# Kepler's laws: Explore the orbits of other worlds | Virtual Lab

Higher Education
High School

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Travel through interstellar space and learn about Kepler's laws exploring an alien planetary system.

## Learning Objectives

• Relate Kepler's laws to the common motions of objects in orbit.
• Describe how a planet's velocity changes within its elliptical orbit
• Use Kepler's third law to relate the orbital period and the length of the semimajor axis of an orbit and predict the period of an orbit from its semimajor axis.

Level:
Higher Education
High School
Length:
16
Min
Accessibility Mode:
Available
Languages:
English

## Lab Techniques

No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

## Related Standards

University:
NGSS:
• ESS1.A-M1
• ESS1.B-H1
AP:
LB:
No lab techniques are listed for this simulation.

Captain, the mysteries of the Astakos planetary system await us! In this simulation, you will learn about the orbits of celestial bodies through Kepler's laws of planetary motion. Join the search for life in new worlds and learn about the shape of orbits, about how a planet’s velocity changes along its orbit, and about the relationship between the periods of orbits of different sizes.

Explore the Astakos planetary system

Our mission is to search for life in an alien planetary system. The student will experiment with different elliptical orbits to find out which of the orbits in the system correspond to a potentially habitable planet. Next, they will use Kepler's second law to follow their planet of interest closely. Lastly, they will gather data to deduce Kepler's third law and use it to put a geostationary satellite in orbit.

Experiment with orbits and satellites

Students will manipulate ellipses to analyze different planetary orbits. They will observe and think critically about Kepler’s second law to predict the motion of the planet of interest. Lastly, they will put their own satellite in orbit with an interactive simulation, obtaining a hands-on experience of Kepler’s third law only a virtual lab can deliver.

This simulation contextualizes scientific knowledge and incorporates it into an immersive and exciting storyline.

Say ‘Cheese’!

At the end of the sim, you will use your knowledge of Kepler’s laws to launch a geostationary satellite and take a picture of an exoplanet’s surface. What wonders will we find in this new world?

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## For Science Programs Providing a Learning Advantage

Associate Professor
North Dakota State College of Science

“They did the simulation at home, then completed the in-person lab within 30 minutes, no questions asked, and passed the quiz with flying colors.”

Lewis Mattin
PhD
Lecturer in Human Physiology
University of Westminster

"I saw some of the students who clearly didn’t necessarily like sitting there reading a book discover they could turn on Labster and keep up with the rest of the class because it spoke to them.

Melody McGill
Curriculum Coordinator
Modesto City Schools

"Having something that's engaging for the students gives teachers that opportunity to breathe and get excited again. Because they're seeing the kids light up, they're seeing the kids engage with content."

Kyle Hammon
Wenatchee Valley College

"The question always is, ‘Can we demonstrate that the students are meeting course outcomes?’ Check! We can do that.”

Dr. Melody Esfandiari
Chemistry Lecturer
San José State University

"We surveyed over 400 students. More than 90% thought Labster was easy to navigate, and that it was fun, but more importantly, most of them felt confident that they could execute the labs in person. And that confidence is a big deal."

Dr. Stuart Goodall
Lecturer
Northumbria University

“The Labster simulations get students to do things, and they're not just sitting there consuming a webinar where their mind can drift. They become an active participant in that learning experience.”

## FAQs

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