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Transcript of ASTRONOMY
The four smaller inner planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the terrestrial planets, are primarily composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets called the gas giants are substantially more massive than the terrestrials. The two largest, Jupiter and Saturn, are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium; the two outermost planets, Uranus and Neptune, are composed largely of substances with relatively high melting points (compared with hydrogen and helium ), called ices, such as water, ammonia and methane, and are often referred to separately "ice giants".
The contents of the atmospheres of the Inner Planets vary from planet to planet. Mercury is mostly Carbon Dioxide with a very small amount of Nitrogen. Earth's atmosphere is mostly Nitrogen with a smaller amount of Oxygen and even smaller amounts of other gases. Mars has a similar composition of carbon dioxide and nitrogen as Venus although has a much thinner atmosphere. The atmosphere of the Outer Planets consist mostly of Hydrogen and Helium, with Methane also being present in the atmosphere of Uranus and Neptune. Other gases are present although in much smaller quantities.
Mercury is the smallest and closest to the Sun of the eight planets in the Solar System, with an orbital period of about 88 Earth days. Seen from the Earth, it appears to move around its orbit in about 116 days, which is much faster than any other planet. The mass of Mercury is 328.5E21 kg (0.055 Earth mass). Mercury's distance from the sun is 35,980,000 miles (57,910,000 km). The period of revolution is 87.97 Earth days. The average distance from the Sun is 0.387 AU (57,909,175 km). Mercury has a very elliptical (oval-shaped) orbit.
the movement of moons
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. Venus has a mass of 4.867E24 kg (0.815 Earth mass). Venus's distance from the Sun is 67,240,000 miles (108,200,000 km). Its period of revolution is 224.7 Earth days. The average distance from the Sun is 0.723 AU (108,208,930 km). The orbit of Venus is the most circular in the entire Solar System.
The Earth's orbit is the motion of the Earth around the Sun, from an average distance of 1 AU (149,597,890 km). Earth's mass is 5.972E24 kg. Earth's distance from the sun is 92,960,000 miles (149,600,000 km). The revolution period is 365.26 Earth days. The earth has an elliptical orbit.
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun and orbits the Sun at an average distance of approximately 141 million miles (225 million km). Mars mass is 639E21 kg (0.107 Earth mass). Mars distance from the Sun is 141,600,000 miles (227,900,000 km). Mars has a period of revolution of 1.88 years to go around the sun's orbit. Mars average distance from the Sun is 1.524 AU (227,936,640 km). Mars orbit shape is an oval. The difference between the oval shape of the Martian orbit and a perfect circle is called the *eccentricity* of the orbit.
Each day the Moon rises in the east and sets in the west as a result of the Earth's rotation. It moves about 13 degrees eastwards against the background of stars as a consequence of its revolution around the Earth.
the affect of gravity and inertia on moons
Earth's gravity holds the moon in its orbit. Without gravity the moon would just go flying into space. These forces of inertia and gravity have to be perfectly balanced for an orbit to happen. If the forward movement (inertia) of one object is too strong, the object will speed past the other one and not enter orbit. If inertia or momentum is much weaker than the pull of gravity, the object will be pulled into the other one completely and crash.
Unique characteristics of moons
A moon is a large body or mass or material that orbits around a planet. It is usually much smaller than the planet. Earth has only one moon, while Mars has two moons and Jupiter has 9 moons. Our Moon is only about 1.4 the diameter of the Earth. Its gravity affects the Earth's tides. The Moon looks bright at night because of sunlight that is reflected off its surface. It has some distinct surface features that can be seen with the naked eye. Astronauts examined the surface more closely during Moon landings.
Asteroids are rocky objects left over from the formation of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Asteroids vary in size. All asteroids orbit the Sun and orbit at different speeds and on different individual orbits.
A comet is a small icy and rocky object left over from the formation of the solar system. Around a dozen new comets are discovered every year. Most comets orbit the Sun at a very great distance, but sometimes they have a short orbit and come close to the Earth where we can see them.
three parts of a comet
Each comet has only a tiny solid part, called a nucleus, often no bigger than a few kilometers across. The nucleus contains icy chunks and frozen gases with bits of embedded rock and dust. At its center, the nucleus many have a small rocky core. Surrounding the nucleus is a small atmosphere of gases called the coma.
three parts of a comet cont.
As the comet nears the Sun, the coma grows larger. This is due to the Sun heating the comet and causing it to turn to gas. The last part of a comet is the tail. The tail of the comet is a trail of gases coming off of the coma. The tail of a comet always faces away from the Sun. This is because the gases are blown away by the solar winds.
Comets are believed to have two sources. Long- period comets (those which take more than 200 years to complete an orbit around the Sun) originate from the Oort Cloud. Short period comets (those which take less than 200 years to complete an orbit around the Sun) originate from the Kuiper Belt.
As a comet moves close to the Sun, they develop tails of dust and ionized gas.
A meteoroid is a chunk of metal or rock that is hurtling through space. Most of these are very small, so small that we cannot track them with telescopes and satellites. 1,000s of meteoroids hit the Earth everyday. Most of them are so small, that our atmosphere slows them down and they simply float to Earth
A meteoroid is an object hurtling through space. A meteor is a meteoroid that has entered Earth's atmosphere and is burning up. A meteorite is a meteor that actually hits the Earth.
Meteor showers is a number of meteors that appear to radiate from one point in the sky at a particular date each year, due to the Earth's regularly passing through a field of particles at that position in its orbit. Meteor showers are named after the constellation in which radiant is situated, e.g., the Perseids
Jupiter orbits the Sun every 11.86 Earth years (or 4,332 days). The longer orbital period for Jupiter is because it orbits at an average distance of 778 million km. Jupiter has a mass of 1.898E27 kg (317.8 Earth mass). Its distance from the Sun is 483,800,000 miles (778,500,000 km). The revolution period is 11.86 Earth years. Jupiter's orbit is elliptical, or oval-shaped.
Saturn orbits the Sun every 29 Earth years. Saturn's mass is 568.3E24 kg (95.16 Earth mass). Its distance from the Sun is 890,700,000 miles (1,433,000,000 km). Its period of revolution is 29.46 Earth years. The average distance from the sun is 9.537 AU (1,426,725,400 km). Saturn has an elliptical orbit.
Uranus orbits the sun in 84 years. Uranus has a mass of 86.81E24 kg (14.54 Earth mass). Uranus's distance from the Sun is 1,787,000,000 miles (2,877,000,000 km). Its revolution period is 30,685 (84 Earth years). The average distance from the Sun 19.19 AU (2,870,972,200 km). When the orbit of this 41 mile wide object is traced relative to the Sun and Uranus, it takes on the appearance of loop bent into the shape of a giant horse shoe, rather than forming an ellipse.
Neptune orbits the Sun in 165 years. Neptune has a mass of 102.4E24 kg (17.15 Earth mass). Its distance from the Sun is 2,798,000,000 miles (4,503,000,000 km). The revolution period is 60,190 (164.8 Earth years). The average distance from the Sun is 30.07 AU (4,498,252,900 km). Neptune has an elliptical, oval-shaped orbit.