Solar System

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My Solar System—Lab and WS Name_______________________________
1. Go to: http://phet.colorado.edu/new/simulations/

2. Click the Motion menu item and start the applet “My Solar System.”

3. Move the slider all the way to accurate, click on the tape measure and the grid.

4. Click the radio button for 4 objects and run the simulation until the purple planet (body 2) has made one complete orbit (one year).

5. After the first orbit (year), turn off the traces (show traces box) and watch another orbit (year) of the purple planet (body 2).

Question One:

Is blue moon (body 3) circling the yellow sun (body 1) or the purple planet (body 2)? Explain your answer.

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

6. Increase the mass of the sun (body 1) to 400 and allow the simulation to run for one complete orbit of the purple planet (body 2).

7. Decrease the mass of the sun (body 1) to 175 and allow the simulation to run for one complete orbit of the purple planet (body 2). (~90 seconds)

Question Two:

How do the orbits of the planets change when the mass of the sun is increased or decreased? Why? Explain your answer.

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

____________________________________________________________

Question Three:

Why does the sun (body 1) follow a circular path? How does the path change as its mass changes? Why? Explain your answer.…...

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