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U08d1, u08d2, u08d3 - Coursework Example

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1. What would happen to Earth's orbit if the Sun became a black hole? A black hole is a region of space from which nothing, not even light can escape. A black hole is the fate of only the very largest of stars. The massive star as it uses its fuel rapidly and completely, and then it will die turning into a black hole…
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Download file to see previous pages The Sun is not massive enough to ever evolve into a black hole; it will end its life in about 4.5 billion years as a white dwarf star. But, in case if the Sun's mass was suddenly collapsed into a black hole then Earth's orbit then if a one solar mass black hole were to suddenly replace the Sun at the center of our solar system, the orbits of the planets would not change. This is because the physical laws that determine the orbital motion of the Earth depend only on the actual mass of the Sun, and not on whether it is distributed within a sphere (like the Sun) or at a point (like a black hole). 2. "There are 1011 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers." —Richard Feynman, American physicist, Nobel Prize Laureate When we think of an astronomical number – we probably think of a sum that’s almost beyond human comprehension. We probably refer to huge numbers as astronomical because of the vast and seemingly infinite universe. But the universe may not be as big as it seems when compared to something like the national debt. This quote has been said towards the backhanded critique of government. Furthermore, we can say that there are at least 100 billion galaxies in the universe and each galaxy containing around 1 trillion stars. That’s 1 x 10^23 or 100 sextillion stars in the universe. Hence this comparison is done against the size of the national deficit. It's a good point, and economics can provide some slightly more familiar analogies to people grappling with large numbers than trying to contemplate entire galaxies. The important point here is not that high finance is catching up with the sciences; it’s that the numbers we encounter everywhere in daily life are growing steadily larger. While the consumer was busy saving, the Federal U. S. government was piling on debt at a much greater pace. In fact, during Q2 of 2008 Washington accumulated debt at a 24.4% annual rate! Therefore, even though households and state and local governments have hopefully begun to learn their lessons; D.C. still managed to increase the overall level of non-financial debt in the U.S. to a record $35.45 trillion.” 3. Picture of the week How are the stars formed within the nebula? What is causing these dramatic pillars? What thoughts and reactions do you have to the pictures and their descriptions? All stars are formed from nebulae (the plural of nebula). Nebula is a term for a cloud of gas, and stars form from gas. Many nebulae or stars form from the gravitational collapse of gas in the interstellar medium. As the material collapses under its own weight, massive stars may form in the center, and their ultra violet radiation ionizes the surrounding gas, making it visible at optical wavelengths. Star formation is the process by which dense parts of molecular clouds collapse into a ball of plasma to form a star. These eerie, dark pillar-like structures are actually columns of cool interstellar hydrogen gas and dust that are also incubators for new stars. The pillars protrude from the interior wall of a dark molecular cloud like stalagmites from the floor of a cavern. They are part of the "Eagle Nebula" M16, a nearby star-forming region 7,000 light-years away in the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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