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

Activity: Orbit by Elongation

Elongation_pix.jpg (11946 bytes)

Determine the orbits of the inferior planets using the values of their greatest elongations.  On the perimeter of a plate, which defines the orbit of earth, label the months of the year.  At the center mark the sun.  Make a card  that indicates the position of the planet relative to the earth and sun at greatest elongation. Given the greatest elongation values for the inferior planets for a few years, mark the positions of the respective planets as seen from the earth on the given dates.

Contributed by Chuck Bueter as a variation of a Project STAR activity.

GLPA Proceedings, 1999, p. 37. 

 

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