Unit 3 Lesson 6 Small Bodies in the Solar System. Copyright Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

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2 Florida Benchmarks SC.8.N.1.1 Define a problem from the eighth grade curriculum using appropriate reference materials to support scientific understanding, plan and carry out scientific investigations of various types, such as systematic observations or experiments, identify variables, collect and organize data, interpret data in charts, tables, and graphics, analyze information, make predictions, and defend conclusions.

3 Florida Benchmarks SC.8.E.5.3 Distinguish the hierarchical relationships between planets and other astronomical bodies relative to solar system, galaxy, and universe, including distance, size, and composition. SC.8.E.5.7 Compare and contrast the properties of objects in the Solar System including the Sun, planets, and moons to those of Earth, such as gravitational force, distance from the Sun, speed, movement, temperature, and atmospheric conditions.

4 Florida Benchmarks LA The student will organize information to show understanding (e.g., representing main ideas within text through charting, mapping, paraphrasing, summarizing, or comparing/ contrasting).

5 Bigger Is not better Where are small bodies in the solar system? Scientists estimate that there are up to a trillion small bodies in the solar system. They lack atmospheres and have weak surface gravity. The largest of the small bodies, the dwarf planets, are found in regions known as the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt.

6 Where are small bodies in the solar system? The Kuiper belt is located beyond the orbit of Neptune. It contains Kuiper belt objects and comets. Comets are also located in the Oort cloud, which is a region that surrounds the solar system and extends almost halfway to the nearest star. Two other types of small bodies, asteroids and meteoroids, are located mostly between the orbits of Venus and Neptune.

7 What are dwarf planets? A dwarf planet is a celestial body that orbits the sun and is round because of its own gravity. A dwarf planet does not have the mass to have cleared other bodies out of its orbit around the sun. Five dwarf planets have been identified: Ceres, Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake.

8 KBOs What are Kuiper belt objects? The Kuiper belt is a region of the solar system that begins just beyond the orbit of Neptune. The Kuiper belt extends outward to about twice the orbit of Neptune, a distance of about 55 astronomical units (AU).

9 Unit 3 Lesson 6 Small Bodies in the Solar System What are Kuiper Belt objects? A Kuiper belt object (KBO) is any of the minor bodies in the Kuiper belt. They are made of methane ice, ammonia ice, and water ice.

10 Pluto: From Planet to KBO Until 2006, Pluto was considered to be the ninth planet in the solar system. Beginning in 1992, Kuiper belt objects began to be discovered beyond Neptune s orbit, some of which had similar size and composition as Pluto. In 2006, Pluto was redefined as a dwarf planet by the International Astronomical Union.

11 Pluto: From Planet to KBO Many large KBOs have satellites. Pluto, the second-largest KBO, has Charon as its largest satellite. Some KBOs and their satellites, such as Pluto and Charon, orbit each other.

12 What do we know about comets? A comet is a small body of ice, rock, and dust that follows a highly elliptical orbit around the sun. All comets have a nucleus that is composed of ice and rock. Most comet nuclei are between 1 km and 10 km in diameter. If a comet approaches the sun, solar radiation and heating cause the comet s ice to change to gas.

13 What do we know about comets? A coma is a spherical cloud of gas and dust that comes off the nucleus. The ion tail of a comet is gas that has been ionized by the sun. This ion tail always points away from the sun. A second tail made of dust and gas curves backward along the comet s orbit. This dust tail can be millions kilometers long.

14 What do we know about comets?

15 What do we know about comets? Collisions between objects in the Kuiper belt produce fragments that become short-period comets. Short-period comets take less than 200 years to orbit the sun. Short-period comets have short life spans. Every time a comet passes the sun, it may lose a layer as much as 1 m thick.

16 What do we know about comets? Long-period comets come from the Oort cloud. They may take up to hundreds of thousands of years to orbit the sun. The Oort cloud is a spherical region that surrounds the solar system. Comets can form in the Oort cloud when two objects collide, or when the gravity of a nearby star sends an object into the inner solar system.

17 On the Rocks What do we know about asteroids? An asteroid is a small, irregularly shaped, rocky object that orbits the sun. Most asteroids are located in the asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid belt contains hundreds of thousands of asteroids, called main-belt asteroids.

18 What do we know about asteroids? Groups of asteroids are also located in the orbits of Jupiter and Neptune (called Trojan asteroids) and in the Kuiper belt. Some asteroids are called near-earth asteroids. These asteroids cross the orbits of Earth and Venus.

19 What do we know about asteroids?

20 What do we know about asteroids? The composition of asteroids varies. Some are rich in carbon. Others are rocky, with cores of iron and nickel. Some have a rocky core surrounded largely by ice.

21 What do we know about asteroids? Some asteroids appear to be piles of rock loosely held together. Others contain economic minerals such as gold, iron, nickel, cobalt, and platinum.

22 Burned Out What do we know about meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites? A sand grain- to boulder-sized rocky body that travels through space is a meteoroid. A bright streak of light that results when a meteoroid burns up in Earth s atmosphere is called a meteor. A meteorite is a meteoroid that reaches Earth s surface without burning up.

23 What do we know about meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites? Meteoroids come from the asteroid belt, Mars, the moon, and comets. Most meteoroids that enter Earth s atmosphere do not reach Earth s surface. Many explode in the upper atmosphere; others skip back into space. Large meteoroids that enter Earth s lower atmosphere or strike Earth s surface can be destructive.

24 What do we know about meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites? Meteorites can be divided into three general groups. The most common form are the stony meteorites, made of silicate minerals. A much smaller group of meteorites are the iron meteorites, composed of iron and nickel. The rarest group of meteorites are stony-iron meteorites, composed of silicate minerals, iron, and nickel.

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