Physics for Scientists and Engineers: A Strategic Approach with Modern Physics (4th Edition)

Published by Pearson
ISBN 10: 0133942651
ISBN 13: 978-0-13394-265-1

Chapter 13 - Newton's Theory of Gravity - Conceptual Questions: 10

Answer

The satellite speeds up as it spirals inward.

Work Step by Step

Let $M$ be the mass of the earth. We can write an expression for the orbital speed of the satellite. $v = \sqrt{\frac{G~M}{R}}$ From this equation, we can see that as the orbital radius $R$ decreases, the speed increases. Thus, the satellite speeds up as it spirals inward.
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