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PHYS 106 Fall 2016

Homework 7 Due: Thursday, 8 Dec 2016

When you do a calculation, show all your steps. Do not just give an answer.

7.1 (a) We understand why there is a high tide on the side of the Earth facing the Moon, but why
is there a high tide on the opposite side of the Earth at the same time?
(b) What causes the high tides to actually be ahead of the Moon as shown in Fig. 4.12, p. 97 in
(c) Using Fig. 4.16 on p. 100, explain why there is a force from the Earth on the Moon which
caused the Moon to slow its rotation and become “tidally locked” with the same side facing the
Earth at all times as it is today.

7.2 How does the nebular/planetesimal theory of planet formation account for many of the
craters on solid surfaces of moons and planets in our solar system?

7.3 (was 6.6) Highway surfaces develop potholes over time.

(a) How can you use the number of potholes as an indication of the "age" of the paving?
(b) How is this similar to using craters to estimate the age of solid surfaces in our solar system?
(c) How is this different from using craters to estimate the age of solid surfaces in our solar

7.4 (a) Explain what a “hot Jupiter” is.

(b) Why does our theory of the formation of our Solar System have trouble explaining the many
“hot Jupiters” that we found in planetary systems outside our own?
(c) Now that we have found that they are common in planetary systems outside our own, how do
we think they were formed?
(d) If we don’t think they are very likely, why were “hot Jupiters” the most common exoplanets
initially found?

7.5 Answer the 5 questions in the Reading Astronomy News section (p. 194 in Ch. 7) in our text.

7.6 Why were the 4 giant planets able to collect massive gaseous atmospheres, but terrestrial
planets were not?

7.7 Exoplanets & Kepler #38, p. 197, in your textbook (Kay et al., 21st Century Astro, 5th Ed).
Call the planets, 1-Red, 2-Blue, and 3-Brown.

7.8 The Earth’s interior is hot compared to its surface, and it loses heat only at the surface. At the
top of p. 212 in the “Working It Out” box, a formula showing how the rate at which the energy
of a planet is lost is related to its radius. (a) Briefly summarize this derivation. (b) How much
faster would we expect the Moon to lose its energy compared to the Earth?

7.9 (a) How do we know that the Earth has a liquid core?
(b) Why is the inner core solid even though it is hotter than the outer liquid core?

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7.10 (a) Mauna Loa is considered the "monarch of mountains." It is the largest volcano and the
largest single mountain of any kind on Earth. It is 97 kilometers (60 miles) long, 48 kilometers
(30 miles) wide, and rises about 8,742 meters (28,680 feet) from its base on the sea floor.
Calculate what fraction of the Earth's diameter the volcano is.
(b) Find out the diameter of Olympus Mons on Mars. Calculate what fraction of the diameter of
Mars Olympus Mons is.
(c) Which planet has relatively larger volcanoes (based on your calculation -- Show your work.)?
(d) Mount Hood (a composite volcano) is fairly tall and steep, but the Hawaiian islands and
Olympus Mons ( are low and
What makes the shapes of Mount Hood and Olympus Mons differ as described above?
7.11 Look at the images of the Hawaiian islands located at:
and look at this flash animation of Hawaii’s formation:
(a) Why is there a chain of islands formed instead of a single island?
(b) What direction does the tectonic plate that Hawaii is on move? How do you know?
(c) Which Hawaiian island is oldest? How do you know?
(d) What about the animation is most unrealistic?

7.12 The magnetic fields of the planets (and Pluto!) are:

Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto
Mag. Field 0.006 0 1 0 19,519 578 47.9 27 0
Note 1: Since the value for Earth’s magnetic field is given as “1,” all of the others are given
as a multiple of the Earth’s. These data are from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes, which was
last updated in 2001 using data from the NSSDC website.
Note 2: NSSDC gives strength in #gauss × Rplanet3, where Rplanet is the radius of the planet and
the Earth's magnetic field strength = 0.3076 gauss × Rplanet3 = 7.981× 1010 gauss.

(a) Pick a planet and look up a more recent value for the magnetic field. Give the name of the
planet, the value (with units), the url at which you found the info, and the date at which it was
updated. If you cannot find a more recent value, list the urls of at least 3 websites that you
(b) Compare the values. Can you conclude that having a magnetic field is
a terrestrial or jovian characteristic or neither?
(c) Explain your choice in (b).

7.13 Given that Ceres' mass is 1.3 x 1025 grams and its radius is 1.1 x 108 cm, what is its average
density? Does this indicate that Ceres has a large iron core like the Earth? Why or why not?
Helpful info: density = mass/volume
volume of a sphere is (4/3)*pi*R3

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