Circular and Satellite Motion - Mission CG2 Detailed Help

An object moves in a circle at a constant speed. The direction of the net force is best described as being ____.

Uniform Circular Motion and Acceleration:
Accelerating objects are changing their velocity - either the magnitude or the direction of the velocity. Objects moving in a circle at a constant speed are accelerating due to their changing direction. The direction of the acceleration is directed toward the center of the circle about which the object moves. Such a direction is described as being centripetal.

Direction of Net Force:
A net force (or unbalanced force) causes an acceleration. The direction of the net force (or unbalanced force) acting upon an object is the same as the direction of the acceleration.

Objects that move in a circle at a constant speed are accelerating. The acceleration is directed towards the center of the circle. As we know from Newton's laws, objects that are accelerating are experiencing a net force. While the net force may not be in the same direction which the object is moving, it is always in the direction that the object is accelerating. So if the acceleration is centripetal, then so is the net force.