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: Gravitational potential energy of satellite

  1. Apr 28, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    A satellite in a circular orbit around the earth with a radius 1.019 times the mean radius of the earth is hit by an incoming meteorite. A large 73-kg fragment is ejected in the backwards direction so that it is stationary with respect to the earth and falls directly to the ground. Its speed just before it hits the ground is 355 m/s. Find the total work done by gravity on the satellite fragment. Assume that Rearth = 6.37 × 103 km and Mearth = 5.98 × 1024 kg.

    Wg=8.52×107 J

    Calculate the amount of work that is converted into heat.


    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I solved for the work done by gravity, but im stuck on the work converted into heat. My teacher told me to use the equation above but im not sure how to use it, W=KF-8.52×107 J ? If thats the case, what do i use to solve for KF?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 29, 2010 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    You have the final speed and the mass. So the final kinetic energy is ____?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook