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Written Assignment #1 - Jason Mallette Astronomy Written...

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Jason Mallette 11/12/2010 Astronomy Written Assignment #1 1. Measurement and Distance a. Ten is easier than twelve to calculate distances in your head without a calculator. If you were trying to calculate what 100 feet is in inches you would know right away that 100/10 is 10, if 10 inches equaled a foot. Using the current system of 12 inches equals a foot might require a little more thinking. b. When dealing with astronomy and distances it is easier to make different units of measurement. It would be inconvenient to write out how far stars are away from our planet in kilometers, because it is so far. An astronomical unit is used mostly for measuring the distance from planets to the sun and from planets to other planets. An astronomical unit is 1.5 times 10 to the 11 power in meters. 10 to the 11 power is 100,000,000,000. A light year is 63,000 astronomical units, so as you can see it is much easier to write one light year versus 10,000,000,000,000 kilometers. c. Chapter 1 #2 : The earth rotates in an eastward direction towards the sunset line. #4 : In figure 1-6 you can tell that Mercury is closer on the left side of the diagram to the sun than on the right. In figure 1-7 you can see that Pluto follows in an elliptical orbit. It actually at one time was closer to the sun than Neptune. Chapter 2 #2 : The formula used is I / I = (2.512) ( M - M ),
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