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How has what we known about our solar system changed over time
Transcript of How has what we known about our solar system changed over time
What is in our solar system?
How has our understanding of our universe changed?
What are the rocky midgets?
What are the gas planets?
What is in our solar system?
The Solar System comprises the Sun and its planetary system of eight planets, as well as a number of dwarf planets, satellites (moons), and other objects that orbit the Sun. It formed 4.6 billion years ago from the collapse of a giant molecular cloud. The vast majority of the system's mass is in the Sun, with most of the remaining mass contained in Jupiter. The four smaller inner planets, Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars, also called the rocky midgets are mainly composed of rock and metal. The four outer planets, called the gas giants, are substantially more massive than the midgets. 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 as "ice giants".
Fun facts about planets
The surface of Mercury is very similar to our moon. It has a very barren, rocky surface covered with many craters.
Being so close to the Sun, the daytime temperature on Mercury is scorching - reaching over 400 Degrees Celsius.
At night however, without an atmosphere to hold the heat in, the temperatures plummet, dropping to -180 Degrees Celsius.
Mercury has a very low surface gravity.
Mercury has no atmosphere which means there is no wind or weather to speak of.
There is also no water on the surface of Mercury, it is possible however that there could be water underneath the surface.
Likewise, there is no air on the surface but it could be trapped underneath.
People thought the Earth was the center of the universe.
They once thought the solar system was the extent of the universe, and now we know there are billions of galaxies. As late as the 19th century, astronomers thought the Milky Way was the entire universe, and called other galaxies "nebula" not realizing they were looking outside of the Milky Way.
All throughout human history our understanding of the universe has either changed or improved because our technology is getting better. Galileo's invention of the telescope helped us understand so much more than we used to know.. Satellites sent up into space discovered the background radiation from the big bang. Also the space telescope has enabled us to see objects billions of light years away much better than telescopes on the ground could. And then there have been all those probes we have sent to Mars to examine the planet!
Saturn is the second largest planet in our solar system and is another gas giant.
Saturn has a small rocky core covered with liquid gas.
It is surrounded by a system of rings that stretch out into space for thousands of kilometres.
The rings are made up of millions of ice crystals, some as big as houses and others as small as specks of dust.
Saturn is very light as it is made up of more hydrogen than helium so it is less dense. If we could fit Saturn into a bathtub it would float (but that would have to be one big bathtub!)
Like Jupiter, Saturn has many moons which surround it.
Saturn is not a peaceful planet. Storm winds race around the atmosphere at 800kmp/h.
My inquiry is into our solar system. and how it has changed over time.
Our solar system
What do we know now that we did not know before about our solar system?
What are the rocky midgets?
In Roman mythology Mercury is the god of commerce, travel and thievery, the Roman version of the Greek god Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. The planet probably received this name because it moves so quickly across the sky.
Until 1962 it was thought that Mercury's "day" was the same length as its "year" so as to keep that same face to the Sun much as the Moon does to the Earth. But this was shown to be false in 1965
Temperature variations on Mercury are the most extreme in the solar system ranging from 90 K to 700 K. The temperature on Venus is slightly hotter but very stable.
Mercury is in many ways similar to the Moon: its surface is heavily cratered and very old; it has no plate tectonics.
Mercury has a very thin atmosphere.
Venus is sometimes regarded as Earth's sister planet. In some ways they are very similar:
•Venus is only slightly smaller than Earth (95% of Earth's diameter, 80% of Earth's mass).
• Both have few craters indicating relatively young surfaces.
•Their densities and chemical compositions are similar.
Because of these similarities, it was thought that below its dense clouds Venus might be very Earth like and might even have life. But, unfortunately, more detailed study of Venus reveals that in many important ways it is radically different from Earth. It may be the least hospitable place for life in the solar system.
Earth, of course, can be studied without the aid of spacecraft. Nevertheless it was not until the twentieth century that we had maps of the entire planet. Pictures of the planet taken from space are of important; for example, they are an enormous help in weather prediction and especially in tracking and predicting hurricanes. And they are extraordinarily beautiful.
