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Planetary Motion

Click anywhere on the applet to place your planet. Then drag to give it an initial velocity.
Here are several orbits you can try.

Distance From Sun
Average Speed
Length of Year
58 x 106 km
48 km/sec
88 days
108 x 106 km
35 km/sec
226 days
150 x 106 km
30 km/sec
365 days
228 x 106 km
24 km/sec
694 days

Clicking on "Show Kepler's Law" will mark off the orbit in equal time segments for the next orbit created. Each segment created has the same area. Click here to see some example orbits.

Can you create orbits of other shapes? Elliptical? Hyperbolic?

Applet by Heather Welch