Lesson: Mechanical Energy Conservation in OrbitsPhysics
In this lesson, we will learn how to calculate the kinetic energy required to maintain circular orbit around a star or planet.
Sample Question Videos
The figure shows a planet orbiting a star along an elliptical path.
At which of the labeled points on the figure would the gravitational potential energy of the planet have the highest value?
At which of the labeled points on the figure would the kinetic energy of the planet be greatest?
As the planet moves from point D to point C, does its gravitational potential energy increase, decrease, or stay the same?
As the planet moves from point C to point B, does its kinetic energy increase, decrease, or stay the same?
The diagram shows two planets orbiting a star. Both planets have the same mass. Planet 2 orbits the star at a radius twice that of planet 1.
What is the ratio of the kinetic energy of planet 2 to that of planet 1?
Which of the five lines on the graph correctly shows how the kinetic energy of an object in a circular orbit varies with the radius of the orbit?