Classification of the

Classification of the - Stars Look Different from Planets...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–2. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Classification of the Planets Much of our concern this semester will be with the development of our present understanding of the Solar System. We begin with a brief overview of the modern and ancient classifications of the planets. The Modern Solar System The planets of the modern solar system are grouped into several different and sometimes overlapping classifications, as illustrated in the following figure: 1. The planets inside the orbit of the earth are called the Inferior Planets : Mercury and Venus. 2. The planets outside the orbit of the earth are called the Superior Planets : Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. 3. The planets inside the asteroid belt are termed the Inner Planets (or the Terrestrial Planets ): Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. 4. The planets outside the asteroid belt are termed the Outer Planets : Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. 5. The planets sharing the gaseous structure of Jupiter are termed the Gas Giant (or Jovian) Planets : Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Background image of page 2
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

Unformatted text preview: Stars Look Different from Planets Planets (and the Sun and Moon) have some observational characteristics that distinguish them from what we would now call the stars: Observational Differences between Planets & Stars PLANETS STARS The planets move relative to stars on celestial sphere The relative positions of the stars are fixed on celestial sphere The nearer and larger planets appear as disks in telescope The stars appear as "points" of light, even through the telescope The brighter planets do not "twinkle" The stars appear to "twinkle" The planets are always near the imaginary yearly path of the Sun on the celestial sphere (the ecliptic ) Stars can be anywhere on the celestial sphere These observational differences, particularly the "wandering" of the planets on the celestial sphere, attracted a lot of attention from ancient observers of the sky. The attempt to explain these differences ultimately led to the birth of modern astronomy....
View Full Document

This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Page1 / 2

Classification of the - Stars Look Different from Planets...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 2. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online