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Space Mathematics Worksheet 2

Activity edited by Jonathan G. Fairman - August 1996

  1. Problem: When a solar flare occurs on the Sun, it can send out a blast wave that travels through interplanetary space at a speed of 3 x 10 6 km/h.


    1. How long would it take a blast wave to get to Earth where it could be detected by a satellite in orbit? The Earth-Sun distance is 1.5 x 10 8 km , and you can use the same number for the satellite-Sun distance. Express your answer in hours.


    2. When such a solar flare is detected, it is interesting to study the source. Since the Sun is rotating, we must determine how far the source has turned between the emission and the detection of a solar flare. Because the Sun is a dense gas rather than a solid body, it does not have uniform rotation rate; on the average the Sun makes one complete revolution in 25.4 days. How many degrees would it rotate (on the average) during the time the blast wave traveled from the sun to the orbiting satellite?


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Last Updated: Jun 12 2014

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