# Would a sniper bullet fired on Ceres reach orbital or even escape velocity?

What would happen if you fired a sniper bullet horizontally from the top of Ahuna Mons, the highest mountain of Ceres? Once I read somewhere that if you fired a bullet on the Moon in the correct angle, it could land on the other side of the Moon. If that's true, on Ceres with 0.00016 Earth masses and 0.029 the Earth's surface gravity a bullet surely could enter an orbit around Ceres if fired from Ahuna Mons, or even escape velocity if fired in the correct angle, or not?

Ceres' escape velocity is about 510 m/s (about 1670 ft/s). I think that's achievable by certain guns.

• It doesn't matter whether you fire horizontally. Escape velocity is independent of the angle, although of course you can't aim below horizontal.
– user687
Jul 7 '20 at 15:45
• To reach an orbit from the surface of Ceres using a firearm is impossible, The bullet would crash into the surface after one revolution. You need a sufficient height for a stable orbit due to the irregular shape of Ceres. For very low orbits you need a celestical body with a perfect spherical shape and symmetrical density.
– Uwe
Jul 7 '20 at 16:16
• @Uwe This is why I wrote "horizontally from the top of Ahuna Mons". Like this, it would achieve an orbit unless it reaches escape velocity. Ahuna Mons is a lonely mountain. Jul 7 '20 at 16:37
• @Uwe By shooting the bullet arbitrarily close to escape velocity, you can make the period arbitrarily long, the mean orbital height arbitrarily large, and the time spent in low orbit an arbitrarily small fraction of the period. Shooting from the ground only constitutes a "low orbit" if you fire with low enough velocity to have a circular orbit. Is an arbitrarily large orbit around a non-uniform body also inherently unstable? Jul 7 '20 at 20:57
• Quite a few guns, not just sniper rifles, could hit the required velocity. Hell, even an FN P90 could do it (muzzle velocities are about 200 m/s higher than what's needed, and there's no air resistance to slow the bullet down), let alone most rifle cartridges and even some handguns (I'd actually be surprised if anything using a modern intermediate cartridge such as 5.56x45mm or 5.45x69mm couldn't do it, provided of course that it wasn't a subsonic load). Jul 8 '20 at 2:05