PHY 580 - ASTROBIOLOGY FOR TEACHERS


ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS FROM THE READING


Chapter #15 Searching for Planets Around Other Stars.

 

1. When was the first planet outside our solar system discovered? (page 244)

2. Have we ever been able to directly observe an extra-solar planet? (page 245)

3. Describe what the location known as the "Center of Mass" is for a star planet system? (page 245 - 246)

4. Provide a detailed description of how the "Doppler Technique" and the "Astrometric Technique" are used to indirectly locate an extra-solar planet. (page 245 &endash; 246)

5. Is it more likely that we will detect large or small mass planets? Why? (page 246)

6. Is it more likely that we will detect planets with a long or short orbital period? Why? (page 246)

7. What is the lower mass limit at which an object is not able to sustain nuclear fusion? Would an object with a mass this low or lower be considered a star? (page 246 &endash; 247)

8. What is the mass range of a Brown Dwarf? Should a Brown Dwarf be classified as a Star? Explain (page 247)

9. Describe the two classes of sub-stellar objects that we might find in our search for extra-solar planets. Are both of these objects candidates for life? Explain.(page 247)

10. Briefly describe the process by which the mass of and orbital distance to a star's companion planet can be determined using Doppler technique data (page 248 - 249.)

11. Do the results obtained from the Doppler shift technique tend to underestimate or overestimate the actual mass of the companion planet? Explain why. (page 249)

12. What would be the maximum value for the radial velocity obtained using the Doppler shift technique for a star whose motion was being viewed such that the plane of the orbit is perpendicular to the line of sight of the observer (if you sere looking down on the plane of the star's orbit from above?) (page 249)

13. How was the sub-stellar companion object to HD114762 determined to actually be a brown dwarf when its mass was initially estimated at only 11Mj? (page 249 &endash; 250)

14. Describe the technique used and unique results obtained in the search for a sub-stellar companion to Lalande 21185. (page 251)

15. Describe the unique technique used and results obtained in the search for a sub-stellar companion to Gliese 229. (page 251)

16. Describe the unique technique used and unique results obtained in the search for a sub-stellar companion to PSR B1257 +12 and PSR B0329 +54B. (page 252 - 253)

17. Finding super-massive Jupiter like planets orbiting very near the companion star has promoted several new theories as to how these Jupiter like planets form. Discuss the proposed ideas as to the compositional development of Jupiter like planets and the theories as to how these planets end up in an orbit so near their companion star. (page 255 &endash; 257)

18. What are the implications for finding Earth-like planets in star systems with Jupiter-like, super-massive gas giants that are orbiting near the central star? (page 259)


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