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Transcript of Solar System
Famous Astronomers and Astrophysicists
He made the first telescope, and proved that the planets all revolve around the sun, not the Earth.
First to propose that the Sun is the center of the universe, and that all the other planets revolved around it
Mathmatician and astronomer whom discovered that the planets revolve around the sun in elliptical orbits.
Took exact measurments of stars and astronomical measurments in the solar system.
Jupiter is a gas giant and the biggest planet in our galaxy. It is the the first outer planet in the solar system. It is the 5th planet away from the sun, and is about 400 million miles from Mars. With a diameter of 88,846 miles, it is a huge planet. Jupiter was spotted early in the history of space observation, because it was not only giant, but is the 2nd brightest planet in the Solar system. Jupiter is mostly made up of gas and clouds, though a small liquid surface exists.
The Great Red Spot (the red circle near the bottom of Jupiter) is a storm on Jupiter that has was discovered over 400 years ago by Robert Hooke. The red spot is equivilent in size to three earths. The spot is just like a hurricane on earth, ecept it rotates counter-clockwise. The spot has been in existance for an estimated 4 to 5 centuries. Infared Images have told us that the spot is colder than the gas that surrounds it. No one has proven what gives the spot the reddish coler, though some think that it is made up of complex organic molecules.
The Great Red Spot
Neptune is a gas giant that orbits the sun every 365 earth years. Neptune has 8 moons, the biggest being Triton. Neptune orbits on a 47 degrees axis, which is on its side. Like Saturn and Uranus, Neptune has rings too, but these four rings are very small and faint.
Diameter: 142,984 kilometers
Temperature: -145 C (temp. increases further below the surface)
Revolution time- 12 Eath years
This Picture of the great red spot was taken by Voyager 1 in 1979.
The Sun is the center of the solar system and without it life will not exsist on Earth. It produces most of the heat on Earth. It rotates on an axis and orbits a galactic center. The Sun, the closest star to Earth, is made out of heluim and hydrogen particles. These particles (in the plasma state) actually make the Sun's energy by nuclear fusion.
The sun is weird because parts of it roatate faster than others this is called differential rotation
Nuclear fusion creates all of the Sun's energy. This process takes place in the Sun's core where the gravity is the strongest. In the core hydrogen atoms smash into other hydrogen atoms with such great force that they create a new element,a heluim. This process is called nuclear fusion which produces a huge amount of energy.
The core is the hottest part of the Sun at 15,000,000 degrees celcius. It is the most dense area of the sun, where all of the nuclear fusion takes place. All of the energy made at the Sun's core can take a million years just to get to the surface.
The Sun has a lifetime of about 5 billion more years. After that all of the hydrogen that makes the sun wil turn into heluim (through the process of nuclear fusion). The heluim will slowly expand the sun into a red giant. After the red giant is formed all of the inner planets including will have been eaten. As a red giant all of the Sun's heluim will be turned into carbon. The left over heluim will combine with the new carbon to create oxygen. These elements will collect in the center of the red giant. Then slowly the the outside of the star will peel away. Only the dead core of the star will be left over. The sun is now a white dawrf star. The dwarf star will eventually burn out and become a black dwarf (which is basically just a big ball of rock). This proses is called the solar cycle...
Being the first outer planet in our solar system, (past the asteroid belt) Jupiter is pretty tough to explore with humans. We have had 5 missions to explore Jupiter to date, Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2, and New Horizons.
A Sun Spot up close
Sun spots are located on the surface of the Sun and are cooler in comparison to the rest of the surface. They seem to be dark in comparison to the rest of the photosphere, because the photosphere is brighter, but these spots still put off plenty of light. They are said to have formed from powerful magnetic activity. Most solar flares and Coronal Mass Ejections occur in sunspot groupings.
Light travels very fast (299,792,458 m/s), if light traveled at this speed for one year (365.25 days) then the distance it reached would be one light year.
The Solar Cycle...
The Tiny dark spots in the picture to the left are sunspots...
Layers of the sun
The Radiation Zone
This is the layer of the Sun that is just beyond the core. The heat from the core moves slowly outward as it cools down. the density in this zone drops significantly from bottem to the top.
The Convection zone
The convection Zone takes up 70% of the solar radius. In this zone, the solar plasma is not dense enough to transfer the energy through radiation, but by convection. Convection is a much faster way of transferring the heat up through the zone (it also helps that the particles are now less dense.)
He was noted as being the father of Astronomy. He was the most influential astronomer of ancient times and supported the theory that the Earth was the center of the universe...
Movements and Measurments of Solar System Objects
An axis is an imaginary line that a planet rotates around. Every planet has a axis and not all of them are tilted at the same angle as the Earth.
The barycenter is the center of gravity between two objects. Or the point where the two objects are perfectly balanced.
Not all orbits are perfect circles, most of them are oval shaped. And ovals can be very streched or very close to a perfect circle. Orbital Eccentricity is the measure of how non-circular a planet's orbit is.
