1.
Minor planet
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A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun that is neither a planet nor exclusively classified as a comet. Minor planets can be dwarf planets, asteroids, trojans, centaurs, Kuiper belt objects, as of 2016, the orbits of 709,706 minor planets were archived at the Minor Planet Center,469,275 of which had received permanent numbers. The first minor planet to be discovered was Ceres in 1801, the term minor planet has been used since the 19th century to describe these objects. The term planetoid has also used, especially for larger objects such as those the International Astronomical Union has called dwarf planets since 2006. Historically, the asteroid, minor planet, and planetoid have been more or less synonymous. This terminology has become complicated by the discovery of numerous minor planets beyond the orbit of Jupiter. A Minor planet seen releasing gas may be classified as a comet. Before 2006, the IAU had officially used the term minor planet, during its 2006 meeting, the IAU reclassified minor planets and comets into dwarf planets and small Solar System bodies. Objects are called dwarf planets if their self-gravity is sufficient to achieve hydrostatic equilibrium, all other minor planets and comets are called small Solar System bodies. The IAU stated that the minor planet may still be used. However, for purposes of numbering and naming, the distinction between minor planet and comet is still used. Hundreds of thousands of planets have been discovered within the Solar System. The Minor Planet Center has documented over 167 million observations and 729,626 minor planets, of these,20,570 have official names. As of March 2017, the lowest-numbered unnamed minor planet is 1974 FV1, as of March 2017, the highest-numbered named minor planet is 458063 Gustavomuler. There are various broad minor-planet populations, Asteroids, traditionally, most have been bodies in the inner Solar System. Near-Earth asteroids, those whose orbits take them inside the orbit of Mars. Further subclassification of these, based on distance, is used, Apohele asteroids orbit inside of Earths perihelion distance. Aten asteroids, those that have semi-major axes of less than Earths, Apollo asteroids are those asteroids with a semimajor axis greater than Earths, while having a perihelion distance of 1.017 AU or less. Like Aten asteroids, Apollo asteroids are Earth-crossers, amor asteroids are those near-Earth asteroids that approach the orbit of Earth from beyond, but do not cross it
2.
Jupiter trojan
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The Jupiter trojans, commonly called Trojan asteroids or just Trojans, are a large group of asteroids that share the orbit of the planet Jupiter around the Sun. Relative to Jupiter, each Trojan librates around one of Jupiters two stable Lagrangian points, L4, lying 60° ahead of the planet in its orbit, and L5, 60° behind. Jupiter trojans are distributed in two elongated, curved regions around these Lagrangian points with an average axis of about 5.2 AU. The first Jupiter trojan discovered,588 Achilles, was spotted in 1906 by German astronomer Max Wolf, a total of 6,178 Jupiter trojans have been found as of January 2015. By convention they are named after a mythological figure from the Trojan War. The total number of Jupiter trojans larger than 1 km in diameter is believed to be about 1 million, like main-belt asteroids, Jupiter trojans form families. Jupiter trojans are bodies with reddish, featureless spectra. The Jupiter trojans densities vary from 0.8 to 2.5 g·cm−3, Jupiter trojans are thought to have been captured into their orbits during the early stages of the Solar Systems formation or slightly later, during the migration of giant planets. NASA has announced the discovery of an Earth trojan, the trapped body will librate slowly around the point of equilibrium in a tadpole or horseshoe orbit. These leading and trailing points are called the L4 and L5 Lagrange points, however, no asteroids trapped in Lagrange points were observed until more than a century after Lagranges hypothesis. Those associated with Jupiter were the first to be discovered, E. E. Barnard made the first recorded observation of a Trojan,1999 RM11, in 1904, but neither he nor others appreciated its significance at the time. Barnard believed he saw the recently discovered Saturnian satellite Phoebe, which was only two away in the sky at the time, or possibly an asteroid. The objects identity was not realized until its orbit was calculated in 1999, in 1906–1907 two more Jupiter trojans were found by fellow German astronomer August Kopff. Hektor, like Achilles, belonged to the L4 swarm, whereas Patroclus was the first asteroid known to reside at the L5 Lagrangian point, by 1938,11 Jupiter trojans had been detected. This number increased to 14 only in 1961, as instruments improved, the rate of discovery grew rapidly, by January 2000, a total of 257 had been discovered, by May 2003, the number had grown to 1,600. Asteroids in the L4 group are named after Greek heroes, confusingly,617 Patroclus was named before the Greece/Troy rule was devised, and a Greek name thus appears in the Trojan node. The Greek node also has one misplaced asteroid,624 Hektor, estimates of the total number of Jupiter trojans are based on deep surveys of limited areas of the sky. The L4 swarm is believed to hold between 160–240,000 asteroids with diameters larger than 2 km and about 600,000 with diameters larger than 1 km
3.
Perihelion and aphelion
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The perihelion is the point in the orbit of a celestial body where it is nearest to its orbital focus, generally a star. It is the opposite of aphelion, which is the point in the orbit where the body is farthest from its focus. The word perihelion stems from the Ancient Greek words peri, meaning around or surrounding, aphelion derives from the preposition apo, meaning away, off, apart. According to Keplers first law of motion, all planets, comets. Hence, a body has a closest and a farthest point from its parent object, that is, a perihelion. Each extreme is known as an apsis, orbital eccentricity measures the flatness of the orbit. Because of the distance at aphelion, only 93. 55% of the solar radiation from the Sun falls on a given area of land as does at perihelion. However, this fluctuation does not account for the seasons, as it is summer in the northern hemisphere when it is winter in the southern hemisphere and vice versa. Instead, seasons result from the tilt of Earths axis, which is 23.4 degrees away from perpendicular to the plane of Earths orbit around the sun. Winter falls on the hemisphere where sunlight strikes least directly, and summer falls where sunlight strikes most directly, in the northern hemisphere, summer occurs at the same time as aphelion. Despite this, there are larger land masses in the northern hemisphere, consequently, summers are 2.3 °C warmer in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere under similar conditions. Apsis Ellipse Solstice Dates and times of Earths perihelion and aphelion, 2000–2025 from the United States Naval Observatory
4.
