Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Kepler's law

  1. Mar 10, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A planet moves in an elliptical orbit around the sun. The mass of the sun is M_s. The minimum and maximum distances of the planet from the sun are R_1 and R_2 , respectively.

    Using Kepler's 3rd law and Newton's law of universal gravitation, find the period of revolution ,P, of the planet as it moves around the sun. Assume that the mass of the planet is much smaller than the mass of the sun.

    Express the period in terms of G, M_s, R_1, R_2.

    2. Relevant equations

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

    3. The attempt at a solution

    r = (R_1 + R_2 ) / 2

    T^2 = [ 4 pi^2 * ( 1/2 (R_1+R_2) ) ^3 ] / GM

    T = sqrt ( " the above" );

    I guess I went wrong somewhere. any help?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 10, 2009 #2
    any help?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook