Gravity and Orbitals

by Peter Chilpigian

| 6 Questions Learning Objectives- Students will be able to:

- Draw motion of planets, Moons and satellites.
- Draw diagrams to show how gravity is the force that controls the motion of our solar system.
- Identify the variables that affect the strength of the gravity.
- Predict how motion would change if gravity was stronger or weaker.

Part 1: Understanding motion
Open the Gravity and Orbits simulation. Take 5 minutes to explore how the Earth, Moon, and the Space Station move. Talk about what you find with your partner and share what controls you have found with your team.

1

1

Compare the motion of the Earth moving around the Sun with the Moon moving around the Earth.

If you and your partner both have a computer: Try choosing a different view on each computer for this question.

2

1

What are some things you find that are the same about these motions?

3

1

What are some things you find that are different about these motions?

4

1

Part 2: Understanding Gravity

For the Sun and Earth system:

5

1

Explore the simulation to find out how you can change the force of gravity and observe what happens.

Return to your pictures in Questions 2 and add arrows to show the force of gravity. Label them with “Gravity Force”.

6

1

Part 3: Gravity and Motion

Fill in the table to help describe what you find out.

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