Is a body's speed constant in an elliptical orbit?

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Offline Umbral

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I'm guessing this is probably Physics 101, but it's one that's currently bugging me.

Since planets generally (always?) have elliptical orbits, does that mean they slow down at the furthest points in their orbit?  For example, when Earth is furthest from the Sun, are we moving more slowly around it than when we are closest?  I assume the spin and possibly tilt of the Earth factors in somehow.

Thanks in advance. If there's a great book on orbits and such that anyone can suggest, I'd be eager to check it out.


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Offline RD

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Is a body's speed constant in an elliptical orbit?
« Reply #1 on: 28/06/2010 18:37:59 »
Q. Is a body's speed constant in an elliptical orbit?

A. No ...

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kepler%27s_laws_of_planetary_motion