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.
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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.
What are some things you find that are the same about these motions?
What are some things you find that are different about these motions?
Part 2: Understanding Gravity
For the Sun and Earth system:
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”.
Part 3: Gravity and Motion
Fill in the table to help describe what you find out.