Gravity well (physics)
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In physics, a gravity well is the gravitational potential field around a massive body (a particular kind of potential well). Physical models of gravity wells are sometimes used to illustrate orbital mechanics. Gravity wells are frequently confused with general relativistic embedding diagrams, but the two concepts are unrelated.
Large objects can generate gravitational fields that extend far into space. Consequently, human slipspace navigation is hindered by the effect these gravity wells have upon the quantum field of the Slipstream, and ships must make their calculations away from such factors. With an increased resolution of the Slipstream, such as that possessed by Forerunner and, consequently, Covenant slipspace matrices, calculations can be made to compensate for this effect.
Gravitational slingshot refers to use of the relative movement and gravity of a celestial body to alter the path and speed of a spacecraft. This maneuver is commonly known as "slingshot orbit", and has been used in numerous occasions. Preston Cole was known to be adept in using a planet's gravity well to his advantage in space combat.
- During the Battle of the Etran Harborage, the gravity well of an artificial star within a small shield world was used to accelerate the UNSC Spirit of Fire to safety after creating a chain reaction and sending the star into its supernova state.
- During the skirmish over Threshold, Cortana used the gravity well of Basis to slingshot John-117's Longsword interceptor around it and simultaneously save survivors from Installation 04.
- The moon of Onyx was used by Doctor Catherine Halsey aboard the Beatrice to approach Onyx and avoid the Covenant vessels that were attempting to intercept the stealth vessel.
Artificial gravity wells
The Forerunners were able to develop technology capable of forming localized artificial gravity wells. Functioning akin to a tractor beam, the large devices are capable of pulling in and anchoring objects such as spacecraft.
List of appearances
- Halo: The Fall of Reach (First appearance)
- Halo: The Flood
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo: Contact Harvest (Mentioned only)
- Halo Wars
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Halo 4
- Wikipedia - Gravity well
- Halo: First Strike
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "The Impossible Life and the Possible Death of Preston J. Cole"
- Halo Wars, campaign level Escape
- Halo: First Strike, page 68 (2010 edition)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 156
- Halo 4, campaign level Reclaimer