NATS 3_10 - NATS March 10 - Formation of the Solar System o...

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NATS March 10 - Formation of the Solar System o Review basic structure of solar system, as seen today o Describe theories for formation of the planets - Current Solar System o All planets lie in common orbital plane: Ecliptic plane o So do most asteroids o Comets don’t o Neither does Pluto o All planets orbit counterclockwise, nearly circular orbits o Most moons also orbit counterclockwise o Sun and most planets rotate counterclockwise; rotation axis nearly perpendicular to Ecliptic - Exceptions o Venus rotates clockwise o Uranus tilted ~90° o Neptune’s moon Triton orbits clockwise - Distribution of Planets o Two types of planets: Terrestrial: Mercury, Venus, Earth Mars Smaller size and mass Higher density (rocks, metals) Solid surface Closer to the Sun (and closer together) Warmer Fewer (if any) moons and no rings
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Jovian: Gas Giants: Jupiter, Saturn Ice Giants: Uranus Neptune Larger size and mass Lower density (light gases, hydrogen compounds) No solid surface Farther from the Sun (and farther apart) Cooler Rings and many moons - Asteroid Belts o Swarms of small, rocky, asteroids orbit the Sun, also counterclockwise - Far-Out Asteroids o There are asteroids out past Neptune too Called Kuiper Belt objects Some bigger than Pluto Orbit counterclockwise o Some still further away These are comets Found in Oort cloud: extends out to about 50,000 AU - Moons o Most planets have moons orbiting counterclockwise o Some large asteroids do too o Earth’s moon is anomalously large compared to others - Main Features o Most bodies in common orbital plane
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2009 for the course NATS 006 taught by Professor Eisner during the Spring '09 term at Arizona.

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NATS 3_10 - NATS March 10 - Formation of the Solar System o...

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