492-pp14 - UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA Last time. Origin of...

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1 ES 492 (H): Planetary Geology Lecture 14: Kuiper Belt Objects UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA Origin of sediment Last time… Uranus and Neptune 1. Historical information 2. Planetary facts 3. Interesting moons ht p:/ zebu.uoregon.edu/~soper/ImNeptune/neptunes.gif Uranus Historical Information •Discovered by William Herschel in 1781 (but was previous recorded on star charts as early as 1620) • Herschel named it George’s Star after George III. Later it was renamed Uranus after the Greek god of the sky •Herschel later discovered 2 of Uranus’ 5 “major” moons) •Rings were discovered in 1977 •Only one visit by a spacecraft ( Voyager2 on January 24, 1986 ) •No future missions currently planned ht p:/ www.mira.org/fts0/planets/101/images/uranus.jpg Uranus’ Rings ht p:/ www.daviddarling.info/encyclopedia/U/Uranusmoons.html Uranus, like Saturn has a multi-ring system (11) with embedded moons. Unlike Saturn, the rings are relatively faint and dark. ht p:/ www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/12/images/uranus.jpg Uranian Satellites Uranus has the 3 rd highest number of moon in the solar system (27). Moons are named after characters from Shakespeare or Alexander Pope (e.g., Titania and Oberon were named by the son of their discoverer (William Herschel) after characters in A Midsummer Nights Dream) ht p:/ www.daviddarling.info/images/Uranus_moons.jpg Uranian Satellites Miranda: •Discovered in 1948 by Gerard Kuiper •The smallest of the 5 major moons •Three distinct terrain types (incomplete differentiation, multiple shattering events?) ht p:/ www.solarviews.com/cap/uranus/
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2 Neptune Historical Information •First observed by Galileo around 1613 as it was occulted by Jupiter? •First predicted through mathematical calculations using the Titus-Bodes Law •Fluctuations in the velocity of Uranus independently allowed astronomers Le Verrier and Adams to predict the location of an 8 th planet •First observed by Johann Galle in 1846 •The last and farthest “planet” in the solar system (will only complete its first orbit since discovery next year) ht p:/ carnegieinstitution.org/neptune_trojans/neptunetrojangraphic_large.jpg Neptune Historical Information •Named after the roman God of the seas •Rings were discovered in 1980 •Only one visit by a spacecraft ( Voyager2 in August 1989) ht p:/ www.shat ers.net/celestia/images/gal ery/voyager2-neptune.jpg Neptune/Uranus vs. Jupiter/Saturn ht p:/ astronomyonline.org/SolarSystem/Images/GasGiantInteriors_th.jpg Neptune and Uranus could be twins (just like Jupiter and Saturn) Neptune But Neptune has excellent cloud development and the highest wind speeds in the solar system (2000 km/hr+) ht p:/ apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap991005.html Neptune’s Satellites Nereid: •Discovered in 1941 by Kuiper. •The most distant of the moons
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This note was uploaded on 02/05/2012 for the course ES 492 taught by Professor Staff during the Summer '11 term at S. Alabama.

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492-pp14 - UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH ALABAMA Last time. Origin of...

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