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Universe Presentations

Simple, brief summaries of the wonders of our surroundings.

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Transcript of Universe Presentations

The Sun
The centre of our solar system
Averagely sized

150 000 000 km from Earth

1 392 000 km
The smallest planet in the solar system

The planet closest to the Sun

Orbital period of 88 days, 47.7 km/s

Categorized as a planet by Nicolaus Copernicus in 1543
Second Planet from the Earth.

Venus is the hottest planet in the Solar System.

The surface is also likened to molten lead.

A day on Venus is 243 "Earth" days long.

The gravity of Venus is 0.88 times as strong as that of Earth.
Dwarf Planet
Only dwarf planet located in the asteroid belt rather than the Kuiper belt.

Because of the relatively short distance to Earth, it was the first dwarf planet to be discovered; 1801 by Giuseppe Piazzi.

It is a Protoplanet.

In 2015, NASA's DAWN spacecraft will reach Ceres in an attempt to better understand it.
Asteroid Belt
The month of March is named after Mars.

Mars is red because of iron oxide (rust) and has the consistency of talcum powder. Literally, the metallic rocks on Mars are rusting.

No human could survive the low pressure of Mars. If you went to Mars without an appropriate space suit, the oxygen in your blood would literally turn into bubbles, causing immediate death.

If you were driving 60 mph in a car, it would take 271 years and 221 days to get to Mars from Earth

Mars lacks an ozone layer; therefore, the surface of Mars is bathed in a lethal dose of radiation every time the sun rises
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun.

It is the largest planet in the Solar System - 318 times larger than Earth.

Jupiter's mass is equal to 2.5 times the sum of the masses of all the other Solar System planets put together.

Jupiter is the fastest spinning planet in the Solar System, a day on Jupiter is about 10 Earth hours long.

The planet has been visited by spacecraft 8 times. The first spacecraft to go there was Pioneer 10, which set off in 1972 and made a flyby the following year.
Neptune only receives 1/900 of the solar energy that reaches Earth.
Its distance from the Sun is 30 times that between Earth and the Sun.
Neptune is the stormiest planet: the winds there can reach up to almost 2000 km/h.
One year on Neptune is equal to about 165 Earth years.
Neptune is so far away that it took the space probe Voyager over two years to reach it.
Saturn is the second largest planet.
A year on Saturn is about 24.5 Earth years.
The difference in temperature between the poles and equator of Saturn is
Saturn's "ring" is actually made up of seven smaller rings.
Saturn has 62 confirmed Moons.

Its moon "Titan" is its only Moon with an atmosphere. It is larger than the planet Mercury.
Uranus is one of the planets in our solar system with a clearly visible set of rings.

Uranus is the coldest planet in the Solar System.

The planet's gravitational field contains 27 moons.

In certain parts of the planet, nights can last up to 40 years.

It takes around 84 Earth years for Uranus to complete one orbit around the Sun.
We live on Earth! It is the only planet in the universe that we know that contains life.

The Earth is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. It travels through space at 660,000 miles per hour.

The Earth weighs 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons.

The earth rotates on its axis more slowly in March than in September.

The world is not round. It is an oblate spheroid, flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator.
Dwarf Planet
Pluto is smaller than the Earth's moon.
Pluto has an enormous moon for its size, Charon. It is more than half the size of Pluto.
Some astronomers believe that Pluto was once a moon of Neptune but it somehow escaped into its own orbit.
Pluto used to be classified as a planet, but after being revised, it did not fill the requirements to be a planet.
It is now called 134340.
Dwarf Planet
A day on Haumea is about 4 Earth hours long.

Its shape is believed to be a result of its fast rotating speed, possibly due to a collision.

Haumea has two known moons, Namaka and Hi'iaka.

It was discovered in 2003, and confirmed in 2005.
Dwarf Planet
A year on Makemake is about 310 Earth years.

Its orbit takes around 205 Earth years to complete.

The discovery of Makemake (along with that of Eris) prompted the IAU to change the definition of "planet".

It was discovered in 2005 and approved in 2008.
Dwarf Planet
Eris is so distant from the Sun that when it atmosphere can collapse (at almost -250 °C).

Its orbit is about 561 Earth years long.

A day on Eris is 25.9 hours long.

It was discovered in 2003.

It is a little smaller than Pluto, but larger than all the asteroids in the asteroid belt.
Between Mars and Jupiter.

About 450 million km from the Sun.

Largest asteroids are about 950 km in diameter, smallest are like grains of sand.

The density of asteroids is fairly low.

There is a potential danger of asteroids colliding with Earth.
The NASA Apollo missions were a series of missions which landed astronauts on the Moon.

About 1/4 the size of the Earth.

The temperature of the Moon ranges from about -173 to 127 °C.

Tides are caused by the Moon's gravitational pull on the Earth's waters.

