back to Physlets
Astronomers discover planets outside our solar system by
detecting the "wobble" in the star that the planet
orbits. Use the simulation below to understand why a star
"wobbles" due to the orbit of a planet. Consider
the relative mass difference between a planet and star in your
explanation. For instance, set the mass ratio=100 and the
initial speed of the planet = 0.4 x 106 m/s for a nice illustration of
the "wobble" of the star.
If the mass ratio is 100, what is the mass of the star? (Hint: consider
conservation of energy.) The coordinates of the animation are
given in units of Mm or 1 x 106 m. You may have to
adjust the time step in the animation to display the best animation.
/ mplanet) =
animation time step, dt,