Those statements while correct can be misleading. There's no simple word to name the orbit. You can think of it as an ellipse that precesses.I have been trying to understand Mercury's orbit and find statements to the effect that its orbit can't be defined by a single equation. If it isn't an ellipse, then what is it?
No. You are on the wrong path. This is a general relativistic effect and you'd need general relativity to solve it. The equation of an ellipse that you posted cannot be used to find the precession of Mercury.Thank you Pmb. I have looked at several sources of information regarding this subject and found 'space.com/36-mercury-the-suns-closest-planetary-neighbor.html' to be the best and most complete.
I concluded that if the classical effects of all other solar system bodies, except the Sun and Mercury, were removed from Mercury's orbital equation, then Mercury's orbit would be a perfect ellipse with the equation
x^2/A^2 + y^2/B^2 = 1
Where A and B are ellipse Parameters and 2*pi*B = ellipse perimeter length.
And that equation could be used to determine the amount relativistic effects contribute to the precession of Mercury's orbit.
Am I on the right path?
??? 43 arc-sec from where the axis of the ellipse was the previous year. That is what 'precession' means.Pmb and Woody, apparently i have been too vague about what i want to do. Obviously the ellipse equation i posted will not directly produce the 43 arc-seconds per century for the precession of Mercury's orbit attributed to GR. However, the posted equation can be used to describe Mercury's orbit in the absence of all Solar system bodies except the Sun and Mercury. Then from that base, the changes due only to GR can be determined. I need to know 43" from what?