Harmonic Law Activity
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Kepler’s third law (the Harmonic Law),
relates the orbital period of a planet (that is, the time it takes a planet
to complete one orbit) to its mean distance from the Sun. This law
states that the closest planets travel at the greatest speeds and have
the shortest orbital periods. Using the NASA
planetary data pages, have students find the orbital period and the
mean orbital radius for each planet. Enter the data into a spreadsheet
or manually create a line graph, with each planet's mean orbital radius
on the Xaxis and its orbital period on the Yaxis.
