Chapter 6 Our Solar System and Its Origin Comparative Planetology By studying the differences and similarities between the planets, moons, asteroids and comets, we can gain a fuller understanding of the solar system as a whole. Side View of Our Solar System
Our Solar System and Its Origin
We know today that comets are orbiting the Sun primarily in two broad regions.
Some objects don’t fit into the general pattern:
Planets fall into two main categories:
Small, rocky terrestrial planets.
Large, hydrogen rich gas giants (Jovian planets).
Several notable exceptions to these general trends stand out:
Planets with unusual axial tilts or surrounding large moons.
Moons with unusual orbits.Four Major Characteristics of the Solar System
This results in a
disk, with mass
near the center
The cloud heats
up and spins
and faster as
is large and
Twin Dust disks around a binary star system., taken by the VLA at radio wavelengths
Temperature Differences in the Solar Nebula
Early in the accretion process, there are many Moon sized planetesimals on crisscrossing orbits
As time passes, a few planetesimals grow larger by accretion while others collide and are destroyed
Only the largest planetesimals avoid being destroyed. These bodies will become the planets of this newly formed solar system
The Earth, Moon and other planets were heavily bombarded with leftover planetesimals.
Doppler shifts allow for the detection of slight motions of a star due to perturbations caused by the orbiting planet.
Approximate masses in terms of the mass of Jupiter
Closer than the Earth-Sun distance