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Paper Plate Education
"Serving the Universe on a Paper Plate"

Activity: Orbit Basics II

The following text was written by Jeanne Bishop as part of a series of in-planetarium lesson plans.  Used with permission.

3.  PLANET ORBIT.  Elliptical plate, round yellow sticker, a smaller round sticker of a different color, marker:  Place the larger sticker to one side of the center of the plate.  Label it "Sun."  Without pushing down firmly, put the small sticker at the place where it will be farthest from the sun.  Pick it up on a finger and move it counterclockwise around the rim of the plate.  Stop moving it when it is closest to the sun.  Finish making a revolution, coming back to the beginning place.  Stick it in place.  Explain how different planets, comets, and asteroids have orbits like the plate.  They are called "ellipses."

Contributed by Jeanne Bishop.

 GLPA Proceedings, 1993, p. 36.


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