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    Semi-major axis of a comet's orbit & greatest distance from sun

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    Chapter 13, Problem 51
    Suppose that a comet that was seen in 574 A.D. by Chinese astronomers was spotted again in year 1998. Assume the time between observations is the period of the comet and take its eccentricity as 0.20.

    What are
    (a) the semimajor axis of the comet's orbit and
    (b) its greatest distance from the Sun?

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    Solution Preview

    Kepler's 3rd relationship between period and orbit size,
    1. G M (T/2 π) 2 = a3
    (where G=6.67300 × 10-11 m3 kg-1 s-2 is Newton's ...

    Solution Summary

    A semi-major axis of a comet's orbit and greatest distance from the sun is computed.