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Unformatted text preview: 1 . (6 points, 3 for each answer) Planets are easier to detect around low mass stars because a planet with a given mass causes a star with a lower mass to move more quickly than one with a higher mass. This can be seen using the momentum-conservation equation V * = M p V p /M * . As M * decreases, V * must increase, and that makes the changes in the stars radial velocity easier to observe. Planets with small orbits are easier to detect because they have higher velocities than planets further away. Since V p increases, V * increases, and the stars radial velocity is then easier to observe. 2 . (4 points): A larger planet blocks more light from the star during transit. The depth of the eclipse tells you what fraction of the stars light is blocked by the planet, which indicates the relative size of the planet and the star; from this, one can derive their relative radii assuming that both are circular in cross-section. Knowing their relative radii gives the radius of the planet if you know thecircular in cross-section....
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This note was uploaded on 02/06/2012 for the course BENG 100 taught by Professor Marksaltzman during the Spring '08 term at Yale.
- Spring '08