University Physics Volume 3

17th Edition
William Moebs + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168185

University Physics Volume 3

17th Edition
William Moebs + 1 other
ISBN: 9781938168185
Textbook Problem

Our solar system orbits the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Assuming a circular orbit 30,000 ly in radius and an orbital speed of 250 km/s, how many years does it take for one revolution? Note that this is approximate, assuming constant speed and circular orbit, but it is representative of the time for our system and local stars to make one revolution around the galaxy.

To determine

The time taken for the solar system to revolve once around the Milky Way.



Radius, r = 3×104ly

Velocity, v =250 km/s

Formula used:

The time taken is calculated by



The distance covered by an object revolving in a circular orbit of radius r in one revolution is given by 2πr. If the speed of the revolution is v, then the time for one revolution is:


The time for one revolution is given by the expression of T.

Substitute 3×104ly for r and 250 km/s for v in the expression of T




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