Mars for Earthlings > Lesson Modules > Homework 1- Light Grapher

Light Grapher

Homework 1_Missions Outside our Solar System

Julia Kahmann-Robinson PhD and Marjorie Chan PhD, University of Utah Department of Geology & Geophysics

Purpose

Navigate and utilize the software Light Grapher and understand the transit method of detecting planets.

Directions

1. Go to: http://kepler.nasa.gov/education/ModelsandSimulations/lightgrapher/

2. Read over webpage for context.

3. Briefly describe the principle(s) being used in order to locate planets.

4. Read through the directions and hints.

5. Run the program at least (3) different times. For each iteration, change up the parameters by trying different methods of interaction with the camera, objects, sizes of objects, spacing of objects from camera, light source, etc. Report each iteration as follows as in the example below.

Ex:

Iteration #1

Parameters Used:

Outcomes (describe the graph and cut/paste images you capture):

6. From your different iterations what did you learn about objects? Did it matter the size, color, transparency, opacity?

7. Consider the planet Mars (typically red-tones) and a planet like Neptune (lighter blue colors). Which planet, if you were to pass it in front of the webcam, would yield a great change in light? What is the reasoning for your choice?