assignment01s - Assignment 1 Due Sept. 16 1. Communication...

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Assignment 1 Due Sept. 16 1. Communication with mars. We use radiowaves, which travel at the speed of light, to communicate with robotic spacecraft. How long does it take a message to travel from Earth to a spacecraft on Mars when: a. Mars is as it closest to Earth? b. Mars is at its farthest from Earth? (Data: The distance from Earth to Mars ranges between about 56 and 400 million kilometers.) Solution: We will use the speed-time-distance relationship: Time of travel = distance traveled / speed The speed of light = 3 x 10 5 km/s; a. Mars as its nearest is 56 million kilometers away, so the light travel time is: time of travel = 5.6 x 10 7 km / (3x10 5 km/s) = 187 s b. At the most distant, Mars is 400 million kilometers from Earth, time of travel = 4 x 108 km / (3x10 5 km/s) = 1330 s 2. Galaxy Scale. Consider the 1-to-10 19 scale on which the disk of the Milk Way Galaxy fits on a football field. On this scale, how far is it from the Sun to Alpha Centauri (real distance: 4.4 light-years)? How big is the Sun itself on this scale? Compare the Sun’s size on this scale to the size of a typical atom (real diameter: about 10
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assignment01s - Assignment 1 Due Sept. 16 1. Communication...

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