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#

Parabolic orbits

For the case of a parabolic orbit about the Sun, characterized by
, similar analysis to
that in Section 4.11 yields,

Here,
is termed the *parabolic anomaly* and varies between
and
, with the perihelion point corresponding to
. Note that Equation (4.102) is a cubic equation,
possessing a single real root,
that can, in principle, be solved analytically. (See Exercise 19.) However, a numerical
solution is generally more convenient.

Richard Fitzpatrick
2016-03-31