Really stuck on this question about gravitational fields

  • Thread starter smiley1121
  • Start date
  • #1

Homework Statement



The gravitational field strength experianced by a satellite orbiting Earth is 4.5 N kg^-1. Calculate how high above the Earths surface the satellite is in orbit.

other info:

the gravitational constant is 6.67x10^-11
the mass of the earth is: 6.0x10^24 kg
the radius of the earth is: 6.38x10^6 m

Homework Equations



I think you have to use

g= GM / r^2

but the problem is i know to find distance you have to add it to the radius but im really unsure on how to rearrange this to find distance when i already have g.

The Attempt at a Solution



really not sure :l
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Delphi51
Homework Helper
3,407
10
Welcome to PF, Smiley. I don't want to spoil your adventure with this problem, but I'll give you a terrific hint. In all these orbit problems that you'll meet this year, a circular orbit is implied. So you have circular motion. That means something is providing a centripetal force pulling the satellite toward the center of the circle. It is the force of gravity. Begin all these problems by writing
centripetal force = force of gravity
Fill in the detailed formulas and solve for the quantity you want!
 
  • #3
thankyou for your reply!
I think what you're trying to tell me is that i use gravity in my answer (as in 9.8?). Except i dont really understand where gravity fits in because aren't i supposed to be finding the distance?

I really appreaciate the help! :)
 
  • #4
Delphi51
Homework Helper
3,407
10
Sorry, I now see that your question is not really an orbit problem. It s simpler than I wrote earlier!

Don't use g = 9.8; that is only true at the surface of the Earth. Out where this satellite is, you are given g = 4.5 N kg^-1. Just put that into your formula
g= GM / r^2
and solve for r. You will have to adjust that answer a bit to get the one the question asks for.
 
Last edited:

Related Threads on Really stuck on this question about gravitational fields

Replies
3
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
4
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
965
Replies
9
Views
10K
Replies
2
Views
15K
Replies
1
Views
756
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
1
Views
2K
Replies
3
Views
2K
Top