Lunar Modeling Lab

Model the elliptical orbit of the moon by measuring the diameter of the moon over the time period of a month. The lab is meant to prove Kepler's First Law.

Observation Site and Equipment:
The observation site varied throughout the month. It was placed in an area where optimum viewing of the moon was available. We used a telescope with an eyepiece equipped with a measuring scale units of mm. 

The measurements of the diameter of the moon allowed us to determine the distance from of the Earth of the moon. These points are then plotted versus time and it allowed us to create a rough sketch of the elliptical orbit of the moon.
Kepler's First Law can be proven using the graph of the data; it has an elliptical shape.