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Mercury year is 87.969 days.

Earth's year is 365.256 days.

1. How many days are in 2 Mercury years? How many days are in 2 Earth years? Complete the table below and make a conjecture (guess) as to which two years are close to the same number of days for Mercury and Earth.

Number of Year

Mercury's number of days

Earth's number of days

1

87.969

365.256

2

175.938

730.512

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13

2. What is Mercury's' rate per day?

 

3. What is Earth's rate per day? Howe much time will it take Mercury to overtake Earth?

(Hint: (Mercury's rate - Earth's rate) rotations per day in decimal form and use D = RT where T = time interval)

(Mercury's Rate - Earth's Rate) * T = 1

 

 

4. How does this answer compare in years with the number of Earth days in the table above?

5. It can be determined that the Earth lags behind by __________ days every fifth conjunction.

As a result, a transit (when the planet Mercury crosses across the face of the Sun) is visible from Earth.

 

6. The table below lists the transits for Mercury. Is there an observable pattern in the years that the transits occur? If so, describe the pattern you observe.

 

1907

1957

2003

2052

1914

1960

2006

2062

1924

1970

2016

2065

1927

1973

2019

2078

1937

1986

2032

2085

1940

1993

2039

2095

1953

1999

2049

2098

7. The following is a list of Earth Transits from Mars. Is there an observable pattern evident in these transit years? If so, describe the pattern that you observe.

1516

1984

1595

2084

1621

2163

1700

2189

1800

2268

1879

2368

1905

2394

 

Venus Transit Graphing Calculator Instructions

(PART ONE)

The graphing calculator can make some tedious calculations much easier through the spreadsheet capabilities of the calculator. These directions allow for some exposure to this feature.

When entering a data value, type the data value and press enter. For example,

 

 

This would complete the data for List 1.

 

 

 

The spreadsheet capabilities allow the students to complete multiple calculations in a minimal amount of time. The students can now complete their table of values based on the data displayed in the lists on the calculator.

CALCULATOR INSTRUCTIONS

(PART 2)

 

This option is designed to introduce the graphing calculator as a tool to uncover patterns in the data. The spreadsheet capabilities allow the students to view evident patterns or to rule out a pattern using technology.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To enter the data into the calculator for List 2:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now it is time to look for a pattern. We will look for a direct variation constant, a value that is constant between List 1 and List 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The constant that appears in List 3 indicates that there is a constant difference of eight years between the data values in List 1 and the data values in List 2. There is an evident pattern.

To view this constant rate of change, look at the graph:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The data points appear to be linear and have a constant difference of eight years. Notice the gap in the points. This gap is the years of the Venus Transit that will be visible in coming years. Compete the table of values to determine the years of the Transits.