Register to reply

Changing Earth's orbit

by kepler
Tags: earth, orbit
Share this thread:
Jul10-05, 02:56 PM
P: 29

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?


Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on
UCI team is first to capture motion of single molecule in real time
And so they beat on, flagella against the cantilever
Tandem microwave destroys hazmat, disinfects
Jul10-05, 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.
Jul10-05, 04:38 PM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Janus's Avatar
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