Download Solar system rotation curves: student activity

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Transcript
Activity: Rotation curves for the solar system.
1. In this activity you will discover the rotation curve for the planets. A rotation curve is graph of the
orbital velocity of the planet when it rotates around the sun vs. it averages distance from the sun.
Use the table below to build an Excel spreadsheet. Use the geometry of a circular orbit to find the
orbital velocity. More data about the planets can be found in http://nineplanets.org/ .
Planet
Mercury
r[km*1000]
57910
Venus
108200
Earth
149600
Mars
227940
Jupiter
778330
Saturn
1429400
Uranus
2870990
Neptun
4504300
Pluto
5913520
2. Use the data below to build the rotation curve for the moons of Saturn.
Satellite
r[km]*1000
Pan
134
Atlas
138
Prometheus
139
Pandora
142
Epimetheus
151
Mimas
186
Encelodus
238
Tethys
295
Dione
377
Reha
527
Titan
1222
Heperion
1481
3. What is your conclusion for the two rotation curves about the dependence of the orbital speed of
a mass which is rotation around a much heavier mass? You can get a mathematical expression by
using a power law regression to the curves.
4. Can the rotation curve for the solar system give us information about the mass of the sun?
To answer to this question you need to know the gravitation law FG 
universal gravitation constant which is equal to 6.67 1011
and the Newton law for circular motion F 
Gm1m2
where G is the
r2
m3
, and r is the radius of the orbit
kg×m2
mv 2
.
r
5. Build the rotation curve for the moons of Jupiter. You can find all the data you need in the website
http://nineplanets.org/ . Compare the curve with that of Saturn.