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Orbital Parameters of Planets

(See detailed description of the project in the attached PDF) Several centuries ago, astronomers “figured out” the celestial dynamics of planets. Now, we know a lot about them, from their masses, orbital speed, distance, periods, etc. This was done with equipment that by today’s standards, would be considered primitive. The goal of this project will be to re-derive these known parameters using the modern telescope we have at Nooitgedacht. You will have the entire year to collect data and figure out how to obtain these already known values.
Node This Project Is Offered On: 
Project Info: 
PDF icon 2019-NASSP-BL-orb.pdf




Requirements for students to address: 
The Nooitgedacht Observatory is located 30 min south of the NWU Potchefstroom campus. A car will be provided for your trips to the telescope, but you will need a valid driver license to get there. Although the telescope is state-of-the-art with modern software, a good understanding of computers and hardware in general is desired. You will have to install/update drivers and software for the various parts of the telescope, troubleshoot problems, handle expensive equipment, use screwdrivers, duct tape, etc. You might also have to manhandle giant lizards single-handedly.
Research Area: 

Available_projects | by Dr. Radut