Chapter 9 Summary - M09_BENN0885_05_SE_C09.qxd 10/1/08 9:30...

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278 Part III Learning from Other Worlds summary of key concepts 9.1 Asteroids and Meteorites • Why is there an asteroid belt? Orbital resonances with Jupiter dis- rupted the orbits of planetesimals in the asteroid belt, preventing them from ac- creting into a terrestrial planet. Many were ejected, but some remained and make up the asteroid belt today. Most asteroids in other regions of the inner solar system crashed into one of the planets. • How are meteorites related to asteroids? Most meteorites are pieces of asteroids. Primitive mete- orites are essentially unchanged since the birth of the solar system. Processed meteorites are fragments of larger aster- oids that underwent differentiation. 9.2 Comets • How do comets get their tails? Comets are icy leftovers from the era of planet formation, and most orbit far from the Sun. If a comet approaches the Sun, its nucleus heats up and its ice sublimates into gas. The escaping gases carry along some dust, forming a coma and two tails: a
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This note was uploaded on 08/16/2011 for the course AST 2002 taught by Professor Britt during the Spring '08 term at University of Central Florida.

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