Lagrangian points

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Lagrangian points

(lă-grayn -jee-ăn) Five locations in space where a small body can maintain a stable orbit despite the gravitational influence of two much more massive bodies, orbiting about a common center of mass. They are named after the French mathematician J.L. Lagrange who first suggested their existence in 1772. A Lagrangian point 60° ahead of Jupiter in its orbit around the Sun, and another 60° behind Jupiter, are the average locations of members of the Trojan group of asteroids; these points are denoted L4 and L5. The three other Lagrangian points in the Sun–Jupiter gravitational field do not permit stable asteroid orbits owing to the perturbing influence of the other planets. In any system these three points lie on the line joining the centers of mass of the two massive bodies and are denoted L1 (the inner Lagrangian point) and L2 and L3 (the outer Lagrangian points); small bodies here would be in unstable equilibrium (see equipotential surfaces).

Lagrangian points

[lə′grän·jē·ən ‚poins]
(astronomy)
Five points in the orbital plane of two massive objects orbiting about a common center of gravity at which a third object of negligible mass can remain in equilibrium; three points of instable equilibrium are located on the line passing through the centers of mass of the two bodies, and two points of stable equilibrium are located in the orbit of the less massive body, 60° ahead of or behind it.
References in periodicals archive ?
Such objects typically remain gravitationally trapped for relatively short periods (1,000-100,000 years) and eventually switch to one or other Lagrangian point, or are even ejected altogether thereby losing their Trojan status.
It arrived at what is called a Lagrangian point, where it will stay till the end of next year to conduct scientific observations and test deep space tracking and control capability for future possible explorations of Jupiter and the poles of the Sun.
But with the craft back under human control, project members plan to fire its rocket to direct it into a holding pattern near the first Lagrangian point, roughly 1.
5 million kilometers away from the Earth's surface over the next 85 days, to reach what is called the Lagrangian Point.
5 million km beyond Earth's orbit called as the L2 Lagrangian point.
The spacecraft are traveling on separate trajectories to a point in the Earth-Sun system called the second Lagrangian point, four times farther away than the moon's orbit, or an average distance of 1.
The Planck satellite will be placed at the second Lagrangian point of the Sun-Earth-Moon system (L2), located about 1.
Around the Earth-Sun L Lagrangian point, the elderly SOHO and ACE sentinels monitor the Sun.
The mirror segments will have to be focusable at a temperature of 40 kelvins, with the telescope working behind a sunshield near the Earth-Sun L2 Lagrangian point a million miles toward midnight.
They will take a 21/2-hour ride together on an Ariane rocket to Earth orbit, where they will then part, each heading separately to the vicinity of the L2 Lagrangian point, 1.
After launch, the 2-ton satellite will travel for one month to the LZ Lagrangian point of the Earth-Sun system, which lies 1.
5-meter James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) at the L2 Earth-Sun Lagrangian point.