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Problem Set 5 Solution - Astronomy 201 Problem Set 5...

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Astronomy 201 Problem Set 5 Assigned: 25 October 2004 Due: 8 November 2004 Remember: No late homework and homework counts 40% of the total grade. Each question / problem is of equal weight and equals 5 points. Chapter 11: Review and Discussion – 2, 6, 8, 11, 18 Problems: 2, 4, 5, 7, 15 REVIEW AND DISCUSSION 2. What is differential rotation, and how is it observed on Jupiter? The equatorial regions of Jupiter appear to rotate faster than the polar regions. This is known as differential rotation. It is the first indication that Jupiter is not solid. The faster motion of the atmosphere at the equator gives rise to a wind moving at about 300 km/h relative to the overall rotation of Jupiter's interior. 6. What is the Great Red Spot? What is known about the source of its energy? The Great Red Spot is a reddish colored spot in Jupiter's atmosphere that has been seen for over 300 years. It is a region of swirling, circulating winds like a whirlpool or a terrestrial hurricane. It is about twice the Earth's diameter in length. The source of its energy appears to come from the zonal atmospheric flows to its north and. south. However, there are still some uncertainties as to how it continues to be maintained. 8. Why has Jupiter retained most of its original atmosphere? Jupiter has retained most or all of its original atmosphere for two reasons. It is a massive planet, and, as such, has sufficiently strong gravity to hold an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium. Second, it is located in the outer part of the solar system where temperatures are low. The atoms and molecules of gas cannot attain a high enough velocity to escape the planet's gravity. 11. What is responsible for Jupiter’s enormous magnetic field? Magnetic fields, in general, are produced by rapid rotation and some sort of conducting material in the interior of the object. In the case of Jupiter, it has a rotation rate of just under 10 hours and a larger amount of liquid metallic hydrogen in its interior that apparently produce its magnetic field. 18. Why is there speculation that the Galilean moon Europa might be an abode for life? Europa appears to be covered by an ocean of water that is frozen on top. If this is true, its ocean might be suitable for supporting life. This is a statement of our bias for the relation between water and life.
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PROBLEMS 2. What are the angular diameters of the orbits of Jupiter’s four Galilean satellites, as seen from Earth at closest approach (assuming for definiteness that opposition occurs near perihelion)?
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