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India's Moon probe enters lunar orbit

India's Chandrayaan 2 spacecraft entered lunar orbit on Tuesday, executing one of the trickiest manoeuvres on its historic mission to the Moon.

Space station's data rate increase supports future exploration

NASA recently doubled the rate at which data from the International Space Station returns to Earth, paving the way for similar future upgrades on Gateway, NASA's upcoming outpost in lunar orbit, and other exploration missions. ...

New finds for Mars rover, seven years after landing

NASA's Curiosity rover has come a long way since touching down on Mars seven years ago. It has traveled a total of 13 miles (21 kilometers) and ascended 1,207 feet (368 meters) to its current location. Along the way, Curiosity ...

New study traces Io's volcanic tides

Hundreds of volcanoes pockmark the surface of Io, the third largest of Jupiter's 78 known moons, and the only body in our solar system other than Earth where widespread volcanism can be observed. The source of the moon's ...

Four new 'hot Jupiters' discovered

Astronomers report the detection of four new "hot Jupiter" exoplanets as part of the WASP-south survey. The newfound alien worlds received designations: WASP-178b, WASP-184b, WASP-185b and WASP-192b. The discovery is detailed ...

NASA targets coastal ecosystems with new space sensor

NASA has selected a space-based instrument under its Earth Venture Instrument (EVI) portfolio that will make observations of coastal waters to help protect ecosystem sustainability, improve resource management, and enhance ...

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In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of one object around a point or another body, for example the gravitational orbit of a planet around a star.

Historically, the apparent motion of the planets were first understood in terms of epicycles, which are the sums of numerous circular motions. This predicted the path of the planets quite well, until Johannes Kepler was able to show that the motion of the planets were in fact elliptical motions.[citation needed] Isaac Newton was able to prove that this was equivalent to an inverse square, instantaneously propagating force he called gravitation.[citation needed] Albert Einstein later was able to show that gravity is due to curvature of space-time, and that orbits lie upon geodesics. This is the current understanding.

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