What keeps the Earth moving in its approximately circular path around the Sun? It's a combination of the 30 km/s speed of the Earth and the gravitational force exerted on the Earth by the Sun.
This simulation shows five different Earths, with initial speeds of 80%, 100%, 120%, 141.42%, and 150% of the real Earth's speed. This results in four different orbital shapes - two elliptical orbits, a circular orbit, a parabolic trajectory, and a hyperbolic trajectory.
Simulation first posted on 7-13-2016. Written by Andrew Duffy
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