Discuss What it Would be like Under the Gravitational Effects of a Planet Other Than Ours


Discuss what it would be like under the gravitational effects of a planet other than ours. 5. Relate how Kepler’s laws and Newton’s law of gravity allow us to compare possible conditions on exoplanets to those on Earth. Step 1—An Overview of Exoplanets For ease of comparison, Table 7.1 lists the mass of each exoplanet in “Earth masses”; that is, the mass of the exoplanet has been divided by Earth’s mass, 5.97 x 1024 kilograms (kg). Similarly, the radius of each exoplanet is given in “Earth radii”: It has been divided by Earth’s radius, 6.37 x 10 meters. O TABLE 7.1 The original data.* EXOPLANET DESIGNATION ORBITAL PERIOD ORBITAL PERIOD (DAYS) (YEARS) ORBITAL DISTANCE (AU) MASS RADIUS COMPARED TO COMPARED TO EARTH’S EARTH’S 4.9 0.013 0.06 26 5 3.2 0.009 0.04 24 4 Kepler 3b Kepler 4b Kepler 86 Kepler-34(AB) Kepler-35(AB) 3.5 0.01 0.05 190 16 290 0.79 0.86 69 9 130 0.36 0.51 40 8 *Most values have been rounded off to no more than two significant digits. 31 32 ACTIVITY 7 Extraterrestrial Tourism 1. Summarize how the masses and radii of the exoplanets compare to those of Earth. 2. Which exoplanet would be most unlike Earth, and in what way? Step 2-Applying Kepler’s Laws The fourth column of Table 7.1 shows the orbital distances of the extra color ical units (AUT) Step 2–Applying Kepler’s Laws The fourth column of Table 7.1 shows the orbital distances of the extrasolar planets in astronomical units (AU). Each of these planets orbits a star similar in mass to the Sun; this fact allows us to use Kepler’s laws for these exoplanets. 3. Compare the distances of these exoplanets from their parent stars with the distance Earth is from the Sun (1 AU). 4. If these five exoplanets were actually in our Solar System, what would the planet order be? 5. Mercury’s distance from the Sun is about 0.4 AU; that of Venus is about 0.7 AU, and that of Mars is about 1.5 AU. Assuming that the five exoplanets of Table 7.1 were part of our Solar System, mark and label their locations in Figure 7.1. 0.7 10 0.4 ————- Mercury Venus –+- Earth 1.5 — Mars FIGURE 7.1 6. Pick one of the exoplanets as “your exoplanet” and write its name here: 7. What do you think the temperature would be like on your extrasolar planet? 8. Would you feel comfortable living on an extrasolar planet with that temperature?

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