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Thread: What is this orbit called?

  1. #1

    What is this orbit called?

    I'm currently using the Kethane plugin, along with a bunch of others, and am scanning the Mun looking for good locations for a base.
    I put the scanning satellite into a polar orbit that is (sorta-not-really-but-kinda) tidally locked to the sun, as shown in the attachment, mainly to ensure I scan the whole surface, but also to simulate meeting the energy needs of the scanner. Its constantly in use, so needs to be constantly in the sunlight. OCD? Me? Nah...

    I was just wondering if this sort of orbit had a particular name because I know how astrophysicists love to name stuff. I still can't find Wolf 1 - 358 though...
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  2. #2
    Senior Rocket Scientist bsalis's Avatar
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    Image file name says tidal_lock_polar_orbit.jpg

    Because it's a polar orbit. I'm not sure it's possible to have such an orbit keep it's orbital plane 90 degrees to Kerbin.
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  3. #3
    Yeah the image is my screenshot, I just dont know if thats what the orbit type is actually called.
    Personally I'm hoping its something like a Trans-Perpendicular Eccliptic Bisector or something equally techie and obscure

  4. #4
    E unum pluribus. Vanamonde's Avatar
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    The plane of an orbit is fixed only with respect to the "fixed stars," which is an old term for the part of the skyscape so far away that it appears to be permanently changeless without the use of astronomical instruments. One-quarter of a Kerbin year (whatever that works out to be) later, this orbit will be perpendicular to the sun, so I don't think it has a special name.

  5. #5
    It's simply a polar orbit, as far as I know. Do astrophysicists love naming things that much?
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    Vanned AncientAstronaut's Avatar
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    That's a polar orbit... You're not tidally locked to the sun.....
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Vanamonde View Post
    The plane of an orbit is fixed only with respect to the "fixed stars," which is an old term for the part of the skyscape so far away that it appears to be permanently changeless without the use of astronomical instruments. One-quarter of a Kerbin year (whatever that works out to be) later, this orbit will be perpendicular to the sun, so I don't think it has a special name.
    I thought something like that would happen. Ah well, its a good thing the satellite has an ion engine otherwise I'd need to run a fuel line from KSC
    Quote Originally Posted by Cykyrios View Post
    It's simply a polar orbit, as far as I know. Do astrophysicists love naming things that much?
    Well... maybe not, but I do If I changed the name to Trans-perpendicular Eccliptic Disector I could call it TED. Yeah I'll do that
    Quote Originally Posted by AncientAstronaut View Post
    That's a polar orbit... You're not tidally locked to the sun.....
    Yeah, I know. Hence the "sorta not really but kinda". I don't think the KSP engine does tidal locking anyway, does it?. Or if it did my poor pc would melt in the attempt.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Binky View Post
    I don't think the KSP engine does tidal locking anyway, does it?. Or if it did my poor pc would melt in the attempt.
    Well, it does allow for tidally locked bodies (Kerbin and Mun are tidally locked, just like Earth and our moon), but the process of tidal locking isn't included.

    Seeing how tidal locking occurs due to the friction of fluids or gasses flowing over a body (hence the name 'tidal lock'), caused by it's satellite (or vice versa) it's not possible to tidally lock to the sun or Kerbol with a spaceship.

  9. #9
    If you do the burns necessary to shift your orbit plane accordingl (I believe what you're trying to do is keep shifting your orbit so you stay over the Munar terminator here, yes?), it would be called a sun-synchronous orbit.
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by maltesh View Post
    If you do the burns necessary to shift your orbit plane accordingl (I believe what you're trying to do is keep shifting your orbit so you stay over the Munar terminator here, yes?), it would be called a sun-synchronous orbit.
    Ahh thats what its called. I spent a fair while searching but never included the word "sun" in the search parameters. I'm a twit.
    Reading that, it looks like I can't set up a stable sun-sync orbit even if the game mechanics allowed it, because the Mun isn't oblate. Which just means I'll have to maintain it myself. Oh noes! I have to play KSP regularly. What a shame

    Thanks, everyone

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