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Planetary Motions. Kepler’s Laws: Physics not optional!. Planetary Motions. Periodic : Repeat at fixed intervals of time Shape : Follow a regular geometric path--what is it? Layout : Heliocentric, with spacing set by observations and geometry. Kepler’s Laws.

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planetary motions

Planetary Motions

Kepler’s Laws:

Physics not optional!

planetary motions1
Planetary Motions
  • Periodic: Repeat at fixed intervals of time
  • Shape: Follow a regular geometric path--what is it?
  • Layout: Heliocentric, with spacing set by observations and geometry
kepler s laws
Kepler’s Laws
  • Empirical: Based on observations, not theory (geometrical)
  • Law 1: Orbits elliptical
  • Law 2: Equal areas in equal times
  • Law 3: Regular spacing of planets from sun
law 1
Law 1
  • Planetary orbits are elliptical with the sun at one focus
  • Distance between sun and planet varies (perihelion-closest; aphelion-farthest)
  • Average distance = semimajor axis
  • Orbits are not very elliptical (small eccentricities)
law 2
Law 2
  • A line between a planet and the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times
  • Orbital speeds vary with distance from the sun
    • aphelion, slowest; perihelion, fastest
  • Sense of a force from sun acting on planet (magnetic?)
law 3
Law 3
  • Orbital period squared divided by average distance cubed is a constant
  • Orbital speeds decrease (a lot!) with increasing distance from the sun
  • Objects at same distances follow same orbits
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