Posted by **Jerry** on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 3:26am.

A comet is traveling towards the earth. The comet has a mass of 5.50E+12 kg and a radius of 323 m. The comet is traveling with a speed of 13.5 km/s and spinning with a period of 0.15 seconds when its center is a distance 2.28E+7 m away from the center of the earth. The comet is roughly spherical, so its moment of inertia will be that of a uniform, solid sphere. Just before the comet strikes the surface of the earth, its speed is 7.9 km/s, and its rotation is essentially zero. Use the following values for constants

G = 6.673E-11 N m2/kg2

mass of earth = 5.976E+24 kg

radius of earth = 6.378E+6 m

A lot of energy is converted to thermal energy as the comet travels through the atmosphere. Using the information above, determine the total amount of energy converted to thermal energy.

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