What is orbit?

  • (verb): Move in an orbit.
    Example: "Electrons orbit the nucleus"
    Synonyms: revolve
    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:

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
... Launches Successes Failures Accidentally Achieved Remarks Low Earth orbit 11 ... to ISS Medium Earth orbit 1 ... Geosynchronous/transfer 25 ...
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 ...
Apollo 6 - Flight - Orbit
... (173.14 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 objectives ...
Iterated Function - Abelian Property and Iteration Sequences
... X, the sequence of values f n(x) is called the orbit of x ... (x) = f n+m (x) for some integer m, the orbit is called a periodic orbit ... 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
  • (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

Famous quotes containing the word orbit:

    “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)

    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)

    The Fitchburg Railroad touches the pond about a hundred rods south of where I dwell. I usually go to the village along its causeway, and am, as it were, related to society by this link. The men on the freight trains, who go over the whole length of the road, bow to me as to an old acquaintance, they pass me so often, and apparently they take me for an employee; and so I am. I too would fain be a track-repairer somewhere in the orbit of the earth.
    Henry David Thoreau (1817–1862)