Astronomical unit
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The astronomical unit is a unit of length, roughly the distance from Earth to the Sun. However, that varies as Earth orbits the Sun, from a maximum to a minimum. Originally conceived as the average of Earths aphelion and perihelion, it is now defined as exactly 149597870700 metres, the astronomical unit is used primarily as a convenient yardstick for measuring distances within the Solar System or around other stars. However, it is also a component in the definition of another unit of astronomical length. A variety of symbols and abbreviations have been in use for the astronomical unit. In a 1976 resolution, the International Astronomical Union used the symbol A for the astronomical unit, in 2006, the International Bureau of Weights and Measures recommended ua as the symbol for the unit. In 2012, the IAU, noting that various symbols are presently in use for the astronomical unit, in the 2014 revision of the SI Brochure, the BIPM used the unit symbol au. In ISO 80000-3, the symbol of the unit is ua. Earths orbit around the Sun is an ellipse, the semi-major axis of this ellipse is defined to be half of the straight line segment that joins the aphelion and perihelion. The centre of the sun lies on this line segment. In addition, it mapped out exactly the largest straight-line distance that Earth traverses over the course of a year, knowing Earths shift and a stars shift enabled the stars distance to be calculated. But all measurements are subject to some degree of error or uncertainty, improvements in precision have always been a key to improving astronomical understanding. Improving measurements were continually checked and cross-checked by means of our understanding of the laws of celestial mechanics, the expected positions and distances of objects at an established time are calculated from these laws, and assembled into a collection of data called an ephemeris. NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides one of several ephemeris computation services, in 1976, in order to establish a yet more precise measure for the astronomical unit, the IAU formally adopted a new definition. Equivalently, by definition, one AU is the radius of an unperturbed circular Newtonian orbit about the sun of a particle having infinitesimal mass. As with all measurements, these rely on measuring the time taken for photons to be reflected from an object. However, for precision the calculations require adjustment for such as the motions of the probe. In addition, the measurement of the time itself must be translated to a scale that accounts for relativistic time dilation
5.
Semi-major and semi-minor axes
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In geometry, the major axis of an ellipse is its longest diameter, a line segment that runs through the center and both foci, with ends at the widest points of the perimeter. The semi-major axis is one half of the axis, and thus runs from the centre, through a focus. Essentially, it is the radius of an orbit at the two most distant points. For the special case of a circle, the axis is the radius. One can think of the axis as an ellipses long radius. The semi-major axis of a hyperbola is, depending on the convention, thus it is the distance from the center to either vertex of the hyperbola. A parabola can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of ellipses where one focus is fixed as the other is allowed to move arbitrarily far away in one direction. Thus a and b tend to infinity, a faster than b, the semi-minor axis is a line segment associated with most conic sections that is at right angles with the semi-major axis and has one end at the center of the conic section. It is one of the axes of symmetry for the curve, in an ellipse, the one, in a hyperbola. The semi-major axis is the value of the maximum and minimum distances r max and r min of the ellipse from a focus — that is. In astronomy these extreme points are called apsis, the semi-minor axis of an ellipse is the geometric mean of these distances, b = r max r min. The eccentricity of an ellipse is defined as e =1 − b 2 a 2 so r min = a, r max = a. Now consider the equation in polar coordinates, with one focus at the origin, the mean value of r = ℓ / and r = ℓ /, for θ = π and θ =0 is a = ℓ1 − e 2. In an ellipse, the axis is the geometric mean of the distance from the center to either focus. The semi-minor axis of an ellipse runs from the center of the ellipse to the edge of the ellipse, the semi-minor axis is half of the minor axis. The minor axis is the longest line segment perpendicular to the axis that connects two points on the ellipses edge. The semi-minor axis b is related to the axis a through the eccentricity e. A parabola can be obtained as the limit of a sequence of ellipses where one focus is fixed as the other is allowed to move arbitrarily far away in one direction
6.
Orbital eccentricity
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The orbital eccentricity of an astronomical object is a parameter that determines the amount by which its orbit around another body deviates from a perfect circle. A value of 0 is an orbit, values between 0 and 1 form an elliptical orbit,1 is a parabolic escape orbit. The term derives its name from the parameters of conic sections and it is normally used for the isolated two-body problem, but extensions exist for objects following a rosette orbit through the galaxy. In a two-body problem with inverse-square-law force, every orbit is a Kepler orbit, the eccentricity of this Kepler orbit is a non-negative number that defines its shape. The limit case between an ellipse and a hyperbola, when e equals 1, is parabola, radial trajectories are classified as elliptic, parabolic, or hyperbolic based on the energy of the orbit, not the eccentricity. Radial orbits have zero angular momentum and hence eccentricity equal to one, keeping the energy constant and reducing the angular momentum, elliptic, parabolic, and hyperbolic orbits each tend to the corresponding type of radial trajectory while e tends to 1. For a repulsive force only the trajectory, including the radial version, is applicable. For elliptical orbits, a simple proof shows that arcsin yields the projection angle of a circle to an ellipse of eccentricity e. For example, to view the eccentricity of the planet Mercury, next, tilt any circular object by that angle and the apparent ellipse projected to your eye will be of that same eccentricity. From Medieval Latin eccentricus, derived from Greek ἔκκεντρος ekkentros out of the center, from ἐκ- ek-, eccentric first appeared in English in 1551, with the definition a circle in which the earth, sun. Five years later, in 1556, a form of the word was added. The eccentricity of an orbit can be calculated from the state vectors as the magnitude of the eccentricity vector, e = | e | where. For elliptical orbits it can also be calculated from the periapsis and apoapsis since rp = a and ra = a, where a is the semimajor axis. E = r a − r p r a + r p =1 −2 r a r p +1 where, rp is the radius at periapsis. For Earths annual orbit path, ra/rp ratio = longest_radius / shortest_radius ≈1.034 relative to center point of path, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit is currently about 0.0167, the Earths orbit is nearly circular. Venus and Neptune have even lower eccentricity, over hundreds of thousands of years, the eccentricity of the Earths orbit varies from nearly 0.0034 to almost 0.058 as a result of gravitational attractions among the planets. The table lists the values for all planets and dwarf planets, Mercury has the greatest orbital eccentricity of any planet in the Solar System. Such eccentricity is sufficient for Mercury to receive twice as much solar irradiation at perihelion compared to aphelion, before its demotion from planet status in 2006, Pluto was considered to be the planet with the most eccentric orbit
7.
Mean anomaly
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In celestial mechanics, the mean anomaly is an angle used in calculating the position of a body in an elliptical orbit in the classical two-body problem. Define T as the time required for a body to complete one orbit. In time T, the radius vector sweeps out 2π radians or 360°. The average rate of sweep, n, is then n =2 π T or n =360 ∘ T, define τ as the time at which the body is at the pericenter. From the above definitions, a new quantity, M, the mean anomaly can be defined M = n, because the rate of increase, n, is a constant average, the mean anomaly increases uniformly from 0 to 2π radians or 0° to 360° during each orbit. It is equal to 0 when the body is at the pericenter, π radians at the apocenter, if the mean anomaly is known at any given instant, it can be calculated at any later instant by simply adding n δt where δt represents the time difference. Mean anomaly does not measure an angle between any physical objects and it is simply a convenient uniform measure of how far around its orbit a body has progressed since pericenter. The mean anomaly is one of three parameters that define a position along an orbit, the other two being the eccentric anomaly and the true anomaly. Define l as the longitude, the angular distance of the body from the same reference direction. Thus mean anomaly is also M = l − ϖ, mean angular motion can also be expressed, n = μ a 3, where μ is a gravitational parameter which varies with the masses of the objects, and a is the semi-major axis of the orbit. Mean anomaly can then be expanded, M = μ a 3, and here mean anomaly represents uniform angular motion on a circle of radius a
8.
Degree (angle)
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A degree, usually denoted by °, is a measurement of a plane angle, defined so that a full rotation is 360 degrees. It is not an SI unit, as the SI unit of measure is the radian. Because a full rotation equals 2π radians, one degree is equivalent to π/180 radians, the original motivation for choosing the degree as a unit of rotations and angles is unknown. One theory states that it is related to the fact that 360 is approximately the number of days in a year. Ancient astronomers noticed that the sun, which follows through the path over the course of the year. Some ancient calendars, such as the Persian calendar, used 360 days for a year, the use of a calendar with 360 days may be related to the use of sexagesimal numbers. The earliest trigonometry, used by the Babylonian astronomers and their Greek successors, was based on chords of a circle, a chord of length equal to the radius made a natural base quantity. One sixtieth of this, using their standard sexagesimal divisions, was a degree, Aristarchus of Samos and Hipparchus seem to have been among the first Greek scientists to exploit Babylonian astronomical knowledge and techniques systematically. Timocharis, Aristarchus, Aristillus, Archimedes, and Hipparchus were the first Greeks known to divide the circle in 360 degrees of 60 arc minutes, eratosthenes used a simpler sexagesimal system dividing a circle into 60 parts. Furthermore, it is divisible by every number from 1 to 10 except 7 and this property has many useful applications, such as dividing the world into 24 time zones, each of which is nominally 15° of longitude, to correlate with the established 24-hour day convention. Finally, it may be the case more than one of these factors has come into play. For many practical purposes, a degree is a small enough angle that whole degrees provide sufficient precision. When this is not the case, as in astronomy or for geographic coordinates, degree measurements may be written using decimal degrees, with the symbol behind the decimals. Alternatively, the sexagesimal unit subdivisions can be used. One degree is divided into 60 minutes, and one minute into 60 seconds, use of degrees-minutes-seconds is also called DMS notation. These subdivisions, also called the arcminute and arcsecond, are represented by a single and double prime. For example,40. 1875° = 40° 11′ 15″, or, using quotation mark characters, additional precision can be provided using decimals for the arcseconds component. The older system of thirds, fourths, etc. which continues the sexagesimal unit subdivision, was used by al-Kashi and other ancient astronomers, but is rarely used today
9.
