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Fill in Your Birthdate

Fill in Your Birthdate

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Published by jeyaseelan
Fill your birthdate
Fill your birthdate

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Published by: jeyaseelan on May 12, 2009
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06/03/2011

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Fill in your birthdate below in the space indicated. (Note youmust enter the year as a 4-digit number!)
Click on the "Calculate" button.
Notice that your age on other worlds will automatically fill in.Notice that Your age is different on the different worlds. Noticethat your age in "days" varies wildly.
Notice when your next birthday on each world will be. The dategiven is an "earth date".
You can click on the images of the planets to get moreinformation about them from Bill Arnett's incredibleNinePlanetsweb site.
The Days (And Years) Of Our Lives
Looking at the numbers above, you'll immediately notice thatyou are different ages on the different planets. This brings upthe question of how we define the time intervals we measure.What is a day? What is a year?The earth is in motion. Actually, several different motions all atonce. There are two that specifically interest us. First, theearth
rotates
on it's axis, like a spinning top. Second, theearth
revolves
around the sun, like a tetherball at the end of a string going around the center pole.The top-like
rotation
of the earth on its axis is how we definethe day. The time it takes the earth to rotate from noon untilthe next noon we define as one day. We further divide thisperiod of time into 24 hours, each of which is divided into 60minutes, each of which is broken into 60 seconds. There areno rules that govern the rotation rates of the planets, it all
 
depends on how much "spin" was in the original material thatwent into forming each one. Giant Jupiter has lots of spin,turning once on its axis every 10 hours, while Venus takes 243days to spin once.The
revolution
of the earth around the sun is how we definethe year. A year is the time it takes the earth to make onerevolution - a little over 365 days.We all learn in grade school that the planets move at differingrates around the sun. While earth takes 365 days to make onecircuit, the closest planet, Mercury, takes only 88 days. Poor,ponderous, and distant Pluto takes a whopping 248 years forone revolution. Below is a table with the rotation rates andrevolution rates of all the planets.
Planet
RotationPeriod
RevolutionPeriodMercury58.6days87.97daysVenus243days224.7daysEarth0.99days365.26daysMars1.03days1.88 yearsJupiter0.41days11.86yearsSaturn0.45days29.46yearsUranus0.72days84.01yearsNeptune0.67days164.79yearsPluto6.39days248.59years
Why the huge differences in periods? We need to go back tothe time of Galileo, except that we're not going to look at his
 
work, but rather at the work of one of his contemporaries,Johannes Kepler (1571-1630).Kepler briefly worked with the great Danish observationalastronomer, Tycho Brahe. Tycho was a great and extremelyaccurate observer, but he did't have the mathematical capacityto analyze all of the data he collected. After Tycho's death in1601, Kepler was able to obtain Tycho's observations. Tycho'sobservations of planetary motion were the most accurate of the time (before the invention of the telescope!). Using theseobservations, Kepler discovered that the planets do not movein circles, as 2000 years of "Natural Philosophy" had taught.He discovered that they move in ellipses. A ellipse is a sort of squashed circle with a short diameter (the "minor axis") and alonger diameter (the "major axis"). He found that the Sun waspositioned at one "focus" of the ellipse (there are two "foci",both located on the major axis). He also found that when theplanets were nearer the sun in their orbits, they move fasterthan when they were farther from the sun. Many years later,he discovered that the farther a planet was from the sun, onthe average, the longer it took for that planet to make onecomplete revolution. These three laws, stated mathematicallyby Kepler, are known as "Kepler's Laws of Orbital Motion."Kepler's Laws are still used today to predict the motions of planets, comets, asteroids, stars, galaxies, and spacecraft.
Here you see a planet in a very elliptical orbit.Note how it speeds up when it's near the Sun.(RequiresQuickTimePlugin)
Kepler's third law is the one that interests us the most. Itstates precisely that the period of time a planet takes to goaround the sun squared is proportional to the average distancefrom the sun cubed. Here's the formula:Let's just solve for the period by taking the square root of bothsides:

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