Lecture 04 202 Spring 2011

Lecture 04 202 Spring 2011 - O rigin of the Solar System...

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Origin of the Solar System The Solar System The Sun and planets quite small compared to the distances between them Solar System: o The Sun The Planets, Terrestrial and Jovian The Asteroid belt of rocky and metallic small objects Kuiper Belt of Comets and dwarf planets Oort cloud of comets The Sun: o Gas and Plasma o Mostly Hydrogen and Helium o 99.9% mass of solar system, brightest object Sun’s gravity dominates solar system Source of light Solar wind: Constant flow of charged particles Heliosphere Inner Planets: o Terrestrial Planets: Small Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars Close to the Sun Rock and Metal Solid Surface High density Outer Planets o Jovian Planets: large Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
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No solid atmospheres Hydrogen, Helium, and Hydrogen compounds (Water, Ammonia, Methane) Farther from Sun and farther apart from each other Low density Rings and Many Moons Asteroid Belt o 400,000 chunks of rock and metal o Together smaller than Moon o Mainly between orbits of Mars and Jupiter Comets o Icy, rocky small objects o Some come close to Sun and develop a tail o Two reservoirs: Kuiper Belt, beyond Neptune’s orbit 100,000 objects Pluto and other dwarf planets Oort cloud Huge, spherical region Trillions of objects Sedna? Features of the Solar System o Any theory of the formation of the Solar System should explain the following: Patterns of motion: All planetary orbits, nearly circular, lie in the same plane (ecliptic plane) as the Sun’s equator.
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Lecture 04 202 Spring 2011 - O rigin of the Solar System...

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