?

AP® Physics 1 & 2

Free Version

Upgrade subject to access all content

Moderate

Moons Collide: New Circular Orbit?

APPH12-IYRJTI

Two identical, small moons are traveling in elliptical orbits around a planet (mass $M$, radius $R$). They crash into each other and stick together (losing no mass) and then settle into a stable circular orbit of radius $r$ where $r>>R.$

If the moons originally each have a mass of $m$, what is the orbital speed of the new, circular orbit?

A

$v=\sqrt {\cfrac {2GMm}{r}}$

B

$v=\sqrt {\cfrac {GM}{r}}$

C

$v=\sqrt {\cfrac {Gm}{r}}$

D

$v=\sqrt {\cfrac {2Gm}{r}}$