Analysis of an Asteriod

1. Discuss three scientific concepts connected to the asteroid’s motion. (Please do not include Kepler’s Law in response.)

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2. If the asteriod is moving at a constant speed in its orbit, does this also mean it is moving at a constant velocity? Explain your answer. Is the asteriod accelerating?


3. What force acts to hold the asteriod in orbit around the Sun? What direction does this force act?


4. This asteriod’s motion is affected by many different massive objects: the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and other asteriods. Which of these objects has the most influence in the asteriod’s orbit? Explain your answer.


5. Assume this asteriod has the shape of a sphere. A rock sitting on the surface of the asteriod has a weight of 100 Newtons. What would the weight of this rock be if it were moved to a distance above the surface equal to the radius of the asteriod? How is the mass of the rock affected by its change in position?


6. At some point in its orbit, our asteriod is moving with a speed of 20 kilometers per second. Determine the kinetic energy of the asteroid assuming it has a mass of 1000 kilograms. Be sure your answer is in the correct units of energy (1 kilometer = 1000 meters; 1 Joule = kg-m²/sec².


7. If the distance from the Sun varied during our asteriod’s orbit, would its kinetic energy change? Explain your answer. Would its potential energy change? Explain your answer. Would the total energy (the sum of kinetic and potential energies) of the asteriod change? Explain your answer.


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