Why does the direction of gravitational force change as a comet approaches the sun?
I thought it always acted centripetally
- Thread Starter
- 24-01-2015 13:01
- 24-01-2015 14:14
- 24-01-2015 20:07
As an object would move around a larger one [for example a sun], the direction of acceleration for the object would always be acting towards the centre of mass of the sun. As the object would move away from its previous position in space, the centre of mass of the sun would be in a slightly different direction - resulting in the direction of acceleration to also alter.
Yes, the direction of acceleration would always be acting centripetally, which is precisely why it changes!