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conquertheworld5

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"The distance of closest approach of Halley's comet to the Sun is 8.9X10^10 m. Its period is 76 yr. Calculate the following: a) semimajor axis (b) eccentricity (c) aphelion distance (dist. farthest from sun)"

So, here's what I know, semimajor axis = a = (Rmin +Rmax)/2, eccentricity = e = (Rmax - Rmin)/2a

and of course Kepler's law T^2 is proportional to R^3, or Newton's

T^2/R^3 = 4(pi^2)R^3/GM

So... I don't expect (or want) to be given the answer... i want to finally understand this stuff so that I don't have to continue struggling with it. Maybe there's some basic aspect of this that I've missed every time I've seen it...or maybe it's the continual use of different letters for variables that confuses me. I don't know... Any help would be appreciated.