Procedure: 1. Search “My Solar System” in the browser. This will find a site with this URL:
Go to that link and click on “Run Now!” Click the “Show Grid” box on the right of the screen. Drag the slider from “Fast” all the way over to “Accurate”. At the bottom, select “3” for the number of bodies. Then fill out the data table to look like this:
Click on “Start” and observe the motion, then answer the questions below.
Q1: Which planet (inner or outer) travels the least distance to go around once?
Q2: Which planet is going the fastest?
Q3: Which planet has the shortest ”year”?
Q4: About how many times does the inner planet go around while the outer planet goes around once? Two and a half
Q5: In our solar system, what is the name of the planet that goes the fastest? The slowest? Jupiter is the fastest and Venus is the slowest
2. Click “Stop”, then click on the arrow next to “Select Preset” in the upper right of the screen, then scroll down and select “Ellipses”. Click “Start” and answer the following questions about the outer GREEN orbit relative to the yellow “sun”..
Q6: Where in its orbit is the planet going the fastest? Slowest?
Q7: Where do you think gravity is the strongest? Weakest?
Q8: Comets have orbits similar to this one. Where would you expect a comet to spend most of its time, near the Sun or far from the Sun? Why?
3. Click on the “2” by the number of bodies and fill in the data table to look like this:
4. Notice the time output in the lower right of the screen. Click on “Start” and watch the small mass fall toward the large mass. Measure the time it takes to hit by clicking on “Stop” as soon as the small mass hits (the large mass will flash when they hit). Repeat the simulation by clicking on “Reset” until...
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