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Homework 2
Astronomy 100
Dr. Warner
DUE: March 5
th
, 2009
This homework contains both mathematical and descriptive problems, and the available points total 82.
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.
Please ask me, or the TAs or friends for help. I would like you to assist each other in coming to the right
answer.
You must, however, understand and write your own answers, and the only way to
convince the grader that you have UNDERSTOOD the answer is by EXPLAINING how you got
it.
Please read the comments on page 4 of the syllabus concerning acceptable and
unacceptable levels of collaboration. Please make sure that you give a SHORT
explanation of your
answers.
Answers that consist of two or three words, (or consist of more than 200 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.
1.
The James Webb telescope (planned launch in 2013) is intended to be the successor to the Hubble
Space Telescope and will take up orbit around the Earth. The James Webb telescope will have a mirror
diameter of 6.5 m and it is expected to have an angular resolution of about 0.05 arcseconds
(that is, it
can see details whose angular separation is 0.05 arcseconds
or more).
What is the
size
of the smallest
object that this new telescope will be able to resolve (a) on the Moon, (b) at the approximate distance of
Pluto when it is closest to Earth?
How does your answer to (b) compare to the diameter of Pluto?
The
largest telescope on Mount Palomar has a mirror of similar diameter but in the best possible “seeing” the
angular resolution of the Palomar telescope is 1 arcsecond.
How does Palomar compare to Webb in seeing
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