Re: A simple question

Posted by Natalie L. Smith on Apr 08, 2002 at 15:36

Re: A simple question (dogrock)

The moon has a sideways component to its motion. If you could somehow instantaneously "turn off" earth's gravitational field, the moon would, in that instant, change it's path to a sideways (tangent) straight line in the direction it was traveling at that instant. Such a line would inevitably move the moon farther from the earth as well. That theoretical increase in the earth-moon distance from the sideways component is exactly the same amount that the moon would drop in the same amount of time if it had no sideways component (like your apple). So, throw your apple fast enough straight out and it, too, can never reach the earth while still being constantly falling! (Hard to explain without pictures.)

Follow Ups:

Post a Followup



[ Forum ] [ New Message ]