Math

These Lagrange Points In Space Are Totally Stable

Excited for the August 21 eclipse? Visit our Eclipse 2017 page to explore the science, history, and myths of the event. The Curiosity team will be viewing the eclipse alongside NASA in Carbondale, Illinois. Follow us on Facebook for live videos, trivia, and interviews on the big day.

A Lagrange point represents a very interesting spot in space. They are basically spatial "parking spots", due to the gravitational and centrifugal forces of three bodies in space affecting an area. Named after 18th-century mathematician Joseph-Louis Lagrange, these spots occur around all large bodies in space, such as planets and stars. Each body has three Lagrange points. In the case of Earth, Lagrange points 4 and 5 are stable, and anything placed in them will remain locked there forever. These spots have been mentioned in reference to potential space colony sites, or spaces to place observatories and satellites.

Share the knowledge!

Key Facts In This Video

  1. If objects are at different distances from the sun, they have to move at different speeds. 01:58

  2. The distance between the Earth and the sun is about 150 million kilometers. 03:09

If you liked this you'll love our podcast! Check it out on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play Music, SoundCloud, search 'curiosity' on your favorite podcast app or add the RSS Feed URL.

Advertisement