About This Chapter
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|
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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