• WordNet 3.6
    • v orbit move in an orbit "The moon orbits around the Earth","The planets are orbiting the sun","electrons orbit the nucleus"
    • n orbit an area in which something acts or operates or has power or control: "the range of a supersonic jet" "a piano has a greater range than the human voice","the ambit of municipal legislation","within the compass of this article","within the scope of an investigation","outside the reach of the law","in the political orbit of a world power"
    • n orbit the bony cavity in the skull containing the eyeball
    • n orbit the (usually elliptical) path described by one celestial body in its revolution about another "he plotted the orbit of the moon"
    • n orbit the path of an electron around the nucleus of an atom
    • n orbit a particular environment or walk of life "his social sphere is limited","it was a closed area of employment","he's out of my orbit"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: It takes the Hubble telescope about 97 minutes to complete an orbit of the Earth. On average, the Hubble uses the equivilent amount of energy as 30 household light bulbs to complete an orbit.
    • Orbit An orb or ball. "Roll the lucid orbit of an eye."
    • Orbit (Anat) The cavity or socket of the skull in which the eye and its appendages are situated.
    • Orbit (Astron) The path described by a heavenly body in its periodical revolution around another body; as, the orbit of Jupiter, of the earth, of the moon.
    • Orbit (Zoöl) The skin which surrounds the eye of a bird.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: It takes approximately 12 years for Jupiter to orbit the sun
    • n orbit Track; course; path, especially a path, as that in a circle or an ellipse, which returns into itself; specifically, in astronomy, the path of a planet or comet; the curve-line which a planet describes in its periodical revolution round its central body or center of revolution: as, the orbit of Jupiter or Mercury. The orbits of the planets are elliptical, having the sun in one of the foci; and they all move in these ellipses by this law—that a straight line drawn from the center of the sun to the center of any one of them, termed the radius vector, always describes equal areas in equal times. Also, the squares of the times of the planetary revolutions are as the cubes of their mean distances from the sun. These are called Kepler's laws (see law). The attractions of the planets for one another slightly derange these laws, and cause the orbits to undergo various changes. The satellites, too, move in elliptical orbits, having their respective primaries in one of the foci. The parabolic and hyperbolic paths of comets are also called orbits. The elements of an orbit are those quantities by which its position and magnitude for the time are determined, such as the major axis and eccentricity, the longitude of the node and the inclination of the plane to the ecliptic, and the longitude of the perihelion. In the ancient astronomy the orbit of a planet is its eccentric or the deferent of its epicycle.
    • n orbit A small orb, globe, or ball.
    • n orbit In anatomy and zoology, the bony cavity of the skull which contains the eye; the eye-socket. In man the orbits are a pair of quadrilateral pyramidal cavities completely surrounded by bone, and separated from though communicating with the cranial cavity and the nasal and temporal fossæ, and opening forward upon the face, with the apex at the optic foramen where the optic nerve enters. Seven bones enter into the formation of each orbit, the frontal, sphenoid, ethmoid, maxillary, palatal, lacrymal, and malar, of which the first-named three are common to both orbits. Each orbit communicates with surrounding cavities by several openings, the principal of which are—with the cranial cavity by the optic foramen and sphenoidal fissure; with the nasal fossæ by the lacrymal canal; with the temporal and zygomatic fossæ by the sphenomaxillary fissure; with ethmoidal parts by the anterior and posterior ethmoidal foramina; and with the face by supra-orbital, infra-orbital, extra-orbital, and malar foramina. The orbit contains the eye and its associate muscular, vascular, glandular, sustentacular, mucous, and nervous structures.
    • n orbit In ornithology, the orbita, or circumorbital region of a bird's head; the skin of the eyelids and adjoining parts.
    • n orbit In entomology, the border surrounding the compound eye of an insect, especially when it forms a raised ring, or differs in color or texture from the rest of the head. In Diptera the different parts of this border are distinguished as the anterior or facial orbit, the inferior or genal, the posterior or occipital, the superior or vertical, and the frontal, according to the regions of the head of which they form a part. When not otherwise stated, orbit generally means the inner margin of the eye, or that formed by the epicranium.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Earth orbits the Sun at a speed of about 108,000 km per hour
    • n Orbit or′bit the path in which one of the heavenly bodies, as a planet, moves round another, as the sun: the hollow in the bone in which the eyeball rests—also Or′bita: the skin round the eye
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. orbita, a track or rut made by a wheel, course, circuit, fr. orbis, a circle: cf. F. orbite,. See 2d Orb
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. orbitaorbis, a ring.


