# Flying Objects In The Atmosphere

## Question

1. As mentioned before, our asteroid is in the shape of a sphere and has a mass of 1000 kilograms. Determine the density (in grams per cubic centimeter) of this asteroid if its diameter is known to be 0.8 meters. (Useful information: 1 kg = 1000 g, 1 m = 100 cm, volume of sphere = 4/3 π r³. Remember that the radius of a sphere is equal to half its diameter.
2. How does your calculated density (in grams per cubic centimeter) compare to the density of liquid water? Would you expect this asteroid to float or sink in water based on your calculations? What else do you need to take into consideration when making your decision? Explain your answers fully.
3. One side of our asteroid is constantly illuminated by the Sun while the other side remains in the dark. Do you expect there to be a temperature difference between the light and dark sides?
Explain why or why not. If the two sides are at different temperatures, how might heat transfer from one side to the other? Note that our asteroid does not have enough gravity to hold an atmosphere.
4. Occasionally an asteroid will break into fragments due to a collision. These fragments, which often contain ice, can leave the asteroid belt and even make their way to Earth. Upon entering the Earth's atmosphere, a fragment is heated to high temperature by frictional forces. What would happen to any ice contained within a fragment? What type of phase change would this be? Is this type of change considered a chemical change or a physical change? Explain.
5. Asteroids are mainly composed of metals like iron and nonmetals like carbon. Explain at least three differences between metals and nonmetals, and describe the locations of metals and nonmetals within the periodic table. Specifically use iron and carbon in your explanation.
6. If the asteroid fragment contains carbon, it may burn when entering Earth's atmosphere. What is the most likely compound to result from this process? Which type of chemical bond would result from this process? Of the types chemical reactions studied in this course, which type would this be? Be sure to fully explain all of your answers.
Part 2
7. Due to friction with the Earth's atmosphere, a large static electric charge could build up on our plummeting asteroid fragment. Would you expect our fragment to generate a magnetic field? Explain why or why not.
8. As the fragment falls through the atmosphere, it is heated and some of the material is vaporized. Explain how you could determine the composition of this hot vaporized material from the light it emits.
When a material is heated its atoms becomes excited (electrons jumps on higher energy orbits). When atoms un-excite electrons emit light and the wavelengths of the light emitted are characteristic to each atom. Each atom has a unique set of lines (colors) in the spectrum that identify it. For example sodium emits bright yellow. By passing the light coming from the asteroid through a prism and decomposing it into discrete lines, one can easily see from the spectrum which composition has the fragment.
9. Some asteroid fragments are large enough to not completely burn up in the atmosphere and they end up on the surface of the Earth. It is possible for such a fragment to be radioactive. What is the chief cause of radioactivity? If you had a radiation detector that could measure the amount of radiation—but not the type of radiation—how could you determine which type of radiation was being emitted?
10. How could the age of this fragment be determined?
11. Asteroids can be classified into two broad groups based on their composition and location: carbon-rich asteroids dominate the outer part of the asteroid belt, whereas metal rich asteroids dominate the inner part of the belt. Analysis of the fragment we have discussed in this project reveals that it contains nearly equal amounts of metals and carbon. Can you conclude that the original whole asteroid had a similar composition? Can you conclude with a high degree of confidence that the asteroid originated in the middle regions of the asteroid belt? Explain your reasoning. If you would need more data from the asteroid analysis, what would you like to see?
12. The Law of Conservation of Energy tells us that “energy cannot be created nor destroyed.”
At the center of our Solar System is the Sun, and the Sun is constantly generating energy allowing our Earth to have habitable conditions for life to exist. What is the source of the Sun’s energy? Does the Law of Conservation of Energy apply here? Explain your answer.
Part 3
13. Why is a steam burn worse than a (boiling) hot water burn?
14. Why does sweating cool you down?
Part 4
15) If you suspend two balloons about 3 cm apart and blow air between them, what do you think will happen?
16) Why do weather balloons expand as they rise?
17) What is the relationship between an atom's ability to behave as an oxidizing agent and its electron affinity?
Part 5
18) what is the greenhouse effect? Do you think it is always a bad thing? How is it related to global warming?
19) why are the top of mountains colder than the ground close to sea-level?
20) why do airplanes fly above the troposphere?
21) Why does temperature vary traversing the different layers of the earth's atmosphere?

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