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In astrodynamics, an orbiting body is any physical body that orbits a more massive one, called the primary body. The orbiting body is properly referred to as the secondary body (),[1] which is less massive than the primary body ().

Thus, or .

Under standard assumptions in astrodynamics, the barycenter of the two bodies is a focus of both orbits.

An orbiting body may be a spacecraft (i.e. an artificial satellite) or astronomical object, such as a planet, dwarf planet, moon, moonlet, asteroid, or comet.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Dictionary of Technical Terms for Aerospace Use". NASA. Retrieved 2010-05-11.