Astroids, Comets and Meteors - AST 301 Lecture 9(Asteroids Comets and Meteors This lecture covers the smaller members of the sun's family Comets

Astroids, Comets and Meteors - AST 301 Lecture 9(Asteroids...

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9/17/14AST 301: Lecture 9 (Asteroids, Comets and Meteors)This lecture covers the smaller members of the sun's family: Comets, asteroids, and meteors. These small objects are important because they preserve the original properties of the solar system better than the major planets, and because they can affect the major planets -- including the Earth -- through collisions.1. The AsteroidsLocation and numbersoOrbits are known for more than 600,000.oMost, but not all, have nearly circular orbits and lie between Mars and Jupiter in a region called the asteroid belt.oThose which can come near the Earth are called near-Earth asteroids.PropertiesoLargest is Ceres, diameter = 1000 km. Most are a few kilometers or less in diameter.oLargest asteroids have enough gravity to be spherical, but most are lumpy in shape.oThree groups of asteroids based on their compositions: 1.Iron /nickel (90% iron and 9% nickel)2.Rocky3.Carbonaceous Chondrites (rocky mixed with carbon).

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