Comets travel around the sun in elliptical orbits with large eccentricities. Suppose the comet has an initial speed of 1.17*10^4 m/s when at a distance of 4.9*10^11 m from the center of the sun, what is its speed when at a distance of 5.9*10^10 m? Give your in m/s in scientific notation to three significant digits. (Note: Use appendix F for the necessary data.)
Don't know 'em. All I know is finding velocity in a circular orbit:
v = sqrt((Gravitational constant * mass of the object being orbited around) / radius from the center of the orbited object)
The Attempt at a Solution
v = sqrt((6.67E-11 * 1.99E30) / 5.9E10) = 4.74E4
The correct answer is: 6.40E4...so since I'm in the same order of magnitude I assume I'm close.