Mars Retrograde Motion

This is a demonstration of the Retrograde Motion of the Planet Mars. To simplify things, we assume that the planets follow circular orbits. The radius of the Earth has been set to 1A.U., while the radius of Mars has been set to 1.52 A.U. The teal coloured and orange coloured circles show the respective trajectories of the Earth and Mars around the Sun. The purple coloured circle signifies the celestial sphere. The slider is a time slider and shows the number of days, up to 2000 days, or, roughly 5 and a half years. We assume that day 0 happens to occur when the Earth and Mars are in conjunction. Pressing play will cause the animation to run, and as the days pass, through the apparent position of Mars on the Celestial Sphere, one will observe the retrograde motion of the planet, as would be seen from the Earth. The angle formed by the two planets' radii is shown for use with an activity involving the Microsoft World Wide Telescope. Follow link <here>