The solar system of another star and land on one of the planets
Congratulations, you are the first human being to travel to the solar system of another star and land on one of the planets. The star that you have travelled to is 3693 lightyears away and nearly identical to our Sun. Similarly, the planet you have landed on is remarkably like Earth. It orbits 1 AU away from a Sun-like star, it rotates once every 24 hours, its rotation axis is inclined by 23 degrees relative to its orbit around its host star, and its moon takes 29.5 days to complete a full orbit. Based on your knowledge of the Earth-Moon-Sun system, answer the following questions about the planet you have landed on:
a) When you first step out of your space ship, you see a New moon. Draw the a diagram that
depicts the orientation of the star, the planet, and its moon during this phase. In the diagram,
be sure to note which way the planet is rotating and the direction of the moon’s orbit around
b) Will the moon be visible in the sky if the local time is 6:00 pm when you land. Explain how
c) Your mission calls for you to stay on the planet for 4 days before starting the return trip
home. What phase will the moon be in when you leave?
d) How would your answer to c) change if the moon takes 20 days to complete a full orbit
around the planet instead of 29.5 days. Explain your reasoning.
e) What is a spring tide?
f) Will you experience a spring tide during your stay on the planet? Why or why not?
g) During your stay on this planet, you set up a portable telescope to examine its night sky. Do
you expect to see the same constellations that are seen in Earth’s night sky? Why or why
h) While studying the star that your planet is orbiting around, you calculate that it is 1.1 times
as massive than our Sun. Given that the star gets its energy the same way as the Sun does,
will its energy output be greater or less than the Sun? Why? In your explanation, describe
the process by which energy is released in the star, and how this process is effected by the
pressure and density in the core of a star.
While looking through your portable telescope from Question 1, you discover that there are a
couple of other planets that are also orbiting the same star as the planet you have landed on. These
planets were not known prior to your arrival. One planet is 0.7 AU from the host star and one
planet is 13.7 AU from the host star. Based on your knowledge of the Solar System, answer the
a) What do you expect the inner planet to be made of? Why?
b) What assumptions can you make about its atmosphere and the number of moons that the