posted by Chris on .
What would be the path of the Moon if somehow all gravitational forces on it vanished to zero?
Please help; need an original answer no Google search. Thank you in advance...
Well, if there were no forces, there would be no acceleration, so its velocity
would remain constant.
What kind of trajectory is that?
Well umm I'm not a physics master but
it depends where it is on it's orbit when gravity disappeared.
It will move off at a tangent to it's orbit, which may send it into the sun or into a swing around it, or, more likely, into outer interstellar space. If it's new path took it by a planet, that would cause a deflection also.
But odds are high that it would wind up in interstellar space, but I would have to calculate the speeds to check that. Possibly it's orbital speed is not high enough to escape from the sun forever. Possibly it may be in a comet type orbit.
But if your looking for degrees.. then I would say - the path of the moon would be 40 degrees north latitude and 70 degrees south longitude.
But again- It depends where it is on it's orbit when gravity disappeared.
But Steve might have a more accurate answer lol.