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Copernican Mathematics: Calculating Periods and Distances of the Planets

Kurt Rosenkrantz 

September 2004, Volume 98, Issue 2, Page 88

Abstract:
How Copernicus found the periods and relative distances of the planets. Using provided data, students will be able to discover his methods and make their own calculations of planetary parameter using circles, angles and arcs, algebra formulas, and trig functions. Students also discuss data sources and opportunities for error. Oppportunities for teaching the lesson to different levels is discussed.

Keywords:
Article
Cross-Content (Math Only) Connections
Data Collection
Angles
Grades 9-12
Differentiated Instruction
Teacher
Trigonometry
Problems
Problem Solving / Problem Posing
Variability
Theory