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Our Solar System


Our Solar System Introduction and Key Terms Kupier Belt Lies beyond the gas giant Neptune Filled with trillions of icy objects. Oort Cloud Massive spherical cloud ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Our Solar System

Our Solar System
  • Introduction and Key Terms

Learning Outcomes (Students will)-Explain the
theories for the origin of the solar
system-Distinguish between questions that can
be answered by science and those that cannot, and
between problems that can be solved by technology
and those that cannot with regards to solar
system formation.-Estimate quantities of
distances in parsec. Estimate the age of the
solar system. -Describe and apply
classification systems and nomenclature used in
the sciences. Classify planets as terrestrial
vs. Jovian, inner vs. outer, etc. Classify
satellites. Classify meteoroid, asteroid, dwarf
planet, planet. Classify comets as long period
vs. short period. etc -Formulate operational
definitions of major variables. Given data such
as diameter and density describe the properties
that divide the planets and moons into
groups.-Tools and methods used to observe and
measure the inner and the outer planets and the
minor members of the solar system
Planetary Systems
  • A planetary system
  • non-stellar objects orbiting a star
  • Include planets, dwarf planets, moons, asteroids,
    meteoroids, comets, and cosmic dust.

Solar System
  • A specific planetary system around a star
  • Region that falls within the gravitational
    influence of a Sun
  • Our Solar System
  • diameter of 79 AU
  • Consists of
  • an ordinary yellow star the Sun
  • Eight Planets
  • Their moons
  • Dwarf planets
  • Asteroids, Comets, Meteors and Meteorites
  • Cosmic dust

  • A star is a massive, luminous ball of plasma that
    is held together by gravity.
  • Our star is the Sun
  • The gravity on the Sun is 274 m/s2

  • There are now 8 planets in our Solar System
  • The Sun is one of the foci for each of these

What is a Planet?
  • Former definition NASA (2000)
  • Planet A non-luminous celestial body larger than
    an asteroid or comet, illuminated by light from a
    star, such as the sun, around which it revolves.
  • What is wrong with this definition?
  • Why did the definition change?

New definition International Astronomy
  • A planet is a celestial body that must
  • Orbit a Sun
  • Have a sufficient mass for its self-gravity to
    shape it into a nearly round shape
  • Have cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit.

Classifying Planets
  • Planets can be classified by
  • 1) Composition
  • 2) Size
  • 3) Proximity to the Sun
  • 4) Position relative to Earth
  • 5) History

1) Composition
  1. Rocky or Terrestrial planets (4)
  2. Jovian planets (4)

Terrestrial Planets
  • Composed primarily of rock and metal
  • No rings
  • Few satellites (moons)
  • High density
  • Slow rotation
  • Solid surface

Jovian Planets
  • Composed primarily of gas (hydrogen and helium)
  • Rings
  • Many satellites (moons)
  • Low density
  • Rapid rotation
  • Deep atmospheres

2) Size
  1. Small planets (4)
  2. Giant planets (4)

Small Planets
  • - Diameters less than
  • 13,000 km

Giant Planets
  • - Diameters greater than
  • 48,000 km
  • - Also called gas giants

3) Proximity to Sun
  • Inner planets (4)
  • Outer planets (4)
  • The asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter forms
    the boundary between the inner solar system and
    the outer solar system.

4) Position relative to Earth
  • Inferior planets (2)
  • Earth
  • Superior planets (5)

Inferior Planets
  • Closer to the Sun than Earth
  • Show phases like the Moons when viewed from Earth

Superior Planets
  • Farther from the Sun than Earth
  • Always appear full or nearly full

5) History
  • Classical planets
  • Modern planets
  • C) Earth

Classical Planets
  • Known since prehistoric times
  • Visible to the unaided eye (no telescope needed)
  • In ancient times this term also referred to the
    Sun and the Moon

Modern Planets
  • Discovered in modern times
  • Visible only with optical aid or telescope

What is a Dwarf Planet?
  • NASA (2006)
  • A dwarf planet is a celestial body that
  • is in orbit around the Sun,
  • has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to
    overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a
    hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape,
  • has not cleared the neighbourhood around its
    orbit, and
  • is not a satellite.

Kupier Belt
  • Lies beyond the gas giant Neptune
  • Filled with trillions of icy objects.

Oort Cloud
  • Massive spherical cloud that surrounds the Solar
  • Size of this cloud is disputed
  • Some believe it starts 2000 or 5000 AU ends at
    50,000 AU.
  • Others think that it may extend to over 100,000

Oort Cloud
  • Named after the astronomer Jan Oort, who
    hypothesized its existence in 1950.
  • Its existence has not yet been proven it is
    widely accepted in the scientific community.
  • The Oort Cloud is filled with icy objects
    composed of ammonia, water and methane.

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Other Celestial Bodies in Our Solar System
  • Small Solar-System Bodies
  • Asteroids
  • Comets
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