# Force of gravity on JWST while orbiting L2

• I
• Eugene
In summary, the direction of the centrifugal force vector at a point on the L2 orbit is parallel to the earth-sun plane. However, if the satellite is displaced from this point, the resultant force will attract the satellite towards the plane of rotation. This relationship is true for all points, not just the Lagrange points.
Eugene
TL;DR Summary
Concerning the centrifugal force acting on James Webb telescope
When the Webb is at a point on its L2 orbit, (not at L2), what direction is the centrifugal force vector compared to the direction of the combined earth-sun gravity vector on the opposite side? Is the direction of this centrifugal vector ALWAYS parallel to the sun-earth plane? or is it always opposite (straght line connects the combined gravity and centrifugal)?

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The Sun, Earth, and Lagrange points are all in the same plane, which is also the orbital plane. Therefore, the centrifugal force in the corotating frame also lies in this plane.

but if the scope is 500,000 kilometers north of this point(on the L2 orbit) it is no longer in the plane. What is the relationship of the gravity force to the centrifugal force then?

The centrifugal force will always be in the plane of rotation. Regardless of whether or not you displace the satellite from the plane itself. Any displacement up or below the plane will therefore give a resultant force that attracts the satellite towards the plane. This is true everywhere, not only at the Lagrange points.

Many thanks!

## What is the force of gravity on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) while orbiting L2?

The force of gravity on the JWST while orbiting L2 is approximately 0.01% of the force of gravity on Earth. This is due to the fact that L2 is located 1.5 million kilometers away from Earth, and the force of gravity decreases with distance.

## How does the force of gravity on the JWST at L2 compare to the force of gravity on Earth?

The force of gravity on the JWST at L2 is significantly lower than the force of gravity on Earth. This is because L2 is a stable point in space where the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun cancel each other out.

## Does the force of gravity on the JWST at L2 affect its orbit?

Yes, the force of gravity on the JWST at L2 does affect its orbit. While the force is significantly lower than on Earth, it is still present and contributes to the overall motion of the telescope in its orbit around L2.

## How does the force of gravity at L2 affect the operations of the JWST?

The force of gravity at L2 has minimal impact on the operations of the JWST. The telescope is designed to withstand and compensate for the forces acting on it, and its instruments are calibrated to function in a microgravity environment.

## Will the force of gravity at L2 change over time?

No, the force of gravity at L2 will remain relatively constant over time. This is because L2 is a stable point in space, and the gravitational forces of the Earth and the Sun will continue to balance each other out at this location.

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