Orbital inclination
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Orbital inclination measures the tilt of an objects orbit around a celestial body. It is expressed as the angle between a plane and the orbital plane or axis of direction of the orbiting object. For a satellite orbiting the Earth directly above the equator, the plane of the orbit is the same as the Earths equatorial plane. The general case is that the orbit is tilted, it spends half an orbit over the northern hemisphere. If the orbit swung between 20° north latitude and 20° south latitude, then its orbital inclination would be 20°, the inclination is one of the six orbital elements describing the shape and orientation of a celestial orbit. It is the angle between the plane and the plane of reference, normally stated in degrees. For a satellite orbiting a planet, the plane of reference is usually the plane containing the planets equator, for planets in the Solar System, the plane of reference is usually the ecliptic, the plane in which the Earth orbits the Sun. This reference plane is most practical for Earth-based observers, therefore, Earths inclination is, by definition, zero. Inclination could instead be measured with respect to another plane, such as the Suns equator or the invariable plane, the inclination of orbits of natural or artificial satellites is measured relative to the equatorial plane of the body they orbit, if they orbit sufficiently closely. The equatorial plane is the perpendicular to the axis of rotation of the central body. An inclination of 30° could also be described using an angle of 150°, the convention is that the normal orbit is prograde, an orbit in the same direction as the planet rotates. Inclinations greater than 90° describe retrograde orbits, thus, An inclination of 0° means the orbiting body has a prograde orbit in the planets equatorial plane. An inclination greater than 0° and less than 90° also describe prograde orbits, an inclination of 63. 4° is often called a critical inclination, when describing artificial satellites orbiting the Earth, because they have zero apogee drift. An inclination of exactly 90° is an orbit, in which the spacecraft passes over the north and south poles of the planet. An inclination greater than 90° and less than 180° is a retrograde orbit, an inclination of exactly 180° is a retrograde equatorial orbit. For gas giants, the orbits of moons tend to be aligned with the giant planets equator, the inclination of exoplanets or members of multiple stars is the angle of the plane of the orbit relative to the plane perpendicular to the line-of-sight from Earth to the object. An inclination of 0° is an orbit, meaning the plane of its orbit is parallel to the sky. An inclination of 90° is an orbit, meaning the plane of its orbit is perpendicular to the sky
10.
Longitude of the ascending node
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The longitude of the ascending node is one of the orbital elements used to specify the orbit of an object in space. It is the angle from a direction, called the origin of longitude, to the direction of the ascending node. The ascending node is the point where the orbit of the passes through the plane of reference. Commonly used reference planes and origins of longitude include, For a geocentric orbit, Earths equatorial plane as the plane. In this case, the longitude is called the right ascension of the ascending node. The angle is measured eastwards from the First Point of Aries to the node, for a heliocentric orbit, the ecliptic as the reference plane, and the First Point of Aries as the origin of longitude. The angle is measured counterclockwise from the First Point of Aries to the node, the angle is measured eastwards from north to the node. pp.40,72,137, chap. In the case of a star known only from visual observations, it is not possible to tell which node is ascending. In this case the orbital parameter which is recorded is the longitude of the node, Ω, here, n=<nx, ny, nz> is a vector pointing towards the ascending node. The reference plane is assumed to be the xy-plane, and the origin of longitude is taken to be the positive x-axis, K is the unit vector, which is the normal vector to the xy reference plane. For non-inclined orbits, Ω is undefined, for computation it is then, by convention, set equal to zero, that is, the ascending node is placed in the reference direction, which is equivalent to letting n point towards the positive x-axis. Kepler orbits Equinox Orbital node perturbation of the plane can cause revolution of the ascending node
11.
Argument of periapsis
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The argument of periapsis, symbolized as ω, is one of the orbital elements of an orbiting body. Parametrically, ω is the angle from the ascending node to its periapsis. For specific types of orbits, words such as perihelion, perigee, periastron, an argument of periapsis of 0° means that the orbiting body will be at its closest approach to the central body at the same moment that it crosses the plane of reference from South to North. An argument of periapsis of 90° means that the body will reach periapsis at its northmost distance from the plane of reference. Adding the argument of periapsis to the longitude of the ascending node gives the longitude of the periapsis, however, especially in discussions of binary stars and exoplanets, the terms longitude of periapsis or longitude of periastron are often used synonymously with argument of periapsis. In the case of equatorial orbits, the argument is strictly undefined, where, ex and ey are the x- and y-components of the eccentricity vector e. In the case of circular orbits it is assumed that the periapsis is placed at the ascending node. Kepler orbit Orbital mechanics Orbital node
12.
Minimum orbit intersection distance
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Minimum orbit intersection distance is a measure used in astronomy to assess potential close approaches and collision risks between astronomical objects. It is defined as the distance between the closest points of the orbits of two bodies. Of greatest interest is the risk of a collision with Earth, Earth MOID is often listed on comet and asteroid databases such as the JPL Small-Body Database. MOID values are defined with respect to other bodies as well, Jupiter MOID, Venus MOID. An object is classified as a hazardous object – that is, posing a possible risk to Earth – if, among other conditions. A low MOID does not mean that a collision is inevitable as the planets frequently perturb the orbit of small bodies. It is also necessary that the two bodies reach that point in their orbits at the time before the smaller body is perturbed into a different orbit with a different MOID value. Two Objects gravitationally locked in orbital resonance may never approach one another, numerical integrations become increasingly divergent as trajectories are projected further forward in time, especially beyond times where the smaller body is repeatedly perturbed by other planets. MOID has the convenience that it is obtained directly from the elements of the body. The only object that has ever been rated at 4 on the Torino Scale and this is not the smallest Earth MOID in the catalogues, many bodies with a small Earth MOID are not classed as PHOs because the objects are less than roughly 140 meters in diameter. Earth MOID values are more practical for asteroids less than 140 meters in diameter as those asteroids are very dim. It is even smaller at the more precise JPL Small Body Database
13.
