Tuesday, 30 of August of 2016

Earth orbit distance increase to avoid Sun red giant phase – and tilt of the rotational axis of Venus – Charles Frank – 2011

Charles Frank (2011 graduate in Physics and Biophysics, minor in Chemistry and Biology) performed two major astronomy calculations for his senior project.  The first involved analyzing a theoretical (hypothetical) plan to use a long-period asteroid to nudge the Earth into a steadily larger orbit, with the goal to move away from the Sun as the Sun expands in its red giant phase.  He analyzed the parameters necessary and also discussed factors that would influence how unrealistic this plan would be in practice.  Chuck also performed numerous calculations involving the tilt of the rotational axis of Venus.  He started with the supposition that an object collided with a Venus that had a more Earth-like “upward” rotation, and resulted in the “upside down” tilt of the axis (by analyzing the linear and angular momentum calculations involved with a collision in orbit).  Advisor: Dr. Scott Schneider (sschneide@ltu.edu).