Sunday, December 08, 2019

In Orbit

Being in the same orbit is not the same as orbiting. That's why we say Earth only has one moon, although there are other bodies that seem to oscillate as they follow the same orbit. They may be affected by Earth's gravity, but don't orbit in the way we associate a moon. Crossing the Earth's orbit, they are closer to the Sun for a good portion of their orbit, before crossing again to be further away.

There are temporary moons. Although they may orbit the Earth, they're only temporarily captured, escaping shortly after. This is only a transient event.

Over half of all the known star systems are binary. That means the stars orbit each other. If they have terrestrial planets capable of supporting life, that must be a stunning view.

Once captured, the massive potential energy of both objects links them. They will spin around each other in an ever quickening spiral. There's no escape. Eventually, in time, the two will become one.