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B Can an object have too little mass to have a stable orbit?

  1. Mar 2, 2016 #1
    I was wondering, since gravitational atttraction is determinated by m1 * m2 / d2 * G , can an object have a mass too little to have a stable orbit, for instance, around the sun?

    P.S: I'm new to this forum! Hello!
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 2, 2016 #2


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    How does this suggest unstable orbits for small masses?
  4. Mar 2, 2016 #3
    Wow, that's a fast reply :)

    Yeah, I didn't express myself very well... I meant, can an very "light" object achieve an orbit around another bigger planet? For example a feather around the sun?
    This question comes from something that my physics professor said: "the asteroid belt is formed of objects so little that alone could not achieve orbit around the sun"

    I'm not from a English speaking country so excuse me if I mess up some terms and stuff.
  5. Mar 2, 2016 #4


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    The acceleration of an object from gravity is independent of mass, so no, there are no objects so light that they couldn't achieve a stable orbit. However it is possible that your professor was speaking of some other effect. I'd ask them about it.
  6. Mar 2, 2016 #5
    Thank you :)
    I'll ask him then.
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