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Unformatted text preview: Astronomy 1F03 Problem Set 3 Friday Nov 12th, 2010 Please write your answers on a separate sheet and show your working. 1. a) The solar wind carries mass away from the Sun at a rate of about 2 10 9 kg/s. Determine how long it would take the Sun to lose all its mass at this rate. To lose M = 2 10 30 kg at S = 2 10 9 kg/s would take t = M/S = 10 21 sec or 32 trillion years. b) For comparison, calculate the rate at which the Sun is losing mass due to nuclear fusion. Fusion directly powers the luminosity of the Sun so you can use Einsteins relation, E = mc 2 , to convert the luminosity into a mass loss rate. Consider the units: Solar luminosity L = 3 . 9 10 26 Joules per second. We want to go from energy (E in Joules) per second to mass per second and Einsteins relation says mass m = E/c 2 . To get to mass we divide energy by c 2 where c = 3 10 8 m/s. Thus the mass loss rate is L/c 2 = 4 . 3 10 9 kg/s . Note: its important to use SI units kg, m, s for all units because derived units such as Joules and Watts are made from these: Joules = kg m 2 s- 2 ....
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This note was uploaded on 04/10/2011 for the course ASTRONOMY 1f03 taught by Professor Wadsley during the Spring '11 term at McMaster University.
- Spring '11