We'll find out towards the end of the course that it is virtually impossible to travel across the galaxy and visit other solar systems. Let's ignore that sad fact and consider exploration of a hypothetical planetary system around a nearby star. You find that the system contains a number of "terrestrial" planets and several "giant" planets. Assume we have the same tools available there as we've used to explore our solar system:
Using what you have learned about our solar system, and the methods by which we have deduced the properties of the planets and other objects based on observation and measurement, how would yo udetermine the answers to the following questions?
In your answers, be sure to state what specific measurements you would use, and what results you might expect. Answer in complete sentences, please.
One hemisphere of a (hypothetical) newly discovered satellite is found to be extremely smooth, resembling the lunar Mare. An expedition to this object returns rocks and, after radiometric dataing, they are found to have an age of about 4.2 billion years old. Why would such a finding be considered highly unusual?