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In this data-inspired project, we illustrate how Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion can be discovered from fitting a power model to real planetary data obtained from NASA, using regression modeling. The power model can be linearized, thus we can use linear regression to fit the model parameters to the data, but we also show how a non-linear regression can be implemented, using the R programming language. Our work also illustrates how the linear least squares used for fitting the power model can be implemented in Desmos, which could serve as the computational foundation for this project at a lower course level. This paper is based on our ICTCM 2020 talk with the same title. We included two NASA inspired student projects at the calculus level that were developed with the support of the Opening Gateways grant at New York City College of Technology.



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