Satellites, Centripetal Force and Tangential Motion

A GCSE-level quiz relating to the Satellites section in the OCR Gateway Physics P5 module. It asks about the different types of orbit an artificial satellite can have around Earth, the orbital path of each type of satellite and how each satellite's distance from Earth affects its orbit.

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1. Geostationary satellites are further away from the Earth's surface. This means that a lower gravitational force of attraction is present between the satellite and the Earth. What kind of tangential speed is required to keep this satellite in orbit?

  • A low one because too high a tangential speed will cause the satellite to move away, into space.
  • A high one because too low a tangential speed will cause the satellite to fall to the Earth's surface.
  • A low one because too high a tangential speed will cause the satellite to fall to the Earth's surface.
  • A high one because too low a tangential speed will cause the satellite to move away, into space.
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2. The force between two objects increases as the distance between them decreases. This is an inverse square law. If the distance between two objects is enlarged by a scale factor of ten, what happens to the force between them?

  • It decreases to one hundredth of what it was originally
  • It decreases to one tenth of what it was originally
  • It decreases to one thousandth of what it was originally
  • It decreases to one millionth of what it was originally

3. As a comet nears the Sun, the speed at which it travels in its orbit increases. This is because:

  • the size of the comet increases as it gets closer to the Sun
  • as the comet nears the Sun, the gravitational force of attraction between the comet and the Sun is greater
  • as the comet nears the Sun, the gravitational force of attraction between the comet and the Sun is greater
  • when the comet is further away from the Sun, the gravitational force of attraction between the comet and the Sun is greater

4. Gravity is the universal force of attraction between masses. How does the mass of an object affect its gravitational force of attraction?

  • The mass of an object doesn't affect its gravitational force of attraction.
  • The greater the mass of the object, the greater the gravitational force of attraction.
  • The greater the mass of the object, the weaker the gravitational force of attraction.
  • The smaller the mass of the object, the greater the gravitational force of attraction.

5. Due to the gravitational force of attraction between an artificial satellite and the Earth, the Earth's artificial satellites are:

  • constantly drifting away from the Earth
  • occasionally accelerating towards the Earth
  • constantly accelerating towards the Earth
  • constantly decelerating

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