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SPACE MATHEMATICS WORKSHEET 1

Astronomical Units and light-years

Activity edited by Jonathan G. Fairman - August 1996

  1. Problem: An astronomicat unit (AU) is the average earth-sun distance and is 1.49598 x 108 km, to six significant figures. 1 mile = 1.61 km

     

    1. Find the earth-sun distance in miles to three significant figures.
      (answer)

       

    2. For each of the following planets is given the mean distance from the sun in kilometers. Express these distances in AU's, using three significant figures for each result.
      (answer)

       

            Planet     Distance    Distance    (km x 108)    (AU's)
             
           Mercury        0.579      (.387)
           Venus          1.08       (.722)
           Mars           2.27       (1.52)
           Jupiter        7.78       (5.20)
           Saturn        14.3        (9.56)
           Uranus        28.7       (19.2) 
           Neptune       45.0       (30.1)
           Pluto         59.1       (39.5)
            

     

  2. The light-year is the distance traveled by light during one Earth year. To three significant digits, the speed of light is 3.00 x 105 km/s. Find the length of the light-year in km's and in AU's, to 3 significant digits.
    (answer)


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