escape velocity


Definition of escape velocity

: the minimum velocity that a moving body (such as a rocket) must have to escape from the gravitational field of a celestial body (such as the earth) and move outward into space

Examples of escape velocity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the late 18th century, the scientist John Michell pondered what would happen if a star were so massive, and its gravity so strong, that its escape velocity would be equivalent to the speed of light. Jennifer Ouellette, Quanta Magazine, "The Fuzzball Fix for a Black Hole Paradox," 23 June 2015 Secret was one of the last pop-up social networks to approach something resembling escape velocity. Casey Newton, The Verge, "There’s a crack at the heart of Facebook’s advertising business," 4 Oct. 2018 The escape velocity is a measurment of how fast an object would have to travel to completely escape from the galaxy’s orbit. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Surprise! Andromeda Isn't Much Bigger Than the Milky Way After All," 16 Feb. 2018 The initial version will be able to boost more than 50,000 pounds to Earth-escape velocity. William Harwood, CBS News, "SpaceX Falcon Heavy launch puts on spectacular show in maiden flight," 6 Feb. 2018 Using data from a number of very fast stars in the Andromeda Galaxy spotted by the William Herschel telescope, the researchers could calculate the escape velocity of the galaxy. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Surprise! Andromeda Isn't Much Bigger Than the Milky Way After All," 16 Feb. 2018 How does a company like Spotify grow up over the last 10 years and achieve escape velocity? Joe Pompeo, The Hive, "“Silicon Valley and the Media World Haven’t Been Comfortable Partners”: Edgar Bronfman Jr. Dishes on His New Media V.C. Dynamo," 5 Dec. 2017 Larger narratives would only destroy that apartness from the chain of events which gives them escape velocity. Julian Lucas, New York Times, "Epic Stories That Expand the Universal Family Plot," 1 Sep. 2017 Soar higher, to twenty-two thousand miles above earth, to that sweet spot where escape velocity meshes with gravity. Bucky Mcmahon, Esquire, "If Anyone Finds MH370, It Will Be the Men on This Ship," 14 Sep. 2015

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escape velocity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of escape velocity

1934, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of escape velocity was in 1934

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to make a temporary encampment

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