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Kepler's Laws

Johannes Kepler, working with data painstakingly collected by Tycho Brahe without the
aid of a telescope, developed three laws which described the motion of the planets across
the sky.
1. The Law of Orbits: All planets move in elliptical orbits, with the sun at one focus.
2. The Law of Areas: A line that connects a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in
equal times.
3. The Law of Periods: The square of the period of any planet is proportional to the cube
of the semimajor axis of its orbit.
Kepler's laws were derived for orbits around the sun, but they apply to satellite orbits as
well.

The Law of Orbits
All planets move in elliptical orbits, with the sun at one focus.

This is one of Kepler's laws. The elliptical shape of the orbit is a result of the inverse
square force of gravity. The eccentricity of the ellipse is greatly exaggerated here.
Ellipses and Elliptic Orbits

using the angle θ: Show This form makes it convenient to determine the aphelion and perihelion of an elliptic orbit. A slice perpendicular to the axis gives the special case of a circle. The area of an ellipse is given by . For the description of an elliptic orbit. a curve obtained by slicing a circular cone. the ellipse equation is The ellipse may be seen to be a conic section. it is convenient to express the orbital position in polar coordinates. An ellipse is defined as the set of points that satisfies the equation In cartesian coordinates with the x-axis horizontal.

using the Pythagorean theorem to express r' in terms of r: . Polar Form of Ellipse From the diagram at left. Representative values for these parameters are shown along with the types of orbits which are associated with them.Each of the conic sections can be described in terms of a semimajor axis a and an eccentricity e.

Orbit Eccentricity The eccentricity of an ellipse can be defined as the ratio of the distance between the foci to the major axis of the ellipse.0472 Neptune .25 The Law of Areas A line that connects a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal times. Of the planetary orbits. only Pluto has a large eccentricity. The eccentricity is zero for a circle.0556 Uranus .0086 Pluto .0167 Mars . Examples of Ellipse Eccentricity Planetary orbit eccentricities Mercury .206 Venus .0068 Earth .0485 Saturn .0934 Jupiter . .

This law arises from the law of gravitation. Newton first formulated the law of gravitation from Kepler's 3rd law.This empirical law discovered by Kepler arises from conservation of angular momentum. sweeping through a longer path in a given time The Law of Periods The square of the period of any planet is proportional to the cube of the semimajor axis of its orbit. Kepler's Law of Periods in the above form is an approximation that serves well for the orbits of the planets because the Sun's mass is so dominant. This is one of Kepler's laws. it moves faster. But more precisely the law should be written . This is one of Kepler's laws. When the planet is closer to the sun.

98 Jupiter 77. Fundamentals of Physics 4th Ed Extended.8 1.98 Neptune 450 165 2. Table 15-3 .01 Saturn 143 29.79 0. Walker.615 3.98 Uranus 287 84 2.00 Earth 15. Data: Law of Periods Data confirming Kepler's Law of Periods comes from measurements of the motion of the planets.99 Data from Halliday.88 2. Resnick.9 3.241 2. Semimajor Period T2/a3 Planet axis T (y) (10-34y2/m3) (1010m) Mercury 5.99 Pluto 590 248 2.In this more rigorous form it is useful for calculation of the orbital period of moons or other binary orbits like those of binary stars.99 Venus 10.8 0.0 1 2.8 11.5 2.96 Mars 22.