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Using Parametric Equations to Investigate the Relative Orbits of the Planets Astronomers now know that the planets in our solar system travel around the Sun in roughly circular orbits. However, people used to believe that the Sun and other planets orbited the Earth. If that were the case if the Earth were the center of our solar system what would the orbit of the other planets look like relative to Earth? That is the question that students will explore in this lesson. Students will generate parametric equations to describe the position of planets relative to the Sun; then, they will combine the equations to describe the position of Mars relative to Earth.
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