Physics

Question

Pluto orbits the Sun at an average distance of 5.91 × 10^12 meters. Pluto’s diameter is 2.30 × 10^6
meters and its mass is 1.31 × 10^22 kilograms.
Charon orbits Pluto with their centers separated by a distance of 1.96 × 10^7 meters. Charon has
a diameter of 1.21 × 10^6 meters and a mass of 1.55 × 10^21 kilograms.

Calculate the magnitude of the gravitational force of attraction that Pluto exerts on Charon. [Show all
work, including the equation and substitution with units.]

1 Answer

  • Unless I'm missing something, most of the values you are given seem to be irrelevant.

    Based on Newton's law of universal gravitation, F=G(m1m2/r^2) where G is the gravitational constant, m1 and m2 are the 2 masses, and r^2 is the distance separating the centres of the 2 masses.

    We can substitute the values in to get F=G((1.31x10^22)*(1.55x10^21)/(1.96x10^7)
    =3.53x10^18N

    Therefore the magnitude of the gravitational force of attraction that Pluto exerts on Charon (and vice versa) is 3.53x10^18N
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