Explore BrainMass

Forces, Fields and Energy - Gravitational Fields

The distance between the centers of the Earth and the moon is 3.8 x 10^8 m. Assume that the moon moves in a circular orbit about the center of the Earth. Estimate the period of the orbit to the nearest day.
*Mass of earth = 6.0 x 10^24 kg
*1 day = 8.6 x 10^4 seconds
*Distance between the centers of Earth and Moon = 3.8 x 10^8 m

That above, is the problem. Common knowledge tells me that the answer will be 1 day, as it takes 24 hours for the Moon to orbit the Earth. I know therefore that the period will be 1 day, equivalent to 8.6 x 10^4 seconds, but the problem is that I do not know how to show this via working it out. I tried to calculate the angular velocity OMEGA, which is given by 2PI/f, and also using v = rOMEGA, but both of these quantities can only be found by knowing the time period, as frequency = 1/T, and velocity requires time to work out as well, (as far as I know) and time is the quantity that you are trying to work out.

Please could you help me out with this problem. Your response will be very much appreciated.

Solution Summary

This Solution contains over 200 words and calculations to aid you in understanding the Solution to these questions.