Astro 81 Reading Assignments
For this class, it is essential that you do the reading before class. This will help you
keep on top of the material, and will let us devote class time to discussion and
ASTR0 81 - Assignment #7
1. The Earth has radius and mass .
(a) Can you estimate the pressure P at the center of the Earth? If yes, give a symbolic
expression in terms of the given variables and fundamental constants. If no,
explain why. BE BRIEF.
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ASTR0 81 - Assignment #8
1. The Chandrasekhar mass is the maximum mass which can be supported by fully
relativistic degenerate electrons. We can derive an approximate value for this as follows:
Start with the equation for the pressure of a relativistic de
ASTR0 81 - Assignment #5
due Friday before noon
1. If a slab of glass 0.2 m thick absorbs 50% of the light passing through it, how thick
must a slab of identical glass be in order to absorb 99.9% of the light?
2. Iron has an atomic number Z = 26. Consider
ASTR0 81 - Assignment #6
1. The Sun, a G2 main-sequence star, has a mass of 2.0 1030 kg and a radius of 7.0 108
m. In comparison, Sirius (A1 MS star) and Betelgeuse (M2 supergiant) have masses of
2.2 Msun and 10 Msun and a radius of 1.6 Rsun and 1000 Rsun
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Reading Assignment #6 - Blackbodies
Were going to cover Chapter 5 in a slightly different order than the book presents
the material. You dont really need any of the material from the first part of the
ASTR0 81 - Assignment #2
due Friday of Week #2 before noon
To get full credit for these problems you need to show all your work. Longer problems with
more sub-parts are typically worth more points.
Numbers in brackets refer to [Chapter].[Problem Number] i
ASTR0 81 - Assignment #3
due Friday of week 3 before noon
1. Calculate the theoretical diffraction-limited resolution of a 10m telescope at wavelengths of 300 nm (UV) and 1 m (IR). Under what circumstances might each be
realized in practice?
2. The diffra
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Reading Assignment #2 Parallax and Time
Read Karttunen sections 2.9, 2.10, 2.13 (10 pages)
In section 2.9, pay most attention to the section on parallax. Dont worry about
any of the detailed math for prec
Reading Assignment #3 - Telescopes and Observations.
Read Karttunen sections 3.1 and 3.2 up to page 54. Just skim the rest of 3.2 and 3.3
(in particular you should read the last part of 3.3 on CCD cameras a
Reading Assignment #4 Photometric Concepts, part 1
Read Karttunen sections 4.1 (3 pages)
In section 4.1, you will encounter several different ways to describe the
brightness of a beam of light: the spec
Reading Assignment #5 Photometric Concepts, part 2
Read Karttunen sections 4.2 to 4.5 (5 pages)
Sections 4.2 to 4.4 introduce the magnitude system, which is a logarithmic scale
used for describing the bri
Reading Assignment #12 Stellar Interiors (part 1)
Read Karttunen section 10.1 (4 pages)
Now that weve learned how to measure a stars external properties (such as
temperature, luminosity, mass, and radius), we
ASTR0 81 - Assignment #4
due Friday of Week #5 before noon
1. The apparent magnitude of the Sun is -26.8.
(a) How much brighter does the Sun appear that the brightest star, which has m =
(b) What is the distance modulus of the Sun?
(c) What is the Sun