October Sky

October Sky (1999)


Concept featured in film: Newton's Second Law and Satellite Motion

Location of clip:


Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: The clip shows citizens of Coalwood, West Virginia outside watching Sputnik traverse the October Sky. A vintage radio broadcast plays in the background. The crowd watches the satellite in awe.

Connection of flickclip to the concept: The radio broadcast states that the Russian satellite is traveling at a speed of 18,000mi/hr with an orbital period of 96 minutes. With these data, students can compute Sputnik's altitude and compare it to the value Quentin later gives in the movie. Students can also determine the mass of Sputnik and what type of orbit Sputnik is in. This is a good example of Newton's Second Law when applied to uniform cirucular motion.

Suggestions to teachers:

1. After watching the clips discuss Kepelre's Laws in conjuction with Newton's Law