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Instructions:  To the greatest possible extent, answers should be in

Instructions:  To the greatest possible extent, answers should be in your own words and should demonstrate an understanding of the concepts involved. (More than just a glossary definition of the terminology is expected). This assignment is worth 25 points (5 points for each question). To receive full credit, this assignment must be uploaded to the corresponding drop box by the due date. An earned grade will be reduced by 5% for each day or part of a day that the assignment is posted late. Papers posted after Wednesday (midnight) of the following week will be assigned a grade of zero.


1. The Moon has a synodic and a sidereal period. Define each term and describe which is longer and why.

2. The onset of Earth’s seasons are linked to equinoxes and solstices. Define these terms in relation to our seasons.

Describe them in relation to the celestial equatorial plane and/or the plane of the ecliptic.  

3. State the definition of Kepler’s three laws.

In your own words, what is the practical significance of each law?

4. What is the difference between mass and weight?

5. Explain in your own words what would happen to a planet’s motion if suddenly all gravitational forces ceased to exist. Relate your explanation to Newton’s 1st and 2nd Laws. 

State Newton’s Law of Universal gravitation:

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