Glenbrook South Year-End Projects

The Physics of Planetary Motion

Project Information Sheet


Your project involves conducting library research and simulation studies in order to determine the variables which affect the motion of planets about the sun and the motion of other celestial bodies. Laws of planetary motion will be described with words, diagrams, equations, and animations.


By the end of this project, you should be able to:


Your teacher will provide:


The student is responsible for:


Some KEYWORDS to use in a literature search:







Universal gravitation

Universal gravitation constant

Celestial motion

Planetary motion


Natural satellites

Black holes



Curvature of space


Internet Resources

Collaboration Ideas


IMC RESOURCES (placed on reserve):


General Information:

How the World Works

500 REN

Experimenting with Science

507.8 GAR

Foundations of Modern Physics

530 HOL

How Things Work

530 CRA

Physics Projects for young...

530 GOO

Adventures in Physics

530 HIG

A Source Book in Physics

530 M

The Story of Physics

530 MOT

The Project Physics course

530 RUT

Phenomenal Physics

530 SWA

The complete Guide to...

797.1 EVA


Detailed Information about your specific topic:

Exploration of the Universe

520 ABE

New Frontiers in Astronomy

520 NEW


521 G

Orbiting the Sun:...

523.2 WHI


523 HOY


523.6 SAG

Orbit: The Picture...

530 R

Six Easy Pieces: Essentials of Physics

530 FEY


Other IMC RESOURCES (not placed on reserve)

Science and physics encyclopedias and reference materials

Computers and CD-ROMs (RedShift, Space Adventure, Expert Astronomer)



The encyclopedias, reference materials, and books (mentioned above) should be very useful resources. There are a variety of other books on this topic which were not placed on reserve and are available to checkout. The Hewitt Conceptual Physics book is probably one of the most understandable and informative of all the sources (at least for general background information) and should probably be read first. The WWW contains an endless quantity of information pertaining to your topic; you will have no problem finding information on your topic. The most difficult aspect of your project will be developing simulation studies. Give careful thought to how you might use the Physics Explorer-Gravity software, the Sensei Physics software, other commercial software, or downloaded Internet freeware.

Return to:

The Physics of Planetary Motion Project

Project Home Page

Planetary Motion Project

Planetary Motion Links

Basic Research Qs

Collabor'n Ideas

The Lab Report

Project Pitfalls

Scoring Rubrics

Project Timeline

Other GBS Resources

GBS Physics Page

Physics 163 Page

Physics Projects Home Page

The Refrigerator

The Physics Classroom

Multimedia Physics Studios

The GBS Physics staff invite you to send electronic mail:

Tom Henderson

Howard Jenewein

John Lewis

Neil Schmidgall

Dave Smith

Suzanne Webb

Brian Wegley

Questions and comments can be sent to Tom Henderson.

This page last updated on 3/3/98.