What is nebular theory
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What is “Nebular Theory”?. theory of the origin of the solar system according to which a rotating nebula cooled and contracted, throwing off rings of matter that contracted into the planets and their moons, while the great mass of the condensing nebula became the sun. What is a “Stellar Nebula”?.

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What is “Nebular Theory”?

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What is “Nebular Theory”?

theory of the origin of the solar system according to which a rotating nebula cooled and contracted, throwing off rings of matter that contracted into the planets and their moons, while the great mass of the condensing nebula became the sun.

What is a “Stellar Nebula”?

A star is born from a stellar nebula (primordial nebula), which is just a cloud of gas and dust. This starts to contract under its own gravity and so it eventually heats up under friction. It eventually makes it into a spherical kind of shape and then if it's large enough, it will contract significantly under gravity and start nuclear fusion. It is then a star.

Explain the difference between the geocentric and the heliocentric models of the solar system.

Geocentric is an “Earth Centered” universe while Heliocentric is “sun centered” universe.

What are the life stages of a medium mass and a super mass star? (describe and diagram)

A star's life cycle is determined by its mass. The larger the mass, the shorter the life cycle. A star's mass is determined by the amount of matter that is available in its nebula, the giant cloud of gas and dust in which it is born. Over time, gravity pulls the hydrogen gas in the nebula together and it begins to spin. As the gas spins faster, it heats up and is known as a protostar. Eventually the temperature reaches 15,000,000 °C and nuclear fusion occurs in the cloud's core. The cloud begins to glow brightly. At this temperature, it contracts a little and becomes stable. It is now called a main sequence star and will remain in this stage, shining for millions or billions of years to come.

What are the life stages of a medium mass and a super mass star? (describe and diagram)

As the main sequence star glows, hydrogen in the core is converted into helium by nuclear fusion. When the hydrogen supply in the core begins to run out, the core becomes unstable and contracts. The outer shell of the star, which is still mostly hydrogen, starts to expand. As it expands, it cools and glows red. The star has now reached the red giant phase. It is red because it is cooler than it was in the main sequence star stage and it is a giant because the outer shell has expanded outward. All stars evolve the same way up to the red giant phase. The amount of mass a star has determines which of the following life cycle paths it will take after the red giant phase.

What are the life stages of a medium mass and a super mass star? (describe and diagram)


Throughout the red giant phase, the hydrogen gas in the outer shell continues to burn and the temperature in the core continues to increase. At 200,000,000 °C the helium atoms in the core fuse to form carbon atoms. The last of the hydrogen gas in the outer shell is blown away to form a ring around the core. This ring is called a planetary nebula. When the last of the helium atoms in the core are fused into carbon atoms, the medium size star begins to die. Gravity causes the last of the star's matter to collapse inward and compact. This is the white dwarf stage. At this stage, the star's matter is extremely dense. White dwarfs shine with a white hot light. Once all of their energy is gone, they no longer emit light. The star has now reached the black dwarf phase in which it will forever remain.

What are the life stages of a medium mass and a super mass star? (describe and diagram)


Once massive stars reach the red giant phase, the core temperature increases as carbon atoms are formed from the fusion of helium atoms. Gravity continues to pull carbon atoms together as the temperature increases forming oxygen, nitrogen, and eventually iron. At this point, fusion stops and the iron atoms start to absorb energy. This energy is eventually released in a powerful explosion called a supernova. A supernova can light up the sky for weeks. The temperature in a supernova can reach 1,000,000,000 °C. The core of a massive star that is 1.5 to 4 times as massive as our Sun ends up as a neutron star after the supernova.

What are the life stages of a medium mass and a super mass star? (describe and diagram)

MASSIVE STARS -- continued

Neutron stars spin rapidly giving off radio waves. If the radio waves are emitted in pulses (due to the star's spin), these neutron stars are called pulsars. The core of a massive star that has 8 or more times the mass of our Sun remains massive after the supernova. No nuclear fusion is taking place to support the core, so it is swallowed by its own gravity. It has now become a black hole which readily attracts any matter and energy that comes near it. Black holes are not visible. They are detected by the X-rays which are given off as matter falls into the hole.

What are the four terrestrial planets?

Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars

What are the four gas giants?

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

The planets take what shape as they orbit around the sun?

Elliptical orbits and the planets slightly bulge around the equator due to their spin.

Why do planets orbit the sun?

The basic reason why the planets revolve around, or orbit the sun, is that the gravity of the Sun keeps them in their orbits. Just as the Moon orbits the Earth because of the pull of Earth's gravity, the Earth orbits the Sun because of the pull of the Sun's gravity.

Why, then, does it travel in an elliptical orbit around the Sun, rather than just getting pulled in all the way? This happens because the Earth has a velocity in the direction perpendicular to the force of the Sun's pull. If the Sun weren't there, the Earth would travel in a straight line. But the gravity of the Sun alters its course, causing it to travel around the Sun, in a shape very near to a circle.

