Transit of Venus and Orbital Speed
Date: Winter 2012-2013
How can we measure the orbital speed of the Venus with the images that have been taken during the Venus transit?
An excellent method is well described by a NASA Educational Program: Space Math. It is fun!
Thanks for the question. In order to find the orbital speed from images, you will need to know a few things. First, you will need to know the elapsed time between the images. Then you will need to know what type of orbit Venus has. For instance, is it a circular orbit or an elliptical orbit? I recommend that you look the orbit type on the Internet--you should get a mathematical formula or equation. You will then need to know the distance that Venus is from Earth in the images. With all of this information available, you can get an average speed of Venus. This problem is essentially a math problem.
I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have more questions.
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Update: December 2011