Introduction to the Solar System

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# Introduction to the Solar System - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Introduction to the Solar System. Chapter 6. The Sun. Mass in Solar System. Solar System Temperatures. 350 F. 45 F. -390 F. Comparative Planetology. Categorize planets by properties Compare similarities and differences Ask: What physical processes can explain these properties?.

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### Introduction to the Solar System

Chapter 6

Comparative Planetology
• Categorize planets by properties
• Compare similarities and differences
• Ask: What physical processes can explain these properties?
Planet Orbits
• Orbits aligned in same plane (the ecliptic)
• Explains why planets always found in Zodiac
• Pluto’s orbit tipped the most (17 degrees)
• All planets orbit Sun counter-clockwise
• Planets rotate counter-clockwise
• except Venus
• Rotation axis roughly perpendicular to orbit
• except Uranus and Pluto
The Scale of the Solar System

Workbook Exercise: “Sun Size” (p. 63-65 in Workbook)

The image at right shows a

• picture of the Sun. The dark
• spots located on this image
• are sunspots. How does the
• size of Earth compare to the
• size of the sunspot that is
• identified on the right side of
• the image of Sun?
• A) Earth and the sunspot
• are about the same size.
• B) The sunspot is much
• larger than Earth.
• C) The sunspot is much
• smaller than Earth.

Sunspot

If you were constructing a scale model of the solar system that used a Sun that was the size of a basketball (approximately 12 inches in diameter), which of the following lengths would most closely approximate the scaled distance between Earth and the Sun?

• A) 3 feet (length of an outstretched arm)
• B) 10 feet (height of a basketball goal)
• C) 100 feet (height of an 10 story building)
• D) 300 feet (length of a football field)
Terrestrial Planets
• Terrestrial = Earth-like
• Mercury
• Venus
• Earth (and Moon)
• Mars
• Small, low mass
• No large moons (except Earth)
• Mars has two small ones…
• Close to Sun
Terrestrial Planets
• Rocky Surface
• High density (3-5 gm/cm3) (water = 1 gm/cm3)
• Geologic Activity (volcanoes, continental drift)
• Present on larger planets (Earth and Venus)
• Absent on smaller planets (Moon, Mercury, and Mars)
• Atmosphere
• Little hydrogen and helium
• Mostly carbon dioxide (Venus and Mars) or nitrogen (Earth)
• Smaller planets have no atmosphere (Mercury, Moon)
Asteroids

Mars

The Asteroid Belt

Jovian Planets
• Jovian = Jupiter-like
• Jupiter
• Saturn
• Uranus
• Neptune
• Large, massive
• Many moons
• Far from Sun
Jovian Planets
• Low density (1 gm/cm3)
• No obvious surface
• Atmosphere
• Mostly hydrogen and helium
• Other gases (methane, ammonia)
• may form ices
The Outer Solar System

Comets

Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud