Projectiles are described by their trajectory, whereas celestial entities or man-made satellites are described by their orbit.
An orbital trajectory is another name for an orbit.
A planet’s orbit around a star, a natural satellite’s orbit around a planet, or an artificial satellite’s orbit around a space object or location like a planet, moon, asteroid, or Lagrange point are all examples of curved trajectories that make up an orbit in celestial mechanics. Orbit often refers to a trajectory that repeats itself on a regular basis, while it can also apply to a non-repeating trajectory. According to Kepler‘s principles of planetary motion, planets and satellites roughly follow elliptic orbits, with the center of mass orbiting at a focal point of the ellipse.
We must analyze a body travelling toward a central body while being affected by a gravitational pull, or a two-body system, in order to comprehend orbital trajectories. We examine the orbital trajectory in the Center of Mass frame of reference to simplify the math and simplify the problem to a one-body problem.
Newtonian physics, which explains gravity as a force obeying an inverse-square rule, can generally mimic orbital motion well. However, a more precise calculation and comprehension of the precise mechanics of orbital motion is provided by Albert Einstein‘s general theory of relativity, which accounts for gravity as being caused by the curvature of spacetime with orbits following geodesics.
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