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Bullet moon orbit

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magnum pk
1275903.  Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:46 am Reply with quote

Great show as always guys however..... i have a bit of a problem with the statement that a bullet could orbit the moon once and hit you in the head but on the second orbit would hit you lower down. What is slowing the bullet down? Obviously eventually gravitational forces from other planets and the sun would eventually effect the bullet however if the bullet was in a head high orbit i think it would remain in a head high orbit for more than one rotation. Is there a small atmosphere on the moon that would slow it down or some other effect i am unaware of.
I dont want to get real serious and actually calculate the forces involved as i am sure someone already has.
Forgive me if this has been addressed on another format as i do not like Twitter or Facebook.

 
crissdee
1275908.  Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:35 am Reply with quote

There's still gravity on the moon, just not very much compared to Earth (one sixth iirc), so that will pull it down a bit each orbit.

 
Alfred E Neuman
1275930.  Wed Feb 28, 2018 3:57 pm Reply with quote

crissdee wrote:
There's still gravity on the moon, just not very much compared to Earth (one sixth iirc), so that will pull it down a bit each orbit.


Thatís not how orbits work. It should be possible to have a stable orbit at the same altitude on each pass assuming thereís no friction.

 
crissdee
1275950.  Wed Feb 28, 2018 5:45 pm Reply with quote

Yes, of course, wasn't thinking straight.

 
magnum pk
1275961.  Wed Feb 28, 2018 8:35 pm Reply with quote

To be fair a decaying orbit is possible without atmospheric friction.However if a bullet was shot from shoulder height and in the first orbit stays high enough to make a fatal shot i think that it would most probably stay at around the same height for at least another orbit.
Please don't make me pull out my old textbook and calculator as i am very lazy

 

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