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Voyagers (1970s). 1800 lbs, dish >12 ft diameter data rates ~115,000 bits/sec (twice dial-up!) Radioisotope Power Generators. Moons. (Covered in the video…). Io. Europa. Ganymede. Callisto. Galileo Mission (1989-2003). First detection of ammonia in the clouds of Jupiter

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voyagers 1970s
Voyagers (1970s)
  • 1800 lbs, dish >12 ft diameter
  • data rates ~115,000 bits/sec (twice dial-up!)
  • Radioisotope Power Generators
moons
Moons

(Covered in the video…)

Io

Europa

Ganymede

Callisto

galileo mission 1989 2003
Galileo Mission (1989-2003)
  • First detection of ammonia in the clouds of Jupiter
  • Imaged impact by comet Shoemaker-Levy in 1994
  • Found it likely that there is a 100-km deep ocean under the ice of Europa
  • Studied thunderstorms
  • On the way, discovered asteroid Ida has a moon
saturn
Saturn

Now: In retrograde, rises in ENE at about 10pm and is 60 degrees up at dawn [Fall 2005]

rings
Rings
  • Within Roche Limit (3 body problem…)
  • < 2km thick
  • dust to boulders+
cassini huygens 1997
Cassini / Huygens (1997 - ?)

Cassini still orbiting Saturn, Huygens probe landed on its moon, Titan, last January

Many discoveries, nicely listed in this top-10 list

huygens probe will be dropped onto titan
…Huygens probe will be dropped onto Titan
  • What will happen?
  • Science News Article, posted
uranus
Uranus
  • In Aquarius, magnitude 5.7
neptune
Neptune

8th magnitude, in Capricornus

neptune s moons
Neptune’s Moons
  • Giant Triton orbits retrograde, spiraling toward Roche’s limit in 10 – 100 million years
  • Nereid smaller with prograde but very eccentric orbit
pluto
Pluto
  • Very faint (15th magnitude)
  • discovered with 13-inch telescope using at Lowell by Clyde Tombaugh, by examining plates with a blink comparator
  • Orbit within Neptune’s at times (’80-99)
pluto and charon
Pluto and Charon
  • One synchronous satellite, discovered in 1978
new horizons mission
New Horizons Mission
  • Launch January, 2006
  • Swing by Jupiter in 2007
  • Pass by Pluto/Charon 2015, ASAP, before atmosphere freezes out.
  • Kuiper belt by 2026
farther out short period comets come from the kuiper belt
Farther out: Short-period comets come from the Kuiper belt
  • P<200 years
  • Extends from Neptune’s orbit out to about 1000 AU
  • Short-period comets are KB objects perturbed toward the sun by the giant planets.
farther out oort cloud
Farther out: Oort Cloud

In 1950 Jan Oort noticed that:

  • no comet has been observed with an orbit that indicates that it came from interstellar space,
  • there is a strong tendency for aphelia of long period comet orbits to lie at a distance of about 50,000 AU, and
  • there is no preferential direction from which comets come.
  • Thus….
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