Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Help acceleration

  1. Mar 28, 2007 #1
    find velocity required to keep an object in moon's orbit? so far, a = velocity squared over radius and force equals g constant times mass 1 times mass 2 over radius squared, but the object's mass is not given and mass of moon can be found, any help?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 28, 2007 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    HINT: You already know that:

    [tex]F_g = \frac{GMm}{r^2}[/tex]

    But what else is this equal to. What kind of motion is the object in if it is in orbit? You should be able to set the above expression equal to another expression involving m, then the m's should cancel. See how far you can now. Good Luck.
  4. Mar 28, 2007 #3
    The thing is, it is independent of mass of the object. This is essentially what Galileo demonstrated nearly 400 years ago.
  5. Mar 28, 2007 #4
    Calculate escape velocity, cancelling the m would result from setting it equal to 1/2*mv^2, now v = sqr(GM/r), and the orbit needs to be less than this. interesting stuff...
  6. Mar 29, 2007 #5
    Sorry, escape velocity is going a bit too far, literally and figuratively. You do not need to be at escape velocity to remain in orbit, because that is partly what escape velocities are, the object will be able to escape from the gravitaional influnce of the moon.

    Try in an orbit, we assume it is in circular motion. Think of what equations you need to apply.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook