L15.1 - Out to ~100,000 Aus(~1 ly(THE furthest thing in our...

Info iconThis preview shows page 1. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
12/8/09 Kuiper Belt – the belt near Neptune and Pluto Comets / Asteroids / Meteors Asteroids – small rocky bodies orbiting sun, mainly found in Asteroid Belt (between Mars and Jupiter) ~1-2 million with diameter >1 km Many millions of smaller ones Generally irregularly shaped, pockmarked Largest asteroid: Ceres – dwarf planet ~1,000 km across Comets – small icy bodies orbiting sun, further out in Solar System (Kuiper Belt, Oort Cloud) Made of chunks of ice with rocky dust – “dirty snowballs” Come from/orbit in outer Solar System a) Kuiper Belt – flat belt of comets that orbit beyond Neptune (similar to Asteroid Belt) 30-50 Aus About 100,000 large comets Comets have regular orbits b) Oort Cloud – spherical (3D) cloud of comets much further out in Solar System
Background image of page 1
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Out to ~100,000 Aus (~1 ly) (THE furthest thing in our Solar System) Has a trillion comets (?) Comets orbit in random directions, elliptical orbits, tilted with respect to Solar System • Nucleus – actual comet itself o Not reflective – dirty ice (darker than coal – only 5% reflective) • Dust tail – bright, yellowish tail formed by sunlight heating evaporating ice, releases it into Solar System o Points away from Sun, but curved in direction of motion • Plasma tail – thin, straight, bluish tail o UV radiation, solar wind ionizes material, plasma given off, swept away by solar wind o Always points directly to sun...
View Full Document

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Ask a homework question - tutors are online