Problem Set #2
DUE TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 1997
email your answers before midnight to: firstname.lastname@example.org
A. Most of the asteroids are contained between 2.06 AU and 3.27 AU.
B. The most dangerous asteroids are the earth-crossing asteroids, (also
known as Apollo asteroids) which have elliptical orbits that carry them
from the inner portions of the asteroid belt across space to the earth's
orbit. One such asteroids of the largest is named Sisyphus which has a
diameter of 9 km (it could do lots of damage and could even wipe out
Dallas.) and a mean distance of 1.89 AU.
- What resonance of Jupiter establishes the inner edge at 2.06 AU?
- What is the period of those asteroids at the inner edge?
- What resonance of Jupiter establishes the outer edge at 3.27 AU?
- What is the period of those asteroids at the outer edge?
5. How often does Sisyphus cross the earth's orbit?
C. Extinction events on the earth, caused by asteroid or comet impacts,
appear to occur every 30 million years. At those times a "DEATH STAR" may
send a rain of comets into the inner solar system. That star may be in
orbit around the sun; too faint and too distant to be easily seen, but
gravitationally powerful enough to nudge comets out of the Oort comet
6. What is the DISTANCE of such a hypothetical death star? Where is it
located with respect to the Oort cloud?
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