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Section 4
Orbits and Effects

In this section you will find materials that support the implementation of EarthComm Florida, Section 4: Orbits and Effects.

Inquiring Further

  1. To learn more about the gravitational "slingshot" effect, visit the following web site:

    Galileo Overview, NASA
    Learn a little more about how the Galileo spacecraft used the gravitational fields of Earth and Venus to propel itself into space towards Jupiter. There is also a helpful diagram of its path over time.

  2. To learn more about the orbits of comets and asteroids, visit the following web sites:

    Comet Orbits, National Air and Space Museum
    Learn how orbits are determined.  Also examine the factors that affect a comet's orbit as well as how we know a comet is in its predicted orbit.

    Orbits, Near Earth Object Program - NASA
    Enter the name of any asteroid or comet, and a 3D orbit visualization tool will appear for that object. You can also select from the list of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids to see the asteroids orbit in relation the orbits of Earth and other planets in the solar system.

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To learn more about this topic, visit the following web sites:


Kepler's Laws, HyperPhysics
Check out these diagrams and charts to help understand Kepler's Second Law.

Axial Tilt (Obliquity)

Ask an Astrophysicist  , NASA
How does the earth's tilt affect the changing of the seasons, and what different angles cause those different seasons?

Milankovitch Cycles and Glaciation, Indiana University
Learn about the connection between eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession in relation to past glaciations.


Precession, NASA
This article describes the development and background behind the idea of precession.

Precession, University of Oregon
Learn how the north star can change as the Earth wobbles on its axis.


Solar System Exploration, NASA
A profile of various statistics for each planet.

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