Space Motion

Topic #1: Space Motion

Learning Goal #14: I can model the forces acting on an object in circular motion.

Assessment: Activity – Space Motion, Unit E Post-Test

Guiding Questions:

    1. What is an orbit?
    2. What is the difference between rotation and revolution?
    3. What forces cause an object to move in a circle?
    4. What characteristics affect the strength of gravitational force?

What is an orbit?

  • An orbit is the curved path an object takes around another object
    • The moon orbits around the Earth
    • The planets and space objects like asteroids and comets orbit around the sun
    • Spacecraft like satellites and space stations orbit around Earth or other planets
  • Some orbits are circular while others are elliptical (oval)

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What is the difference between rotation and revolution?

  • Rotation is spinning or turning around an axis
  • Revolution is circling or orbiting around another object

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What forces cause an object to move in a circle?

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What characteristics affect the strength of gravitational force?

  • Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation states that all objects in the universe have gravity, and that the strength of gravitational attraction depends on two factors:
    1. The mass of each object
    2. The distance between the objects

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