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[Astronomy subject] - Assignment Example

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Qualitatively describe the relationship between orbital period and distance from the Sun, and then quantitatively (use numbers, equations, or relationships as described in Chapter 3) explain it in terms of Keplers third law.
Any planet takes a certain period to complete an…
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[Astronomy subject] Assignment
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Download file to see previous pages This became an important law in astronomy as it helps determine the mass of any astronomical object. This formula is used to calculate the mass of all astronomical objects including the stars, sun and planets.
2. Describe the relationship between the distance from the Sun and a planets surface temperature. Why does this relationship exist? Explain the following exceptions to the overall trend: Venus is farther away from the Sun than Mercury, yet has a higher surface temperature. Neptune has the same cloud-top temperature as Uranus, even though Neptune is ~10 AU farther away from the Sun.
Though the temperature of the planet is affected by its placement in terms of distance from the sun, there is another major factor influencing the temperature. It is the atmosphere of the planet which affects the temperature condition along with distance from the sun. Atmosphere acts as a blanket to retain the heat (Bennett et al, 2009). Mercury, though very close to the sun, cannot retain the heat as the atmosphere or the blanket is missing there. Comparatively, Venus is located farther away from the sun than Mercury, but still the temperature is high which is again because of the thick atmosphere which prevents reverting of sun’s energy back to space.
3. One would use the column titled "Rotation Period" to find out which planet has the shortest days. Are there notable differences in the length of a day for the different types of planets (terrestrial versus gaseous)? Would you have predicted there to be huge differences?
Mercury has a long rotation period because of its synchronization with its orbital period; Pluto is synchronized with its largest moon Charon. Venus has a retrograde (clockwise vs counterclockwise) rotation. Eliminate these two planets and a dwarf planet, and what do you find? See the chart at the right to help you answer this question.
A day is the time taken for the planet to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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