chapter09 - Chapter 9 Asteroids Comets and Dwarf Planets...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 9 Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets Why is there an asteroid belt? Asteroid Facts • Asteroids are rocky leftovers of planet formation. • The largest is Ceres, diameter ~1,000 km. • There are 150,000 in catalogs, and probably over a million with diameter >1 km. • Small asteroids are more common than large asteroids. • All the asteroids in the solar system wouldn’t add up to even a small terrestrial planet. Asteroids are cratered and not round. Asteroids with Moons • Some large asteroids have their own moon. • Asteroid Ida has a tiny moon named Dactyl. Asteroid Orbits • Most asteroids orbit in a belt between Mars and Jupiter. • Trojan asteroids follow Jupiter’s orbit. • Orbits of near-Earth asteroids cross Earth’s orbit. Thought Question Why are there very few asteroids beyond Jupiter’s orbit? • There was no rocky material beyond Jupiter’s orbit. • The heaviest rocks sank toward the center of the solar system. • Ice could form in the outer solar system. • A passing star probably stripped away all of those asteroids, even if they were there at one time. Thought Question Why are there very few asteroids beyond Jupiter’s orbit? • There was no rocky material beyond Jupiter’s orbit. • The heaviest rocks sank toward the center of the solar system....
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2011 for the course SCHC 115 taught by Professor Kulkarni during the Spring '09 term at South Carolina.

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chapter09 - Chapter 9 Asteroids Comets and Dwarf Planets...

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