Kilometre
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The kilometre or kilometer is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand metres. K is occasionally used in some English-speaking countries as an alternative for the kilometre in colloquial writing. A slang term for the kilometre in the US military is klick, there are two common pronunciations for the word. It is generally preferred by the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, many scientists and other users, particularly in countries where the metric system is not widely used, use the pronunciation with stress on the second syllable. The latter pronunciation follows the pattern used for the names of measuring instruments. The problem with this reasoning, however, is that the meter in those usages refers to a measuring device. The contrast is more obvious in countries using the British rather than American spelling of the word metre. When Australia introduced the system in 1975, the first pronunciation was declared official by the governments Metric Conversion Board. However, the Australian prime minister at the time, Gough Whitlam, by the 8 May 1790 decree, the Constituent assembly ordered the French Academy of Sciences to develop a new measurement system. In August 1793, the French National Convention decreed the metre as the length measurement system in the French Republic. The first name of the kilometre was Millaire, although the metre was formally defined in 1799, the myriametre was preferred to the kilometre for everyday use. The term myriamètre appeared a number of times in the text of Develeys book Physique dEmile, ou, Principes de la de la nature. French maps published in 1835 had scales showing myriametres and lieues de Poste, the Dutch, on the other hand, adopted the kilometre in 1817 but gave it the local name of the mijl. It was only in 1867 that the term became the only official unit of measure in the Netherlands to represent 1000 metres. In the US, the National Highway System Designation Act of 1995 prohibits the use of highway funds to convert existing signs or purchase new signs with metric units. Although the State DOTs had the option of using metric measurements or dual units, all of them abandoned metric measurements, the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices since 2000 is published in both metric and American Customary Units. Some sporting disciplines feature 1000 m races in major events, but in other disciplines, even though records are catalogued
14.
C-type asteroid
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They are the most common variety, forming around 75% of known asteroids. They are distinguished by a low albedo because their composition includes a large amount of carbon, in addition to rocks. Asteroids of this class have very similar to those of carbonaceous chondrite meteorites. The latter are very close in composition to the Sun. C-type asteroids are extremely dark, with albedos typically in the 0.03 to 0.10 range, consequently, whereas a number of S-type asteroids can normally be viewed with binoculars at opposition, even the largest C-type asteroids require a small telescope. The potentially brightest C-type asteroid is 324 Bamberga, but that very high eccentricity means it rarely reaches its maximum magnitude. Their spectra contain moderately strong ultraviolet absorption at wavelengths below about 0.4 μm to 0.5 μm, while at longer wavelengths they are largely featureless but slightly reddish. The so-called water absorption feature around 3 μm, which can be an indication of content in minerals is also present
15.
Lagrangian point
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The Lagrange points mark positions where the combined gravitational pull of the two large masses provides precisely the centrifugal force required to orbit with them. There are five points, labeled L1 to L5, all in the orbital plane of the two large bodies. The first three are on the line connecting the two bodies, the last two, L4 and L5, each form an equilateral triangle with the two large bodies. The two latter points are stable, which implies that objects can orbit around them in a coordinate system tied to the two large bodies. Several planets have satellites near their L4 and L5 points with respect to the Sun, the three collinear Lagrange points were discovered by Leonhard Euler a few years before Lagrange discovered the remaining two. In 1772, Joseph-Louis Lagrange published an Essay on the three-body problem, in the first chapter he considered the general three-body problem. From that, in the chapter, he demonstrated two special constant-pattern solutions, the collinear and the equilateral, for any three masses, with circular orbits. The five Lagrangian points are labeled and defined as follows, The L1 point lies on the line defined by the two large masses M1 and M2, and between them. It is the most intuitively understood of the Lagrangian points, the one where the attraction of M2 partially cancels M1s gravitational attraction. Explanation An object that orbits the Sun more closely than Earth would normally have an orbital period than Earth. If the object is directly between Earth and the Sun, then Earths gravity counteracts some of the Suns pull on the object, the closer to Earth the object is, the greater this effect is. At the L1 point, the period of the object becomes exactly equal to Earths orbital period. L1 is about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth, the L2 point lies on the line through the two large masses, beyond the smaller of the two. Here, the forces of the two large masses balance the centrifugal effect on a body at L2. Explanation On the opposite side of Earth from the Sun, the period of an object would normally be greater than that of Earth. The extra pull of Earths gravity decreases the orbital period of the object, like L1, L2 is about 1.5 million kilometers from Earth. The L3 point lies on the line defined by the two masses, beyond the larger of the two. Explanation L3 in the Sun–Earth system exists on the side of the Sun
16.
Orbital resonance
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Orbital resonances greatly enhance the mutual gravitational influence of the bodies, i. e. their ability to alter or constrain each others orbits. In most cases, this results in an interaction, in which the bodies exchange momentum. Under some circumstances, a resonant system can be stable and self-correcting, examples are the 1,2,4 resonance of Jupiters moons Ganymede, Europa and Io, and the 2,3 resonance between Pluto and Neptune. Unstable resonances with Saturns inner moons give rise to gaps in the rings of Saturn, thus the 2,3 ratio above means Pluto completes two orbits in the time it takes Neptune to complete three. In the case of resonance relationships between three or more bodies, either type of ratio may be used and the type of ratio will be specified. Since the discovery of Newtons law of gravitation in the 17th century. The stable orbits that arise in a two-body approximation ignore the influence of other bodies and it was Laplace who found the first answers explaining the remarkable dance of the Galilean moons. It is fair to say that this field of study has remained very active since then. Before Newton, there was consideration of ratios and proportions in orbital motions, in what was called the music of the spheres. In general, a resonance may involve one or any combination of the orbit parameters. Act on any scale from short term, commensurable with the orbit periods, to secular. Lead to either long-term stabilization of the orbits or be the cause of their destabilization, a mean-motion orbital resonance occurs when two bodies have periods of revolution that are a simple integer ratio of each other. Depending on the details, this can either stabilize or destabilize the orbit, stabilization may occur when the two bodies move in such a synchronised fashion that they never closely approach. For instance, The orbits of Pluto and the plutinos are stable, despite crossing that of the much larger Neptune, the resonance ensures that, when they approach perihelion and Neptunes orbit, Neptune is consistently distant. Other Neptune-crossing bodies that were not in resonance were ejected from that region by strong perturbations due to Neptune. There are also smaller but significant groups of resonant trans-Neptunian objects occupying the 1,1,3,5,4,7,1,2 and 2,5 resonances, among others, with respect to Neptune. In the asteroid belt beyond 3.5 AU from the Sun, orbital resonances can also destabilize one of the orbits. For small bodies, destabilization is actually far more likely, for instance, In the asteroid belt within 3.5 AU from the Sun, the major mean-motion resonances with Jupiter are locations of gaps in the asteroid distribution, the Kirkwood gaps
17.
