AS101 Lecture 16

AS101 Lecture 16 - AS101 Lecture 16 Logistics: Do the night...

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AS101 Lecture 16 Logistics: • Do the night lab as soon as you can • Last Day to WITHDRWA is Nov 5. Last Lecture: • Telescopes • Spectrometer, interferometer Today’s Lecture: • Overview of the solar system • Solar System formation
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Major characteristics of the Sun 99.9% of the solar system’s mass Can fit 13 million Earth Each second burns 600 million tons of hydrogen to generate energy “Surface” temperature is 6,000 ° C (10,000 ° F) Speckled with cooler Sunspots The Sun as the superman sees (X-Ray) Figure 14.20
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Major characteristics of Mercury Heavily cratered with evidence for volcanism Concentric mountain ranges 900 mile (1,400 km) across - Caloris Basin Most extreme temperature excursion (400 ° C at day and -150 ° C at night!) One day lasts two years (figure that one out!)
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Major characteristics of Venus Our twin - same weight and size, even got atmosphere! Brightest object after Moon High pressure environment - 90 times as much as on the Earth Bad atmosphere - “sulfuric acid rain”, full of carbon dioxide (great green house!) Hot as a pizza oven (450 ° C) and can melt many metals (lead, zinc, tin) Rotates the “wrong way” Venus in UV
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Major characteristics of the Earth Only planet with water in liquid, solid and gas form 75% of the surface is water Got a moon (a large one) Only solar system object with known intelligent life High geologic activity - earthquakes, plate tectonics Nitrogen and oxygen-rich atmosphere; but, CO 2 content is rising! Has a magnetic field Galileo (the spacecraft) image of Earth and Moon
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Major characteristics of Mars Got two moons! Largest mountain in the Solar system A great canyon spans 20% of the planet Signs of liquid water on the surface A near-miss for life? Most likely the first planet that will be visited by humans For the latest news on Mars see: http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu HST image of Mars
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The Asteroid Belt Chunks of rock and metal left over from the Solar System Formation (Why didn’t they become a planet?) The dividing line between the Inner Solar System and Outer solar system (What is the average distance between two asteroids?)
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Largest of the planets (more massive than all other combined) – 300 times more massive than the Earth If Jupiter were 80 times more massive, it could
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2011 for the course ASTRO 101 taught by Professor Oppenheim during the Spring '11 term at BU.

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AS101 Lecture 16 - AS101 Lecture 16 Logistics: Do the night...

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