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Physics and the Universe 1-23-08

Physics and the Universe 1-23-08 - Astronomical Influences...

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Physics and the Universe- Wednesday January 23, 2008 Sun’s diameter compared to Sun-Earth distance is 1/110 Earth’s and moon’s orbits are slightly ellipitical. This gives different varying eclipse coverage. Perihelion- Position closest to the sun. Aphelion- position furthest from the sun. When earth is near perihelion, and the moon is near apogee, we see an annular solar eclipse. Apogee- position furthest away from earth. The moon’s orbit is inclined against the ecliptic by ~5 degrees A solar eclipse can only occur if the moon passes a node near new moon Our climate is affected by the distribution of the net energy on the earth’s surface Amount of energy received Amount of energy given off Where the Energy is
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Unformatted text preview: Astronomical Influences on Earth’s Climate • Eccentricity of Earth’s orbit around the sun (varies over period of ~100,000 years) • Precession (Period of ~26,000 years) • Inclination of Earth’s axis versus orbital plane Milankovitch Hypothesis: Changes in all three of these aspects are responsible for long-term global climate changes (ice ages). This affects which of these? Energy received & Where the energy is Milankovitch: good (not perfect) predictor of Earth’ temperature • Last glaciations- polar regions receiving less than average energy from the sun. • End of last glaciations- polar regions receiving more than average energy from the sun The Greenhouse Effect- How energy escapes Earth....
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