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Homework Help: Trigonometry Word Problem

  1. Jul 18, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    The orbits of Earth and Venus are so close to being circles that on the scale of the diagram below, you would not be able to tell they were not circles.

    a) Do you think the assumption that the orbits are circles has a significant effect on the result?
    b) Where in the calculations did we use the fact the orbits are circles?

    2. Relevant equations


    3. The attempt at a solution

    I have difficulty understanding this math problem.. can you guys help me? anyone?
    what do i have to find?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 18, 2010 #2
    There must be more given information than what you have provided, where did you get your equations from? What is E1 and E2, where did you get the measure of the angle for the cos(x) in the equations?
  4. Jul 18, 2010 #3
  5. Jul 18, 2010 #4
    Ah ha yeah I understand the question now, since I can not actually just give you the answer let me pose this question to you,

    for 8 part a, you used the fact that both sets of variables such as [tex] s_{1} \;\; s_{2} \;\; e_{1} \;\; e_{2} \;\; v_{1} \;\; v_{2} [/tex] etc actually have the same relations to one another, but in reality the orbits are not circles and thus not uniform, what does that tell you?

    for 8 part b, it is kind of hard for me to come up with a way of saying this without giving it away but here is a question, when finding the two equations that described the two problems did you use information from one equation to complete the other? If they were not circles would you still have been able to do the operation that you did? (what I said in the prior paragraph could be carried over here.)
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