Midterm 1 Review Notes

Midterm 1 Review Notes - GEL 36 Midterm Review Notes BASIS...

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GEL 36 Midterm Review Notes B ASIS CHARACTERISTICS OF OUR SOLAR SYSTEM astronomical unit (AU) average distance from the Earth to the sun; used to measure distances in the solar system "empty" space (“Interplanetary space”) The universe is mostly empty space; Full of interplanetary dust and gas. revolution The path a planet takes around the sun; All planets revolve counter- clockwise, as do most moons. rotation The process of the planet turning around itself on its own axis plane of ecliptic All planets revolve in a fairly narrow plane called the ecliptic. The plane of the Earth’s orbit is used as a reference to measure the plane of all other planets. terrestrial planets Four Inner plants (Earth-Like) Small, dense, rocky worlds with little or no atmosphere All heavily cratered Dominated by metals (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars) Jovian planets Four Outer Planets (Jupiter Like) Large, low-density worlds with thick atmospheres and liquid or ice interiors All four have ring systems composed of either ice particles or dark rocky dust Have lots of moons Dominated by low-density ices and remnant gases (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune). mini-solar systems The rings and moons of Jovian planets can be characterizes as mini-solar systems. space debris Asteroids, comets, and meteoroids age of solar system About 4.6 billion years inferred for Earth, moon, Mars, meteorites, and the sun
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O RIGIN OF SOLAR SYSTEM solar nebula hypothesis A rotating cloud of gas contracts and flattens to form a thin disk of gas and dust around the forming sun at the center. Planets grow from gas and dust in the disk and are left behind when the disk clears. SUMMARY: Planets form as byproducts of star formation from nebulas. Nebula Clouds of dust and gas in space; birthplaces for stars. Dusts: small amounts of various ices, oxides, carbon and some heavier elements. Gas: almost entirely hydrogen hydrogen About 75% of all the mass in the universe. The sun is mostly hydrogen. dust disk Disk of dust and gas that formed from the spinning nebular cloud, eventually form planets. extrasolar dust disks Dust disks other than those in our solar system. Scientists have found dust disks around young stars. extrasolar planets Planets other than those in our solar system. Scientists have found planets half the size of Jupiter to 20 times the size. PLANET FORMATION & EVOLUTION planetesimals Small bodies of matters that grow into protoplanets and then evolve into true planets. Protoplanets Massive objects of relatively homogenous composition (metal, rock, ice and gas mixed together). Since they moved in orbit there was a lower chance of a collision. condensation Change of matter from gas to liquid or solid. condensation sequence
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Midterm 1 Review Notes - GEL 36 Midterm Review Notes BASIS...

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