Chapter 8 - Chapter 8 Welcome to the Solar System The Birth...

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Chapter 8 Welcome to the Solar System
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The Birth of the Solar System Our goals for learning Where did the solar system come from? What caused the orderly patterns of motion in our solar system?
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What properties of our solar system must a formation theory explain? 1. Patterns of motion of the large bodies Orbit in same direction and plane 2. Existence of two types of planets rocky close to Sun and gaseous far from Sun 3. Existence of smaller bodies Asteroids and comets 4. Notable exceptions to usual patterns Rotation of Uranus, Earth’s moon, etc.
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A formation theory must conform to our knowledge of physics and chemistry From previous section: Conservation of mass Conservation of angular momentum Conservation of energy (converts between potential, kinetic and radiative)
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A formation theory must include evidence from formation of other stars 1. We can see stars forming in interstellar gas clouds
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Galactic Recycling 1. . 1. Elements that formed planets were made in stars and then recycled through interstellar space
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1. 1. 1. Observations of disks of gas and dust around other stars Disks around Other Stars
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What theory best explains the features of our solar system? The nebular theory states that our solar system formed from the gravitational collapse of a giant interstellar gas cloud—the solar nebula (Nebula is the Latin word for cloud) A large amount of evidence now supports this idea Three stage process:- 1. Cloud collapse 2. Condensation and planet formation 3. Final sweep-up
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Conservation of Angular Momentum Any pre-existing rotation of the cloud from which our solar system formed, must have speeded up as the cloud contracted
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Rotation of a contracting cloud speeds up for the same reason a skater speeds up as she pulls in her arms
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Collisions between particles in the cloud caused it to flatten into a disk Flattening
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Collisions between gas particles in cloud gradually reduce random motions
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Collisions between gas particles also reduce up and down motions
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Spinning cloud flattens as it shrinks
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What have we learned? Where did the solar system come from?
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