# What is hyperbolic eccentric anomaly F?

I have no idea what this is and have been searching on the net but all I get is eccentric anomaly. The equation that relates hyperbolic eccentric anomaly F to its true anomaly $\theta$ is exactly the same as that between eccentric anomaly E and its true anomaly. I am guessing it is probably the hyperbolic version of the ellipse.

• A question about the definition of eccentric anomaly for hyperbolic Keplerian orbits is most certainly on-topic here. I think the unexplained close vote for off-topic is both eccentric, and an anomaly!
– uhoh
Jun 3, 2018 at 12:01

Hyperbolic anomaly is the hyperbolic equivalent of eccentric anomaly.

As you mentioned in a comment above, eccentric anomaly is the angle from the central body to the auxiliary circle of the orbit. Because a hyperbolic orbit does not have an auxiliary circle, we need a different formulation.

For hyperbolic anomaly, we use an equilateral hyperbola, which has an eccentricity of $\sqrt2$.

The tricky bit with hyperbolic anomaly is that instead of an angle, it is defined as an area.

$F = 2*Area / a^2$

Where $Area$ is defined as the area between the X axis, the equilateral hyperbola from periapsis until the vertical projection of the spacecraft location, and the line between this projection point and the origin.

It's a non-intuative parameter that doesn't really have a physical meaning that anyone uses. Primarily, it is just used as a mathematical quantity.

• Is it possible to calculate it from the mean anomaly? Oct 21, 2021 at 8:38

The equation that relates hyperbolic eccentric anomaly F to its true anomaly θ is exactly the same as that between eccentric anomaly E and its true anomaly.

It looks like they are not the same.

From this handy table I've reconstructed the following equation sets. $E$, $D$, and $F$ are the eccentric anomalies for elliptical (and circular), parabolic, and hyperbolic Keplerian orbits.

The source of that table is in turn:

Reference: "Fundamentals of Astrodynamics" by R.R.Bate, D.D.Mueller, and J.E. White, Dover Publications (1971)

You might be able to find pdf versions online, or better yet, physical versions in a library.

note: I have borrowed much of this from this answer.

Ellipse, Circle $(0 \le \epsilon < 1)$:

$$\tan \frac E2 = \sqrt{\frac{1-e}{1+e}} \tan\frac\theta2$$ $$\text{or}$$ $$\cos E = \frac{e+\cos\theta}{1+e\cos\theta} \tan\frac\theta2,$$ $$M = E - e\sin E,$$ $$\Delta M = M_2 - M_1,$$ $$\Delta t = \sqrt{\frac{a^3}{\mu}} \Delta M,$$

Hyperbola ($\epsilon > 1)$:

$$\tanh \frac F2 = \sqrt{\frac{e-1}{e+1}} \tan\frac\theta2$$ $$\text{or}$$ $$\cosh F = \frac{e+\cos\theta}{1+e\cos\theta} \tan\frac\theta2,$$ $$M = e\sinh F-F,$$ $$\Delta M = M_2 - M_1,$$ $$\Delta t = \sqrt{\frac{(-a)^3}{\mu}} \Delta M,$$

Parabola ($\epsilon = 1)$:

$$D = \tan\frac\theta2,$$ $$M = D + \frac{D^3}{3},$$ $$\Delta M = M_2 - M_1,$$ $$\Delta t = \sqrt{\frac{q^3}{\mu}} \Delta M,$$

To get the semi-major axis $a$ or to get $q$, use the following (don't worry that $a$ is negative for the hyperbola):

Ellipse, Hyperbola:

$$a=\frac{r_{peri}}{1-e}$$

Ellipse:

$$a=\frac{r_{peri}+r_{apo}}{2}$$

Circle:

$$a=r$$

Parabola:

$$q=r_{peri}$$

A quick check with $\mu=1$ and $r_{peri}=1$:

 e      theta      a     v_peri    E/D/F       M         t
1.5   90.000000  -2.0   1.581139  55.14281  40.94513  2.021271
1.0   90.000000   n/a   1.414214  57.29578  76.39437  1.885618
0.5   90.000000   2.0   1.224745  60.00000  35.19020  1.737177
0.0   90.000000   1.0   1.000000  90.00000  90.00000  1.570796


