## Mars Earth Orbit - Actual

9-12
Standards:
Math Content:
Data Analysis and Probability

This applet uses the actual distances and speeds of the planets to simulate the relative positions of Earth and Mars.

Notice that both planets revolve around a different center point. The center of the Earth's orbit is approximately the Sun; the center of Mars' orbit is about 22 million kilometers from the Sun. Consequently, the orbits of the two planets are closer to one another on one side of the Sun than on the other side.

The orbital radius of the Earth is approximately 150 million kilometers, whereas the radius for Mars is, on average, 228 million kilometers.

Note that this approximation uses circular orbits for both planets, but the true paths are slightly eccentric ellipses.