Problem 12.4: Determine the mass of the star

Please wait for the animation to completely load.

A planet has an initial velocity in the y direction that gives it a slightly elliptical orbit around a star as shown in the animation (position is given in 106 km and time is given in years). Restart.

  1. Determine the mass of the star.
  2. What is the correct orbital radius to give circular motion? Drag the planet at t = 0 to determine this radius. You may also drag the gray blocks around to use them as temporary or permanent markers.

Physlets were developed at Davidson College and converted from Java to JavaScript using the SwingJS system developed at St. Olaf College.

OSP Projects:
Open Source Physics - EJS Modeling
Physlet Physics
Physlet Quantum Physics
STP Book