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General Properties of the Solar System … continued. Announcements. Reading for next class 8-4, 8-5, 8-6 (pp. 171-180) Quiz today Closed book, closed note, no electronic devices (like it will be for the exam) First Exam Next Thursday (2/15)

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announcements
Announcements
  • Reading for next class
    • 8-4, 8-5, 8-6 (pp. 171-180)
  • Quiz today
    • Closed book, closed note, no electronic devices (like it will be for the exam)
  • First Exam Next Thursday (2/15)
    • Brief review and discussion of the exam format on Tuesday
    • Come prepared with questions
    • Make use of study groups, instructor and TA office hours to help you prepare

Solar System

2/8/07

next week s preceptor led study group
Next Week’s Preceptor-led Study Group
  • Monday – 10:30AM-12:00PM

Preceptors: Chris Dockins, Maggie Jahn, Katie Landon,

and Jared Mosley

Room 330 of Kuiper Space Sciences

    • We encourage you to attend and study for the exam with a group of students from the class

Solar System

2/8/07

slide4

Solar-system inventory continued…The Sun

  • Most massive object in the solar system
  • Formed at about the same time as all of the planets, and from the same material
  • The source of energy that keeps is shining for billions of years is thermonuclear fusion

Solar System

2/8/07

solar system inventory continued the solar wind
Solar-system inventory continued…The Solar Wind
  • The solar corona is in a constant state of expansion and continues off into space, creating the Solar Wind
  • The Solar Wind is a plasma – the 4th state of matter (solid, liquid, and gas are the other 3)
  • Its existence was predicted based on observations of comet tails (the blue ion tail in the picture is directed along the solar wind)

Solar System

2/8/07

solar system inventory continued small chunks of rock and ice also orbit the sun
Solar-system inventory continued…Small chunks of rock and ice also orbit the Sun
  • Asteroids are small, rocky objects, while comets and Kuiper-belt objects are made of dirty ice (or icy dirt?)
  • All are remnants left over from the formation of the planets
  • Some of them contain the primordial material from which the solar system is made

Solar System

2/8/07

slide7

Kuiper Belt Objects

    • Beyond the orbit of Neptune
    • Distributed loosely along the ecliptic plane
    • Pluto is a large KBO
  • Asteroid belt
    • Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter
    • Probable origin of Near-Earth objects

Solar System

2/8/07

solar system inventory continued the outer reaches of the solar system
Solar-system inventory continued…The outer reaches of the Solar System
  • The Heliosphere
    • The cavern carved out of the interstellar gas by the solar wind
  • The Oort Cloud
    • contains billions of comet nuclei in a spherical distribution that extends out to 50,000 AU from the Sun
    • Intermediate period and long-period comets are thought to originate in the Oort cloud
    • As yet no objects in the Oort cloud have been detected directly

Solar System

2/8/07

structure of a terrestrial planet
Structure of a Terrestrial Planet
  • Metallic core in center
  • Rocky mantle
  • Crust of some sort?
  • All are differentiated
    • But the proportions of the core, mantle, crust, differ

 Look up its definition !

Solar System

2/8/07

will a planet have active volcanoes
Will a planet have active volcanoes?
  • Requires Heat
    • After the planets formed, they were very hot
    • Big planets cool slower
    • Small planets cool more rapidly
  • Big terrestrial planets are active longer
    • Fewer craters
    • More likely to have active volcanoes
      • Earth and Venus for example – both of these worlds also have very few visible craters

Solar System

2/8/07

planetary magnetic fields
Planetary Magnetic Fields
  • Another important tool for “probing” the interior of a planet
  • Magnetic fields of terrestrial planets are produced by metals such as iron in the liquid state (molten core) and in motion (dynamo action) – moving electrically conducting material
  • The stronger fields of the Jovian planets are generated by liquid metallic hydrogen or by water with ionized molecules dissolved in it
  • Earth, Mercury, and all Gas Giants have magnetic fields – Mars and Venus do not

Solar System

2/8/07

impact cratering
Impact Cratering
  • When an asteroid or comet strikes the surface of a terrestrial planet or moon, the result is an impact crater
  • Geologic activity renews the surface and erases craters, so a terrestrial world with extensive cratering has an old surface and little or no geologic activity
  • Because geological activity is powered by internal heat, and smaller worlds lose heat less rapidly than larger ones …

as a loose general rule… the smaller a world is, the more heavily cratered it will be

Solar System

2/8/07

will a planet have an atmosphere
Will a planet have an atmosphere?
  • Requires a gas
    • The gas must be cool enough to not escape
    • The planet must have enough gravity to prevent the escape of gasses
  • Big, cool, planets are more likely to have atmosphere

Solar System

2/8/07

to understand the retention of an atmosphere we need to understand the motion of particles in a gas
To understand the retention of an atmosphere, we need to understand the motion of particles in a gas
  • Kinetic Energy associated with an object of massmin motion with a speedv
  • SI unit of energy
    • Joule (kg m2/s2)

Solar System

2/8/07

kinetic energy and temperature
Kinetic Energy and Temperature
  • Kinetic Energy of a gas with temperature T

k = Boltzmann constant

= 1.38 x 10-23 J/K

Solar System

2/8/07

average speed of atoms in a gas
Average speed of atoms in a gas
  • Equate kinetic energy of motion to that of the gas at a given temperature, and solve for the velocity, v

This is the AVERAGE SPEED of atoms in a gas having a temperature T

Solar System

2/8/07

slide17
To understand whether the gas is gravitationally bound to a planet, we need to understand the concept of Escape velocity
  • The speed that an object must have in order to escape the pull of gravity of a planet of mass M and radius R is:

Solar System

2/8/07

as a loose general rule of thumb
As a loose, general rule of thumb:
  • A Planet can retain a gas if the escape speed is at least 6 times greater than the average speed of molecules in the gas

Solar System

2/8/07

table
Table

Solar System

2/8/07

the diversity of the solar system is a result of its origin and evolution
The diversity of the solar system is a resultof its origin and evolution
  • The planets, satellites, comets, asteroids, and the Sun itself formed from the same cloud of interstellar gas and dust
  • This material came from cosmic processes that took place within stars that died long before our solar system was formed
  • Different planets formed in different environments depending largely on their distance from the Sun

Solar System

2/8/07

how old is the solar system
How Old is the Solar System ?
  • How can we determine this ?
    • Radioactive dating
    • Need to find the right material to date !
    • Because of plate tectonics and geological activity, Earth rocks are not a good indicator of the age of the Solar System
    • Meteorites!

Solar System

2/8/07

today s quiz
Today’s quiz
  • Be sure to fill in the ovals for your name (last name first!!!)
  • Closed book, closed notes, no electronic devices
  • The quiz has 15 questions (front and back)
    • Fill in the oval corresponding to your answer on the scantron sheet using a #2 pencil
  • Only turn in the scantron sheet – you may take the quiz itself with you when you leave
  • You may leave when you are finished – but please do so as quietly as possible and leave through the North Entrance (upper right door)

Solar System

2/8/07