Ch 10: Orbits, Gravity & Orbital Motion Lesson Plans

About This Chapter

The Orbits, Gravity & Orbital Motion chapter of this course is designed to help you plan and teach about how celestial bodies move in space. The video lessons, quizzes and transcripts can easily be adapted to provide your lesson plans with engaging and dynamic educational content. Make planning your course easier by using our syllabus as a guide.

Weekly Syllabus

Below is a sample breakdown of the Orbits, Gravity & Orbital Motion chapter into a 5-day school week. Based on the pace of your course, you may need to adapt the lesson plan to fit your needs.

Day Topics Key Terms and Concepts Covered
Monday Trajectories and orbits Conic sections, circle, parabola, ellipse, hyperbola, and speed calculations for orbiting objects
Tuesday Eccentricity and motion Orbital deviation, orbital motion, and the eccentricities of orbiting planets
Wednesday Motion, velocity, and gravity Center of mass, circular velocity, barycenter, gravitational encounters, escape velocity, orbital energy, atmospheric drag, and changes in orbit
Thursday Kepler's Law Law of ellipses, law of harmony, and the law of equal areas
Friday The solar system and physics Visibility of planets, orbital paths of planets, and practice free fall physics problems

9 Lessons in Chapter 10: Orbits, Gravity & Orbital Motion Lesson Plans
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
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.

Center of Mass, The Barycenter & Orbital Motion

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

Free Fall Physics Practice Problems

6. 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.

Planets of the Solar System: Orbits & Visibility

7. 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.

Elliptical Orbits: Periods & Speeds

8. 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

9. Eccentricity & Orbits of Planets

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

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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