Orbital Mechanics: Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Tourbillon Universal Time With “Orbiting” Flying Tourbillon
Quill and Pad
What is an orbit? According to NASA, “an orbit is a regular, repeating path that one object in space takes around another one.” The key words there are “in space.”
Newton’s First Law states, “. . . an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” It’s sort of like a merry-go-round, but one with just horses and empty space.
The difference between one object orbiting another, like satellites or the moon around the earth, and an object simply rotating regularly around another, like a car around a circular track or a ball swung on a rope around your head, is that in an orbit the unbalanced force is provided by gravity rather than mechanical means like rope or friction of tires on a track.
Or the dial of a watch.