(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Three stars, each with the mass and radius of our sun, form an equilateral triangle 5.0*10^9m on a side. If all three are simultaneously released from rest, what are their speeds as they crash together in the center?

2. Relevant equations

Fg= GMm/r^2

3. The attempt at a solution

It says the three stars are released from rest and start accelerating towards each other, so I'm assuming there is no centripetal acceleration (?). So I set 2Fgcos30 equal to ma and solved for a, which equals 9.2. Then I plugged it into the v = (2as)^(1/2) formula with s=2.89*10^9m being the midpoint of the circle using trig. I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong.

The given answer in the book is 3.71*10^5m/s

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# Homework Help: Gravitational Forces between three stars

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