# Calculating Satellite Orbit Period: A Misstep

• Punchlinegirl
In summary, a satellite orbit period is the time it takes for a satellite to complete one full revolution around its parent body. It can be calculated using the formula T = 2π√(a^3/GM) and is important in understanding the behavior of satellites and predicting future orbits. A common mistake when calculating it is using the wrong units. The orbit period can also affect satellite communication capabilities.
Punchlinegirl
Consider a satellite, mass=85 kg, in a circular orbit about Earth. Calculate the period of the satellite given a radius r of its orbit of 2.04 x 10^7 m.

I used T^2= (4pi^2/ GM)r^3
Plugging in G= 6.67 x 10^-11
M= 85 kg
r= 2.04 x 10^7 and solving for T gave 7.69 x 10^15 s.
This wasn't right...

Pretty sure you use the mass of the earth, not the satelite, since it is what's providing the centripetal acceleration.

Last edited by a moderator:

It seems like there may have been a mistake in the calculation. The formula used, T^2= (4pi^2/ GM)r^3, is the correct formula for calculating the orbital period of a satellite. However, the values used for the variables may not have been accurate.

Firstly, the mass of the satellite is given as 85 kg, which is an extremely low mass for a satellite. Most satellites have masses in the range of hundreds to thousands of kilograms. It is possible that this is a typo and the correct mass should have been given as 85,000 kg.

Secondly, the value of G used in the calculation is incorrect. The correct value for the gravitational constant is 6.67 x 10^-11 Nm^2/kg^2, not 6.67 x 10^-11 alone. This could have been a simple error in inputting the value into the calculator.

Lastly, it is important to note that the units used for the radius must be consistent with the units for G. In this case, the radius is given in meters, so the value of G should also be in meters. This could also have contributed to the incorrect result.

In order to accurately calculate the orbital period, it is important to double check all values and units before plugging them into the formula. It may also be helpful to use scientific notation to avoid any potential errors in calculation.

## 1. What is a satellite orbit period?

A satellite orbit period refers to the time it takes for a satellite to complete one full revolution around its parent body.

## 2. How is a satellite orbit period calculated?

A satellite orbit period can be calculated using the formula T = 2π√(a^3/GM), where T is the orbit period, a is the semi-major axis of the orbit, G is the gravitational constant, and M is the mass of the parent body.

## 3. Why is calculating a satellite orbit period important?

Calculating a satellite orbit period is important in understanding the motion and behavior of satellites in space. It can also help with predicting future orbits and ensuring the proper functioning of satellite missions.

## 4. What is a common mistake when calculating satellite orbit period?

A common mistake when calculating satellite orbit period is using the wrong units. The formula requires the use of meters for distance (a) and kilograms for mass (M).

## 5. How can satellite orbit period affect satellite communication?

The orbit period of a satellite can affect its communication capabilities, as it determines the time it takes for the satellite to complete one orbit and return to its original position. Longer orbit periods may result in longer communication delays, while shorter orbit periods may allow for more frequent communication.

• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
5
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
16
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
890
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
7
Views
2K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
1
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
3
Views
1K
• Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
6
Views
2K