Astronomy HW #3

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In the Greek geocentric model, the retrograde motion of a planet occurs when

the planet actually goes backward in its orbit around Earth

Which of the following was not a major advantage of Copernicus’s Sun-centered model over the Ptolemaic model?

It made significantly better predictions of planetary positions in our sky

When we say that a planet has a highly eccentric orbit, we mean that

in some parts of its orbit it is much closer to the Sun than in other parts

Earth is closer to the Sun in January than in July. Therefore, in accord with Kepler’s second law

Earth travels faster in its orbit around the Sun in January than in July

According to Kepler’s third law

Jupiter orbits the Sun at a faster speed than Saturn

Tycho Brahe’s contribution to astronomy included

collecting data that enabled Kepler to discover the laws of planetary motion

Galileo’s contribution to astronomy included

making observations and conducting experiments that dispelled scientific objec- tions to the Sun-centered model

Which of the following is not true about scientific progress?

Science advances only through the scientific method

When Einstein’s theory of gravity (general relativity) gained acceptance, it demonstrated that Newton’s theory had been


Which of the following is not true about a scientific theory?

A theory is essentially an educated guess

Find the perihelion and aphelion distances of Mars. (Hint: You’ll need data from Appendix E.)

perihelion distance = a (1 − e) aphelion distance = a (1 + e)

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