Static model of satellite orbits.
What it shows:
Static 3-D model showing the orbital paths of Jupiter's satellites.
How it works:
The model marks the orbital paths of the Jovian satellites to a scale of 1.5cm = 106 km. This scale allows the orbit of the outermost satellite Sinope to fit within a 1m × 1m plywood base. The orbits of the outer 8 satellites are marked using loops of 2mm × 1mm spring steel supported to their correct heights by 5mm Plexiglas rods (Pasiphae rising to the greatest height of 42cm). The Galilean satellites, because of their near zero inclination and small orbital radius, are represented as circles etched on a 10cm diameter Plexiglas disc at the center of the board, 20cm above the base. The inner four satellites are not represented. Table 1 includes the necessary data.
table 1. Jovian satellite data (reference 1)
|satellite||distance rJ||eccentricity||inclination (deg.)|
* relative to Jupiter's radius = 71350km
Setting it up:
Sits on the lecture bench, but could also be mounted on a turntable to present various aspects to the audience.
Model was built by Jan Zimmerman '80 for class project.
1. K. R. Lang, Astrophysical Data: Planets & Stars, (Springer-Verlag 1991), p 70