An artificial satellite orbiting the earth in very thin atmosphere loses its energy gradually due to dissipation against atmospheric resistance, however small. Why then does its speed increase progressively as it comes closer and closer to the earth? | Learn NCERT solution | Education portal Class 11 Physics | Study online Unit-6 Work, Energy And Power



Q.5(c):- An artificial satellite orbiting the earth in very thin atmosphere loses its energy gradually due to dissipation against atmospheric resistance, however small. Why then does its speed increase progressively as it comes closer and closer to the earth?

 

Answer:- 



When an artificial satellite, orbiting around earth, moves closer to earth, its potential energy decreases because of the reduction in the height. Since the total energy of the system remains constant, the reduction in P.E. results in an increase in K.E. Hence, the velocity of the satellite increases. However, due to atmospheric friction, the total energy of the satellite decreases by a small amount.