PHY 580 - ASTROBIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS


ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS FROM THE READING


Chapter #14 Formation of Planets Around Other Stars.

 

1. Summarize the eleven characteristics of our solar system listed by Jakosky that should be considered when searching for extra solar planets. (page 229-231)

2. What are the general solar system characteristics offered in support of the idea that the solar system originated as a "protoplanetary" disk of material that accumulated together from a relatively homogenous cloud of gas and dust? (page 231)

3. Describe the relationship between a stars mass and its stellar lifetime. (page 231 &endash; 232)

4. Describe the role that supernova and stellar winds play in the creation and distribution of elements (heavier that hydrogen, helium nd lithium) throughout the universe. (page 232)

5. What is a possible way that the collapse of a giant molecular can be triggered? (page 232)

6. Why is it that the collapse of a giant molecular cloud cannot simply produce a single spherical object that contains all the mass of the cloud? What are the implications of this result in terms our search for life? (page 232 - 233)

7. What does the abundance of hydrogen and helium in Jupiter and Saturn suggest about the time of their formation as compared to the Sun? What about Uranus and Neptune? (page 234)

8. What indirect evidence exists to support the existence of protoplanetary disks forming around other stars? (page 234)

9. What direct evidence exists to support the existence of protoplanetary disks forming around other stars? (page 234 &endash; 235)

10. What is a planetesimal? (page 235)

11. What force is responsible for the initial clumping together of dust grains in the inner part of the solar system? (page 236)

12. What force is responsible for attraction between planetesimals during the formation of the inner solar system? (page 236)

13. Do each of the inner planets form from material that originates from a discrete "feeding zone?" Explain. (page 237)

14. How long do numerical simulations predict that it takes for the completion of a planet resulting from this process of accretion by impacts? (page 237)

15. According to numerical simulations, how many planets will typically form in the inner solar system? (page 237)

16. How do the predictions of numerical simulations compare to the distribution and sizes of the planets found in our inner solar system? (page 237)

17. How is the presents of Jupiter possibly responsible for reducing the number of terrestrial planets in the inner solar system? (page 238)

18. How is the formation of the Moon related to the theory of planetary formation through a process accretion by impacts? (page 238 &endash; 239)

19. How large must a protoplanet become before it is possible for gas to become gravitationally bound to it during it's formation. What are the implications of this in relation to the formation of Jupiter and Saturn? (page 239 &endash;240)

20. Approximately how quickly(after the initial formation of the solar system) would the rocky cores of Jupiter and Saturn need to have formed in order to trap the observed abundances of solar nebula hydrogen and helium? Explain. (page 241)  


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