Ch14 - Assignment: Chapter 14 Class: Astronomy I Date:...

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Assignment: Chapter 14 Class: Astronomy I Date: October 17 th , 2007 Review Questions 1. At opposition, Uranus is just barely bright enough to be seen with the naked eye under good conditions, so it was probably seen by the ancients. However, they probably saw Uranus as a dim star. 2. The discoveries of Uranus and Pluto were both from careful observations through telescopes and naked eye. However, the discovery of Neptune was by carefully tracking Uranus’s slow motions and using mathematical deductions to make an assumption that there was a planet that is affecting the behavior of Uranus’s orbit. And this calculated planet was later confirmed through an observation. 3. The presence of methane in Uranus’s atmosphere gives Uranus the dim look and difficulty to see through the atmosphere. Methane preferentially absorbs the longer wavelengths of visible light, so sunlight reflected from Uranus’s upper atmosphere is depleted of its reds and yellows. 4. In 2004, Uranus will be at its northern spring, southern autumn stage where south pole does not face the Sun. Around 2070, the south pole of Uranus will see the Sun at highest point during summer. 5. Attempting to deduce the tilt of Uranus by observing the rotation must have been difficult because Uranus has such a dim appearance. Instead, Herschel found two moons orbiting Uranus in a plane that is almost perpendicular to the plane of the planet’s orbit around the Sun. Thus, Uranus’s equator must be almost perpendicular to the plane of its orbit, and its rotation axis must lie very nearly in that plane. 6. For most planets, like Earth, the rotation axis is roughly perpendicular to the plane of the planet’s orbit around the Sun. But for Uranus the rotation axis is tilted by 98 degrees from the perpendicular. During midsummer at Uranus’s south pole, the Sun appears nearly overhead for many Earth years, while the planet’s northern regions are in continuous darkness. 7.
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Ch14 - Assignment: Chapter 14 Class: Astronomy I Date:...

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