1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Gravity and Satellites

  1. Jun 3, 2009 #1
    does the moon's gravitational field have any considerable affect on satellites orbiting earth??
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 4, 2009 #2


    User Avatar

    distance between moon and earth (center to center) = 384,403km
    mass of moon = 7.3477 × 10e22 kg
    mass of earth = 5.9736 × 10e24 kg
    geostationary orbit = 35,888.71 km

    u can calculate the gravitational field strengths (by earth or moon) at the geostationary orbit and compares the values.
  4. Jun 4, 2009 #3
    you know, you have to add earths radius to the geostationary orbit, i think. i got 66574088 newtons for the force between the moon and satellite-assuming that the satellite weighs 10,000 kilos. and i got 1.68e26 for the force between earth and the satellite. but i think my math may be slightly off. but if its right, the moons force is only a very slight percentage of the earth's. even so, id think that if the moon can influence the tides, then it can influence a satellite which is a lot closer to it...
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook