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Ch 10: The Orbits of Celestial Bodies

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about elliptical orbits, the moon's tidal force, the acceleration of gravity, and more. Take advantage of the short quizzes that follow each lesson to gauge your progress.

Orbits, Tides, and Gravity - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Let our instructors help you make sense of the kinematics equations used to calculate the effects of gravity on the acceleration, speed, and velocity of an object in orbit. You can also take a closer look at how the moon's gravitational forces affect our oceans. By the time you reach the end of this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • Orbital shapes, speeds, and periods
  • The effect of gravity on orbits
  • Gravitational forces between the Earth and moon
  • Acceleration in free fall motion

Video Objectives
Elliptical Orbits: Periods & Speeds Practice solving formulas used to calculate orbiting objects' speeds and periods.
Eccentricity and Orbits of Planets Learn about planetary orbits that diverge from a perfect circle.
The Effect of Gravity & Energy on Orbits Discover how gravity affects an object's orbit. Examine concepts like escape velocity and atmospheric drag.
The Effect of Gravity, the Moon & the Sun on Tides Explore the relationship between the tidal forces of the moon and sun and the tidal cycles on Earth.
The Effect of Tidal Friction on Earth and the Moon Discover how tidal friction on Earth explains the moon's rotation.
Free Fall Physics Practice Problems Get experience solving the types of equations used to calculate variables associated with free fall motion.
The Acceleration of Gravity: Definition & Formula Learn to measure the effect of gravity on an object's acceleration.

9 Lessons in Chapter 10: The Orbits of Celestial Bodies
The Four Kinds of Trajectories for Celestial Objects

1. The Four Kinds of Trajectories for Celestial Objects

What does the slicing apart of a cone and the resultant shapes have to do with trajectories and escape velocity? This lesson will tell you as it goes over ellipses, circles, hyperbolas, and parabolas.

Elliptical Orbits: Periods & Speeds

2. Elliptical Orbits: Periods & Speeds

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what an elliptical orbit is and calculate the period and speed of an object in an elliptical orbit, if given enough information. A short quiz will follow.

Eccentricity & Orbits of Planets

3. Eccentricity & Orbits of Planets

After watching this lesson, you will be able to explain what eccentricity is and calculate the eccentricity of an orbit given relevant distance measurements. A short quiz will follow.

Center of Mass, The Barycenter & Orbital Motion

4. Center of Mass, The Barycenter & Orbital Motion

This lesson will tell you what orbits around what: the sun around the Earth or the Earth around the sun. The same goes for the moon and Earth. Does the moon really orbit around the Earth?

Circular Velocity & Escape Velocity

5. Circular Velocity & Escape Velocity

This lesson will describe the concepts of circular velocity, escape velocity, open orbits, closed orbits, and geosynchronous satellites. It will provide the equations necessary for you to be able to calculate out circular and escape velocity as well.

How Orbits Are Influenced by Gravity & Energy

6. How Orbits Are Influenced by Gravity & Energy

This lesson will explain how potential energy, kinetic energy, speed, and gravity are linked to the orbital motion of planets in our solar system. It will also define aphelion and perihelion.

Kepler's Laws, Ellipses, and Eccentricity

7. Kepler's Laws, Ellipses, and Eccentricity

This lesson will discuss Kepler's First Law of Planetary Motion; define an ellipse, focus, major axis, semimajor axis, and eccentricity; and explain what they have to do with astronomy.

Planets of the Solar System: Orbits & Visibility

8. Planets of the Solar System: Orbits & Visibility

This lesson will tell you which planets in our solar system you can see with the naked eye and which ones you cannot. You'll also learn how they appear to move in our sky and why we can see them in the first place.

Free Fall Physics Practice Problems

9. Free Fall Physics Practice Problems

In this lesson, we will dive into doing calculations involving free falling objects. We will begin with a few helpful tips to get started before working through a couple of example problems.

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