Searching For Life Outside Our Solar System
For this assignment you are going to practice some of the data analysis (attachment) that astronomers have to do to look for evidence of extrasolar planets. You are given six example graphs of data that use three different methods: the astrometry method, the “wobble” or spectral method, and the transit method.
I have provided some notes in the reading section on each of these methods, using the same types of diagrams I provide for the assignment. You will also be able to find a lot online about these methods and the discoveries made with them.
There are two examples for each of three methods: Astrometry, Spectral, and Transit methods.
For each example you are to determine if there is sufficient evidence to claim that there is an extrasolar planet orbiting the star. You are going to do this six times, once for each of the graphs. They are not connected to each other.
Part 1 : For each graph answer (15% each) : (total no less than 600 words)
◦ Is there evidence of a possible extrasolar planet orbiting this star? (Yes or no)
◦ If there is not sufficient evidence to say there is an orbiting star, you should include a paragraph explaining why there is insufficient evidence of an extrasolar planet. There is no need to try to explain what could cause the patterns you do see in the data, but you have to explain why they are different than what you might see if there were a planet orbiting the star. (about 100 words)
◦ If there IS evidence of an extrasolar planet, you must include a paragraph about the evidence you used to come to that conclusion as well as the orbital period of the planet (how long it takes to make a complete orbit around the star). (about 100 words)
Part 2 (3 pts): Answer the following question (10%)
• Are any of these graphs likely from the same star? Explain your answer. Remember to think about the orbit and the way we view the star. (about 100 words)
whole essay total around 750 words
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