# Orbits - Orbits Now I will apply Newton's laws of motion...

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Orbits Now I will apply Newton's laws of motion and gravity to topics more astronomical: objects moving around other objects. What kinds of things can you find out about celestial objects from just observing their motions? Centripetal Force Newton's first law of motion says that an object's inertia will keep it from changing its speed and/or direction unless some force acts on it. This means that satellites orbiting the Earth must be feeling some force that constantly deflects them toward the center of the Earth. If there was no force, they would travel in a straight line at a constant speed. If you whirl a ball attached to string around your head, it moves in a circular path around you because the string is always pulling the ball directly toward the hand grabbing the string. The ball wants to move in a straight line and the string is pulling it directly inward. The resulting deflection is a compromise: a circular path. The string is applying a

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## This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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Orbits - Orbits Now I will apply Newton's laws of motion...

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