2020 events

Sun 11:00-11:30
Sunset Room

Determining the Eccentricity of the Earth's Orbit

Stephen Broderick

St Ursula's College, Toowoomba.

After working on Tycho Brahe's Mar's data for several years, Kepler was able to determine that the orbit of Mars was elliptical. Kepler correctly inferred that all planets travel in elliptical orbits. The eccentricity of the Earth's orbit took hundreds of years to be accurately determined; however, today it can be calculated by using several images of the Sun either from the internet or by using a DLSR camera with a telescope. Ten weekly images of the Sun can be used to determine the perihelion and aphelion of the Sun, which in turn allows for the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit to be calculated.