What affects does the moon have on the earth's oceans?

It causes the tides. (The Earth's oceans and seas stretch in the direction of the moon and the Earth spins under the bulging masses of water.

Explain how the Earth's moon formed.

It is believed that the moon formed only a few hundred million years after the earth did and was the result of a huge collision. The early Earth was smaller than it is now and didn't have a moon. Then a proto-planet about the size of Mars smashed into it. This caused large amount of the earth's upper crust to be blown into space and also caused the earth to be tilted at 23 1/2 degrees. The debris that was circling the Earth after this collision gathered together and formed a ball, this was the early moon.

Why is there no atmosphere on the moon?

Although it might have had an atmosphere when it was young but spherical, the solar winds emitted by the sun were to strong for the moon's little gravity. And, the moon doesn't have hardly enough mass to have an atmosphere... Lack of sufficient gravity really.

How would a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere affect the temperature on the moon?

As there is no atmosphere to trap the heat, temperatures on the moon are very extreme ranging from 107°C in the day to -153°C at night. Also, if you step from a sunlight area suddenly into a shadowed area (like behind a big rock), there would be a huge drop in temperature. An atmosphere would moderate these temperature swings.

What forces allow the sun to remain stable?

The fusion reactions in the sun generate energy which provide an outward pressure. This pressure perfectly balances the inward force of gravity.

Contrast fission with fusion.

Fission is the splitting of the atom while fusion is the joining of atoms. Both release great amounts of energy.

Fission- split- has an “i”

Fusion- coming together like hydrogen atoms on the sun

Which produces more energy?

  • Fusion! Proportion wise

  • Four Hydrogen atoms combine to form one helium atom

  • 4 x small nucleus= Helium

  • Combination creates loss of matter that is emitted as radiant energy (our sun!)

  • fission

  • Atoms of uranium or plutonium are split into smaller atoms releasing energy

  • Nuclear power plants get power from fission

  • Uranium and Plutonium have HUGE nucleus (240 protons and neutrons)

More about Fusion

  • Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe but pure H is fairly rare on earth

  • On the sun or other stars it exists in its plasma state

Order of Fusion

  • Hydrogen  Helium

  • Neon  Oxygen and Helium

  • Helium + Neon  Magnesium

  • Oxygen  sulfur + silicon

Sun’s supply of Hydrogen and Helium

  • What do you think? Are the amounts going up or down? Why?

  • What happens when hydrogen is gone?

  • Star starts to collapse burning remaining Hydrogen

  • Burns outter shell and becomes a red giant, spreads out- 1 bill. yrs

  • Mercury is swallowed

  • White dwarf, planetary nebula- see info

What is a light year?

  • When our solar system was forming, where did most of the mass go?- see notes

  • We use light-years to express the distance between stars

  • Light travels 186,282 miles per second!

  • 1 light year = 5,880,000,000,000 miles

Formation of a Star

Orion Nebula

  • Nebula

  • Prostar

  • Hydrogen starts fusing Helium a star is born!

  • Main sequence

  • Bigger the star, shorter the life

  • Red giant/supergiant

  • White dwarf/black hole

What is a pulsar?

  • It’s what’s left after a LARGE star dies

  • Large star dies  supernova  neutron star

  • If neutron star rotates rapidly, it creates a pulsar

  • Plusar- Rapidly rotating neutron star which emits large amounts of electromagnetic radiation and particle jets.

Big Bang Theory- more than TV

  • Theory on how the universe was created- widely accepted

  • Universe was formed 13.7 billion years ago

  • Our universe is thought to have begun as an infinitesimally small, infinitely hot, infinitely dense, something

  • After “the something’s” initial appearance, it apparently inflated (the "Big Bang"), expanded and cooled, going from very, very small and very, very hot, to the size and temperature of our current universe.

  • It continues to expand and cool to this day and we are inside of it

  • incredible creatures living on a unique planet, circling a beautiful star clustered together with several hundred billion other stars in a galaxy soaring through the cosmos

  • all of which is inside of an expanding universe that began as an infinitesimal singularity which appeared out of nowhere for reasons unknown.

  • That’s the Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Misconceptions

Big Bang is NOT

Big Bang IS

Constantly expanding universe

Balloon constantly expanding and growing bigger and bigger

Space didn’t exist before the Big Bang

  • A huge explosion

  • Like a balloon popping- POW, BANG

  • Fire ball that suddenly showed up in space

Evidence to Support Big Bang

  • Scientists are fairly certain the universe had a beginning

  • Galaxies seem to be moving away from us at speeds proportional to their distance- Hubble’s Law

  • Early universe acc. to Big Bang was very hot and remnants of that heat have been found

  • Abundance of helium and hydrogen

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