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Required velocity for a stable orbit?

  • Thread starter qwedsa
  • Start date
16
0
Say we have two objects. One is at the origin with mass = 1kg, the other is X meters away with mass 0.1kg

Is there a way to calculate the velocity required to form a stable orbit, depending on the distance of the smaller object?
 

Answers and Replies

Are you trying to calculate the orbital velocity, mr. qwesda?
 
16
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^hey complex. i didn't know there was the term 'orbital velocity'

googling this term should give me everything i need, thanks
 
289
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Hey guys ;) Depends on the size of the objects. If the objects are both points, then any sideways velocity will be enough for them never to collide because the conservation of angular momentum prevents it.

The bigger the objects, the more tangential velocity they need, because they can't have their centres get closer than the sum of their radii, that would be a collision.
 
J77
1,070
1
Is this not the case of equating circular motion forces with gravitational attraction forces...
 
16
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someone on another forum (BL) gave me this handy equation:

crit_velocity = sqrt( 2*G*m1 / dist )

where m1 is the mass of hte heavier object. note, this only works if hte mass of the lighter object is much much lighter than the heavier object

if the velocity of the lighter object is less than the critical velocity, then it will form an orbit. if it's greater than the crit_vel, then it will fly off forever
 
Last edited:
16
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dont know why this was moved here, it wasnt hw, i'm not even in physics
 

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