Circular OrbitGravity supplies the necessary centripetal force to hold a satellite in orbit about the earth. The circular orbit is a special case since orbits are generally ellipses, or hyperbolas in the case of objects which are merely deflected by the planet's gravity but not captured. Setting the gravity force from the univeral law of gravity equal to the required centripetal force yields the description of the orbit. The orbit can be expressed in terms of the acceleration of gravity at the orbit. The force of gravity in keeping an object in circular motion is an example of centripetal force. Since it acts always perpendicular to the motion, gravity does not do work on the orbiting object if it is in a circular orbit.

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Earth's GravityThe weight of an object is given by W=mg, the force of gravity, which comes from the law of gravity at the surface of the Earth in the inverse square law form: At standard sea level, the acceleration of gravity has the value g = 9.8 m/s^{2}, but that value diminishes according to the inverse square law at greater distances from the earth. The value of g at any given height, say the height of an orbit, can be calculated from the above expression. 
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Binary Circular Orbit

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Reduced Mass

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