If you want to try it in Python:

def deriv(X, t):
x, v = X.reshape(2, -1)
acc  = -mu * x * ((x**2).sum())**-1.5
return np.hstack((v, acc))

def get_D(theta, e):
if e == 1.0:
D    = np.tan(0.5*theta)
else:
D    = np.nan
return D

def get_E(theta, e):
if e < 1.0:
term = np.sqrt((1.-e)/(1.+e)) * np.tan(0.5*theta)
E    = 2.*np.arctan(term)
else:
E    = np.nan
return E

def get_E_alt(theta, e):
if e < 1.0:
term = (e + np.cos(theta)) / (1. + e*np.cos(theta))
E    = np.arccos(term)
else:
E    = np.nan
return E

def get_F(theta, e):
if e > 1.0:
term = np.sqrt((e-1.)/(e+1.)) * np.tan(0.5*theta)
F    = 2.*np.arctanh(term)
else:
F    = np.nan
return F

def get_F_alt(theta, e):
if e > 1.0:
term = (e + np.cos(theta)) / (1. + e*np.cos(theta))
F    = np.arccosh(term)
else:
F    = np.nan
return F

def get_M_from_E(E, e):
if e < 1.0:
M = E - e*np.sin(E)
else:
M = np.nan
return M

def get_M_from_F(F, e):
if e > 1.0:
M = e*np.sinh(F) - F
else:
M = np.nan
return M

def get_M_from_D(D, e):
if e == 1.0:
M = D + D**3/3.
else:
M = np.nan
return M

import numpy as np
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
from scipy.integrate import odeint as ODEint

# http://www.bogan.ca/orbits/kepler/orbteqtn.html

quarterpi, halfpi, pi, twopi = [f*np.pi for f in [0.25, 0.5, 1, 2]]

mu = 1.0

th0, th1 = 0.0, halfpi
print "th0, th1 (degs): ", degs*th0, degs*th1

eccs = [1.5, 1.0, 0.5, 0.0]

for e in eccs:

print "e: ", e

rp =  1.0  # periapsis

if e < 1.0:
print "     is ellipse!"

ra = rp * (1+e)/(1-e)
print "rp, ra: ", rp, ra

a0 = 0.5*(rp + ra)
v0 = np.sqrt(mu * (2./rp - 1./a0))
print "a0, v0: ", a0, v0

E0,  E1  = [get_E(th, e) for th in [th0, th1]]
M0,  M1  = [get_M_from_E(E, e)  for E  in [E0,  E1 ]]
print "E0, E1 (degs): ", degs*E0, degs*E1
print "M0, M1 (degs): ", degs*M0, degs*M1

print "E0, E1: ", E0, E1
print "M0, M1: ", M0, M1

dt = np.sqrt(a0**3/mu) * (M1-M0)

print "dt (sec): ", dt

elif e > 1.0:
print "     is hyperbola!"

ra = rp * (1+e)/(1-e)
print "rp, ra: ", rp, ra

a0 = 0.5*(rp + ra)
v0 = np.sqrt(mu * (2./rp - 1./a0))
print "a0, v0: ", a0, v0

F0,  F1  = [get_F(th, e) for th in [th0, th1]]
M0,  M1  = [get_M_from_F(F, e)  for F  in [F0,  F1 ]]
print "F0, F1 (degs): ", degs*F0, degs*F1
print "M0, M1 (degs): ", degs*M0, degs*M1

print "F0, F1: ", F0, F1
print "M0, M1: ", M0, M1

dt = np.sqrt((-a0)**3/mu) * (M1-M0)

print "dt (sec): ", dt

elif e == 1.0:
print "     is parabola!"

print "rp: ", rp

v0 = np.sqrt(mu * (2./rp))
print "v0: ", v0

D0,  D1  = [get_D(th, e) for th in [th0, th1]]
M0,  M1  = [get_M_from_D(D, e)  for D  in [D0,  D1 ]]
print "D0, D1 (degs): ", degs*D0, degs*D1
print "M0, M1 (degs): ", degs*M0, degs*M1

print "D0, D1: ", D0, D1
print "M0, M1: ", M0, M1

q = rp

dt = np.sqrt(2.*q**3/mu) * (M1-M0)

print "dt (sec): ", dt

time = np.array([0, dt])
X0   = np.array([rp, 0, 0, v0])

answer, info = ODEint(deriv, X0, time, atol=1E-13, rtol=1E-13, full_output=True)

x, y, vx, vy = answer.T
theta = np.arctan2(y, x)

print degs*theta[0], degs*theta[-1], " should be ", degs*th0, degs*th1

• Thanks for the help! However I have no idea what is this hyperbolic eccentric anomaly F. For the eccentric anomaly E, it is the angle from the center to the Auxiliary circle. But what about F? F is not visually represented on the diagram and thats why I am really confused Jun 5, 2018 at 11:49
• @newbie125 oh I see, you'd really like a geometrical explanation or really an illustration. Hmm... I don't know beyond how it's used mathematically, but I will try to find out for you. Thanks for your comment.
– uhoh
Jun 5, 2018 at 11:55
• @newbie125 I see there is a new and much better answer to your question!
– uhoh
Jun 14, 2018 at 5:38