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The Galaxy Gazette

The Universe is Getting Organized! The universe has decided to organize itself from its largest most complex components to its more simple components. The first to get behind this project was the universe itself stating that it contains all matter and therefore is the most complex. The galaxies put their own spin on being recognized as almost as complex as the universe because they contain all planets, moons, stars and other meteorites. The stars know that the planets revolve around them so they claim to be more complex then a solar system. The solar systems claim to fame is their satellites revolve around them including planets and moons. The planets are the least complex of all the structures in the universe. Keplers Been Busy! Johann Kepler has been busy studying the stars and working on a way to describe how Earth moves about in the solar system. Using some fun mathematical equations, he observed that planets (like ours) travelled in ellipses.

Keplers 2nd law An imaginary line joining a planet to the Sun will sweep over equal areas in equal periods of time What Kepler is saying, is that planets travel the fastest and farthest between C and D. Notice this is also when our planet is closest to the sun! However when we are farther away, we tend to move slower, and not as far as we did before. But the two areas in the above picture actually are equal to one another that is what Kepler discovered.

The Tilt of the Earths Axis Found Guilty of Causing the Seasons In a trial that lasted 365 days it was finally decided that it is the tilt of the Earths axis responsible for the change in the seasons. During the trial the prosecutor proved that if the Earths axis was 0 degrees then the equator would be the same distance from the sun at all times of the year. Using the diagram below the prosecutor proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that as the Earth revolves around the Sun the Earths axis stays at a 23.5 degree angle, which alters the amount of direct rays the surface of the Earth receives. Notice in the center of the ellipse are two points called focus points or foci. This is important because the foci help describe where the sun is. Kepler wasnt done describing the path of the planets. He also wanted to look at distance and speeds of planets as they move around the sun. His second law describes just that.

The Galaxy Gazette Questions


Name _____________________________ Date _________________ Block # _________ 1. How is our system organized? 2. Put the objects in the article in descending order, from most complex to least complex to represent how the universe is organized.

A mnemonic device is a learning technique to help you remember something. An example of a mnemonic device is My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas which illustrates the order of the plants from the Sun; Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. 3. Create a mnemonic device to help you remember how the universe is organized. Be sure you have the objects of the universe in the right order! (see question #2). 4. Keplers first law describes the path planets take. What is the shape a planet makes as it orbits the sun? 5. What are the two middle points of an ellipse called?

Draw a diagram of the path.

6. Keplers second law deals with distance and speed. When do planets travel the fastest and also cover the most distance of their path?

Draw a diagram of Keplers Second Law of Planetary Motion.

7. What is the cause the seasons? 8. During what times of the year does the Earth receive the most direct rays of the sun? 9. When does it receive the least direct?
Draw a diagram of Earth receiving the most direct rays of the sun.