Life_Giant_Planets_Moons

Life_Giant_Planets_Moons - Life on Giant Planets & Their...

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Life on Giant Planets & Their Moons Stephen Eikenberry 28 October 2010 AST 2037 1
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The Jovian Planets Jupiter Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune much larger than terrestrial planets not solid - gaseous all have rings all have many moons
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Jupiter Named after the most powerful Roman god third-brightest object in the night sky (after the Moon and Venus) Atmospheric bands are very different than inner planets Many moons – four largest called Galilean Moons
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Saturn Named after the father of Jupiter in Greco-Roman mythology Almost twice Jupiter’s distance from the Sun Similar banded atmosphere Uniform butterscotch hue Many moons Spectacular ring system
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Uranus Discovered by William Herschel in 1781 Named after father of Saturn Barely visible to naked eye Featureless atmosphere Deviations in the expected orbit of Uranus pointed to the possibility of another planet influencing its motion
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Neptune There had to be another planet influencing Uranus 1845 - John Adams determined the planet’s mass and orbit 10 months later - Urbain Leverrier, independently came up with the same result 1846 - Johann Galle found the new planet Neptune Cannot be seen with naked eye “Bluish” Jupiter atmosphere
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Space Craft Exploration of Jovian Planets Voyager 1and 2 left Earth in 1977 reached Jupiter in March and July of 1979 Used Jupiter’s strong gravity to send them on to Saturn - gravity assist gravity assist Voyager 2 used Saturn’s gravity to propel it to Uranus and then on to Neptune Studied planetary magnetic fields and analyzed multi-wavelength radiation Both are now headed out into interstellar space!
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Space Craft Exploration of Jovian Planets Galileo - launched in 1989 and reached Jupiter in December 1995 Gravity assists from Venus and Earth Two components: atmospheric probe and orbiter Probe descended into Jupiter’s atmosphere Orbiter went through moon system Cassini mission to Saturn Studying Saturn’s moon Titan in much the same way as Galileo studied Jupiter
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Jovian Planet Properties Most of their mass is Hydrogen and Helium – light elements = low densities High surface gravity allows their atmospheres to retain these light elements Dense compact core at the center
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This note was uploaded on 07/26/2011 for the course AST 2037 taught by Professor Eikenberry during the Fall '08 term at University of Florida.

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Life_Giant_Planets_Moons - Life on Giant Planets & Their...

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