Project #162693 - Astronomy Graphs

Science Tutors

Subject Science
Due By (Pacific Time) 01/13/2017 09:00 am

Due: Friday January 13, 2017 Ref: NASA Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) URL: The NSSDC is a standard database for planetary sciences. One method of investigation common in the sciences is to plot lots and lots of data and look for trends. For the 10 solar system objects listed on the given URL, perform the following:

1. Plot Mean temperature (y) versus distance from the Sun (x). Make a scatter plot, i.e., do NOT connect the points with lines. When you connect points with lines then you are implying interpolation. For the Earth’s Moon, use the Earth-Sun distance (not the Moon-Earth distance). You may have to use logarithmic axes to display all the data in an easy-to-read fashion. Computer-generated plots are mandatory. Look at the plot. (i) Is there a trend? If so, describe the trend. (ii) Do all the points follow the trend closely (i.e., on a smooth imaginary curve), or is there one or more outliers? (iii) If there is a trend, what is the cause of the trend? If there are outliers, what is the cause of the outlier?

2. Make an xy scatter plot of Number of moons (y) versus Mass (x). Respond to the same questions (i), (ii), and (iii) as from the previous plot. Pluto, as an outlier, is difficult to explain; clearly, a planet’s mass is not the only causal factor for a planet having moons. The fact that Pluto is an outlier on this plot is used as evidence in support of Pluto being designated a minor planet, and not a major planet.

3. Make a Venn diagram with three regions (properly called sets): (i) has rings?, (ii) has moons?, and (iii) diameter larger than Earth? Again, describe any trends that you see.


All submissions must be typed. Minimum identifying info to include is your name and SID number. • All diagrams must be constructed by you, either electronically or by hand using ruler and compasses. • All references you use must be cited using Chicago Manual of Style conventions. • No late work will be accepted for grading. • In all aspects be professional in your work.


You have to convince the grader that you can solve the problem given; “solve” means “to go through the motions of solving”, not “to copy someone else’s conclusion”. The grading is heavily weighted towards reasoning and justification.


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