
Re: Energy of satellite's Newtonian orbit
Posted:
Apr 29, 2011 11:13 AM


In article <fed17c0187d3494d9f1df4df1e7881f4@v36g2000prm.googlegroups.com>, Narasimham <mathma18@gmail.com> wrote:
> Does energy of an orbiting satellite ( mass<< mass M of massive body ) > depend only on G*M and its eccentricity only ? > > TIA > > Narasimham
The total energy (kinetic + potential) of a Newtonian orbit is constant, and depends only on the orbit's semimajor axis (and G and M; eccentricity is not involved). If the orbit is eccentric the kinetic and potential energies change with time, but their sum is always constant. If the mass distribution (hence its gravitational field) of the central body is not uniform (spherical symmetry is all that is needed for the above to be true)as is the case for real stars and planetsthings are more complicated.

