class36a - Monday, Nov. 24 Syllabus, class notes, and...

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Monday, Nov. 24 Syllabus, class notes, and homeworks are at: www.as.utexas.edu courses AST 301, Lacy Reading for this week: chapter 17 We won’t have a help session this week. Today: Temperatures on the surfaces of planets
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Topics for this week How can we use the concept of thermal equilibrium to calculate the temperature of the surface of a rock orbiting the Sun? How does the result depend on the distance of the rock from the Sun? How does the Earth’s atmosphere affect the surface temperature of the Earth? Why do Venus and Mars have such different surface temperatures? How are we changing the Earth’s atmosphere, and how do we think this will affect the surface temperature?
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The terrestrial planets All four terrestrial planets have interiors made mostly of partially molten metals (iron) and rocks. Mercury and Mars have about ½ the diameter of Earth and Venus. Mercury has almost no atmosphere. Its surface temperature ranges from 100K to 700K (-300 o F to 800 o F). Venus has about 100 times denser atmosphere than the Earth’s. Its surface is a uniform 740K (880 o F). Earth has an atmosphere about 1000 times less dense than liquid water. Its average surface temperature is about 290K (60 o F). Mars has an atmosphere about 100 times less dense than the Earth’s. It surface temperature ranges from 130K to 290K (-220 o F to 70 o F). Why are these atmospheres and temperatures so different?
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A balance between opposing influences Consider a can with a hole in its bottom, held under a faucet. Is it possible for the level of water in the can to come to an equilibrium? What are the opposing influences?
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This note was uploaded on 07/13/2010 for the course AST 301 taught by Professor Harvey during the Fall '07 term at University of Texas at Austin.

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class36a - Monday, Nov. 24 Syllabus, class notes, and...

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