In literature:

Up in Hampstead the world seemed to wheel in its orbit more tranquilly than in the feverish city which lay at the foot of its slopes.
"The Dictator" by Justin McCarthy
The orbit of his rounds carried him several times past a woman, who was standing unaccompanied at the rail astern.
"The Tyranny of Weakness" by Charles Neville Buck
To understand the Twenties, you have to understand the unusual orbit that Anvhar tracks around its sun, 70 Ophiuchi.
"Planet of the Damned" by Harry Harrison
Life, without a central purpose around which it can revolve, is like a star that has fallen out of its orbit.
"Wisdom, Wit, and Pathos of Ouida" by Ouida
He was too preoccupied during the journey to estimate orbital figures, anyway.
"Security" by Poul William Anderson
He traced all geologic changes to differences in the inclination of the earth's axis to the plane of its orbit.
"A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)" by Augustus De Morgan
It's coffee time, and Doc Fitzhugh is as regular as a satellite orbit.
"Unwise Child" by Gordon Randall Garrett
He wallowed in the cheap and tawdry, and the gospel of sterling simplicity was absolutely outside his orbit.
"Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Vol. 13" by Elbert Hubbard
II was away on the far side of its orbit.
"A Matter of Importance" by William Fitzgerald Jenkins
We have orbital satellites, and we've landed on the Moon with an atomic rocket.
"That Sweet Little Old Lady" by Gordon Randall Garrett (AKA Mark Phillips)

In poetry:

How haste the unresting feet of Change,
On life's stupendous orbit set!
She walks a way her blood hath wet,
Yet deems her path untrodden, strange.
"The Testimony of the Suns" by George Sterling
La Natura e il Lavoro!--E poi?--La testa
Poggiar sul cornicione d'una chiesa,
Coi passeri che intorno le fan festa
O col becco alle vuote orbite offesa!
"La Chiesetta Dei Morti" by Ferdinando Fontana
The sun, us'd to cheer us with heat and with light,
Now turns his pale orbit away from our sight,
Refusing his wonted assistance to yield,
'Till half of our grain is destroy'd on the field.
"Another, On The Same Occasion" by Rees Prichard
The hills remain, the woods, the waves;
And they alone are dupes or slaves
Who, spurning Nature's breast,
Too high would soar, too deep would sound,
And madden vainly round and round
The orbit of unrest.
"At Shelley’s House At Lerici" by Alfred Austin
And thus, amid the din of war,
Thro' cloud and thunder flashed the star,
Lost for awhile in gloom and night
To re-appear with tenfold light;
From orbit small, reluctant sent
To grasp a wide-spread firmament.
"The Battle-Day, Or, The Lost Army" by Ernest Jones
Are you struggling, perhaps, in a world that I see only dimly,
Except as it sweeps toward the star on which I stand alone?
Are we swung like two planets, compelled in our separate orbits,
Yet held in a flaming circle far greater than our own?
"The Flaming Circle" by Louis Untermeyer

In news:

EarthSky Tonight—Oct 29, Last quarter moon marks direction of Earth's orbital motion .
No orbiter , but Houston gets the shuttle ferry.
Mars rovers, orbiter study huge dust storm.
A Newly Constructed Movie of Earthrise From the Apollo 11 Orbiter .
Final details on Endeavour's visit: Last chance to see an orbiter in flight.
Orbiter Sees Carbon-Dioxide Snowfall on Mars.
Spectacular color pictures from Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter reveal robot's route.
Space Center Houston getting space shuttle orbiter model this spring.
Orbiter Spots Rover Perched on Crater's Edge.
Clear plastic stretched across the crater in the orbiter 's nose, where the forward reaction control system—small thrusters that maneuvered the spacecraft in orbit—had been removed.
And this harvesting of the orbiter 's components was only the beginning.
Back in the late '90s/early 2000s, Echo Orbiter was a frequent sight on Philly stages.
Lunar orbiter spots Apollo landing sites.
The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter before it launched.
(Watch an overview of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter 's mission -- 1:49).

In science:

The traces Tr P n are calculated by summing over hyperbolic periodic orbits of length n as Tr P n = P 1 | det(1−J )| where the 2 × 2 matrix J = ∂M n(X )/∂X is the linearized map M n evaluated at any of the points of a contributing period-n orbit and X = (cos θ, ϕ) the phase space point.
Frobenius-Perron Resonances for Maps with a Mixed Phase Space
Each such factor di (z ) is then calculated separately with the above well known expressions but restricting the periodic-orbit sum for the trace Tr P n to the orbits previously identified as contributing to the eigenfunctions.
Frobenius-Perron Resonances for Maps with a Mixed Phase Space
The reasons are twofold: Firstly, both closed-orbit and periodic-orbit theory suffer from fundamental convergence problems of the infinite orbit sums.
Semiclassical quantization with bifurcating orbits
Also, the energy radiated per orbit is calculated by multiplying the luminosity and the orbital period: E /orbit = 2π Ω L.
Variational Principles in General Relativity
The invariant set is composed of all the orbits that never leave this interval and as such contains a countable number of periodic orbits and an uncountable number of nonperiodic orbits.
Relativistic chaos is coordinate invariant