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Homework Help: Meteor Passing a Planet. Sample UC Berkeley Final question

  1. Dec 8, 2012 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A meteor is approaching a planet of mass M and radius R with speed while it is far away. If there were
    no gravity, it would miss the center of the planet by a distance b. Gravity makes the meteor barely graze
    the planets surface as it passes. Find in terms of other given quantities and gravitational constant G.

    2. Relevant equations

    Force of Gravity=GMm/r^2
    Gravitational Potential Energy=-GMm/r

    3. The attempt at a solution

    I tried work and energy
    I also tried an acceleration method
    but I really have no idea
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 8, 2012 #2


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    Homework Helper

    What is the question?

    It is a good idea to use conservation of energy, but there is an other quantity conserved during planetary motion.

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