*anshul singh asked the Naked Scientists:*

Hi the naked scientists,

What happens if mass of a planet reduces to its half without exerting any thrust (force) on it, what will happen to its orbit?

Thanks

*What do you think?*

OK I'll bite guys, I can't resist learning, beat me up without exerting force...

Can Mass be dismissed from the essential formulas related to orbit?

The formula for centripetal force is: F = (mv2)/r

The formula for the gravitational force between two bodies of mass M and m is (GMm)/r2

Force is not exerted here it is a resultant with a direct relationship to the mass? Isn't it?

Wouldn't the orbit need to be recalculated, using the new mass with the same force?

Isn't it In the Principia, Newton defined the force of gravity in the following way (translated from the Latin)?

"Every particle of matter in the universe attracts every other particle with a force that is directly proportional to the product of the masses of the particles and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them?"

http://physics.about.com/od/classicalmechanics/a/gravity.htmIs the sun and the earth act as a binary star system? What happens to the rest of the planets?

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orbit.