Question

**Project #4**

**Questions**

Proxima Centauri is the closest star to our Solar System.

If the star’s position shows a total shift of 1.5377” (arcseconds), what is its parallax angle?

Using the equations above, calculate the distance to Proxima Centauri in AU?

Using the equations above, calculate the distance to Proxima Centauri in light-years?

Now let’s compare this distance to what is happening in our Solar System.

NASA’s New Horizons mission passed by Jupiter on February 28th, 2007. At the time, Pluto was 26.32 AU still away from Jupiter. New Horizons reached its closest approach to Pluto on July 14th, 2015 – 8.375 years later. Assuming the probe’s speed was constant the whole time, what was its speed in AU/yr.?

Using your results above, how long would it take New Horizons to travel all the way to Proxima Centauri? (NOTE: New Horizons’ path will not take it anywhere near the right direction for this.)

If the average life expectancy in America is 78.5 years, how many lifetimes will it take to get there? And remember that this is the closest star to us! The next closest star? Barnard’s Star at 5.95 light-years – another 50% past the Centauri system.

Based on all of this… how realistic are manned interstellar missions?

Answer #1

A spaceship is moving toward Alpha Centauri, the
closest star
system located 4.2 light-years away, at a speed of 0.98c.
a) How much time does the trip last as measured from an astronaut
onboard?
b) How much time does the trip last as measured from an observer on
earth. Assume
the distance between the earth and Alpha Centauri remain the
same.
c) What is the distance between the earth and Alpha Centauri as
seen from an
astronaut onboard the spaceship?

: A spaceship is moving toward Alpha Centauri, the closest star
system located 4.2 light-years away, at a speed of 0.98c. a) How
much time does the trip last as measured from an astronaut onboard?
(4 points) b) How much time does the trip last as measured from an
observer on earth. Assume the distance between the earth and Alpha
Centauri remain the same. (3 points) c) What is the distance
between the earth and Alpha Centauri as seen from...

Part one: Alpha Centauri is not only the closest star system to
us (it is actually a triple star system) but it also seems to be an
excellent place to look for extraterrestrial life. It is about 4.3
light years away from Earth. If an astronaut claims her journey
there and back only took 6.3 years, then how fast was she
traveling? (Assume she made a fast turnaround once she arrived
there!) A. 0.68c B. 0.73c C. 0.86c D. 0.81c...

A new extrasolar planet (outside our solar system) has been
discovered. This planet orbits a star of mass 1.05×1031 kg with a
period of 6.52 years . It is also known that the planet has an
eccentricity of 0.674.
Part A: What is the average velocity of the planet in its orbit?
in m/s
Part B: What is the distance of closest approach to its parent
start (perihelion)? d.perihelion in m
Part C: What is the farthest distance the planet...

In our solar system, when the ratio of the orbital periods of
two objects has some special values, this corresponds to an orbital
resonance. Particularly interesting are the resonance between
Jupiter and objects on the asteroid belt.
a. Calculate the semi-major axes that correspond to the
following resonances with Jupiter PJ /PAst =3
, PJ /PAst = 5 2 , PJ
/PAst = 7 3 , and PJ /PAst =2 ,
where PJ is the orbital period of Jupiter and...

1. The closest star, other than the Sun, to us is at about 4
light years. To escape from the solar system a space craft has to
travel at a minimum of 42 km per second. That is not really fast
enough, because as the Sun's gravity keeps tugging on it, while it
would escape, it would slow down in velocity as time goes on and
not be going very fast once it is far from the Sun. But let's...

Questions 1 through
6 work with the length of the sidereal year vs. distance from the
sun. The table of data is shown below.
Planet
Distance from Sun
(in millions of
miles)
Years (as a
fraction of Earth
years)
ln(Dist)
ln(Year)
Mercury
36.19
0.2410
3.5889
-1.4229
Venus
67.63
0.6156
4.2140
-0.4851
Earth
93.50
1.0007
4.5380
0.0007
Mars
142.46
1.8821
4.9591
0.6324
Jupiter
486.46
11.8704
6.1871
2.4741
Saturn
893.38
29.4580
6.7950
3.3830
Uranus
1,794.37
84.0100
7.4924
4.4309
Neptune
2,815.19
164.7800
7.9428...

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