What is orbit?

  • (noun): The (usually elliptical) path described by one celestial body in its revolution about another.
    Example: "He plotted the orbit of the moon"
    Synonyms: celestial orbit
    See also — Additional definitions below


In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System. Orbits of planets are typically elliptical.

Read more about Orbit.

Some articles on orbit:

Comet Hyakutake - Orbit
... When the first calculations of the comet's orbit were made, scientists realized that it was going to pass just 0.1 AU from the Earth on 25 March ... Moreover, the comet's orbit showed that it had last returned to the inner Solar System approximately 17,000 years earlier ...
Orbit - Further Reading
... Theory of Orbit Determination (Cambridge University Press 378 pages 2010) ... Discusses new algorithms for determining the orbits of both natural and artificial celestial bodies ...
2008 In Spaceflight - Orbital Launch Summary - By Orbit
... regime Launches Successes Failures Accidentally Achieved Remarks Low Earth orbit 11 ... to ISS Medium Earth orbit 1 ... Geosynchronous/transfer 0 ... High ...
Apollo 6 - Flight - Orbit
... km) by 194.44-nautical-mile (360.10 km) parking orbit, instead of the planned 100-nautical-mile (190 km) circular orbit ... Then, after the standard two parking orbits to check out the vehicle's readiness for Trans Lunar Injection, the S-IVB failed to restart ... It was decided to use the Service Module engine to raise the spacecraft into a high orbit, as had been done in Apollo 4, in order to complete some of the mission ...
Iterated Function - Abelian Property and Iteration Sequences
... the sequence of values f n(x) is called the orbit of x ... If f n (x) = f n+m (x) for some integer m, the orbit is called a periodic orbit ... The smallest such value of m for a given x is called the period of the orbit ...

More definitions of "orbit":

  • (noun): The path of an electron around the nucleus of an atom.
    Synonyms: electron orbit
  • (verb): Move in an orbit.
    Example: "Electrons orbit the nucleus"
    Synonyms: revolve

Famous quotes containing the word orbit:

    Words can have no single fixed meaning. Like wayward electrons, they can spin away from their initial orbit and enter a wider magnetic field. No one owns them or has a proprietary right to dictate how they will be used.
    David Lehman (b. 1948)

    The human spirit is itself the most wonderful fairy tale that can possibly be. What a magnificent world lies enclosed within our bosoms! No solar orbit hems it in, the inexhaustible wealth of the total visible creation is outweighed by its riches!
    —E.T.A.W. (Ernst Theodor Amadeus Wilhelm)

    “To my thinking” boomed the Professor, begging the question as usual, “the greatest triumph of the human mind was the calculation of Neptune from the observed vagaries of the orbit of Uranus.”
    “And yours,” said the P.B.
    Samuel Beckett (1906–1989)