Determining the Diameter of Pluto

You have been brought to this page from another version of this lab exercise. It is expected that you first worked through the lab and have made all of your calculations. However, this is the simple page where your answers are now to be turned in to me over the e-mail system. In a few places you will be asked to demonstrate that you understand what you have done by explaining how you arrived at your numbers. If you have questions, you can always return to Pluto-Diameter or to the Planet Pluto pages.

Your Name:

E-mail Address (Required):


1) The time of contacts occurred at:

First hours

Second hours

Third hours

2) The elapsed time between first and second contact was hours. (Please express time in terms of hours and decimals instead of hours and minutes)

3) The elapsed time between first and third contact. (Please express time in terms of hours and decimals instead of hours and minutes)


4) The orbital circumference of Charon is km

5) Assuming that the orbit of Charon is a circle, what is the orbital velocity? km/s

6) Your calculated diameter of Charon is? km

below, please fill in how you arrived at your numbers

7) Your calculated diameter of Pluto is? km

below, please fill in how you arrived at your numbers

8) What are some possible sources of error in this exercise?


9) When Charon passes in front of Pluto, there is a greater decrease in the amount of light reflected from the system than when Charon passes behind Pluto. What do you think might be the cause of this differene?


10) How might measurements made from above the Earth's atmosphere by the Hubble Space Telescope or another such device help in determining the fundamental properties of the Pluto-Charon system..


       

When you have completed this quiz and are satisfied with your responses, click on the submit button at the bottom of this page, and then you may move forward to Comets or return to Pluto, the Introduction to Icy Worlds, or to the Introduction to the Planets.or go to the Syllabus .


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