(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

Comet Halley approaches the Sun to within 0.570 AU, and

its orbital period is 75.6 years. (AU is the symbol for astronomical unit, where

1 AU = 1.50 x 1011 m is the mean Earth‐Sun distance.) How far from the Sun will

Halleyʹs comet travel before it starts its return journey?

2. Relevant equations

There are none given, though I believe some of these are probably relevant.

T=2π√(a^3/(GM))

which is the equation relation period to the semi-major axis and a gravitational constant

K_{e(perihelion)}+ K_{p(perihilion)}=K_{e(aphelion)}+ K_{p(aphelion)}

L= mvrsinθ

3. The attempt at a solution

This question is legitimately driving me insane. I feel like I am on the brink of solving it, but I just keep going around in circles.

Now, I understand that if I had the semi-major axis, to solve this would be relatively easy...but I don't.

Given this, I attempted to rearrange T=2π√(a^3/(GM))

to solve for a.

My calculus can be a bit dodgy but I came up with,

a is equal to the cube root of t^2/2π(GM)

or

a=3√(T^{2}/2π(GM)

Angular momentum and total energy for the system are conserved and thus are equitable at the perihelion and aphelion.

At the aphelion sinθ=1

So angular momentum is mvr at angles 0 and 180, which both lie on the major axis.

at the perihelion gravitational potential energy = 0 and kinetic energy is 100%

Inversely, at the aphelion, the energy in the comet is 100% gravitational potential.

Which I guess means acceleration = 0.

I am really lost on this one guys.

please.

Please.

anything!

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# Homework Help: Find Aphelion of an elliptical orbit given Perihelion and Orbital Period

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