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The Solar System. Spectra of Science Amole 2013. Early Thought and Models. Aristotle (384 BC -322 BC)- explained the phases of the moon and eclipses by using a geocentric model Ptolemy ( 90 A.D -168 A.D .)- suggests planets, sun, and moon orbited Earth in perfect circles.

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the solar system

The Solar System

Spectra of Science



early thought and models
Early Thought and Models
  • Aristotle (384 BC -322 BC)- explained the phases of the moon and eclipses by using a geocentric model
  • Ptolemy (90 A.D -168 A.D.)- suggests planets, sun, and moon orbited Earth in perfect circles
early thought and models1
Early Thought and Models
  • Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543)- proposed the heliocentric model
  • Johannes Kepler (1571-1630)- propsed that the orbits around the sun were ellipses
what is an ellipse
What is an Ellipse?
  • An oval or egg-like shape created from the result of two foci
early thought and models2
Early Thought and Models
  • In 1687, Isaac Newton put it all together explaining that the force responsible for keeping the planets and satellites (moons) in their orbits was…GRAVITY
  • First to propose that everything in the universe follows the same rules and acts in predictable ways
bodies in our solar system the sun
Bodies in our Solar System:The Sun
  • At the center
  • It’s a medium sized star in the middle of its life cycle
  • Constantly creating energy from nuclear fusion
bodies in our solar system planets
Bodies in our Solar System:Planets
  • Terrestrial Planets:
    • Small
    • Dense
    • Solid surfaces and cores
  • Gas Giants (Jovian):
    • Large
    • No solid surface
    • Very light
  • Saturn is the least dense of the planets. It is actually less dense than water. That means, if you could find a tub big enough….it would float!
  • We really are so small!
bodies in our solar system comets
Bodies in our Solar System:Comets
  • Composed of dust and ice (dirty snowballs)
  • When it passes near the sun, the heat begins to melt the ice and it gives off gases forming the long tail
  • Tail always point away from the sun
bodies in our solar system comets1
Bodies in our Solar System:Comets
  • Most likely left-over material from when the solar systems formed
  • Come from the Oort Cloud and Kuiper belt
  • Halley’s comet is perhaps the most popular comet. It passes by every 76 years. Its last pass occurred in 1986, so expect to see it again in 2061!
  • Miss Amole will be 76 next time it is here!
bodies in our solar system asteroids
Bodies in our Solar System:Asteroids
  • Most found in the Asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter
  • Meteoroids small pieces that reach our atmosphere
  • Meteors-meteoroids that burn up in atmosphere
  • Meteorites- make it to Earth
  • Many scientists believe that it was a 10-15 km asteroid or comet that hit the Earth 65 million years ago that is responsible for the extinction of the dinosaurs
  • The best preserved meteorite crater is located in Arizona. It is over a mile wide, 2.4 miles in circumference, and over 550 feet deep!
bodies in our solar system planetesimals
Bodies in our Solar System:Planetesimals
  • Pieces of rocks that accumulated to form planets
  • Left over planetesimals are in the Kuiper belt beyond the orbit of Neptune
  • Pluto may actually just be the largest object in this belt
bodies in our solar system dwarf planets
Bodies in our Solar System:Dwarf Planets
  • Unlike planets, dwarf planets lack the gravitational muscle to sweep up or scatter objects near their orbits
  • They orbit the sun in zones of similar objects such as the asteroid and Kuiper belts.
  • Pluto, Eris and the asteroid Ceres became the first
  • Pluto was still a planet when Miss Amole sat in your seat.
  • Pluto was added as a planet in 1930
  • In 2005 Eris, about the same size as Pluto, was found in the Kuiper belt
  • In 2006 the new system of classification…
how it all began

How it all Began…

The Formation of the Solar System

nebular theory
Nebular Theory
  • According to the dating of rocks, the solar system is 4.6 billion years old
  • Most scientist accept the Nebular Theory, or Nebular Model, as the best supported explanation
  • It explains why…
    • Planets are so far apart
    • In the same plane
    • orbit in the same direction
    • They have nearly circular orbits
    • Why some are terrestrial and some gaseous
nebular theory step 1
Nebular Theory: Step 1
  • Started as a nebula- huge cloud or gas and dust
  • It begins to collapse because of its own gravity
  • Gravity drew much of the matter towards the center
nebular theory step 2
Nebular Theory: Step 2
  • The nebula began to flatten out into a disk and rotate
  • Getting hotter and hotter towards the center
  • After 10 million years, the star becomes hot enough to fuse Hydrogen
  • A star, our sun, is born
nebular theory step 3
Nebular Theory: Step 3
  • Planetesimals began to form in the swirling disk through accretion
  • Accretion = accumulation of matter
nebular theory step 4
Nebular Theory: Step 4
  • The largest planetesimals began to collect the dust and gas from the nebula because they had greater gravitational pulls
  • Remember that gravity depends on mass and distance
nebular theory step 5
Nebular Theory: Step 5
  • Smaller planetesimals collide with the large ones and the planets grow
nebular theory step 6
Nebular Theory: Step 6
  • The remaining dust and gas is removed or settles into the Asteroid and Kuiper belts and Oort Cloud
  • A solar system is born
what about the moon

What about the Moon?

The Formation of the Moon

  • When Earth was still very hot and molten, a large body crashed into it and blasted part of the mantle into space
  • The resulting debris began to orbit Earth being held by Earth’s gravity
  • The debris began to accumulate to form the moon
  • Formation of Earth and Moon
  • Formation of Solar System
  • Formation of Solar System (dramatic)