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In this interactive module, students can vary the comet's angle of approach to see the effect of gravity on its trajectory towards Jupiter. The speed and masses of the two bodies are held constant. The goal is for the students to understand the relationship between the distance from the planet and the force of gravity. Students may work independently or in small groups to complete this activity. It may also be done as a teacher-directed activity in the classroom. After completing this module, students will learn about how changing the angle of approach affects the force of gravity on a comet. This module is a part of the online exploration "Planet Impact!" An explanation of the science behind the animations can be found in "Science Scoop." More information on the crash of Shoemaker-Levy 9 on Jupiter can be obtained from "Gravity Gallery" and "Comet News." Detailed teacher pages, identified as Teaching Tips on the title pages of the activity, provide science background information, lesson plan ideas, related resources, and alignment with national education standards.
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