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Using data from their own solar system, students can construct unique plots of the planets' motoins.
To help them engage with the planets, I developed a simulation which illustrates their wandering motions. Using this simulation and a hypothetical set of planets, my students interrogate their paths. They can use Kepler's Third Law to determine these planets' distances from their star or work to determine the full set of their orbital parameters. What is important is that I provide them with a unique solar system of their own: one where they cannot look up the values; one where they must engage, explore, and discover for themselves. Give your students the same experience. Create your own solar system below.
Create an Account: Each account provides you with your own one (1) to five (5) planet system available to you and your students at its own URL for 180 days. You can create multiple accounts for as long as you want, but in order to deal with accumulated and unused data, I have limited the duration of an account to half a year. To see what your page would look like, here is a sample solar system using the same orbital parameters as the actual Solar System. To setup your own account simply click here.
If You'd Like to Link, Link Here: Place today's sky on your webpage. Link to here with one of these dynamic astronomy banners. Banner coding and instructions.
A free tool for creating and observing your own solar system, designed for astronomy teachers & students.
A dynamic illustration (animation) of retrograde motion, portraying the geocentric and heliocentric models.
A dynamic illustration (animation) of a planet's synodic & sidereal period.
An app that helps solve common introductory mechanics problems, consider it training wheels for learning mechanics.
Answers to science questions, brief lessons, and ideas for teachers and students.