, you will see that the earth moves counterclockwise in its orbit. The earth moves around the sun as the sun spins on its own axis.
The moon also has its own orbit. It has a counterclockwise movement around the earth. That’s if you view it from above the North Pole of the earth. The moon takes around 28 days to make one complete revolution around the earth on its own orbit. The moon like the earth and the sun spins on its own axis as it moves on its orbit. The other planets also have their time taken to move around the sun measured. The closer the planet is to the sun, the shorter it takes to move around it.
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