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Homework 2

Professor Florencia Canelli


PHY121.3 Vertiefung zu Physik
FS 2018

⃗v
q
m d
M,R

Exercise 2. Asteroid approaching Earth. A telescope discovered an asteroid of mass


m approaching Earth. The distance between the center of the Earth and the center of the
asteroid is d. The asteroid velocity has modulo |~v | = v and makes an angle θ with the line
linking the two centers.
The radius of the Earth is R = 6.3 · 106 m, and its mass M = 6.0 · 1024 kg. You can use
the approximation m << M .

a) Considering the system Earth + asteroid, explain which conservation law(s) is(are)
valid:

– Energy conservation: yes/no.


– Linear momentum conservation: yes/no.
– Angular momentum conservation: yes/no.

b) Considering only the asteroid, in an Earth reference frame, explain which conservation
law(s) is(are) valid: energy, linear momentum, and angular momentum.

– Energy conservation: yes/no.


– Linear momentum conservation: yes/no.
– Angular momentum conservation: yes/no.

c) Evaluate the energy (E), linear momentum (P~ ), and angular momentum (L)
~ of the
asteroid in an Earth reference frame.

E = .................... |P~ | = .................... ~ = ....................


|L|

1
Assuming the asteroid orbit is close and there is no impact

v⃗1
d1 d2

v⃗2

d) Calculate the speed and the distance of the asteroid when it passes from the farthest
point from the Earth. (hint: in this point, radial component of velocity is zero)

d1 = .................... |v~1 | = ....................

e) Calculate the speed and the distance of the asteroid when it passes from the closest
point from the Earth. (hint: in this point, radial component of velocity is zero)

d2 = .................... |v~2 | = ....................

f) Does the asteroid impact the Earth if θ = π/4, d = 2 · 105 km and v = 103 m/s?