The Earth is divided into several layers which have distinct chemical and seismic properties (depths in km):
0- 40 Crust
1- 40- 400 Upper mantle
2- 400- 650 Transition region
3- 650-2700 Lower mantle
4- 2700-2890 D'' layer
5- 2890-5150 Outer core
6- 5150-6378 Inner core
Mars (Greek: Ares) is the god of War. The planet probably got this name due to its red colour; Mars is sometimes referred to as the Red Planet. (An interesting side note: the Roman god Mars was a god of agriculture before becoming associated with the Greek Ares; those in favour of the name of the month March derives from Mars.
What are the gas planets?
Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and by far the largest. Jupiter is more than twice as massive as all the other planets combined (the mass of Jupiter is 318 times that of Earth).
Jupiter was the King of the Gods, the ruler of Olympus and the patron of the Roman state. Zeus was the son of Kronus.
Jupiter is the fourth biggest object in the night sky. It has been known as the wandering star.
Saturn is the least dense planet in the solar system. Like Jupiter Saturn is about 75% hydrogen and 25% helium, and traces of water, methane and rock.
The rings on Saturn are much brighter than the ones on Jupiter.The ones on Jupiter are a lot closer to the equator.
Uranus and Neptune
Uranus is the seventh planet from the Sun. Uranus’ atmosphere is about 85% hydrogen, 15%helium and 2% methane.
Uranus is made out of rock and various ices. At the moment there is an on-going argument of which of Uranus poles is the north.
Uranus has been visited by one spacecraft, voyager on January 24 1986.
Unlike Jupiter and Saturn which are orange and yellow, Uranus is bright blue and Neptune is dark blue. This is because, as well as hydrogen and helium gases, these planets have crystals of chemical methane in their atmosphere. But like the other gas giants Uranus and Neptune have a deep rock core.
The rings on Uranus and Neptune are much fainter than the ones on Saturn. Uranus and Neptune are also surrounded by many moons. So far Uranus is known to have 27 moons and Neptune has more than 13 moons. Most of these moons have a rocky surface.
How has our understanding of the universe changed?
The atmosphere of Venus made up mainly of carbon dioxide.
Its size is slightly smaller than Earth.
It also features gravity similar to that of Earth.
Venus is surrounded by clouds consisting of mercury, ferric chloride hydrocarbons and sulphuric acid. These clouds create the most corrosive acid rain found anywhere in our solar system.
Mars is nicknamed the red planet because it is covered with rust-like dust. Even the atmosphere is a pinkish red, colored by tiny particles of dust thrown up from the surface.
Mars experiences violent dust storms which continually change its surface.
Mars has many massive volcanoes and is home to Olympus Mons, the largest volcano in our solar system, it stands 21km high and is 600km across the base.
Jupiter is the largest planet in our Solar system. It is so big that more than 1300 Earths could fit inside it.
Thick, colorful clouds of deadly poisonous gases surround Jupiter. The quick spinning of the planet whips up the atmosphere, creating the bands around the planet.
If you were to descend into Jupiter, the thin, cold atmosphere becomes thicker and hotter, gradually turning into a thick, dark fog. In the blackness about 1000km down the pressure squeezes the atmosphere so hard that it becomes like liquid.
At the centre of Jupiter is a rocky core, slightly bigger than Earth but weighing about 20 times more.
Uranus spins lying on its side (like a barrel), this is perhaps due to a large collision early in its formation.
Uranus was the first planet discovered by telescope.
Since Uranus takes 84 Earth years to go around the sun, this means that each of its poles is in daylight for 42 years and in darkness for the next 42.
Uranus’s atmosphere is mostly hydrogen but it also contains large amounts of a gas called methane. Methane absorbs red light and scatters blue light so a blue-green methane haze hides the interior of the planet from view.
Uranus hides its interior but scientists guess that under the hydrogen-methane atmosphere is a hot, slushy ocean of water, ammonia and methane thousands of miles deep wrapped around a rocky core.
more facts about planets
Neptune is a large planet, nearly four times the size of Earth.
Neptune suffers the most violent weather in our Solar System.
Storms have been spotted swirling around its surface and freezing winds that blow about ten times faster than hurricanes on Earth make it the windiest planet.
Neptune is a large, water planet with a blue hydrogen-methane atmosphere and faint rings.
Neptune is covered in thin wispy white clouds which stretch out around the planet