4.12 Astro 1 Section 1 Professor Brandt

# 4.12 Astro 1 Section 1 Professor Brandt - Astro 1 Section 1...

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Astro 1 Section 1 Professor Brandt Monday April 12th 1999 Announcements: Lecture notes: Class 38 "A Tour of the Solar System" In this section of the course we will move back much closer tohome to study our solar system. Our ultimate goals will be to answer questions like: -why are the planets of the solar system arranged the way theyare? -how and when did our solar system form? However before we can answer grand questions like these we will need a basic working understanding of the planets in the solar system. First a scale model to give you an idea of the size of the solar system. Earth = grain of salt 1/3 of mm in diameter Moon = small speck of pepper 1 cm away Sun small plum 4 meters from Earth Mercury Venus Mars = grains of salt Jupiter = apple seed 20 m away Saturn = smaller seed 36 m away Uranus and Neptune = large salt grains Pluto = speck of pepper over 150 m away. Solar system is mostly empty space. Basic Revolution and Rotation Facts. The solar system basically has a disk shape. Leads to the ecliptic that we talked about in earlier classes. The planets revolve about the Sun in orbits that lie close to a common plane. Mercury is tipped by 7 degrees to Earth's orbit. Pluto is tipped by 17.2 degrees. All the rest are tipped by less than 3.4 degrees. Rotation of Sun and planets is related to disk shape. Sun's equator inclined only 7.25 degrees to Earth's orbit. Most of the other planets are tipped less than 30 degrees. Except Venus rotates backwards and Uranus and Pluto are highly tipped. All the planets revolve about the Sun in the same sense -- counterclockwise as seen from north.

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