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March 30, 2017

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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...

  • Physics - ,

    Well, if there were no forces, there would be no acceleration, so its velocity
    would remain constant.

    What kind of trajectory is that?

  • Physics - ,

    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.

  • Physics - ,

    But Steve might have a more accurate answer lol.

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