The Solar System - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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The Solar System

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  1. The Solar System

  2. Geocentric (Earth-centered) System • An illustration of the geocentric system by Portuguese “astronomer” and cartographer (map maker) Bartolomeu Velho, 1568

  3. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) • mathematician, astronomer, and physician • new idea- heliocentric solar system • regarded as the starting point of modern astronomy

  4. Modern Views of the Solar System • eight planets • sun contains >98 % of the solar system’s mass • the sun’s gravity holds solar bodies in place • formed from a nebula of gas, dust, and ice

  5. Mercury Fly by (1974) Mariner 10 Mercury’s South Pole

  6. Mercury • closest to the sun • extreme temperatures: -170o– 425o C • no atmosphere • iron core

  7. Venus • 2nd from the sun • similar mass & size to Earth • 1962 Mariner 2 mission • Soviet Union landed 1970 • intense greenhouse effect

  8. Earth • 3rd from the sun • abundant H2O • atmosphere causes most meteors to burn up before impact • Ozone (O3) protects from Ultraviolet Radiation

  9. Mars “the red planet” • 4th from the sun • polar ice caps H2O & CO2 • thin atmosphere of CO2 • two moons • multiple missions

  10. Olympus Mons- largest volcano in the solar system

  11. Exploration of Mars Viking Lander- 1975 Artist’s Rendition of the Exploration Rover. (Image courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.)

  12. Mars Pathfinder Rover 1996

  13. Martian Moons

  14. The Outer Planets • gaseous • large • asteroid belt separates the inner/outer planets • Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

  15. Jupiter • 5th planet • composed mostly of H and He. Some ammonia, CH4, and H2O • liquid layer, rocky core? • “Great Red Spot” • at least 63 moons • Europa – rock and ice

  16. Saturn 6th planet large, gaseous, similar to Jupiter outer atmosphere of H & He liquid layer below small rocky core? 47 moons and rings

  17. Uranus • 7th planet • discovered in 1781 • large, gaseous • 27 moons • rings • H, He, CH4

  18. Neptune • 8th planet • discovered in 1846 • atmosphere of H, He, and CH4

  19. Neptune’s Moon Triton • Triton is the largest moon of the planet Neptune, discovered in 1846 • It is the only large moon in the solar system with a retrograde orbit, opposite direction to its planet's rotation. • At 2700 km in diameter

  20. Bibliographic Websites • http://vfm.jpl.nasa.gov/othervenusmissions/flybymissionsmarinermessenger/ • http://www.astronomyviews.com/mercury.html • http://www.b14643.de/Interplanetary%20Probes/index.htm