Study Plan

Learning Goals

By the conclusion of this chapter, you should be able to:
  1. Sketch and contrast the geocentric and heliocentric models of the Solar System.
  2. Summarize the laws developed by Johannes Kepler that describe the motion of objects in the Solar System.
  3. Describe the evidence that Earth and the other planets orbit the Sun.
  4. Explain the physical laws discover by Isaac Newton and Galileo Galilei that govern the motion of all objects.

Prepare and Assess


    1. Kepler's Laws
      Section: 3.3
    2. Velocity, Acceleration, Inertia
      Section: 3.4 and 3.5
    1. Ptolemaic Orbit of Mars
      Shows Ptolemy’s model for the orbit of Mars.
    2. Ptolemaic Phases of Venus
      Shows what Venus would look like through a telescope if Ptolemy’s model was correct.
    3. Retrograde Motion
      Demonstrates the retrograde motion of Mars with an annotated animation.
    4. Eccentricity Demonstrator
      Demonstrates the parameters that define the eccentricity of an ellipse.
    5. Planetary Configurations Simulator
      Models the movements of the planets around the Sun in a simplified Copernican model of the Solar System.
    6. Planetary Orbit Simulator
      Models the motion of a hypothetical planet that orbits the Sun according to Kepler’s laws of motion. This simulator includes controls for investigating each of Kepler’s laws, and Newtonian features.
    7. Synodic Period Calculator
      Calculate the sidereal period of the planet (P) from the synodic period (S), and vice versa.
    8. Kepler's Third Law
      Calculate the period of a planet from its semimajor axis, and vice versa.

Reassess and Apply

  1. Additional comments or issues to report:

Email Your Professor:

Your Name: 
Your Email Address: 
Your Professor's Email Address: