Invisible Collisions
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 Invisible Collisions Download This Lesson (PDF, 809 KB) Topic: Grade Level: 9-12 Body: Mission: New Horizons (Dwarf Planets) Science Education Standards: Physical Science: Motions and Forces Objects change their motion only when a net force is applied. Laws of motion are used to calculate precisely the effects of forces on the motion of objects. The magnitude of the change in motion can be calculated using the relationship F = ma, which is independent of the nature of the force. Whenever one object exerts force on another, a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction is exerted on the first object. Gravitation is a universal force that each mass exerts on any other mass. The strength of the gravitational attractive force between two masses is proportional to the masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. Short Description: This activity relates an elastic collision to the change in a satellite's or spacecraft's speed and direction resulting from a planetary fly-by, often called a "gravity assist" maneuver. Both hands-on and online interactive methods are used to explore these topics. Source: MESSENGER Education