hw4 - Astronomy 121, Spring 2011 Homework 4 due date: Feb...

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Astronomy 121, Spring 2011 Homework 4 due date: Feb 18 Reading: Chap. 3 Answer in complete sentences and show your calculations. Kepler’s Laws 1. (10 pts) Halleys comet has a semi-major axis of 18 AU, but can get as close to the Sun as 0 . 6 AU. (a) What can you conclude about the eccentricity of Halleys orbit around the Sun? (b) In relation to the Sun, at which point in its orbit is Halley moving the fastest? The slowest? (c) Halley is visible from Earth each time it makes its closest approach to the Sun. The last time this occurred was in the year 1986. Chances are you werent born yet! Will you be able to see Halleys comet in your lifetime? (Hint: when is Halleys next closest approach?) Kepler’s 3rd Law 2. (10 pts) Ceres is a dwarf planet within the asteroid belt that orbits the Sun at an average distance of 2 . 77 AU. (a) What is Ceres orbital period? (b) Eris is another dwarf planet that orbits the Sun beyond Pluto. Its period is 557 Earth years. On average, how far is it from the Sun?
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This note was uploaded on 03/22/2012 for the course FINA 210 taught by Professor Dakroub during the Spring '12 term at American University in Cairo.

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hw4 - Astronomy 121, Spring 2011 Homework 4 due date: Feb...

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