Copernican System Model DocumentsThis material has 3 associated documents. Select a document title to view a document's information. Main DocumentCopernican System Model
written by
Todd Timberlake
The Ejs Copernican System model illustrates Copernicus' system of planetary motions. The entire system is centered on the center of Earth's uniform, circular orbit. Sun is placed near, but not at, this center point. The orbit of each planet (other than Earth) consists of a deferent circle, centered on a point some distance from the center (at the eccentric point). Attached to this deferent is the center of a much smaller circle, the epicycle (or epicyclet). The radius of the epicycle is 1/3 the eccentricity of the deferent. The planet moves along the epicycle at a constant angular speed equal to twice the angular speed along the deferent. This model produces retrograde motion and changes in brightness that are always properly correlated with the location of Sun. In this simulation, the planet is assumed to move in the plane of the ecliptic, so its latitude is always zero. You can modify this simulation if you have Ejs installed by right-clicking within the plot and selecting "Open Ejs Model" from the pop-up menu item.
Last Modified June 8, 2013
This file has previous versions. Supplemental DocumentsActivities for the Copernican System ModelThis zip archive contains handouts for two activities that allow students to explore the Copernican System Model. Once activity focuses on the basic structural features of the model and determining orbital periods. The other activity focuses on determining the size or orbits. Both handouts are provided in LaTeX and PDF formats.
Published January 4, 2013
Source Code DocumentsCopernican System Model Source CodeThe source code zip archive contains an XML representation of the Ejs Copernican System Model. Unzip this archive in your Ejs workspace to compile and run this model using Ejs.
Published August 18, 2009
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