Sun's position relative to the planets?
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## Sun's position relative to the planets?

#1
July 14th 03, 01:59 PM
 Matthew F Funke external usenet poster Posts: n/a
Sun's position relative to the planets?

I_am_on_Saturn wrote:
Is Sun positioned at the center of the elliptical orbits of all the
planets?

No. It lies at one of the foci of the elliptical orbits. To
describe the shape completely around the Sun, you need two numbers --
the nearest and farthest points, for example, or the distance across the
ellipse's major axis and the ellipse's eccentricity. (Describing the
*position* of that shape in space is somewhat more complex.)

If not so, what is the relative position of
Sun relative to all the planets?

It's massive enough to be considered the center of mass of the entire
Solar System -- but it doesn't lie at the center of the elliptical
orbits. The ellipses all have their perihelions (closest points to the
Sun) at different points around the Sun, and the planes in which they lie
are tilted with respect to one another.
--
-- With Best Regards,
Matthew Funke )
#2
July 14th 03, 02:20 PM
 Greg D. Moore \(Strider\) external usenet poster Posts: n/a
Sun's position relative to the planets?

"I_am_on_Saturn" wrote in message
om...
Hi,

Is Sun positioned at the center of the elliptical orbits of all the
planets?

Keep in mind an ellipse has two "centers" positioned along the semi-major
axis.

The sun is at ONE of these centers.

If so, why would we have to define nearest and farthest
points of planet from Sun? If not so, what is the relative position of
Sun relative to all the planets?

I am trying to get the above information because I am building a Java
applet to show the Solar system and for the purpose of display, I need
to know the relative position of the Sun with respect to the planets.

Saturn

#5
July 15th 03, 01:58 PM
 Matthew F Funke external usenet poster Posts: n/a
Sun's position relative to the planets?

Greg D. Moore \(Strider\) wrote:
"I_am_on_Saturn" wrote:

Is Sun positioned at the center of the elliptical orbits of all the
planets?

Keep in mind an ellipse has two "centers" positioned along the semi-major
axis.

The sun is at ONE of these centers.

Thanks for putting "centers" in quotes. What Strider is referring to
are the *foci* of the ellipse. They are removed from the actual *center*
by a distance equal to one half of the major axis' length times the
eccentricity of the ellipse. For an ellipse that happens to be a perfect
circle, the foci and the center are the same point.
(The "eccentricity" is a measure of the "flatness" of the ellipse.
For ellipses, the eccentricity is a number between zero and one. The
larger the number, the more "squashed" the ellipse. An eccentricity of
zero gives a circle.)
--
-- With Best Regards,
Matthew Funke )
#6
July 15th 03, 02:34 PM
 external usenet poster Posts: n/a
Sun's position relative to the planets?

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