Astrophysics (Index)About

orbit plot

(orbital plot)
(graphic showing the path of an orbit as a line)

The term orbit plot (or orbital plot) is used for a graphic showing a line along the path of an orbit, typically in the frame of reference of the host (main, larger body). It may represent the plane of the orbit (e.g., when the orbit is well-known in three dimensions), or it may represent the projection as observed, e.g., for binary stars and extra-solar planets in which the inclination is not precisely known. It is common to include indications of timing, such as marking points representing fractions of the orbital period.

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