Lecture 7 - The Solar System

Plutos orbit is inclined by 17 degree with respect to

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Unformatted text preview: See http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap020510.html for more details on how the image showing the 5 planets was obtained. NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System "Top view" of the Solar System Inventory of the Solar System All planets orbit the Sun in the same direction. 7 NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System "Top view" of the Solar System Inventory of the Solar System Note that Neptune is almost 6 times farther away from the Sun than Jupiter. Pluto's orbit is highly eccentric and actually crosses the orbit of Neptune. In the time it takes Neptune to orbit 3 times around the Sun, Pluto completes 2 orbits. Despite the large variety of solar system objects, the solar system consists largely of empty space! 8 NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System Inventory of the Solar System Physical Properties of Planets and Dwarf Planets in the Solar System Rotation Period can be observed Orbital period P can be observed Distance from the Sun can be calculated from Kepler's 3rd law: P2 = a3 (with P = Period in years, and a = semi-major axis in AU) Radius (diameter) can be computed from the angular size and the known distance Masses for all planets with moons (or artificial satellites) can be derived from Newton's laws Density (mass divided by the volume) can be calculated from the radius and the mass 9 NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System Inventory of the Solar System (dwarf planet) (dwarf planet) 3 Terrestrial (Earth-like or rocky) planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars Jovian (Jupiter-like or gaseous) planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune 10 For comparison, the density of water is 1,000 kg/m3 - Saturn would float if you could find an ocean wide and deep enough to place it in. NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System Inventory of the Solar System Comparison of the bulk physical properties...
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This note was uploaded on 10/13/2008 for the course ASTR 3 taught by Professor Hauser during the Fall '07 term at UCLA.

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