« on: Today at 19:36:52 »
Quote from: OP
Why do artificial satellites of the Earth rotate by inertia longer than artificial satellites of the Moon?I agree that satellites orbit because they have inertia and a velocity relative to the parent body, which gives them angular momentum.
From a different viewpoint...
The Earth is surrounded by an atmosphere which extends beyond 100km (getting less dense the farther you go)
- This means that satellites in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) continually lose angular momentum, and their orbit decays
- The International Space Station at around 400km altitude would eventually burn up in the atmosphere if it did not get regular rocket boosts
- In contrast, the Moon has no atmosphere - any transient events like meteor impacts just result in a slightly less dense vacuum in the vicinity of the impact.
- So I expect that an artificial satellite at 150km altitude above the Moon would remain in orbit much longer than an artificial satellite at 150km above the Earth.
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