Mercury Rotational Case Study

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1. The relationship between Mercury’s rotational period and orbital period is a resonance. This results from the Sun’s tidal force on Mercury and its very elliptical orbit. The sun cannot lock Mercury into a 1:1 rotation due to Mercury’s high eccentricity. Mercury takes 59 Earth days to rotate and and 88 days to orbit so it spins three times for every two orbital periods.

2. The current atmosphere of Mars is mainly CO2 (95%), N2 (3%), oxygen, and water. The atmosphere’s density is 1% of Earth atmospheric density. The lack of atmosphere and proximity to the Sun makes the planets cold. The high temperature is lower than it is on Earth. and the night temperatures drop around 218K. The evidence that suggests Mars’ atmosphere has changed is found on its surface. There are smooth areas that look like old beaches near the edges of craters. However, currently there is not water running on Mars. This leaves scientist to believes oceans
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Kepler’s third law modified by Newton is T^2(Me+Mm)= D^3. T is the orbital period in years and D is the distance between the Earth and Moon in AU. Me is the Mass of the Earth and Mm is the mass of the moon. Then I set Me+Mm=Mt. Mt is the total mass of the Earth and Moon combined. So, T^2(Mt)=D^3. I then divided both sides by T^2 so the equation became Mt=(D^3)/T^2. Then I plugged in the given numbers to the equation. Mt= (0.0027^3)/(0.08^2). So, Mt = 3.08 x 10^(-6). The sum of the masses is approximately equal to the mass of the Earth with respect to the Sun. Therefore, the Earth is about 3.1x10^(-6) solar masses relative to the Sun.

6. As the Voyager spacecraft penetrated into the outer solar system, the illumination from the Sun declined. Relative to the situation at Earth, how bright is the sunlight is lower each of the jovian planets. Since the Sun is further away from each planet, the sunlight decreases. Voyager had to take longer exposers when photographing Neptune. The sunlight at Neptune is 900 times weaker than it is at

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