HW1 - H o me wor k 1 D UE: F e b 5 th , 200 9 A st r ono my...

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Homework 1 Astronomy 100 Dr. Warner DUE: Feb 5 th , 2009 Make sure that you give a SHORT explanation of your answers. Answers that consist of two or three words, (or consist of more than 100 words), will not receive full credit. Most of your explanations would almost certainly benefit if you drew diagrams. Where a calculation is involved, you must show your working. This homework contains both mathematical and descriptive problems, and the available points total 78. However, to allow for the diverse backgrounds of the students in this course, you only need to get 40 points in order to have a perfect score. You may attempt, and submit more than 40 points worth of problems, and you will not be penalized, except that if your score exceeds 40, then it will be set equal to 40. Before you do this homework please read the comments on page 4 of the syllabus concerning acceptable and unacceptable levels of collaboration. 1. What are the key components of the scientific method? Why is Intelligent Design not considered to be science? Modification of a hypothesis is a perfectly acceptable part of science and almost any theory can be modified to explain new data. How is this process of modification limited in science? 2. The distance from Earth to Saturn is currently about 8.6 A.U. What is this distance in (i) kilometers, (ii) light-years (iii) light-seconds? What is the total elapsed time for a signal to travel from Earth the Cassini probe (in orbit around Saturn), and then for the scientists at JPL to receive Cassini’s response? (3 points) 3. The Earth has diameter 12,756 km and the Sun has diameter 1.39 × 10 6 km. The Sun’s angular diameter, as seen from Earth is, on average, 32 arcminutes. If you were very close to the Sun, what would be the approximate angular size of the Earth? (2 points) 4. Draw the Celestial Sphere, showing the north and south celestial poles, the celestial equator and the ecliptic. Show the position of the Sun in (northern) summer and (northern) winter. In the center of your sphere draw the Earth, showing someone standing at approximately the latitude of Los Angeles (34 degrees north). a) Draw the horizon of this person, showing the half of the sky she can see. b) At what angle is the north celestial pole above her horizon? c) On another diagram show the horizon of the same person about 12 hours later. d) Approximately what section of the sky will never be visible to this observer? e) Where on Earth do you need to be in order to see almost all of the sky in a 24 hour period? Draw a diagram to illustrate you answer. f) Where on Earth do you need to be in order to see the south celestial pole directly above your head? Draw a diagram to illustrate you answer. Starry Night
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HW1 - H o me wor k 1 D UE: F e b 5 th , 200 9 A st r ono my...

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