Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Homework Help: Direction of a satellite in a circular orbit

  1. Feb 20, 2007 #1
    A satellite is designed to orbit Earth at an altitude above its surface that will place it in a gravitational field with a strength of 4.5 N/kg

    a) Calculate the distance above the surface of Earth at which the satellite must orbit

    b) Assuming the orbit is circular calculate the acceleration of the satellite and its direction

    I have solved part a) using the equation: Fg = sqr of Gm/r^2

    I also solved the accelaration of the satellite by first finding the velocity (v = sqr of Gm/r) and then the circular acceleration (Ac = V^2/r).

    I am a bit confused as to what they are asking for with regards to direction. I could work out the curve I suppose though I do not recall what forumula I would use. Can someone point me in the right direction please?

  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 20, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    The question is asking for the direction of the acceleration vector...
  4. Feb 20, 2007 #3
    Do you think that it is enought to state that the acceleration is towards the centre of the Earth so do I need to prove it mathematically?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook