hw2 - 3 The Kepler mission has generated its first round of...

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Astronomy 155: Formation and evolution of planetary systems Homework #2. Due in class on Wednesday, February 10, 2010. As always, feel free to research your topic by checking out journal articles and reputable websites like NASA, universities, SETI.org, etc. 1. calculate the “light curve” (amount of visible light vs. time) for two planets in the solar system (Earth, and one other planet of your choice). It will be useful to use a computer. Remember to write up how you did the problem and turn that in too. There are many ways that you can do this, be as fancy/creative/accurate as you wish. 2. The sun has sunspots, and other stars also should have ‘starspots.’ How could you determine observationally that a dip in brightness is due to a starspot as opposed to a planet? Try to quantify your answer using some typical values that one would encounter for the properties of sunspots and planets. (Your answer to #1 might be useful here.)
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Unformatted text preview: 3. The Kepler mission has generated its first round of peer-reviewed articles and these are posted in a couple different places. Try http://kepler.nasa.gov/Mission/discoveries/papers/ and http://de.arxiv.org/archive/astro-ph . For the second one, click on the link that selects articles on extrasolar planets, and then search for titles containing “Kepler” . Find a ‘discovery’ article (as opposed to Mission operations article) and write a short essay (1 page or so) summarizing the article in language that your fellow astronomy students would understand. I’ll compile these into a hand-out; we can have a class discussion next time about them. 4. Invent your own “homework problem” based on chapter one. Try to make it quantitve, and more involved than just plugging numbers into an equation. Extra credit if you can provide a solution....
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