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written by Kevin M. Lee
This simulation illustrates the physics of planetary orbits. The user can control the size and orbital path of the orbit. Kepler's three laws and aspects of Newton's Law are each demonstrated. Velocity and acceleration vectors can be displayed, as well as the axes of the orbit. Instructor resources are available including student manuals, assessment materials, and a list of the assumptions used.

Editor's Note: Don't have easy access to a computer lab? This resource can quickly be set up by for laptop projection in the middle school classroom. Teachers can discuss concepts such as eccentricity as they operate the simulated orbits for full class discussion.

This resource is part of a larger collection of online labs for introductory astronomy.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Astronomy
- Fundamentals
= Kepler's Laws
- Solar System
Classical Mechanics
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= Position & Displacement
- Newton's First Law
= Inertia in Motion
- Newton's Second Law
= Interacting Objects
- High School
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Educator
Learner
Format:
application/flash
Access Rights:
Free access
Restriction:
Permission is granted to use for noncommercial purposes as long as it remains unmodified.
Keywords:
astronomy lesson plans, orbit, orbital period, planetary motion, planets, semimajor axis, semiminor axis
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created December 19, 2007 by Ann Deml
Record Updated:
January 25, 2012 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
March 26, 2007
Other Collections:

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Kinematics: The Physics of Motion
Unit Title: Planetary Motion

Explore Kepler's Laws in this simulation that allows students to control the size and path of an object orbiting one of the planets in our Solar System. You can modify the eccentricity and adjust the axial radius. The simulation generates radial lines, graphs of Period vs. Semimajor Axis and more.  Don't miss the "About" link to supporting resources: student manuals, assessment materials, and more. Note This resource requires Flash

ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

AIP Format
K. Lee, (Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2002), WWW Document, (http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf).
AJP/PRST-PER
K. Lee, Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator, (Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, 2002), <http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf>.
APA Format
Lee, K. (2007, March 26). Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska: http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf
Chicago Format
Lee, Kevin. Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator. Lincoln: Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska, March 26, 2007. http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf (accessed 29 October 2020).
MLA Format
Lee, Kevin. Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator. Lincoln: Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska, 2002. 26 Mar. 2007. 29 Oct. 2020 <http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Kevin Lee", Title = {Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator}, Publisher = {Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska}, Volume = {2020}, Number = {29 October 2020}, Month = {March 26, 2007}, Year = {2002} }
Refer Export Format

%A Kevin Lee
%T Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator
%D March 26, 2007
%I Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska
%C Lincoln
%U http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf
%O application/flash

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Lee, Kevin
%D March 26, 2007
%T Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator
%I Astronomy Education at the University of Nebraska
%V 2020
%N 29 October 2020
%8 March 26, 2007
%9 application/flash
%U http://astro.unl.edu/naap/pos/animations/kepler.swf

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Planetary Orbit Simulator:

Is Part Of The Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project: Online Labs for Introductory Level Astronomy

A link to the full collection of online modules developed by the Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project.

relation by Caroline Hall
Is a Teaching Guide For Physics Classroom: Kepler's Three Laws

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