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Problem Set 3 Solutions

# Problem Set 3 Solutions - Astronomy 201 Problem Set 3...

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Astronomy 201 Problem Set 3 Solution Assigned: 27 Sep 2004 Due: 11 October 2004 Remember: No late homework and homework counts 40% of the total grade. Each question / problem is of equal weight and equals 5 points. Chapter 6: Review and Discussion – 1, 8, 10, 17, 20 Problems: 3, 5, 9, 10, 14 REVIEW AND DISCUSSION 1. Name and describe all the different types of objects found in the solar system. Give one distinguishing characteristic of each. Include a mention of interplanetary space. In our solar system there are 9 planets, 1 Sun (star), 136 (known) moons, asteroids, meteoroids, comets, and interplanetary dust. There are at least two basic types of planet, terrestrial and jovian, found in the inner and outer parts of the solar system. The terrestrial planets are all found close to the Sun, within 1.5 AU. The jovian planets are scattered out at much greater distances, from about 5 to 30 AU. Pluto, which is neither a jovian or terrestrial planet, is at about 40 AU. The space between these objects is a better vacuum (space void of matter) than can be produced on Earth, although it contains much more material in the form of dust and gas than found between the stars. 8. Name three important differences between the terrestrial planets and the jovian planets. Three differences between jovian and terrestrial planets: (1) location in the solar system, (2) size of the planets, (3) density. The terrestrial planets are in the inner 1.5 AU of the solar system; the jovian planets are scattered from 5 to 30 AU. The jovian planets are much larger than the terrestrial planets. Terrestrial planets have a much higher density than the jovian planets, which indicates a fundamental difference in composition. Terrestrial planets are rocky, jovian planets are made up of light elements. 10. Why are asteroids and meteoroids important to planetary scientists? Asteroids and meteoroids are important because they often contain material that has undergone little change since the solar system was formed. The surface material of the Earth and Moon, for instance, has changed greatly over time, thus little is known about the original conditions under which they were formed. 17. What is the key ingredient in the modern condensation theory of the solar system’s origin that was missing or unknown in the nebular theory? Interstellar dust within the early solar nebula is the key ingredient for the modem condensation theory for the formation of the solar system. 20. How did the temperature structure of the solar nebula determine planetary composition? 1

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The terrestrial planets consist of heavier elements because the higher temperatures where they formed prohibited lighter elements (such as large quantities of gases) from condensing out of the solar nebula as efficiently as the outer planets, which formed in much cooler regions. Problems:
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Problem Set 3 Solutions - Astronomy 201 Problem Set 3...

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