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Satellite = Orbits a larger object in space

The Moon is a natural satellite of the Earth

There are 20,000 man-made objects in orbit which are artificial

Hubble Space Telescope and the International Space Station are examples of large artificial satellites

Artificial satellites do many important things:

  • Telecommunications
  • Weather predictions
  • Military uses
  • Satellite navigation systems
  • Scientific research
  • Producing images of the Earth

Gravitational Attraction (Gravity) keeps the satellites in orbit of each other

The bigger the masses = the bigger the attraction between them

Gravitational attraction force = weight

Gravitational force of attraction varies with the inverse square law:

If the distance between them is trebled, the force is nine times smaller

Comets have elliptical orbits around the sun

Its furthest distance can be 50x its closest - this changes the force attraction between them

When it is nearer the sun, the speed of the comet increases as there is more attraction but as it goes further away, it slows down

The time taken for a planet to orbit


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