How can something orbit around a planet?


How can something orbit around a planet?
What makes it orbit?


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Most Helpful Girl

  • Due to the gravity and it must also have velocity

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Most Helpful Guy

  • The balance between mass attraction (gravity) and centrifugal force. The orbiting body is moving at a high rate of speed which would normally take it in a straight line unless something acts upon it. In this case, another body---which is usually larger---influences it with gravitational pull. As a result, the smaller body moves in an arc rather than a tangent and ends up in “orbit” around the larger one.

    However, this is a delicate balance. If the revolving body slows or the gravitational field of the larger one increases, the orbit will degrade and eventually result in a collision.

    By the way, the two bodies can be of more or less equal mass such as binary stars. In this case they orbit each other around their common center of mass.

    Why the sudden interest in Astronomy?

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    • Thanks for the MHO! I was also going to respond to your other question about why the earth does not have rings but the answer is a lot more complicated, having to do with how the solar system evolved. While rings around the earth might be a beautiful sight, they might have unintended consequences.

    • Than you for the answer oh and welcome!

What Girls Said 4

  • Earths as well as all the other planets gravitational pull... That's like asking why do we even have our solar system and orbit the sun instead of just hurdling around in space.

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  • The earth has a leash on the moon and pulls it around so it always follows the earth.

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  • didn't you take sixth grade?

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What Guys Said 3

  • Gravitational field that affects all objects based on mass. The force was defined as g*((M1*M2)/r). Atoms attract each other based on mass, although they do repulse each other based on electric load if that's how it is. Anyways, the Earth is massive, so it attracts things.

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  • Again I think gravity and the other planets is the extent of my knowledge

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  • Did you smoke weed during physics class? lol

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