# Chapter 23. Our Solar System

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1 Chapter 23 Our Solar System Our Solar System 1

2 Historical Astronomy Wandering Stars Greeks watched the stars move across the sky and noticed five stars that wandered around and did not follow the paths of the normal stars. They called them Wander Stars planets. Wandering Stars were: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Historical Astronomy -Ptolemy Ptolemy geocentric, believed Earth was the middle of the whole universe 2

3 Historical Astronomy - Copernicus Copernicus: Polish Astronomer believed: Heliocentric Sun centered Solar System Historical Astronomy - Galileo Moons orbiting Jupiter Venus going thru phases Galileo: confirms Copernicus heliocentric belief With telescope, he saw moons around Jupiter & Venus going through phases 3

4 Historical Astronomy - Brahe Brahe, an astronomer, made very precise measurements of the location of the planets for over twenty years. Couldn t make exact predictions because he used circular orbits. Needed the help of Kepler to get it right. Historical Astronomy - Kepler Kepler, a mathematician, used Brahe numbers and determined that the orbits of the planets were elliptical not perfect circles. 4

5 Historical Astronomy - Newton Newton determines that planets stay in orbit because of Inertia and Gravity a. Inertia an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in a straight line motion, until acted on by an outside force. b. Gravity the attraction of two objects. The strength of gravity depends on the masses each object possess. Historical Summary Greeks watched the stars move across the sky and noticed five stars that wandered around and did not follow the paths of the normal stars. Wandering Stars were: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn Ptolemy believed: Geocentric - Earth centered Solar system Copernicus: Polish Astronomer believed: Heliocentric Sun centered Solar System Galileo: confirms Copernicus belief With telescope, he saw moons around Jupiter & Venus going through phases Brahe, an astronomer, made very precise measurements of the location of the planets for over twenty years. Kepler, a mathematician, used Brahe numbers and determined that the orbits of the planets were elliptical not perfect circles. Newton determines that planets stay in orbit because of Inertia and Gravity Inertia an object at rest stays at rest, an object in motion stays in a straight line motion, until acted on by an outside force. Gravity the attraction of two objects. The strength of gravity depends on the masses each object possess. 5

6 Need-to-Know Planets The Inner Planets-The Terrestrial Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars Mercury: Closest to the sun, about the size of our moon, fastest revolution, daytime temp 427 C & night temp 170 C Venus: Earth s twin and one of the hottest surfaces, thickest atmosphere of terrestrial Planets, very slow rotation (243 Earth days) & retrograde rotation, Called the Morning & the Evening Star Earth: Intelligent life, liquid water Mars: The Red planet, live TV from the surface, largest volcano in solar system: Olympus Mons Asteroid Belt: In orbit where a planet should be, range in size from 1000 km ( 1/3 the size of our moon) to dust size Inner Planets + Pluto 6

7 Need-to-Know Planets The Outer Planets-Pluto & The Gas Giants ( Jovian Giants): Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, & Neptune Jupiter: Largest of the Jovian Giants, large Red Dot is a massive storm, we viewed breakup of comet crash onto its surface. Saturn: Rings are horizontal, fastest rotation causes poles to be flatten and equator to bulge, least dense- it would float in water Uranus: Super heated ocean of water 8,000 km thick, Blue planet w/ atmosphere featureless &11,000 km thick. Axis is tilted almost 90 degrees. Neptune: Its orbit was used to calculate the position and existence of Pluto, 5 vertical rings, Blue planet w/ atmosphere with visible changing clouds. Its largest moon is Triton which has retrograde revolution. Pluto: Last known planet discovered in 1930, only terrestrial planet in outer planets, Twin planets w/ large moon Charon. It has officially been declassified and is no longer a planet. Our Sun. its layers Core: over half of entire mass of sun is found here. Fusion takes > 15 million degrees C. Hydrogen atoms fuse into Helium The Photosphere Photosphere - the surface of the sun, also known as the first atmospheric layer. It is what we see when we look at the sun Radiation Zone- energy transferred from core out of the interior of the sun, reaches temperatures of 100,000 degrees C Convection Zone - Currents boil as the energy from the interior is transferred to the surface of the sun, temps drop to 6,000 degrees C 7

8 The Chromosphere & Corona Corona the white halo is the outer layer of the sun s atmosphere, seen during total eclipses or w/ special filters on telescopes. Chromosphere - the middle layer of the sun atmosphere, seen as a reddish glow at the beginning and end of a solar eclipse Structure of the Sun 8

9 Solar Wind Solar Wind -The solar wind is a stream of charged particles a plasma that are ejected from the upper atmosphere of the sun It consists mostly of electrons and protons Aurora borealis. The Northern Lights Aurora australis. The Southern Lights 9

10 Dynamic surface of the Sun The Photosphere and Sunspots Sunspots - A sunspot is a region on the Sun's surface (photosphere) that is marked by a lower temperature than its surroundings and has intense magnetic activity. 10

11 Sunspots Umbra and Penumbra Sunspot Cycle (about 11 year cycle) 11

12 Features Solar Prominence Solar Prominence - a massive loop of plasma lifting off the surface of the sun. Prominences can loop hundreds of thousands of miles into space. Prominences are held above the Sun's surface by strong magnetic fields and can last for many months. Solar Flare Solar Flare - A solar flare is a magnetic storm on the Sun which appears to be a very bright spot and a gaseous surface eruption. Solar flares release huge amounts of high-energy particles and gases and are tremendously hot (from 3.6 million to 24 million F). They are ejected thousands of miles from the surface of the Sun. 12

13 Comets Chunks of ice and dust that orbit the sun in extremely long narrow orbits Parts include Nucleus, Coma and the tail Coma Tail Nucleus Meteoroid, Meteor, Meteorite Meteoroid: rock/ice in space, usually from comets or asteroids Meteor: rock/ice that enters Earth s atmosphere, producing shooting stars Meteorite: rock that makes it through the atmosphere and lands onto the Earth s surface. 13

14 That s All Folks!! TTFN!! 14

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