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# Orbital Mechanics: Eccentricity and Semi-Major Axis

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@ModestClarity

### What is Semi-Major Axis? Is it variable?

Size of the orbit; Variable: a; Range: 0 to ∞

### Semi-Major Axis is measured from what to what?

From Perigee to Halfway to Apogee

### What is Eccentricity? Is it variable? What is its range?

Shape of the orbit; Variable: e; Range: 0 to ∞

### Eccentricity describes how far the occupied focus is from the center of what?

<p>The ellipse</p> Signup and view all the answers

### Describe the following eccentricity values: e=0.

<p>Circular orbit</p> Signup and view all the answers

### Describe the following eccentricity values: e>0.

<p>Elliptical orbit</p> Signup and view all the answers

## Study Notes

### Semi-Major Axis

• Represents the size of an orbit.
• Denoted as the variable "a."
• Range of values extends from 0 to infinity.
• Measured from the perigee point to halfway to the apogee.

### Eccentricity

• Indicates the shape of an orbit.
• Denoted by the variable "e."
• Ranges from 0 to 1 for elliptical orbits, but can extend to infinity under certain conditions.
• Describes the distance of the occupied focus from the center of the ellipse.

### Eccentricity Values

• e = 0: Represents a perfect circular orbit.
• 0 < e < 1: Indicates an elliptical orbit. Higher values signify more elongated shapes.

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## Description

This quiz covers key concepts in orbital mechanics, focusing on the semi-major axis and eccentricity of orbits. Understand how these variables define the size and shape of planetary orbits. Test your knowledge of how eccentricity affects orbital characteristics.

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