Skip main navigation

Why is Kepler’s third law so important in astrophysics?

Because it helps us understand the relationship between a planet’s distance from the sun and the time it takes to complete a full orbit. Kepler’s laws also laid the foundation for modern astrophysics, paving the way for scientists such as Newton and Einstein. Kepler’s third law is still in use today, for instance, NASA can use it (with some added computation) to plan a satellite’s orbit around the earth.

Related stories on FutureLearn

FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now