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Old 07-31-2007   #1
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Default Here's an algebra challenge for you?

A satellite has an elliptical orbit around the earth with one focus at the earth’s center, E. The earth’s radius is 4000 miles, the highest point that the satellite is from the surface of the earth is 800 miles, and the lowest is 200 miles. Find the eccentricity of the satellite’s orbit.
Old 07-31-2007   #2
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Highest point is 4,800, lowest is 4,200, and average is 4,500 miles from the center of Earth. My astronomy book says:4,200=4,500(1-e) and 4,800=4,500(1+e)Solve either of these two equations for e, which is the eccentricity. I get 0.06666...
Old 07-31-2007   #3
KeSean H
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Old 07-31-2007   #4
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If the semimajor axis of the ellipse is A, and the focus is a distance C from the centre, the eccentricity is C / A.300 / 4500 = 0.0667.


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