This week we talk about how sciences can weight a planet, discuss gravity, and the explosion of a military weather satellite while in orbit.
Ways to Measure Planetary Mass
- Geometric (size and density), this doesn’t always work well
- By triangulation and measurement of orbits of natural or artificial satellites.
- All stems from Newton’s Law of Gravitation. Which is really a controversy between Newton and Hooke.
- Gravitational constant based on the Cavendish torsion balance experiment.
- Measurement of the constant is difficult since it is small and we cannot measure outside of a gravitational field.
- With this and Kepler’s Laws, we can solve most simple problems by hand!
A variety of ranging techniques can be used, including:
Fun Paper Friday
This week we talk about capturing an asteroid with a bag and a pull string, or a spider like lander. The asteroid is then explored and moved into a lunar-like orbit for further study. The best part of all is that the ship will have an international docking system so anyone can go do science. A step towards open source science!
Shannon Dulin – @ShannonDulin