Register to reply 
Changing Earth's orbit 
Share this thread: 
#1
Jul1005, 02:56 PM

P: 29

Hi,
If we were to change the Earth's orbit, what force should we apply and in what direction? Shoud we go against G.(M_Earth + M_Sun) / distance^2 or against the centripetal force, M_Earth.v^2/distance? I've calculated this last one and I got the result: 3,542396634E+22 Newtons Is this correct? Regards, Kepler 


#2
Jul1005, 03:20 PM

P: n/a

The problem with mv^2/r is that you've assumed the earth is in a circular orbit. It is, in fact, somewhat elliptical. That difference drastically changes the problem.



#3
Jul1005, 04:38 PM

Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
P: 2,361

It really depends on how you want to change the orbit.(what kind of an orbit do you want after the change?) If you want to raise it to an higher orbit, you have to push it in the same direction it is moving around the Sun. If you want to move it into a lower orbit, you push in the opposite direction. If you push directly towards or away from the Sun, you will change the shape of the orbit such that it will be closer to the Sun at part of its orbit and further at another part. If you push it at a right angle to its orbital plane, you will change the inclination or "tilt" of the orbit.



Register to reply 
Related Discussions  
Earth's elliptical orbit  Astronomy & Astrophysics  29  
Is the Earth's Axis Changing or is that just an illusion?  Earth  16  
Any Changes in Earth's Orbit or Rotation?  Earth  21  
Changing the Earth's orbit?  Astronomy & Astrophysics  11  
Earth's Orbit  Introductory Physics Homework  4 