A satellite in orbit possesses kinetic energy, KE, (by virtue of its speed motion) and
potential energy, PE, (by virtue of its position within the
Earth’s gravitational field).
Hence, total energy of a satellite,
TE = PE + KE
--- Equation (1)
Recall that for a satellite in circular orbit, its gravitational force acts as the centripetal force:
ΣF = ma
simplifying and multiply by
Substituting equation (2) into (1),
Hence total energy of a satellite, TE = PE + KE
A typical graph showing the relationship between PE, KE and TE with respect to the distance, r, from centre of Earth, O, is as shown.
Assuming mass of object mobject = 1kg, Mass of Earth Mearth = 6.0x1024 kg, G =6.67x10-11 N m2 kg-2 , The potential energy PE =
similarly, determine the equation/model that describes KE and TE and key them into the simulation to test your understanding