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Space probe homework problem

  1. Oct 26, 2006 #1
    How far from Jupiter must a space probe be along a line toward the Sun so that the Sun's gravitational pull on the probe balances Jupiter's pull?

    i know that i need to use m1/r2=m2/((2.78e-11)-r)squared
    but my answers keep coming out wrong. For an answer, i got 2.4e7 km
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2006 #2
    can someone help me???
  4. Oct 26, 2006 #3


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    If 2.78e11 is the distance from the sun to Jupiter and m1 and m2 are the masses of the sun and Jupiter, you should be OK. Do you have the right units? Did you expand the square in the denominator correctly? Is that a negative exponent e-11? Surely it should not be.
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2006
  5. Oct 26, 2006 #4
    yes, i'm sure i have the units correct. Its possible that the mean distance to the sun from jupiter is 778e6.
  6. Oct 26, 2006 #5


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    I just looked it up and averaged the max and min and got 779e6Km.


    So I guess what you meant the first time was 7.78e11m rather tha 2.78e-11m. With this distance you should be getting a reasonable answer if the question is looking for the average. If its asking for the distance when Jupiter is foarthest from the sun, or perhaps closest, then obviouly the average will not do.
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