# When Mercury is at aphelion (farthest from the Sun) in Figure 4-13a, compare a, the semi major axis, to r, the distance from the Sun to Mercury. Is a greater than r, or less than r, or equal to r ?

### Foundations of Astronomy (MindTap ...

14th Edition
Michael A. Seeds + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337399920

Chapter
Section

### Foundations of Astronomy (MindTap ...

14th Edition
Michael A. Seeds + 1 other
Publisher: Cengage Learning
ISBN: 9781337399920
Chapter 4, Problem 19RQ
Textbook Problem
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## When Mercury is at aphelion (farthest from the Sun) in Figure 4-13a, compare a, the semi major axis, to r, the distance from the Sun to Mercury. Is a greater than r, or less than r, or equal to r?

To determine

Whether the semi major axis of mercury is greater, less or equal to distance from Sun to Mercury when Mercury is at aphelion.

### Explanation of Solution

According to Keplerâ€™s first law, all planets moves around Sun in elliptical orbitals keeping Sun at one of its foci. The region where the planet is closer to Sun is called Perihelion, and the region where the planet is far away from Sun is called aphelion.

The distance from planet to Sun is greater at aphelion and lesser at perihelion. Since the orbit of Mercury is mostly elliptical than any other planets, the semi major axis is the half of the longest diameter...

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