Lecture 7 - The Solar System

When comets break up the debris spreads out along

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Unformatted text preview: d/shadow/solar_system_level2/ peekskill.html and http://www.nyrockman.com/peekskill.htm NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System How did the solar system form? Evidence collected thus far: The Formation of the Solar System 1st piece of evidence: Terrestrial planets are rocky, Jovian planets are gaseous, and much more massive than terrestrial planets. The Sun consists largely of Hydrogen and Helium. => Need large amounts of gas with some solid material (rocks) to form the solar system. 24 NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System The Formation of the Solar System 2nd piece of evidence: All planets orbit the Sun in the same plane (ecliptic) and the same direction. Orbits of comets and Kuiper belt objects are not confined to the ecliptic. The distribution of comets in the Oort cloud seems to be spherical. => The Solar System must have evolved out of a rotating cloud If a rotating cloud contracts, it spins up and gets flatter (disk like). The spin-up of the contracting disk is due to the conservation of angular momentum. 25 NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System The Formation of the Solar System The Sun is forming in the center of the disk, starting to heat up the disk. In the outer part of the disk, small particles ("dust grains") covered by ice start to glue together and form larger bodies ("planetesimals"), which evolve into the Jovian planets. 26 NATURE of the Universe Astronomy - The Solar System The Formation of the Solar System The inner part of the disk is too hot for ice to cover the dusts grain. Rocky planetesimals form and evolve into the terrestrial planets. After 100 million years, most of the debris left from the form...
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