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How to find the mass of a planet when given the radius?

  1. Dec 7, 2014 #1
    • Member warned regarding use of formatting template.
    1. So for homework my teacher gave us this question (and this is quoted from his worksheet):
    You graduate college with a degree in astrophysics and are assigned as an astronaut to explore a distant planet for NASA. You land on this planet and are told to determine the mass of the planet there. You have a meterstick and a stopwatch. Observations from space tell you the radius of the planet that you land on. How do you go about measuring the mass of this planet?

    2.F=G*m1*m2/R^2

    How do I even begin to complete this problem? Do I have to find the acceleration of gravity on the planet? Any help is appreciated.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 7, 2014 #2

    ehild

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    Welcome to PF!

    Yes, you have to find the gravitational acceleration on the surface of the planet.
     
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