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

How to calculate the momentum of Pluto?

  1. Dec 18, 2007 #1
    If anyone knows how to calculate the momentum of Pluto it would be great if you could let me know. I am doing a science project and do not understand parts of the project. Thanks!
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 18, 2007 #2

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Classical momentum is just mass * velocity

    The orbital radius is around 5.9 billion km, period is 248years so it should be easy to work out velocity.
    The mass is 1.3E22kg
     
  4. Dec 19, 2007 #3
    Can we know the exact momentum of Pluto at any point in orbit? It's so eccentric.
     
  5. Dec 19, 2007 #4

    mgb_phys

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    But rather predictably so.
    Momentum is conserved and a planet has rather a lot of momentum - as you would know if you have ever tried to stop one with your bare hands.
     
  6. Dec 19, 2007 #5
    I just suspect the momentum of Pluto is not the same around the orbit, it may be quite different. I may have to look back at the Kepler's law.
     
  7. Dec 19, 2007 #6

    malawi_glenn

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Angular momentum is more costumary to consider here.

    But for linear momentum:
    mv is consreved, where v is v_radial + v_tangential.
     
  8. Dec 19, 2007 #7

    D H

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    The linear momentum of a planet (eg. Pluto) is not conserved. The planet follows a curved path!

    Conserved quantities are linear momentum of the planet+sun system (tautologically zero in the planet+sun center of mass frame), angular momentum (gravity is a central force) and total energy (gravity is a conservative force).
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?



Similar Discussions: How to calculate the momentum of Pluto?
  1. Fascination of Pluto (Replies: 16)

  2. Pluto Puzzle (Replies: 5)

  3. Pluto conjuctions (Replies: 7)

  4. Seeing Pluto (Replies: 13)

Loading...