# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: How close can a satellite orbit the sun  (Read 6715 times)

#### moccacake

• Jr. Member
• Posts: 20
##### How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« on: 09/12/2006 17:43:48 »
How close can a space probe get to the sun before it gets sucked in by the gravity?
« Last Edit: 17/12/2006 16:05:18 by ukmicky »

#### ukmicky

• Moderator
• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3011
##### Re: How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« Reply #1 on: 09/12/2006 18:37:17 »
I suppose it would depend on how much angular momentum you gave it.

#### Soul Surfer

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3345
• keep banging the rocks together
##### Re: How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« Reply #2 on: 09/12/2006 23:39:35 »
Nothing ever just gets "sucked in" by gravity.  Assuming that it initially is in an orbit around the sun it can continue to change its orbit and get closer to the sun until the density of the sun's atmosphere slows it down so much that it will fall into the sun  like satellites and meteors burning out in the earth's atmosphere.  That means gettin opretty close to the surface of the sun as we sre it but by then it will have melted anyway.

#### lyner

• Guest
##### Re: How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« Reply #3 on: 16/12/2006 14:48:53 »
Yes - People have this same problem with black holes. You could be in orbit   around a black hole  for ever as long as you weren't near enough for relativity to be a consideration.
lyner

#### daveshorts

• Moderator
• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 2583
• Physics, Experiments
##### Re: How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« Reply #4 on: 17/12/2006 12:20:03 »
This is true under newtonian mechanics, however unforutunately for simplicity, it doesn't quite work when you enter the realm of general relativity. If spacetime is very curved, like very close to a black hole, then orbits cease to be stable.
http://www.fourmilab.ch/gravitation/orbits/

#### syhprum

• Neilep Level Member
• Posts: 3821
• Thanked: 19 times
##### Re: How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« Reply #5 on: 17/12/2006 12:42:08 »
I think the minimum orbital time for a body around the Sun is about 95 minutes but in practice nothing could survive that close.
Planets have been observed orbiting somewhat smaller stars in two days

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: How close can a satellite orbit the sun
« Reply #5 on: 17/12/2006 12:42:08 »