
hyperbolas in nature
Posted:
Mar 16, 2003 2:21 PM


Hyperbolas can be found in nature as the orbit of a body in space. For example, Apollow 13's trajectory coming back to the earth while using the gravity of the moon to slingshot it home, was a parabola. Therefore, when two bodies interact gravitationally their orbits are conic sections. The planets and the sun interact permenantly, therefore the planets have elliptical orbits around the sun. Apollo 13 and the moon do not interact permanently, therefore the orbit of Apollo 13 was a hyperbola. The same could probably be said for comets and other heavenly bodies that travel and are affected by the gravities of other bodies during their travesl.