A planet in our solar system is an object that must:
be in orbit around a star
has overcome hydrostatic equalibreum
and has cleared it's "neighborhood" around it
An astronomical unit (AU) measures the mean distance from the sun to the earth after one earth orbit ( roughly 149597871 kilometers.)
Some planets have eliptical orbits. The Sun is the "focus" of the orbit, sometimes the planet may be farther away from the sun, other times closer. The point at which the planet is as close as possible to the sun in called parihelion.
When you look up at the sun, the light you see is from the photosphere. The photosphere lets light shoot into space and has very thin particle density. Even though the photosphere is bright, it is cooler than any other layer of the sun at 6000 K.
The chromosphere is a very thin layer of the sun, just above the photosphere. It is not visible but emits flashes of light when solar ellipses occur.
The Corona is the outermost layer of the solar atmosphere. The corona extends millions of kilometers off of the surface of the sun, and is larger than the sun. The corona can be seen during solar eclipses. It is not nearly as bright as the sun itself, but can be seen when the photosphere isn't visible.
Orbital inclination is the angle difference between a planet's orbit and the plane of ecliptic (the Earth's orbital plane).
A solar flare is an explosion in the solar atmosphere that releases lots of energy. These solar flares affect all layers of the sun and occur around sunspots. When magnetic energy is released from the corona, it results in a solar flare. Big solar flares can become coronal mass ejections.
The flares, being so far away, can even affect humans. They let off radiation through the solar wind. Humans must take precautions before going on a manned space mission to Mars or Luna, because solar flares and proton storms pose as a threat to us.
Granules are giant pieces of plasma that is made in the photosphere by convection currents. They look like huge pieces of sand and are hot in the center. They are temporary. Most last from 10- 20 minutes, but super granuals are bigger and last longer
The aphelion is the point in an elliptical orbit when the object is farthest from it's star.
Regions and Boundreys of the Solar System
Uranus is the 7th planet from the sun and a gas giant. It takes Uranus over 84 Earth years to complete one revolution around the sun. It's a gas giant that is made mainly out of methane[that's why it's blue] ,hydrogen, and heluim. It's axis is tilted 98 degrees and its magnet feild is tilted 58 degrees. Even though being the smallest gas giant in the sloar system Uranus' diamiter is four times of Earth's.
Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and the smallest planet in the solar system. Mercury has no moons but actually has the second biggest density levels of planets in the solar system (2nd behind Earth's). Mercury moves at 48 km a second and it takes 88 Earth days to complete one revoulution around the sun. Mercury was named after the Roman messanger god since it has the fastest orbital path. With the smallest axial tilt, this planet breaks alot of records. It's too hot to travel to, made of rock , similar to our moon, and with no natural satillites is a very plain planet apart from it's minute size.
Temperature -214 C to -205 C
Diameter 51,118 km
Temperature 450 C to -170 C
Length of one rotation[one day] 176 Earth days
The solar system does not only include the nine planets, many objects exist beyond the outer planets. We still have not uncovered it all, but their are tons of dwarf planets, comets, asteroids, and SSBs out their. Starting with the Kuiper belt, then moving to the Scattered disk, and out to the oort cloud.
Retrograde rotation means moving backward or orbiting backward. It can be used to describe planet's orbits and rotations.
A revolution is going around something. If you completely orbit a star or a massive body, you have completed one revolution (one Earth revolution around the sun is 365 days).
A complete turn around an axis. (the Earth, Sun, and planets all rotate)
Auroras are light displays that apear in the north and south magnetic poles. They are observed at night usually in the polar regions. The Northern aurora is called the aurora borealis, the southern is the aurora australis. They happen more when more sunspots occur, more solar flares occur, and when more CME's occur.
Electrons are released from the upper part of the solar atmosphere. The corona is so hot that it lets these charged particles escape into space. these elegtrons creat the heliosphere, comets tails, and auroras.
The Second closest planet to the sun, Venus is the planet most similar to Earth in size. Venus is considered our "sister planet" because its so close similar. It has highly reflective clouds and volcanos on it and is considered a terrestrial planet.
Diameter- 12,100 km
Temp.- 500F on surface
Its year is 225 earth days
It's rotation is 243 earth days
Earth is the 3rd planet from the sun. The earth is the only planet we have discovered that supports life. It is the 5th largest planet in the solar system, and it is densest of all planets. It is known as the "world" and the "blue planet". The planet was formed about 4.5 billion years ago, it is now covered 71% with water in oceans. It has plates and a magnetic field.
The Asteroid Belt
The asteroid belt is an area in the solar system between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid belt is made out of individual asteroids that orbit the Sun. One theory about how the asteroid belt was formed says that there used to be a planet where the asteroid belt is. The thoery says that the planet broke apart and formed the asteroid belt. Also Ceres the dwarf planet is located in the asteroid belt.
Pluto was recntly demoted from a planet to a dwarf planet by the IAU.There are a couple reasons why. First Pluto is a KBO[it's in the Kuiper Belt] so it has not cleared its "neirborhood" of other objects. Also Pluto is a double planet, which means that the barycenter of Pluto and its moon, Charon, is not in either planet but outside both planets. This makes them appear to dance around each other.
