The path or path that a certain body takes through outer space that is also influenced by the different forces of attraction or repulsion caused by a second body. In the field of the solar system, the force of gravity, for example, makes the planets and the earth able to orbit the sun. The orbit is the main subject within the study of celestial mechanics.


What is an orbit?

The orbit is the path that a certain body can travel in outer space , a movement that is caused by the gravitational action that is produced by the different types of stars.



Among the main characteristics that can be observed in an orbit are the following:

  • They have different shapes but they are all elliptical, which means that they have an oval shape.
  • In the case of the planets, the orbits have an almost circular shape .
  • In the orbits you can find different objects such as satellites, moons, planets , asteroids and some artificial devices.
  • In it, objects can orbit each other thanks to the force of gravity .
  • Each of the orbits that exist has its own eccentricity , which is the amount by which an orbital path differs from a perfect circle.
  • They have a number of different important elements such as inclination , eccentricity , mean anomaly , node length , and perihelion argument .


The history of the orbit begins with the mathematics of Johannes Kepler , the founder of the laws of motion of the planets. In its laws it established that the orbits of the planets were elliptical instead of having a circular shape and also said that the speed of the orbits was not constant as previously believed. In addition, he established a relationship between the properties of the orbits of the planets that were around the sun.


There are several types of orbits, each of which has its own set of characteristics . They can be classified depending on their shape, their height relative to the Earth and the area in which they are located in space. The types of orbits that exist are:

  • Terrestrial orbit : this is the one that is around the Earth and that in a repetitive way can describe a path in a closed way around it. In this type of orbit we find another classification:
    • Geostationary orbit : it is known by the name of GEO and has a fixed position with respect to the Earth. In it you can find satellites that seem to be immobile in the sky and in it you can find satellites for telecommunications.
    • Geostationary transfer orbit : it is an elliptical terrestrial orbit far from the stationary one and they are used to transfer a satellite from the launch site to the geostationary orbit.
    • Low terrestrial orbit : located at 2000 kilometers of altitude and in it the satellites travel.
    • Polar orbit : it passes over the poles at a right angle when it crosses the equator.
    • Medium Earth orbit : they are suitable for placing several satellites in them.
  • Interplanetary orbit : it is the one that completely leaves the environment that the Earth has, getting closer to another planet, the sun or in some cases, it is completely far from the solar system .

How the planetary orbit works

The orbits of the planets have the ability to move in the solar system and this can be achieved through the attraction produced by the force of gravity . This is how the planets can move around the sun in a series of elliptical paths . Each of these planets will be able to move depending on the distance that exists with the sun, in such a way that the further they are, the slower they can rotate.

Orbital period

The orbital period is known as the amount of time in which an astronomical object takes to completely complete an orbit around another object. This definition is used in the field of astronomy when it comes to planets or asteroids , which are orbiting the sun. The word is also used to refer to cycles that occur repeatedly in the celestial bodies that are observed from the earth.

Orbit in chemistry

The word orbit is also used in other areas of science . In the field of chemistry the atomic orbital refers to the region and the energetic space that can be located around the atom. It is the place where electrons can be found most frequently and also performs circular movements. The orbits in this case then refer to the movements that electrons can make around the nucleus that are also attracted by the differences in electromagnetic charges .

Eye orbit

In ophthalmology, an eye socket is practically the entire structure that surrounds the eye, the membranes, muscles and bones that make up the eye socket . It is the place where all the soft tissues that are part of the eye are found and it is an important area because it provides security and protection to the organ of sight and the movements it performs. The eye sockets are pear-shaped and located on both sides of the midline of the face.


The main importance of the orbit is that it can place different types of satellites that are responsible for observing the earth, which at the same time turn out to be essential in the search for answers and precise observations in terms of climate , seas , atmosphere and even the inner part of the earth . Satellites can also provide important information on some activities carried out by human beings such as deforestation , and climatic situations such as rising sea levels, erosion and the degree of environmental pollution on the planet.


Earth orbit

The orbit of the Earth is elliptical around the sun, is almost circular and serves to define a two-dimensional plane, which is known as elliptical. It takes approximately 365 days to completely turn the sun and the effect produced by the orbital movement of the earth together with the inclination of the axis of rotation is what gives rise to the formation of the weather stations.

Of the moon

In the case of the moon, it has a circular orbit slightly inclined at 5 ° in the direction of the orbit of the earth. It takes the moon a total time of 27,322 days to complete a complete revolution of the earth and that is why it seems that it is in constant motion. These changes in position are what ultimately form the different phases of the moon.

From Mars

The orbit of the planet Mars is quite eccentric and the distance between this planet and the sun is approximately 42.4 million kilometers. The type of orbit of this planet causes it to have eccentricity . It is an orbit that has large excursions and this causes large temperature changes on the planet.

From Jupiter

Jupiter’s orbit is not actually orbiting the sun like the other planets do. Visually it seems so, but the reality is that Jupiter is larger than the earth and the center of gravity with the sun is farther from the center of it.

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