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Orbit of Planet (KVPY ’10)

A planet of mass \(m\) is moving around a star of mass \(M\) and radius \(R\) in a circular orbit of radius \(r\). The star abruptly shrinks to half its radius without any loss of mass. What change will  there in the orbit of the planet?

Discussion:

A planet of mass \(m\) is moving around a star of mass \(M\) and radius \(R\) in a circular orbit of radius \(r\). The star abruptly shrinks to half its radius without any loss of mass.

As we know, the formula for centripetal force is $$ F=\frac{mv^2}{r}$$

Since the radius of the star is decreasing without any change in mass will not have any effect on force exerted by star on planet which is the required centripetal force.

October 1, 2017

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