Determining Planet Properties

Determining Planet Properties - Determining Planet...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Determining Planet Properties How can you find out what the other planets are like by just observing them carefully from the Earth? Most of the information comes in the form of electromagnetic radiation but we also have little chunks of rock, called meteorites, that give other clues. The image below compares the apparent sizes of the planets. The outer planets are shown at their closest approach to us and the two inner planets are shown at various distances from us (but all are with the same magnification). Before you can do any sort of comparison of the planets, you need to know how far away they are. Once you know their distances, you can determine basic properties of the planets such as mass, size, and density. Distances
Background image of page 1

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

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Several hundred years ago Copernicus was able to determine approximate distances between the planets through trigonometry. The distances were all found relative to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, the astronomical unit. Kepler refined these measurements to take into account
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 12/15/2011 for the course AST AST1002 taught by Professor Emilyhoward during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

Page1 / 3

Determining Planet Properties - Determining Planet...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

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