Lecture1 - The solar system Mass dominated by the Sun: an...

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The solar system Mass dominated by the Sun: an average star Planets are solid, almost spherical bodies orbiting the Sun: ¾ Mercury: small, very close to Sun. Heavily cratered, no detectable atmosphere ¾ Venus: most Earthlike in terms of size, composition. Covered in thick clouds. ¾ Earth: only planet with liquid surface water ¾ Mars: red surface due to high iron content. Thin, dry atmosphere ¾ Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus: Gas giants with many small moons Smaller bodies found in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. ¾ Often nonspherical, with orbits close to the ecliptic plane ¾ Almost certainly pieces left over from formation of SS. Most of the planets rotate in the same direction as they orbit the Sun, and in the same plane ¾ Exceptions are Venus, Uranus, (Pluto)
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The Sun Mostly Hydrogen and Helium High luminosity due to central fusion reactions Sunspots: cooler regions where magnetic field is strongest More features visible at other wavelengths The Milky Way Our galaxy is characterized by a relatively thin disk of stars and dust. This appears as a roughly linear feature on the sky ¾ The dust obscures most of the light from these
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Lecture1 - The solar system Mass dominated by the Sun: an...

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