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Homework Help: Centripetal Acceleration of object orbiting earth

  1. Apr 26, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    An object orbits the earth at a constant speed in a circle of radius 6.38x10^6m, very close to but not touching the earth's surface. What is its centripetal acceleraion?

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    Quick question, when would GM/r^2 equal to the centripetal acceleration, and when wouldn't it? I thought it always did but some calculations don't have the same numbers if you do it both ways. For this question would it be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2007 #2


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    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Well, force is GMm/r^2 (Newton et al) and acceleration is force/m (Newton et al). So acceleration=GM/r^2. If you have evidence otherwise, cough it up.
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