# Work done on the Earth by the Sun

Hi,

## Homework Statement

I was just wondering, because the earth follows an elliptical path around the sun and the gravitational force of the sun on the earth is towards the sun, would the work done on the earth be considered positive or negative?

## The Attempt at a Solution

Thanks.

Shooting Star
Homework Helper
Because of the ellipticity, the speed of the earth varies. When the KE of the earth increases, work done on earth is positive and vice versa. During a complete orbit however, the total work done is zero.

dynamicsolo
Homework Helper