Luna is the name of Earth's moon, which is the the fifth largest moon in the solar system. With out the moon, Earth's temperatures would be very dramatic, we would have no tides, and there would be no such thing as a solar eclipse. Even though we think the moon is stuck with us and wont float away it isn't. The moon floats 3 cm away every year.
Saturn is the second largest planets in the solar systme but the least dense. Saturn has such a low desity that it could float in an ocean. Saturn is a gas giant, like Jupiter, that is made mostly out of heluim and hydrogen. Saturn is most famous four having its beutiful 7 rings orbit around it. Saturn doesn't have that strong of gravity, a 100 pound man on earth would weigh 107 lb on Saturn.
Temperature -285 degrees C on its cloud top
Takes 29 Earth years tocomplete one revolution.
Mars is named after Eris, the greek god of war because it is red. Mars is a very interesting planet. One reason is because we can get to it easier than any other panet and once we get there we can colonize it. Mars' atmosphere is 1 % of Earth's and much cooler than Earth. We are interested in it because we believe that Mars used to contain water on the planet. Mars is also close to Earth's mass so astronauts could actually live in Mars with just one special gravity machine.
The magnetosphere is formed when charged particles[such as solar wind] fly past a planet and are deflected by the planets magnetic field. Many planets have strong magnetosphere. Ganymede, Jupiter's moon even has a small magnetosphere.
Titan is Saturn's largest moon. It has a dense atmosphere and, like earth, has bodies of liquid existing on the surface. It's the 2nd largest moon in our solar system. It is 80% more massive than our moon and rock and water ice is on the surface. scientists are studying this planetlike moon to see if it could support life.
The Kuiper Belt is a region in space just beyond Neptune that also contains Pluto. Like the Asteroid Belt the Kuiper Belt is a belt of small objects in orbit around the Sun. But the Kuiper belt is made mostly out of small dwarf planets that have acheived hydrostatic equalibruim, unlike most of the asteroids in the Asteroid Belt.
The Oort Cloud is a region in the Solar System that is around 2 light years across. Astronormers beleive that the Oort cloud is the source of long-period comets. Most of the objects in the Oort cloud are made out of water,annomoneia, and methane.
Objects in the Solar System
Scattered Disk Objects
Scattered Disk Objects are any objects that resise in the Scattered Disk. Eris and its moon Dysnomia are both SDOs. Most SDOs are comets made out of ice.
The Scattered Disk is right next to the Kuiper Belt, infact they overlap each other. The Scattered disk is full of icy minor planets like Eris and is also the source of most commets.
A terristrial planet is any planet earth-like. If the planet is rocky and made out of gas or ice then it is a terresrial planet. Earth, Venus, Mars, and Mercury are all terrestrial planets.
Kuiper Belt Objects
The Kuiper Belt is a huge belt just beyond Neptune that many icy bodies and dwarf planets. If you think Pluto is unique then think again because there are many planetes just like Pluto, same size, and same distance from the Sun. All these objects that live in the Kuiper Belt that are cold and icy are Kuiper Belt Objects.
Smaller Solar System Bodies
Anything that is not a planet or a dwarf planet or moon is a Smaller Solar System Body. Every asteroid is a SSSB except for Ceres. Anything that doesn't have enough mass to acheive hydrostatic equalibreuim is a SSSB. All comets are SSSBs.
A TNO is any thing that orbits beyond Neptunes Orbit. So anything past Neptune is a TNO. Pluto and Eris are both TNOs. All KBOs, SDOs, SSSBs are TNOs.
A meteroid is an object floating around in the Solar System. They can be from the size of a pebble to the size of a boulder. Remember a meterOID is in space and a meteor is falling through Earth's atmosphere. A meterorite is on Earth's surface.
The Heliosphere is a bubble around the sun and everything else in the Solar System. The Solar Wind moves all through out this bubble like thing. Until the Solar Wind gets to the Heliopause, which is where the interstellar winds and solar wind are equal. After this the galaxy and the interstellar meduim take over.
The IAU classifies dwarf planets as having overcome hydrostatic equilibreum, orbiting a star, and hasnt cleared it's orbital path. There are 5 known dwarf planets at this time.
Asteroids can range from a small piece of rock, to a full-blown dwarf planet. Asteroids typically have not achieved hydrostatic equilibreum yet. They rotate around a star.
Comets are small, rocky masses in our solar system. They display a coma that can be seen when it comes close to the sun. The solar wind has an affect on the coma, leaving a visible dust trail behind it. Comets were considered bad omens in ancient times and come from the outer regions of our solar system (kuiper belt, scattered disk, oort cloud...)
As of March 2010, Voyager 1 was at a distance of 16.9 billion kilometers (~ 113 AU) from the Sun.
Voyager 2 was at a distance of 13.7 billion kilometers (~ 92 AU).
Voyager 1 is escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.6 AU per year.
Voyager 2 is escaping the solar system at a speed of about 3.3 AU per year.