Lecture6_Oct05_2007

Lecture6_Oct05_2007 - Basic Structure of the Solar System...

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Basic Structure of the Solar System The Jovian Planets Saturn, the next planet, and second only to Jupiter in size, is reknown for its rings. The rings of Saturn are an extreme example of a phenomenon found in all the giant planets in the Solar System; the rings are rocky and icy debris – possibly from the destruction of small moons or asteroids captured by Saturn’s gravity. Saturn is in some ways similar to Jupiter – and notably different in others (it is, for example, much less dense). These differences are attributed mostly to Saturn’s distance from the Sun, which changes, for example, the way helium is distributed in Saturn’s atmosphere compared to Jupiter Vital Statistics Radius: 6.00 x 10 7 m Mass: 5.68 x 10 26 kg Position:1.43 x 10 12 m from the Sun, average Reading Assignment: Chapter 14, Table 14-2
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False Color Infrared View of Saturn
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Basic Structure of the Solar System The Jovian Planets Uranus and Neptune are the outermost giant planets . They are significantly smaller than their large cousins and are cold and distant worlds. The atmospheres of both are colder and of a different chemical composition as a result – the brilliant reddish/yellowish complexity of Jupiter and Saturn is replaced by more subdued and uniform greens and blues. Neptune’s atmosphere however is still rather active compared to Uranus – for reasons still unknown. Uranus is also particularly notable because its axis of rotation is tipped nearly 90 degrees from its axis of revolution – perhaps due to a major collision with another large planet early in its history… Vital Statistics Uranus Neptune Radius: 2.56 x 10 7 m 2.47 x 10 7 m Mass: 8.68 x 10 25 kg 1.02 x 10 26 kg Position: 2.87 x 10 12 m 4.50 x 10 12 m from the Sun, average Reading Assignment: Chapter 16, Introduction (page 336) , Table 16-1, 16-2, and Sections 16-1 to 16-3
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Basic Structure of the Solar System The Jovian Planets
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The Solar System Basic Structure of the Solar System Pluto and the Comets “When beggars die there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes." Shakespeare, from Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31) “Many people don't give a rip about politics and know as much about public affairs as they know about the topography of Pluto. “ Tony Snow
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Basic Structure of the Solar System Pluto and the Comets Pluto orbits at a great distance from the sun in a unusually elongated orbit compared to the other planets. Pluto is a small world, about the size of Mercury, and is often so cold that what little atmosphere Pluto has freezes out onto the surface. Pluto, like the Earth, has a large satellite (Charon). Pluto was discovered in 1930 by Cylde Tombaugh; Charon was discovered in 1978 by James Christy. We know little about Pluto – for example in 2005 (!) two more significant satellites were found. Based on available measurements, Pluto is thought to be an icy body – unlike any other ‘planet’ in the Solar System. Reading Assignment: Chapter 16, Table 16-3,
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PHSC 119 taught by Professor Gladders during the Fall '08 term at UChicago.

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Lecture6_Oct05_2007 - Basic Structure of the Solar System...

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