Meteorites pp 133-142 | Cite as


  • John T. Wasson
Part of the Minerals and Rocks book series (MINERALS, volume 10)


Heliocentric orbits are elliptical, with the sun occupying one focus of the ellipse. The long axis of the ellipse is called the major axis; half this distance is a, the semimajor axis. Half of the short axis is b, the semiminor axis. The distance of closest approach to the sun is q, the perihelion, and the distance of greatest recession is Q, the aphelion. The eccentricity of the ellipse, e, is defined by the following relationships:
$$ e\;{\rm{ = }}{\left( {1\; - \;\frac{{{b^2}}}{{{a^2}}}} \right)^{\frac{1}{2}}} = \;{\rm{1 }} - \;q/a{\rm{.}} $$


Orbital Element Ecliptic Plane Lost City Vernal Equinox Proper Element 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© John T. Wasson, Los Angeles 1974

Authors and Affiliations

  • John T. Wasson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Chemistry and Institute of Geophysics and Planetary PhysicsUniversity of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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