Trojan (astronomy)
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In astronomy, a trojan is a minor planet or moon that shares the orbit of a planet or larger moon, wherein the trojan remains in the same, stable position relative to the larger object. In particular, a trojan remains near one of the two points of stability – designated L4 and L5 – which lie approximately 60° ahead of and behind the larger body. Trojan points make up two of five types of Lagrangian points, and a trojan is a type of Lagrangian object and they are one type of co-orbital object. In this arrangement, the star and the smaller planet orbit about their common barycenter. A much smaller mass located at one of the Lagrangian points is subject to a gravitational force that acts through this barycenter. Hence the object can orbit around the barycenter with the orbital period as the planet. The Jupiter trojans account for most known trojans in the Solar System and they are divided into the Greek camp in front of and the Trojan camp trailing behind Jupiter in their orbit. Numerical calculations of the dynamics involved indicate that Saturn and Uranus probably do not have any primordial trojans. The discovery of the first Earth trojan,2010 TK7, was announced by NASA in 2011, unlike trojan minor planets that share the orbit with a planet, a trojan moon is a moon orbiting near the trojan point of another, larger moon. All known trojan moons are part of the Saturn system, telesto and Calypso are trojans of Tethys, and Helene and Polydeuces of Dione. There is also a concept of a trojan planet, a planet that orbits at the trojan point of another, larger planet. Such a pair of co-orbital exoplanets was already thought to exist in another star system, in 1772, the Italian–French mathematician and astronomer Joseph-Louis Lagrange obtained two constant-pattern solutions of the general three-body problem. In the restricted problem, with one mass negligible, the five possible positions of that mass are now termed Lagrangian points. The term trojan originally referred to the asteroids that orbit close to the Lagrangian points of Jupiter. These have long been named after characters from the Trojan War of Greek mythology, there are two exceptions, which were named before the convention was put in place, the Greek-themed 617 Patroclus and the Trojan-themed 624 Hektor, which were assigned to the wrong sides. Astronomers estimate that the Jupiter trojans are about as numerous as the asteroids of the asteroid belt, later on, objects were found orbiting near the Lagrangian points of Neptune, Mars, Earth, Uranus, and Venus. Minor planets at the Lagrangian points of other than Jupiter may be called Lagrangian minor planets. 17 Neptune trojans are known, but large Neptune trojans are expected to outnumber the large Jupiter trojans by an order of magnitude,2010 TK7 was confirmed to be the first known Earth trojan in 2011
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Asteroid family
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An asteroid family is a population of asteroids that share similar proper orbital elements, such as semimajor axis, eccentricity, and orbital inclination. The members of the families are thought to be fragments of past asteroid collisions, an asteroid family is a more specific term than asteroid group whose members, while sharing some broad orbital characteristics, may be otherwise unrelated to each other. Large prominent families contain several hundred recognized asteroids, small, compact families can have only about ten identified members. About 33% to 35% of asteroids in the belt are family members. There are about 20 to 30 reliably recognized families, with tens of less certain groupings. One family has been identified associated with the dwarf planet Haumea, some studies have tried to find evidence of collisional families among the trojan asteroids, but at present the evidence is inconclusive. The families are thought to form as a result of collisions between asteroids, in many or most cases the parent body was shattered, but there are also several families which resulted from a large cratering event which did not disrupt the parent body. Such cratering families typically consist of a large body and a swarm of asteroids that are much smaller. Some families have complex structures which are not satisfactorily explained at the moment. Due to the method of origin, all the members have closely matching compositions for most families, notable exceptions are those families which formed from a large differentiated parent body. Asteroid families are thought to have lifetimes of the order of a billion years and this is significantly shorter than the Solar Systems age, so few if any are relics of the early Solar System. Such small asteroids then become subject to such as the Yarkovsky effect that can push them towards orbital resonances with Jupiter over time. Once there, they are relatively rapidly ejected from the asteroid belt, tentative age estimates have been obtained for some families, ranging from hundreds of millions of years to less than several million years as for the compact Karin family. Old families are thought to contain few small members, and this is the basis of the age determinations and it is supposed that many very old families have lost all the smaller and medium-sized members, leaving only a few of the largest intact. A suggested example of old family remains are the 9 Metis and 113 Amalthea pair. Further evidence for a number of past families comes from analysis of chemical ratios in iron meteorites. These show that there must have once been at least 50 to 100 parent bodies large enough to be differentiated, when the orbital elements of main belt asteroids are plotted, a number of distinct concentrations are seen against the rather uniform background distribution of generic asteroids. These concentrations are the asteroid families, the proper elements are related constants of motion that remain almost constant for times of at least tens of millions of years, and perhaps longer
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Ecliptic
