PHY 580 - ASTROBIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS


QUIZ #2

You are required to answer all five of the questions below.

As always, you are to work alone on this quiz. Do not share your work with others. Keep your answers concise. It is not necessary to go into too much detail to explain your reasoning.

 

1. Answer the following questions based on the information provided in the radial velocity versus time graph shown below.

A. List all the lettered points that indicate an instant when the tangential velocity of the star was the greatest.

B. List all the lettered points that indicate an instant when the tangential velocity of the star was zero.

C. List all the lettered points that indicate an instant when the star moved with both a tangential and radial velocity.

D. At which of the lettered points was the star moving towards the Earth with the greatest velocity?

E. At which of the lettered points was the star moving away from the Earth with the greatest velocity?

 

2A. Create an equation like the ones you studied in the Drake Equation Lab that could be used to calculate the number of "Habitable Bodies" that could be found with some form of life on it in a newly discovered solar system. Consider all the conditions that are necessary from properties of the star to the environmental conditions of any habitable bodies. Think about the basic requirements that a habitable body must have if it is to be a suitable place for life. Provide an appropriate a label and corresponding (brief) description for each term in your equation. Your equation can contain as many terms as you want but must contain at least five terms. The terms can ask for whole numbers, fractions or percents, but the end of the calculation should produce a number.

i. Equation :

ii. Variables and descriptions:

 

2B. Apply your equation to our solar system and provide a numerical result and a brief written interpretation of your result. Show your work for the calculation.

 

3. What physical properties of stars, identified in the Rare Earth lab, directly affect the possibility of complex life developing on a neighboring planet? Explain the relationship between these properties and the possibility for complex life developing.

 

4. Do you think that the habitable zone around an A class star would be different than the habitable zone around a K class star? I so, briefly explain why they would be different. If not, explain why they would be the same.

 

5A. Describe in detail how astronomers determines if a planet is orbiting a star?

 

5B.Would it be easier or harder to find an enormous gas giant planet like Jupiter orbiting a star or a small terrestrial planet like Earth? Explain the reasoning behind your answer.


BACK