Essay Instructions: Final Exam Essay
You have been selected to be the Chief Planetary Geologist on a manned expedition to a planet in a newly discovered solar system. Preliminary data suggests that it resembles the inner planets of our solar system and appears to have an atmosphere and hydrosphere. Your first task is to write a proposal that lays out a plan for a Phase 1 Investigation to determine the fundamental geology and geophysics of the planet. In the plan you need to discuss the critical features and characteristics of the planet you plan to search for and how you propose to search for them to determine their importance for the modern planet and, to whatever degree possible, the history of the planet.
Your vast knowledge of planetary geology and your understanding of planetary processes in our solar system is highly respected in the global Earth Sciences community. You are known as a person who knows how planets work and what to look for to discover how they work. Your colleagues respect you for being thorough and complete and employing your knowledge effectively. Your final report will be the cornerstone for further expeditions so it must focus on the fundamental nature of the planet and be a guide for further studies. Your report can be based entirely on what you learned this quarter and further research is NOT necessary, but if you have time a couple of planetary geology websites might definitely be an enhancement. Your report should be two to three pages long.
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Essay Instructions: Paper Topic:
Currently, there are 8 known earthlike extra solar planets: Gliese-58d, Gliese-58g, HD- 5512b, CoRoT-7b, Kepler-10b, Kepler-20e, Kepler-20f and Kepler-22b. For each planet, find the surface temperature, planetary mass, star type(noting the likely age of the star and, hence, its solar system), distance from the star and positions(distance from star) and masses of known companion planets. Also note any available information on eccentricity of the orbits of the planets and its companions (if none is availble, assume they are reasonable circular). current data is not good enought to establish the presence of moons. With that information in hand, discuss the earth-likeness of each planet. Does it really belong on a list of "earthlike" planets? is the planet likely to sustain life? is it likely to sustain the presence of intelligent life?
Subheadings, that make sense and help the paper flow
Quotations: at least 8, but there can be more, its ok if almost everyline has quotations, with a parenthetical citation, the more the better, because there is alot of information that is going to have to be looked up about each planet.
Parenthetical citation: (Authors name, page number)
Sources: Books, and articles, try to stay away from websites, but its ok to use them if you have to.
How Alien Would Aliens Be? by:John Cramer
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Essay Instructions: Using the instructions provided along with the example, write a report for the two articles. EACH SHOULD BE 600 WORD AND 4 PARAGRAPHS.
Article 1: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/08/science/space/in-ancient-meteorite-hint-there-was-life-on-mars.html?ref=science&_r=0
Article 2: http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease/5255/icing-on-a-lake
Paragraph 1: In at least 200 words, describe the research or mission being reported. Include:
• the person(s) and/or research teams or institutions which conducted the research
• the telescope and observatory used to conduct the research (if the research is theoretical and didn't make use of a telescope, describe the datasets or tools used to conduct the research)
• the object or type(s) of objects being studied
• the method which was used to make the discovery
Note: If any of the above information is not provided in your article, you will need to look it up from an external source. Details about space missions can usually be found on Wikipedia or on the web pages published by the institution involved in the research. Information obtained from sources outside the article must be followed by an in-text citation, and the full bibliographic reference for the citation must be listed in MLA format under a WORKS CITED section at the end of your report.
Paragraph 2: In at least 200 words, describe the results of the research or mission and the significance of the results, as stated in the article (i.e. do not explain why you find the research significant, but why the researchers themselves deemed the work significant)
Paragraph 3: In at least 100 words, state whether or not you personally feel that the research or mission is relevant to anyone other than astronomers. Include whether or not you feel that this sort of research should continue to be pursued. Be honest ??" there are no right or wrong answers, but your answer must be justified. Be sure to address your specific article, and not Astronomy in general.
Paragraph 4: In at least 100 words, explain why you chose your article, and describe your level of knowledge and preconceptions about the topic of your article before you read it. Did the article confirm or change these preconceptions? Be sure to address the specific subject of your article - for example, if your article is about a supernova, describe exactly what you knew about supernovae before you read the article. Again, an honest, but thoughtful answer is required.
THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF WHAT THE REPORTS SHOULD LOOK LIKE.
Article Title: “Rich exoplanet system discovered”
Source: Victoria Gill, BBC ews, 24 August 2010
A new system of planets was recently discovered at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. The discovery was made by a team led by Christophe Lovis, an astronomer at Geneva University's observatory in Switzerland. The newly-discovered planetary system consists of at least five planets around the Sun-like star HD 10180. The planets were detected using ESO’s High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher (or HARPS) instrument. The HARPS instrument detects exoplanets (i.e. planets outside of our solar system) by looking for stars which exhibit a regular back-and-forth wobble, as this wobble can be caused by the gravity of a nearby planet in orbit around the star. When a star displays a complex wobble that appears to be composed of multiple wobbles of
varying amounts, the wobble is likely due to the existence of multiple planets in orbit around the star.
Using HARPS, the researchers were able to break down the complex wobble of HD 10180 into its individual components, which allowed them to determine the minimum number of planets in the HD 10180 system as well as their mass and the paths of their orbits. While this is not the first system of exoplanets to be discovered, this planetary system is significant in that it may have the most planets yet to be discovered. The five planets which Lovis is most confident about are all Neptune-like planets, which means that they are larger than Earth and their composition is primarily gaseous. There is also tantalizing evidence that the system may include an Earth-like planet; in addition to the wobbles induced by the five Neptune-like planets, the star HD 10180 also appears to contain a small wobble that may be due to a planet with a similar mass to Earth but much closer to its star. If this finding is confirmed, it would be the first discovery of a planet with an Earth-like mass outside of our solar system. However, the proximity of this planet to its star would make it significantly hotter than our Earth. Another interesting
feature of the HD 10180 system is that all of its known planets are closer to the star than the distance between Mars and our Sun. Since our solar system has only four planets within the distance of Mars, the inner region of the HD 10180 system is more populated than ours.
While many discoveries in Astronomy do not effect the everyday lives of the majority of people, I feel that the search for planets beyond our solar system is an extremely valuable pursuit that would benefit all of mankind. Our continuing search for exoplanets will eventually lead to the discovery of Earth-like planets, which in turn may lead to the discovery of Earth-like extraterrestrial life. I believe that the discovery of extraterrestrial intelligent beings would be one of the most important and beneficial discoveries ever made, as it would likely have a unifying effect on mankind.
Furthermore, if we are able to communicate with extraterrestrial civilizations that have reached a more advanced
stage of social, intellectual and technological evolution, we may be able to learn ways to sustain our planet.
I have always believed that the Universe is filled with countless solar systems, some of which must contain Earth-like planets capable of supporting Earth-like intelligent life. It is unfathomable to me that in a Universe containing billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, that the Sun is the only star with a planet containing intelligent life. I chose this article because I'm fascinated by how close we are to actually discovering Earth-like planets. I was not surprised that this discovery has revealed a solar system whose collection of planets are very different than the range of planets in our own solar system. It would be self-centred of us to believe that the evolution of all solar systems has proceeded exactly as ours has. I expect that future discoveries of new solar systems will reveal an incredible variety of planetary systems.
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Essay Instructions: If the properties of the 3 basic types of rocks (metamorphic, igneous, sedimentary) apply to the other planets in the solar system.
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