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Required Windows SoftwareClick Filename to Download
This is a zip file that contains an .exe file that will
install itself when you run it on your computer.
|Purpose: To illustrate the measurement
of the mass of a planet using Kepler's third law.
The software provides a view of Jupiter at four magnifications (actual Voyager images are used), along with a highly accurate ephemeris program that draws the four Galilean satellites in their proper positions relative to the planet at any time. Students make observations of Jupiter and its satellites at regular intervals over a period of several weeks and, by graphing the separation of each moon from Jupiter versus time, they measure the period and radius of each satellite's orbit. This is sufficient information to derive the mass of Jupiter. Students use the mouse cursor to identify the moons and to measure distances. A cloudy night feature provides some incompleteness to the data. Instructor-settable options set the percentage of "cloudy" days, suppress the automatic moon identification, and suppress the automatic calculation of distance from the planet.
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