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If the sun had twice as much mass what would happen to the gravitational force between Earth and the Sun?


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2007-07-13 15:10:25
2007-07-13 15:10:25

If an Earth-like planet was orbiting at the same distance from its double solar mass star as the Earth is from the Sun (1 astronomical unit, written 1 AU), then the force would be double that experienced by the Earth. The force at constant distance is just proportional to the product of stellar and planetary masses. We don't know of any reason why an Earth mass planet should not form at 1 AU from a star of 2X Solar mass, though we as yet have few observational measurements of such low mass extra-solar planets.

Because of the higher the gravitational, such a planet would be centripetally accelerated more strongly, and its constant orbital speed would have to be higher than the Earth's. Thus its year would be shorter, 1/(square root 2) of an Earth year or about 258 days.

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