Saint Marys University Searching For Extra Solar Planets The Orbital Period Essay

I’m studying for my Writing class and need an explanation.

To prepare for this assignment, watch the following two videos:

1. Overview of methods to search for extrasolar planets:

5 Ways to Find a Planet

2. Tutorial on reading a transit light curve.

Transit Light Curve Tutorial

1. Example A: Below is a transit light curve from an extrasolar planets. Answer the questions below the graph.

1A. Explain what is causing the dips in brightness seen in the graph (about 100 words). – 1 pt

1B. What is the period of this planet’s rotation around its central star? Explain how you got this answer (about 100 words) – 1 pt

1C. Explain what features of the system determine the width of the dips (about 100 words). – 2 pts.

2. Example B. Below is a set of transit light curves from two different extrasolar planets. Answer the questions below the graph.

These data are from two extrasolar planets that are each orbitting a star with a similar in mass to our sun. The extrasolar planets are named after their stars, so they are WASP 28b and TrES2b.

2A. Is the distance between these planets and their stars larger or smaller than the distance between Earth and our Sun? How can you tell? (50 words) – 1 pt

2B. Which of these extrasolar planets (K2:WASP 28 or Kepler:TrES 2) is slightly closer to its central star? How can you tell? (50 words) – 1 pt

2C. Estimate the orbital period of each of these extrasolar planets around their central start. Explain your answers. (100 words)- 2 pts.

3. Example C. Below is transit light curves from transit light curve from TRAPPIST-1.

3A. Why is this transit curve different than the extrasolar planets above? Explain the shape of the graph and what is causing it. (100 words) – 2 pts

5 Ways to Find a Planet:

Transit Light Curve Tutorial:

Prof. Angela


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