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The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere, and is the basis for the ecliptic coordinate system. It also refers to the plane of this path, which is coplanar with the orbit of Earth around the Sun, the motions as described above are simplifications. Due to the movement of Earth around the Earth–Moon center of mass, due to further perturbations by the other planets of the Solar System, the Earth–Moon barycenter wobbles slightly around a mean position in a complex fashion. The ecliptic is actually the apparent path of the Sun throughout the course of a year, because Earth takes one year to orbit the Sun, the apparent position of the Sun also takes the same length of time to make a complete circuit of the ecliptic. With slightly more than 365 days in one year, the Sun moves a little less than 1° eastward every day, again, this is a simplification, based on a hypothetical Earth that orbits at uniform speed around the Sun. The actual speed with which Earth orbits the Sun varies slightly during the year, for example, the Sun is north of the celestial equator for about 185 days of each year, and south of it for about 180 days. The variation of orbital speed accounts for part of the equation of time, if the equator is projected outward to the celestial sphere, forming the celestial equator, it crosses the ecliptic at two points known as the equinoxes. The Sun, in its apparent motion along the ecliptic, crosses the equator at these points, one from south to north. The crossing from south to north is known as the equinox, also known as the first point of Aries. The crossing from north to south is the equinox or descending node. Likewise, the ecliptic itself is not fixed, the gravitational perturbations of the other bodies of the Solar System cause a much smaller motion of the plane of Earths orbit, and hence of the ecliptic, known as planetary precession. The combined action of two motions is called general precession, and changes the position of the equinoxes by about 50 arc seconds per year. Once again, this is a simplification, periodic motions of the Moon and apparent periodic motions of the Sun cause short-term small-amplitude periodic oscillations of Earths axis, and hence the celestial equator, known as nutation. Obliquity of the ecliptic is the used by astronomers for the inclination of Earths equator with respect to the ecliptic. It is about 23. 4° and is currently decreasing 0.013 degrees per hundred years due to planetary perturbations, the angular value of the obliquity is found by observation of the motions of Earth and other planets over many years. From 1984, the Jet Propulsion Laboratorys DE series of computer-generated ephemerides took over as the ephemeris of the Astronomical Almanac. Obliquity based on DE200, which analyzed observations from 1911 to 1979, was calculated, jPLs fundamental ephemerides have been continually updated. J. Laskar computed an expression to order T10 good to 0″. 04/1000 years over 10,000 years, all of these expressions are for the mean obliquity, that is, without the nutation of the equator included
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Palomar Observatory
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Palomar Observatory is an astronomical observatory located in San Diego County, California, United States,145 kilometers southeast of Los Angeles, California, in the Palomar Mountain Range. It is owned and operated by the California Institute of Technology located in Pasadena, research time is granted to Caltech and its research partners, which include the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Cornell University. The observatory operates several telescopes, including the famous 200-inch Hale Telescope, astronomer George Ellery Hale, whose vision created the Palomar Observatory, built the worlds largest telescope four times. He published an article in the April 1928 issue of Harpers Magazine called The Possibilities of Large Telescopes, Hale hoped that the American people would understand and support his project. Hale followed this article with a letter to the International Education Board of the Rockefeller Foundation dated April 28,1928, in his letter, Hale stated, No method of advancing science is so productive as the development of new and more powerful instruments and methods of research. The 200-inch telescope is named after astronomer George Hale and it was built by Caltech with a $6 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, using a Pyrex blank manufactured by Corning Glass Works. Anderson was the project manager assigned in the early 1940s. The telescope saw first light January 26,1949 targeting NGC2261, the American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble, perhaps the most important observer of the 20th century, was given the honor of being the first astronomer to use the telescope. Astronomers using the Hale Telescope have discovered distant objects at the edges of the universe called quasars and have given us the first direct evidence of stars in distant galaxies. They have studied the structure and chemistry of intergalactic clouds, leading to an understanding of the synthesis of elements in the universe, porter worked on the designs in collaboration with many engineers and Caltech committee members. The gleaming white building on Palomar Mountain that houses the 200–inch Hale Telescope is considered by many to be The Cathedral of Astronomy, the 200-inch Hale Telescope was first proposed in 1928 and has been operational since 1948. It was the largest telescope in the world for 45 years, a 60-inch reflecting telescope is located in the Oscar Mayer Building. It was dedicated in 1970 to take some of the load off of the Hale Telescope and this telescope was used to discover the first brown dwarf star. The 48-inch Samuel Oschin Telescope was started in 1938 and installed in 1948 and it was initially called the 48–inch Schmidt, and was dedicated to Samuel Oschin in 1986. The dwarf planet Eris was discovered using this instrument, the existence of Eris triggered the discussions in the international astronomy community that led to Pluto being re-classified as a dwarf planet. An 18-inch Schmidt camera became the first operational telescope at the Palomar in 1936, in the 1930s, Fritz Zwicky, a Caltech astronomer, discovered over 100 supernovae in other galaxies with this telescope and gathered the first evidence for dark matter. Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 was discovered with this instrument in 1993 and it has since been retired and is on display at the small museum/visitor center. The Palomar Testbed Interferometer was an instrument that permitted astronomers to make very high resolution measurements of the sizes
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Lightcurve
