Simple outline of history of planetary discoveries (Early Greeks, Copernicus, Kepler,
Galileo) in a "true'false, fill-in-blank or matching format
Kepler's Three Laws (theory and simple calculation)
Law of Universal Gravitation (calculations)
Gravitational potential energy in general (including escape velocity, total energy, binding
energy, extra energy needed to place an object as position "r" into sustained orbit...)
1. Match the concept in planetary mechanics with the person (or group) who originated the
A. heliocentric model of universe
B. Law of Universal Gravitation
C. geocentric model of universe
D. Concept that planets move about the
sun in elliptical orbits, with the sun at
one focus of the ellipse
Answers:   (A) Copernicus     (B) Newton
(C) Early Greeks     (D) Kepler
2. The planet Jupiter has a mass of 1.9 x 1027 kg and a radius of 7.2 x 107 m. Calculate the
acceleration due to gravity on an object on the surface of Jupiter.
Answer:   24 m/s2
3. A 500 kg satellite is in circular orbit 200 km above the Earth's surface. Calculate:
(A) The gravitational potential energy of the satellite
(B) The kinetic energy of the satellite
(C) Its binding energy
Answers:   (A) -3.03 E10 Joules   (B) 1.52 E10 Joules   (C) -1.52 E10 Joules
4. Imagine a diagram (since I don't have the actual graphic scanned) similar to Figure 4,
page 288 text, showing the paths of three objects launched from the Earth.
Discuss the differences between the flights of mass A (in a sustained orbit), mass B (bound
to Earth but not on surface) and mass C (travelling in deep space)with respect to various
planetary mechanics issues including those listed below. Also indicate what happens to the
masses an the end of their flight.
initial kinetic energy needed
changes in kinetic/potential energy as the satellite rises
Answer:   see text page 288 and (for a better explanation) your classroom notes
5. The force of gravity between A and B is 100 N. When the mass of B is doubled and the
distance between it and A is halved, what is the new force?
Answer:   800 N
6.A 500 kg communications satellite is to be placed in a synchronous orbit around the Earth.   A synchronous orbit
means that the satellite remains over the exactly the same place on Earth; it has a period of 24 hours.
(A)   What is the radius of its circular orbit?
Answer = 4.22 E7 m
(B)   What is the gravitational potential energy of the satellite when it is
still on the surface of the Earth?
Answer = -3.12 E 10 J
(C)   What is the total energy of the satellite when in synchronous orbit.
(note:   in this orbit, the satellite is still bound to the Earth.)
Answer = -2.36 E 9 Joules
(D)   How much work is needed to placed the satellite to place it in
Answer = 2.36 E9 J
(E)   Once in orbit, how much additional energy must the satellite must receive, in
order to escape from th Earth's potential well?
Answer = 2.36 E9 J
7.   A planet's mean distance from the sun is 2.0 x 1011m.
What is its orbital period?
Answer = 4.9 E7 seconds
See text, page 139, page 279 and notes taken in class
Uses equation: Universal Law of Gravitation, p. 140