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Orbital Elements

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[[File:Orbital Elements Diagram.png|thumb|Diagram showing the four of the six orbital elements used to describe an object's orbit. Source: [[commons:File:Orbit1.svg|Wikimedia Commons]]]]An object's [[orbit]] can be described with six properties, known as its [ orbital elements]. These six properties include:
* the [[Semi-Major Axis]], described the size of the orbit,
* the [[Eccentricity]], describing the shape of the orbit,
* the [[Longitude of the Ascending Node]], two angles describing the orientation of the orbit in space, and
* either the [[True Anomaly]] or the [[Mean Anomaly]], both of which describe the object's position along its orbit.
The orbital elements are calculated relative to the orbitobject's [[barycenter]], the center of mass between the object and its [[Orbital Parent]].
As an alternative to the orbital elements, an object's location and motion in 3D space can also be described with six other properties: the x, y, z components of its [[Position Vector]] and the x, y, z components of its [[Velocity Vector]].
[[Category:Orbital Mechanics]]

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