• Register
PhysicsOverflow is a next-generation academic platform for physicists and astronomers, including a community peer review system and a postgraduate-level discussion forum analogous to MathOverflow.

Welcome to PhysicsOverflow! PhysicsOverflow is an open platform for community peer review and graduate-level Physics discussion.

Please help promote PhysicsOverflow ads elsewhere if you like it.


New printer friendly PO pages!

Migration to Bielefeld University was successful!

Please vote for this year's PhysicsOverflow ads!

Please do help out in categorising submissions. Submit a paper to PhysicsOverflow!

... see more

Tools for paper authors

Submit paper
Claim Paper Authorship

Tools for SE users

Search User
Reclaim SE Account
Request Account Merger
Nativise imported posts
Claim post (deleted users)
Import SE post

Users whose questions have been imported from Physics Stack Exchange, Theoretical Physics Stack Exchange, or any other Stack Exchange site are kindly requested to reclaim their account and not to register as a new user.

Public \(\beta\) tools

Report a bug with a feature
Request a new functionality
404 page design
Send feedback


(propose a free ad)

Site Statistics

146 submissions , 123 unreviewed
3,961 questions , 1,408 unanswered
4,911 answers , 20,872 comments
1,470 users with positive rep
519 active unimported users
More ...

  How can the trajectory of a satellite between the Moon and the Earth be predicted if the initial velocity and position are known?

+ 0 like - 4 dislike

How can this be solved if it is assumed that the satellite does not affect the motion of the Earth and the Moon?

Closed as per community consensus as the post is not graduate-level
asked Aug 18, 2016 in Closed Questions by jovi [ revision history ]
recategorized Feb 17, 2017 by Dilaton

In principle, it could be solved just by solving Newton equation for the case of potential being a sum of two gravitational potentials. Not sure it is a graduate-level question though.

At short times, where the position of the Earth and the Moon can be considered fixed, this is called the restricted 3-body problem, a very classical question exactly solved by Euler 250 years ago. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restricted_3_body_problem

For longer times, one solves it stepwise by using the short time solution, updating the position of Earth and Moon after each time step, e.g., using ephemeris.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ephemeris

Without further information it is hard to tell if this is really a graduate-level question or just an investigation of a curious enthusiast...

Voting to close. 500+ rep users please vote on the closevote in the link if you (dis)agree.

Although not graduate level I find this question interesting and I learned something I did not know. I won't vote to close although strictly speaking, indeed, not graduate level.

@conformal_gk: Closed questions can still be viewed by clicking on the 'Closed Question' category on the side bar (towards the button). They can also be found by search on title key words. They are just no longer on the main menu.

user contributions licensed under cc by-sa 3.0 with attribution required

Your rights