# Celestial mechanics

**celestialcelestial dynamicscelestial mechaniciandynamicistMécanique Célestecalculated orbitscelestial mechaniccelestial mechanicianscelestial motioncelestial motions**

Celestial mechanics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the motions of objects in outer space.wikipedia

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### Pierre-Simon Laplace

**LaplacePierre Simon LaplacePierre-Simon de Laplace**

The term "dynamics" came in a little later with Gottfried Leibniz, and over a century after Newton, Pierre-Simon Laplace introduced the term "celestial mechanics."

He summarized and extended the work of his predecessors in his five-volume Mécanique Céleste (Celestial Mechanics) (1799–1825).

### Isaac Newton

**NewtonSir Isaac NewtonNewtonian**

Modern analytic celestial mechanics started with Isaac Newton's Principia of 1687. Kepler's model greatly improved the accuracy of predictions of planetary motion, years before Isaac Newton developed his law of gravitation in 1686. (It is closely related to methods used in numerical analysis, which are ancient.) The earliest use of modern perturbation theory was to deal with the otherwise unsolvable mathematical problems of celestial mechanics: Newton's solution for the orbit of the Moon, which moves noticeably differently from a simple Keplerian ellipse because of the competing gravitation of the Earth and the Sun.

He demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles.

### Astronomy

**astronomicalastronomerastronomers**

Celestial mechanics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the motions of objects in outer space.

It was Isaac Newton, with his invention of celestial dynamics and his law of gravitation, who finally explained the motions of the planets.

### Joseph-Louis Lagrange

**LagrangeJoseph Louis LagrangeJoseph Lagrange**

After Newton, Lagrange (25 January 1736–10 April 1813) attempted to solve the three-body problem, analyzed the stability of planetary orbits, and discovered the existence of the Lagrangian points.

He made significant contributions to the fields of analysis, number theory, and both classical and celestial mechanics.

### George William Hill

**HillG. W. HillGeorge Hill**

In 1877, assisted by George William Hill, he recalculated all the major astronomical constants.

Working independently and largely in isolation from the wider scientific community, he made major contributions to celestial mechanics and to the theory of ordinary differential equations.

### Newton's law of universal gravitation

**law of universal gravitationuniversal gravitationNewtonian gravity**

Kepler's model greatly improved the accuracy of predictions of planetary motion, years before Isaac Newton developed his law of gravitation in 1686.

He points instead to the idea of "compounding the celestial motions" and the conversion of Newton's thinking away from "centrifugal" and towards "centripetal" force as Hooke's significant contributions.

### Ephemeris

**ephemeridesAstronomical Ephemerisastronomical table**

Historically, celestial mechanics applies principles of physics (classical mechanics) to astronomical objects, such as stars and planets, to produce ephemeris data.

Typically, such ephemerides cover several centuries, past and future; the future ones can be covered because the field of celestial mechanics has developed several accurate theories.

### Tests of general relativity

**confirmedanomalous precessionclassical tests of general relativity**

Albert Einstein (14 March 1879–18 April 1955) explained the anomalous precession of Mercury's perihelion in his 1916 paper The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity.

This anomalous rate of precession of the perihelion of Mercury's orbit was first recognized in 1859 as a problem in celestial mechanics, by Urbain Le Verrier.

### Lagrangian point

**Lagrange pointLagrange pointsLagrangian points**

After Newton, Lagrange (25 January 1736–10 April 1813) attempted to solve the three-body problem, analyzed the stability of planetary orbits, and discovered the existence of the Lagrangian points.

In celestial mechanics, the Lagrangian points ( also Lagrange points, L-points, or libration points) are the points near two large bodies in orbit where a smaller object will maintain its position relative to the large orbiting bodies.

### Numerical analysis

**numerical methodsnumericalnumerical computation**

(It is closely related to methods used in numerical analysis, which are ancient.) The earliest use of modern perturbation theory was to deal with the otherwise unsolvable mathematical problems of celestial mechanics: Newton's solution for the orbit of the Moon, which moves noticeably differently from a simple Keplerian ellipse because of the competing gravitation of the Earth and the Sun.

For example, ordinary differential equations appear in celestial mechanics (predicting the motions of planets, stars and galaxies); numerical linear algebra is important for data analysis; stochastic differential equations and Markov chains are essential in simulating living cells for medicine and biology.

### Perturbation theory

**perturbationperturbationsperturbative**

(It is closely related to methods used in numerical analysis, which are ancient.) The earliest use of modern perturbation theory was to deal with the otherwise unsolvable mathematical problems of celestial mechanics: Newton's solution for the orbit of the Moon, which moves noticeably differently from a simple Keplerian ellipse because of the competing gravitation of the Earth and the Sun. Perturbation theory comprises mathematical methods that are used to find an approximate solution to a problem which cannot be solved exactly.

The earliest use of what would now be called perturbation theory was to deal with the otherwise unsolvable mathematical problems of celestial mechanics: for example the orbit of the Moon, which moves noticeably differently from a simple Keplerian ellipse because of the competing gravitation of the Earth and the Sun.

### Orbital mechanics

**astrodynamicsastrodynamicistorbital dynamics**

Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics is the application of ballistics and celestial mechanics to the practical problems concerning the motion of rockets and other spacecraft.

### Orbital elements

**orbital parametersorbital elementKeplerian elements**

In celestial mechanics these elements are generally considered in classical two-body systems, where a Kepler orbit is used.

### Numerical model of the Solar System

**computer modelsNumerical model of solar systemnumerical models**

Attempts to create such a model established the more general field of celestial mechanics.

### Tidal force

**tidal forcestidaltidal effects**

In celestial mechanics, the expression tidal force can refer to a situation in which a body or material (for example, tidal water) is mainly under the gravitational influence of a second body (for example, the Earth), but is also perturbed by the gravitational effects of a third body (for example, the Moon).

### Classical mechanics

**Newtonian mechanicsNewtonian physicsclassical**

Historically, celestial mechanics applies principles of physics (classical mechanics) to astronomical objects, such as stars and planets, to produce ephemeris data.

### N-body problem

**n''-body problemthree-body problemN-body**

A simplification is the n-body problem, where the problem assumes some number n of spherically symmetric masses.

### Astrometry

**astrometricastrometristastrometrical**

Apart from the fundamental function of providing astronomers with a reference frame to report their observations in, astrometry is also fundamental for fields like celestial mechanics, stellar dynamics and galactic astronomy.

### Scholarpedia

* Encyclopedia:Celestial mechanics Scholarpedia Expert articles

Currently seven of these are described as "focal areas": Astrophysics, Celestial mechanics, Computational neuroscience, Computational intelligence, Dynamical systems, Physics and Touch - but a further 12 include such diverse areas such as Play Science and Models of brain disorders.

### Orbit

**orbitsorbital motionplanetary motion**

Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics is the application of ballistics and celestial mechanics to the practical problems concerning the motion of rockets and other spacecraft.

### Motion

**movementMotion (physics)locomotion**

Celestial mechanics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the motions of objects in outer space.

### Astronomical object

**celestial bodiescelestial bodycelestial object**

Celestial mechanics is the branch of astronomy that deals with the motions of objects in outer space.

### Physics

**physicistphysicalphysicists**

Historically, celestial mechanics applies principles of physics (classical mechanics) to astronomical objects, such as stars and planets, to produce ephemeris data.

### Star

**starsstellarmassive star**

### Planet

**planetsFormer classification of planetsplanemo**