Orbital Energy

Energy because we move in orbit


The speed of the earth in orbit is 30,000 meters per second.  A kilogram of matter moving at that speed has a kinetic energy in joules equal to (1/2)*mass(kg)*(the square of the speed(m/s)) = (1/2) (1) (30,000)(30,000) = 450 million joules.

A kilogram of gasoline has a heat content of about 45 million joules.  Therefore a kilogram of matter moving at the speed of the earth has as much kinetic energy as is stored in 10 kilograms of gasoline.

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