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Unformatted text preview: 1. The Sun is so massive compared with every other object in the Solar System, 2. Objects outside the Solar System such as stars are so distant that the distance squared factor in the denominator renders their gravitational interactions with the planets negligible. For example, the Sun is about 300,000 times more massive than the Earth, and about 1000 times more massive than the largest planet. Thus, the product of the mass of a planet and the mass of the Sun is always much larger than the product of the masses of any two planets, and it is a good initial approximation to neglect all interactions except that of the planet and the Sun. EXERCISE: use the Astrophysical Calculator to compare the products of the masses of the Sun and Mars with the product of the masses of Mars and the Earth. The answer is the ratio of the masses of the Sun and the Earth, which is about 300,000, as noted above....
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
- Fall '10