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Kepler's laws of planetary motion

Kepler's laws of planetary motion

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Published by Paul Muljadi
Kepler's laws of planetary motion
Kepler's laws of planetary motion

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Published by: Paul Muljadi on Dec 27, 2012
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Kepler's laws of planetary motion1
Kepler's laws of planetary motion
Figure 1: Illustration of Kepler's three laws with two planetary orbits. (1) Theorbits are ellipses, with focal points
 ƒ 
1
and
 ƒ 
2
for the first planet and
 ƒ 
1
and
 ƒ 
3
for thesecond planet. The Sun is placed in focal point
 ƒ 
1
. (2) The two shaded sectors
 A
1
and
 A
2
have the same surface area and the time for planet 1 to cover segment
 A
1
isequal to the time to cover segment
 A
2
. (3) The total orbit times for planet 1 andplanet 2 have a ratio
a
13/2
:
a
23/2
.
In astronomy,
Kepler's laws of planetarymotion
are three scientific laws describingorbital motion, each giving a description of the motion of planets around the Sun.Kepler's laws are:1.The orbit of every planet is an ellipsewith the Sun at one of the two foci.2.A line joining a planet and the Sunsweeps out equal areas during equalintervals of time.
[1]
3.The square of the orbital period of aplanet is directly proportional to the cubeof the semi-major axis of its orbit.
History
Johannes Kepler published his first two lawsin 1609, having found them by analyzing theastronomical observations of TychoBrahe.
[2]
Kepler discovered his third lawmany years later, and it was published in1619.
[2]
At the time, Kepler's laws wereradical claims; the prevailing belief (particularly in epicycle-based theories) was that orbits should be based onperfect circles. Most of the planetary orbits can be rather closely approximated as circles, so it is not immediatelyevident that the orbits are ellipses. Detailed calculations for the orbit of the planet Mars first indicated to Kepler itselliptical shape, and he inferred that other heavenly bodies, including those farther away from the Sun, have ellipticalorbits too. Kepler's laws and his analysis of the observations on which they were based, the assertion that the Earthorbited the Sun, proof that the planets' speeds varied, and use of elliptical orbits rather than circular orbits withepicycles
 —
challenged the long-accepted geocentric models of Aristotle and Ptolemy, and generally supported theheliocentric theory of Nicolaus Copernicus (although Kepler's ellipses likewise did away with Copernicus's circularorbits and epicycles).
[2]
Some eight decades later, Isaac Newton proved that relationships like Kepler's would apply exactly under certainideal conditions that are to a good approximation fulfilled in the solar system, as consequences of Newton's ownlaws of motion and law of universal gravitation.
[3][4]
Because of the nonzero planetary masses and resultingperturbations, Kepler's laws apply only approximately and not exactly to the motions in the solar system.
[3][5]
Voltaire's
 Eléments de la philosophie de Newton
(
 Elements of Newton's Philosophy
) was in 1738 the first publicationto call Kepler's Laws "laws".
[6]
Together with Newton's mathematical theories, they are part of the foundation of modern astronomy and physics.
[3]
 
Kepler's laws of planetary motion2
First Law
Figure 2: Kepler's first law placing the Sun at thefocus of an elliptical orbit
"The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one of thetwo foci."An ellipse is a closed plane curve that resembles a stretched out circle(see the figure to the right). Note that the Sun is not at the center of theellipse, but at one of its foci. The other focal point, marked with alighter dot, has no physical significance for the orbit. The center of anellipse is the midpoint of the line segment joining its focal points. Acircle is a special case of an ellipse where both focal points coincide.How stretched out an ellipse is from a perfect circle is known as itseccentricity: a parameter that can take any value greater than or equalto 0 (a circle) and less than 1 (as the eccentricity tends to 1, the ellipsetends to a parabola). The eccentricities of the planets known to Kepler vary from 0.007 (Venus) to 0.2 (Mercury).(See List of planetary objects in the Solar System for more detail.)After Kepler, though, bodies with highly eccentric orbits have been identified, among them many comets andasteroids. The dwarf planet Pluto was discovered as late as 1929, the delay mostly due to its small size, far distance,and optical faintness. Heavenly bodies such as comets with parabolic or even hyperbolic orbits are possible under theNewtonian theory and have been observed.
[7]Figure 4: Heliocentric coordinate system
(r, θ)
for ellipse. Alsoshown are: semi-major axis
a
, semi-minor axis
b
and semi-latusrectum
 p
; center of ellipse and its two foci marked by large dots. Forθ = 0°,
r = r 
min
and for θ = 180°,
r = r 
max
.
Symbolically an ellipse can be represented in polarcoordinates as:where (
,
θ
) are the polar coordinates (from the focus)for the ellipse,
 p
is the semi-latus rectum, and
 ε
is theeccentricity of the ellipse. For a planet orbiting the Sunthen
is the distance from the Sun to the planet and
θ
isthe angle with its vertex at the Sun from the locationwhere the planet is closest to the Sun.At
θ
= 0°, perihelion, the distance is minimumAt
θ
= 90° and at
θ
= 270°, the distance isAt
θ
= 180°, aphelion, the distance is maximumThe semi-major axis
a
is the arithmetic mean between
min
and
max
:The semi-minor axis
b
is the geometric mean between
min
and
max
:
 
Kepler's laws of planetary motion3The semi-latus rectum
 p
is the harmonic mean between
min
and
max
:The eccentricity
 ε
is the coefficient of variation between
min
and
max
:The area of the ellipse isThe special case of a circle is
 ε
= 0, resulting in
=
 p
=
min
=
max
=
a
=
b
and
 A
= π
2
.
Second law
Illustration of Kepler's second law. The planetmoves faster near the Sun, so the same area isswept out in a given time as at larger distances,where the planet moves more slowly. The greenarrow represents the planet's velocity, and thepurple arrows represents the force on the planet.
"A line joining a planet and the Sun sweeps out equal areasduring equal intervals of time."
[1]
In a small time the planet sweeps out a small triangle having baseline and height .The area of this triangle is given byand so the constant areal velocity is
Isaac Newton's proof of Kepler's second law, asdescribed in his
 Principia Mathematica
. If aninstantaneous force is considered on the planetduring its orbit, the area of the triangles definedby the path of the planet will be the same, for anyfixed time interval. When the interval tends tozero, the force can be considered continuous.(Click on image for a detailed description.)
Now as the first law states that the planet follows an ellipse, the planetis at different distances from the Sun at different parts in its orbit. Sothe planet has to move faster when it is closer to the Sun so that itsweeps equal areas in equal times.The total area enclosed by the elliptical orbit isTherefore the periodsatisfiesorwhere

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