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In astronomy, a light curve is a graph of light intensity of a celestial object or region, as a function of time. The light is usually in a particular frequency interval or band, the study of the light curve, together with other observations, can yield considerable information about the physical process that produces it or constrain the physical theories about it. Light waves can also be used in botany to determine a plants reactions to light intensities, in astronomy, light curves from a supernova are used to determine what type of supernova it is. If the supernovas light curve has a maximum and slopes down gradually. If the supernovas light curve has a sharp maximum, slopes down quickly. In planetary science, a curve can be used to derive the rotation period of a minor planet, moon. Thus, astronomers measure the amount of produced by an object as a function of time. The time separation of peaks in the curve gives an estimate of the rotational period of the object. The difference between the maximum and minimum brightnesses can be due to the shape of the object, or to bright, for example, an asymmetrical asteroids light curve generally has more pronounced peaks, while a more spherical objects light curve will be flatter. The Asteroid Lightcurve Database of the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link uses a code to assess the quality of a period solution for minor planet light curves. Its quality code parameter U ranges from 0 to 3, U =0 → Result later proven incorrect U =1 → Result based on fragmentary light curve, U =2 → Result based on less than full coverage. Period may be wrong by 30 percent or ambiguous, U =3 → Secure result within the precision given. A trailing plus sign or minus sign is used to indicate a slightly better or worse quality than the unsigned value. In botany, a light curve shows the response of leaf tissue or algal communities to varying light intensities. Since photosynthesis is limited by ambient carbon dioxide levels, light curves are often repeated at several different constant carbon dioxide concentrations. The AAVSO online light curve generator can plot light curves for thousands of variable stars Lightcurves, An Introduction by NASAs Imagine the Universe
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Magnitude (astronomy)
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In astronomy, magnitude is a logarithmic measure of the brightness of an object, measured in a specific wavelength or passband, usually in the visible or near-infrared spectrum. An imprecise but systematic determination of the magnitude of objects was introduced in ancient times by Hipparchus, astronomers use two different definitions of magnitude, apparent magnitude and absolute magnitude. This distance is 10 parsecs for stars and 1 astronomical unit for planets, a minor planets size is typically estimated based on its absolute magnitude in combination with its presumed albedo. The brighter an object appears, the lower the value of its magnitude, with the brightest objects reaching negative values. The Sun has an apparent magnitude of −27, the full moon −13, the brightest planet Venus measures −5, and Sirius, an apparent magnitude can also be assigned to man-made objects in Earth orbit. The brightest satellite flares are ranked at −9, and the International Space Station, ISS, the scale is logarithmic, and defined such that each step of one magnitude changes the brightness by a factor of the fifth root of 100, or approximately 2.512. For example, a magnitude 1 star is exactly a hundred times brighter than a magnitude 6 star, the magnitude system dates back roughly 2000 years to the Greek astronomer Hipparchus who classified stars by their apparent brightness, which they saw as size. To the unaided eye, a prominent star such as Sirius or Arcturus appears larger than a less prominent star such as Mizar. For all the other Stars, which are seen by the Help of a Telescope. Note that the brighter the star, the smaller the magnitude, Bright first magnitude stars are 1st-class stars, the system was a simple delineation of stellar brightness into six distinct groups but made no allowance for the variations in brightness within a group. He concluded that first magnitude stars measured 2 arc minutes in apparent diameter, with second through sixth magnitude stars measuring 1 1⁄2′, 1 1⁄12′, 3⁄4′, 1⁄2′, the development of the telescope showed that these large sizes were illusory—stars appeared much smaller through the telescope. However, early telescopes produced a spurious disk-like image of a star that was larger for brighter stars, early photometric measurements demonstrated that first magnitude stars are about 100 times brighter than sixth magnitude stars. Thus in 1856 Norman Pogson of Oxford proposed that a scale of 5√100 ≈2.512 be adopted between magnitudes, so five magnitude steps corresponded precisely to a factor of 100 in brightness. Every interval of one magnitude equates to a variation in brightness of 5√100 or roughly 2.512 times. Consequently, a first magnitude star is about 2.5 times brighter than a second star,2.52 brighter than a third magnitude star,2.53 brighter than a fourth magnitude star. This is the modern system, which measures the brightness, not the apparent size. Using this logarithmic scale, it is possible for a star to be brighter than “first class”, so Arcturus or Vega are magnitude 0, and Sirius is magnitude −1.46. As mentioned above, the scale appears to work in reverse, the larger the negative value, the brighter
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Light curve
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In astronomy, a light curve is a graph of light intensity of a celestial object or region, as a function of time. The light is usually in a particular frequency interval or band, the study of the light curve, together with other observations, can yield considerable information about the physical process that produces it or constrain the physical theories about it. Light waves can also be used in botany to determine a plants reactions to light intensities, in astronomy, light curves from a supernova are used to determine what type of supernova it is. If the supernovas light curve has a maximum and slopes down gradually. If the supernovas light curve has a sharp maximum, slopes down quickly. In planetary science, a curve can be used to derive the rotation period of a minor planet, moon. Thus, astronomers measure the amount of produced by an object as a function of time. The time separation of peaks in the curve gives an estimate of the rotational period of the object. The difference between the maximum and minimum brightnesses can be due to the shape of the object, or to bright, for example, an asymmetrical asteroids light curve generally has more pronounced peaks, while a more spherical objects light curve will be flatter. The Asteroid Lightcurve Database of the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link uses a code to assess the quality of a period solution for minor planet light curves. Its quality code parameter U ranges from 0 to 3, U =0 → Result later proven incorrect U =1 → Result based on fragmentary light curve, U =2 → Result based on less than full coverage. Period may be wrong by 30 percent or ambiguous, U =3 → Secure result within the precision given. A trailing plus sign or minus sign is used to indicate a slightly better or worse quality than the unsigned value. In botany, a light curve shows the response of leaf tissue or algal communities to varying light intensities. Since photosynthesis is limited by ambient carbon dioxide levels, light curves are often repeated at several different constant carbon dioxide concentrations. The AAVSO online light curve generator can plot light curves for thousands of variable stars Lightcurves, An Introduction by NASAs Imagine the Universe