Because the Moon orbits the Earth and spins on itself at a very similar rate, we can only see about 59% of its surface from Earth.
Who are we?
We are the Space Science Department of Aiglon College, the only department of the school to be run almost entirely by students.
Students use their free time to enhance the department, may it be creating a website, putting up posters or improving the buildings and equipment.
Recently we have begun organising observation evenings, and by working with the Villars tourist office we have been able to organise occasional publicly open evenings.
What do we do?
We attempt to convey our passion for astronomy through the observation evenings we organize. In terms of spreading awareness to the public; we have the support of the Office de Tourisme.

We host two kinds of events. Star Parties and Starbeques. The difference is simply the audience. We open the Star Parties to the public but the Starbeques are for Aiglon faculty and students only. At these events we observe the night sky (when the weather allows) and attempt to teach others more about what they are seeing and how they can see it.

The Astronomy Dept. meet on a weekly basis to improve the Department and spread awareness. We also continuously try to learn all that we can about astronomy.
Why do we do it?
We all have our own reasons for joining the Department. However, we all share a common desire to know more about not only the Solar system we inhabit but the Universe as a whole. Our common curiosity has lead us all here; where we have the resources to act on our interest and share ideas amongst ourselves.
Our Solar System
Star Lives
How was our Sun formed?
The Sun was formed when a cloud of hydrogen gas underwent virilisation.
15 million K° - nuclear fusion commenced.
Fusion of H nuclei to form He and other elements.
Eventual balance of pressure forms the Sun.
The size and mass of the Sun is relative to that of
the cloud which formed it.
Towards the end
Scarcity of H - collapse and consequent heating to 100 MK circa.
Expansion to Red Giant.
Estimated 100 million years - shrink again.
Estimated 50 thousand years as planetary nebula (as 95% of stars)
Due to Sol mass, planetary nebula then becomes a white dwarf and then black dwarf.
Larger stars
Similar to Sol up to when it starts running out of fuel.
This period lasts less for a large star, as does its lifetime in general.
If the star is extremely large it will not become a planetary nebula. It will collapse into itself.
The core will become as dense as atomic nuclei.
The outer layers will fall off the core, and the star will explode into a supernova.
The star will become a neutron star or a black hole.
Neutron Stars
100% neutrons
10E+18 kgmE-3
15-10 km diameter
Galaxies are gravitationally bound systems, which consist of stars, stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, and dark matter. "Galaxy" derived from the Greek galaxias, which means milky and is a reference to the Milky Way. Galaxies range in size from dwarfs with as few as ten million stars, and giants with hundred trillion stars.

Types of Galaxies
Galaxies come in many shapes and sizes however there are 3 main types. These are spiral, elliptical and irregular. These categories of galaxies are based on the bulge and disk of the galaxy. The bulge is the round distribution of stars at the centre and the disk is the flat distribution of the spiral arms.
Milky Way
The Milky Way is the galaxy in which we are situated here on Earth. This is an example of a spiral galaxy. We can actually see the Milky Way from Earth unassisted.The Milky Way is a barred spiral galaxy some 100,000–120,000 light-years in diameter which contains approximately 100–400 billion stars. It may contain at least as many planets as well.
Star Clusters
Star Clusters are groups of stars.
Two types of star clusters exist:
globular clusters
open clusters
Globular cluster
Globular Cluster is collection of stars that is spherical due to gravity.
It orbits a galactic center as a satellite.
Stars in globular clusters are among the oldest stars in the Galaxy, with ages greater than 100,000,000,000 years
Are clouds of hydrogen and helium dust.
They are most often star-forming regions.
Dust, gas and other materials combine together to form larger masses, which attract more larger masses and eventually become so big that they become stars.
The remaining materials are thought to form planets.
Elliptical Orbit
M-42 Orixon Nebula
Horsehead Nebula
The orbit of a comet is elliptical
As the comet moves towards the Sun, it has little Kinetic Energy, so moves slowly. The closer it gets to the Sun, to more KE it gains because the GPE increases and is converted into KE.

When stars are born they develop from large clouds of molecular gas. This means that they form in groups or clusters, since molecular clouds are composed of hundreds of solar masses of material. After the remnant gas is heated and blow away, the stars collect together by gravity. During the exchange of energy between the stars, some stars reach escape velocity from the protocluster and become runaway stars. The rest become gravitationally bound, meaning they will exist as collection orbiting each other forever.
Two Types:
Ion & Dust
Ion: formed because the neutral gas in the cometary comae is ionized by the solar radiation, giving birth to ions.
Ions are susceptible to magnetic solar forces and are therefore swept out of the coma into a long, characteristic ion tail.
Usually Blue to the human eye
The solar wind that sweeps past the comet has a very high speed (about 500 km/s) and causes the ion tail to be always orientated exactly in the anti-solar direction.
consists of dust particles that have been pushed out of the coma by the radiation from the Sun.
appears white or slightly pink
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