ISP 205 Lab 8 Discussion Questions

  1. The number one bus from Meridian Mall to Lansing runs on a schedule of one every 10 minutes. If you are standing at the bus stop, how often would these busses pass you? Now suppose you start walking in the direction of Okemos (Meridian Mall). How often will the busses pass you, 10 minutes, more than 10 minutes, less than 10 minutes? Why? Now suppose you walk faster. What will be the interval between when the busses pass you and why?

  2. When you attempt to determine the Sun's rotation rate by observing its sunspots, is it necessary to take the Earth's motion (orbital and/ or rotational) into account? If so, in what way ? If not, why not?

  3. Venus has a cloud cover so thick that we cannot penetrate it to see surface features, at least using optical telescopes. Using what you have learned from the lab today, how could one obtain the rotational period of Venus? (Hint: think radio waves and radar astronomy.) Would this technique be needed to determine the rotational period for Mars? Why or why not?

  4. In the spectrum of the bright star Rigel, the H(alpha) line has a wavelength of 656.331 nm. Is the star coming towards us or moving away from us? How fast?

  5. Knowing what a Doppler shift for light involves, discuss how sound is Doppler shifted. Think about the sound that the trains, which continually run through campus, make.

  6. Assume that we measure the wavelength of light coming from the sun with a telescope that is in orbit around the Earth. In addition to what was done in the lab what procedures would one need to take to find the rotational velocity of the sun?