Gravity and Orbits
- Dave Nero
This simulation shows the orbit of the earth and moon about the sun. The position and velocity of each object can be adjusted using the mouse.
- What happens when you (slightly) decrease earth's forward velocity? What happens if you (slightly) increase it?
- Does this simulation agree with Kepler's 2nd law?
- If you decrease the sun's mass a little bit, the earth will stay in orbit. If you decrease the sun's mass to 1/2 it's current value, the earth escapes. Why is 1/2 a special value?
- Using the "To Scale" mode, is it easy or difficult to make the earth crash into the sun? Why do think that is?