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dis6-slides - ASTR 100 Discussion 6 Oct. 17, 2011 1....

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ASTR 100 Discussion 6 Oct. 17, 2011
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1. Astronomers analyzing data from the Kepler spacecraft have discovered a planet orbiting the star designated Kepler-10, which is a star nearly identical to the Sun. The table below lists the properties of the planet. average distance from star 0.02 AU mass 4.6 M E radius 1.4 R E average density 8.8 kg/L a) Is this planet likely to be a terrestrial planet or a jovian planet? Give TWO reasons to support your answer; your reasons should relate this planet to planet(s) in our solar system.
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b) Is this planet likely to have a liquid metal part to its core? Be sure to answer yes/no, and explain your reasoning carefully in a few sentences. c) What additional information would you need to know about the planet in order to hypothesize whether or not the planet has a magnetic field? Explain why you would need to know this information.
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Answer: 1 a) This excellent answer was written by a student: “This planet is probably a terrestrial planet as its density is 8.8 kg/L. This implies that the planet contains a lot of metal and probably not much less dense material like gases or ices. Another reason it is probably a terrestrial planet is because it formed at 0.02 AU from the star. ..the planet formed very close to the star and when the solar nebula was condensing it was to[o] hot for any thing but metal to condense. At this point, ice definitely couldn't condense and H and He would have be[en] too energized from the heat to collect.”
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b) This excellent answer was written by a student: “Yes, it is (assuming the solar system is about the same age as ours). The planet is larger than the Earth and would take even more time to cool down than the Earth. The Earth still has a very hot interior, so we can assume that this planet also has a very hot core. This core, like the Earth's, is probably still hot enough to have a liquid metal part.”
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c) This excellent answer was written by a student: “You would also need to know how fast the planet is rotating on its axis. The two things you need for a strong magnetic field are [a] convecting liquid metal core and fast rotation. Since the planet has a liquid metal part of its core by (b), it probably has convection in this liquid part. Therefore if the planet is rotating fast enough there is probably a magnetic field.”
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a) Did you give two reasons? Did you use the information in the table properly? Did you relate them to the Solar Nebula Theory or our planets? b) Did you explain how the diameter of a planet determines how fast its interior cools off? Did you compare the planet to the Earth and/or discuss that it is made of the appropriate materials? c) Did you realize you need to know the rotation rate? Did you explain why?
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This note was uploaded on 12/02/2011 for the course ASTR 100 taught by Professor Hayes-gehrke during the Fall '06 term at Maryland.

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dis6-slides - ASTR 100 Discussion 6 Oct. 17, 2011 1....

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