dis10-slides

dis10-slides - ASTR 100 Discussion 10 Nov. 14, 2011 1. In...

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ASTR 100 Discussion 10 Nov. 14, 2011
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1. In the recent movie 2012 , the Earth is close to destruction because neutrinos from the Sun are causing the Earth's core to melt. Address the following questions in a few sentences each: What are neutrinos, and how are they created in the Sun? Could neutrinos from the Sun heat the Earth's core? Explain your reasoning.
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Answer: This excellent answer was written by a student: “Neutrinos are tiny subatomic particles with no charge that are a side-product created from thermonuclear fusion within the Sun. Ionized hydrogen atoms (protons) are in a very hot, very dense environment and they are colliding at very high speeds (to overcome elect. repulsion) and sticking together forming helium nuclei, energy in the form of light and neutrinos. “Neutrinos could not heat the Earth's core because they are so tiny they pass right through matter. Like as I'm writing this many have passed through me. Neutrinos escape the Sun's very hot, very dense core, there's no way the Earth's core, less hot, less dense would stop them.”
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Grading checklist: Did you explain what kind of particles neutrinos are? Did you explain how they are created by fusion? Did you say neutrinos could NOT heat the Earth's core? Did you explain why?
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2. As the Sun ages over the next billion years or so, how will the composition of its CORE change? How will the composition of its SURFACE change? Why?
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This excellent answer was written by a student: “Over the next billion years, the Sun's core composition will change to more helium than hydrogen b/c the proton-proton chain reaction will have converted more and more hydrogen into helium as the thermonuclear fusion continues. “The surface composition will not change like the core
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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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dis10-slides - ASTR 100 Discussion 10 Nov. 14, 2011 1. In...

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