         Introduction Astronomy Tools Concepts 1. Electromagnetic Spectrum 2. Atmosphere Limitations 3. Space Observations Equipment 1. Telescopes 2. Radio 3. Space Tools 4. Photography 5. Spectroscopy 6. Computers 7. Advanced Methods 8. Radio Astronomy Basic Mathematics Algebra Statistics Geometry Scientific Notation Log Scales Calculus Physics Concepts - Basic Units of Measure - Mass & Density - Temperature - Velocity & Acceleration - Force, Pressure & Energy - Atoms - Quantum Physics - Nature of Light Formulas - Brightness - Cepheid Rulers - Distance - Doppler Shift - Frequency & Wavelength - Hubble's Law - Inverse Square Law - Kinetic Energy - Luminosity - Magnitudes - Convert Mass to Energy - Kepler & Newton - Orbits - Parallax - Planck's Law - Relativistic Redshift - Relativity - Schwarzschild Radius - Synodic & Sidereal Periods - Sidereal Time - Small Angle Formula - Stellar Properties - Stephan-Boltzmann Law - Telescope Related - Temperature - Tidal Forces - Wien's Law Constants Computer Models Additional Resources 1. Advanced Topics 2. Guest Contributions Physics - Formulas - Synodic and Sidereal Periods One of the many tools used in Astronomy are the formulas used to determine Orbital Motion. There are two basic forms of orbits: Sidereal Period Synodic Period Sidereal period, as indicated by the accuracy of sidereal time, is an actual measure of a complete orbit relative to the stars (since the stars are unmoving - or at least moving very slowly). A synodic period is a rotation of a planet so that it appears to be in the same place in the night sky. We have two formulas that will allow us to determine the sidereal rotation period of the other 8 planets in our Solar System by using the synodic period (simply by observation). For the planets Venus and Mercury, we would use: For Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto we would use: P = sidereal period in both equations S = synodic period in both equations E = Earth's orbit in both equations. Because Earth's rotation is 1 year, E = 1 in both equations. Here is an example, based on the reference text: To find the sidereal period of Jupiter: P = sidereal period E = 1 S = 1.092 years (the observed synodic period) Back to Top      Search | Site Map | Buy Stuff - Store | Appendix ©2004 - 2020 Astronomy Online. All rights reserved. Contact Us. Legal. The works within is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.