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Unit 6, Quiz #2


Gravitation and Satellite Motion Quiz


1. Which one of the following best describes the property of speed for a planet orbiting the Sun?

a. greatest when closest

b. greatest when furthest away

c. independent of the distance of orbit

d. determined mainly by the planet's mass


2. An object has a mass 0.5 kg. It is transported to the surface of Planet X where the object's weight (Fgrav) is measured to be 20 N. The radius of the planet is 4 x 106 m. Determine the acceleration of gravity on Planet X. PSYW



3. Two objects attract each other with a force of gravity (Fgrav) of 24 N. If the distance separating the objects is tripled and the masses of both objects are doubled, then what is the new force of gravitational attraction? Show some organized work (not scribbles) to earn some partial credit.



4. Frieda Inhibitions, who has a mass of 55 kg, drools as a Ferrari cruises past her. The Ferrari has a mass of 1200 kg. At closest approach, Frieda and the Ferrari are separated by only 4.0 m. Calculate the force of gravitational attraction between Frieda and her Ferrari? PSYW



5. According to Kepler's third law - the Law of harmonies - the period (T) of orbit squared divided by the average radius (R) of orbit cubed is the same for all planets. That is, T2/R3 = constant. From this fact, one might conclude that _____.

a. every planet orbits the sun in the same amount of time

b. every planet orbits the sun at the same distance from the sun

c. the planets furthest from the sun take more time to orbit the sun

d. the planets furthest from the sun take less time to orbit the sun

e. ... nonsense! None of these statements are true.


6. Astronauts orbiting the earth in the space shuttle experience a force of gravity which is

a. several times greater than the Fgrav experienced on Earth's surface

b. several times smaller than the Fgrav experienced on Earth's surface

c. a fraction greater than the Fgrav experienced on Earth's surface

d. a fraction smaller than the Fgrav experienced on Earth's surface

e. ... nonsense! Orbiting astronauts do not experience any gravitational pull from the earth.


7. Choose the one best means of completing the following: Newton discovered gravity ____.

a. while picking apples in his family orchard

b. while orbiting earth on his space shuttle

c. while investigating the reasons for why elderly men develop "beer bellies"

d. while attempting to clean up his daughter's running nose

e. ... nonsense! Newton did not discovery gravity; he discovered that gravity was universal.


8. Kepler's second law of planetary motion is the law of equal areas. According to this law, _____.

a. all planets have equal areas when viewed from a position on the sun

b. the surface area of the sun looks the same (and even has the same area) when viewed from all planets

c. if a planet were a sun, then its area would be equal

d. all equal planets have the same sun.

e. if all planets were equal, then they would also be suns.

f. all planets travel the same speed when moving along their orbital path around the sun.

g. a planet travels fastest along its orbital path when closest to the sun.


9. Using complete sentences, explain why an astronaut on the orbiting space shuttle feels weightless.




10. Using complete sentences, compare a satellite which is orbiting the earth to a baseball hit from the bat of Sammy Sosa. In terms of physics principles discussed in this unit:

a. What do they have in common?

b. In what sense are they different?

c. Why does the baseball land on Waveland Avenue and the satellite never reach the earth?



11. The diagram at the right shows a satellite orbiting the Earth in an elliptical path in a clockwise direction.

a. Draw a vector representing the velocity of the object at position A.

b. Draw a vector representing the force on the object at position D.

c. Draw a vector representing the accel'n of the object at position C.

d. At which of the four positions is the satellite moving fastest? ____


e. Fill in the work-energy bar chart shown below.

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© Tom Henderson, 1996-2000

Glenbrook South High School.

Last updated on 1/27/00.