Chapter 16 The Solar System

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1 Chapter 16 The Solar System

2 Finding the Standard Time and Date at Another Location Example When it is 12 noon in London, what is the standard time in Denver, Colorado (40 N, 105 W)? Section 15.3

3 Finding the Standard Time and Date at Another Location An Example When it is 12 noon in London, what is the standard time in Denver, Colorado (40 N, 105 W)? 5 AM 12 Noon Section 15.3

4 Finding the Standard Time and Date at Another Location An Example When it is 10 a. m. standard time on February 22 in Los Angeles (34 N, 118 W), what are the standard time and date in Tokyo (36 N, 140 E),? Section 15.3

5 Finding the Standard Time and Date at Another Location An Example When it is 10 a. m. standard time on February 22 in Los Angeles (34 N, 118 W), what are the standard time and date in Tokyo (36 N, 140 E),? Los Angeles 10 AM 118 W 10 AM 3:00 AM 3:20 AM 140 E February 23 Section 15.3

6 Introduction Astronomy the scientific study of the universe beyond Earth s atmosphere Universe everything, all energy, matter, and space The Milky Way one of 50 billion galaxies scattered throughout the universe Solar System contains our Sun and 9 planets Sun supplies the energy for nearly all life on the planet earth Intro

7 Electromagnetic Spectrum Astronomers are interested in studying the full range of electromagnetic spectrum coming from space Intro

8 Astronomy Much of the incoming solar radiation does not make it to the Earth s surface due to atmospheric absorption Electromagnetic radiation that will pass through the Earth s atmosphere can be studied using ground-based detectors Other regions of the electromagnetic spectrum must be detected by space-based instruments The Hubble Space Telescope is a good example of an instrument outside Earth s atmosphere Intro

9 The Solar System The solar system - complex system of moving masses held together by gravitational forces Sun is center Sun is the dominant mass Revolving around the sun 8 major planets with over 160 moons, 3 dwarf planets, and 1000 s of other objects (asteroids, comets, meteoroids, etc.) Planets.- Greek word wanderer Section 16.1

10 The Solar System Geocentric Model early belief that the Earth was motionless and everything revolved around it Claudius Ptolemy (A.D. 140) Heliocentric Model a Sun-centered model Nicolaus Copernicus ( ) Section 16.1

11 Johannes Kepler ( ) German mathematician and astronomer Interested in the irregular motion of the planet Mars. Kepler s 1 st Law Law of Elliptical Orbits All planets move in elliptical orbits around the Sun with the Sun as one focus of the ellipse An ellipse is a figure that is symmetric about two unequal axes Section 16.1

12 Drawing an Ellipse An ellipse has two foci, a major axis, and a semimajor axis In discussing the Earth s elliptical orbit, the semimajor axis is the average distance between the Earth and the Sun = Astronomical Unit (AU) = 1.5 x 10 8 km Section 16.1

13 Kepler s Second Law Law of Equal Areas An imaginary line (radial vector) joining a planet to the Sun sweeps out equal areas in equal periods of time Section 16.1

14 The speed of a revolving planet varies Perihelion the closest point in a planet s orbit around the Sun, speed is the fastest Perihelion occurs for Earth about January 4 Aphelion the farthest point in a planet s orbit around the Sun, speed is the slowest Aphelion occurs for Earth about July 5 Section 16.1

15 Kepler s Third Law Harmonic Law the square of the sidereal period of a planet is proportional to the cube of its semimajor axis T 2 = k R 3 T = period (time of one revolution) R = length of semimajor axis k = constant (same for all planets) = 1y 2 /AU 3 Section 16.1

16 Example 1 Calculate the period T of a planet whose orbit has a semimajor axis of 5.2 AU. K constant of proportionality = 1y 2 /AU 3 Section 16.1

17 Planet Classification Terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars High percent of more massive (non-gaseous) elements Jovian planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune High percent of less massive gaseous elements Section 16.2

18 Revolution/Rotation All planets revolve (orbit) counterclockwise (prograde motion) around the Sun as observed from the north pole. Each planet also rotates counterclockwise on its axis except Venus and Uranus (retrograde motion). Section 16.2

19 The Solar System -- drawn to scale with the eight major planets Section 16.2

20 A Planet s Period Sidereal Period the time interval between two successive conjunctions as observed from the sun Mercury s sidereal period is 88 Earth days Synodic Period the time interval between two successive conjunctions of the planet with the Sun as observed from Earth Mercury s synodic period is 116 Earth days Section 16.2

21 Mercury shown in inferior and superior conjunctions with Earth Section 16.2

22 Planet Earth The Earth is the third planet from the sun, and is a solid, spherical, rocky body with oceans and an atmosphere Large amounts of surface water in all three phases solid, liquid, and gas exist on Earth An oxygen-containing atmosphere, temperate climate, and living organisms all make Earth a unique planet Section 16.3

23 Composition of the Earth Atmosphere 21% oxygen Earth s crust over 90%, by volume, of the rocks/minerals are oxygen! We live in an oxidized environment Examples of very common minerals at the Earth s surface include: Quartz SiO 2, Calcite CaCO 3, Feldspar KAlSi 3 O 8 Note that most common minerals have oxygen (O) in their formula Section 16.3

24 Earth s Shape The planet Earth is not a perfect sphere, but rather an oblate spheriod Flattened at the poles Bulging at the equator Due to rotation about its axis Pole Diameter is about 43 km less than the Equatorial Diameter Since the Earth has an average diameter of 12,900 km this difference is only a small fraction Section 16.3

25 Albedo Albedo the fraction of the incident sunlight reflected by an object Earth s albedo is 33% Moon s albedo is 7% (from Earth the moon is the 2 nd brightest object in the night sky) Venus albedo is 76% (3 rd brightest is sky) Since the Moon is so close to Earth it is brighter than Venus Section 16.3

26 Earth Motions Daily Rotation on its axis (daily cycle) Rotation spin on an internal axis Annual revolution around the sun (annual cycle) Revolution movement of one mass around another Precession the slow change of the earth s rotational axis (now at 23.5 o ) see chapter 15 Section 16.3

27 Earth s Rotation on its Axis Not generally accepted until 19 th century Very difficult to prove??? 1851, experiment designed by French engineer, Jean Foucault The Foucault Pendulum very long pendulum with a heavy weight at the end Basically, the Foucault pendulum will swing back and forth as the Earth moves under it Section 16.3

28 Foucault Pendulum The pendulum does not rotate with reference to the fixed stars. Experimental proof of the Earth s rotation Section 16.3

29 Parallax Parallax the apparent motion, or shift, that occurs between two fixed objects when the observer changes position Parallax can be seen with outstretched hand The motion of Earth as it revolves around the Sun leads to an apparent shift in the positions of the nearby stars with respect to more distant stars Section 16.3

30 Stellar Parallax The observation of parallax is indisputable proof that the Earth revolves around the Sun. In addition, the measurement of the parallax angle is the best method we have of determining the distance to nearby stars Section 16.3

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