- #1

albertrichardf

- 165

- 11

Is there a formula describing the shape of the orbit and the size of the orbit given the tangential and perpendicular speeds? This would be based on the assumptions that the planets are point particles, everything is in a vacuum, that there are no other gravitational fields, and that one particle is much heavier than the other, so much so that it would not move noticeably at all. I would like to use it to calculate the minimum tangential velocity needed for orbit.

Also, suppose Earth was a sphere without atmosphere (no pun intended). If the minimum tangential velocity as calculated above was achieved on the surface, would there be an orbit, or would the object just crash into the ground? If the ground was such that the object could pass through unhindered, would there be an orbit?

Thank you for answering