|MadSci Network: Physics|
Please help settle a friendly wager borne of long forgotten studies- My neighbor says that the earth's escape velocity is a constant 11 km/s, regardless of the mass of the body escaping, at least up to the point where the captive is equal in mass to the captor. To prove his point he asks, assuming the moon was at rest on the surface of the earth, "Is the mass of the moon significant to change the velocity required for escape from the earths' gravity well to <.05 or <.01?" Since I believe the moon's gravity would increase the velocity necessary to separate the two, my question is "Is the escape velocity for any two bodies the sum of their separate escape velocities, computed assuming the escape of an object with an insignificant gravitational force, i.e. in this case, earth 11, moon 2 for a total of 13 km/s? Though I am really rusty on my algebra, my guess is that an object 1/100th the size of the earth or larger would increase the escape velocity by 1% or more - Anything smaller than that would be insignificant. Please help us. Are either of us anywhere close to being right in our approach to this question? Thanks for your help.
Re: Is escape velocity dependent on mass of captive object?
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