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8th Grade Chapter 1 Lesson 8
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8th Grade Chapter 1 Lesson 8


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  • 1. 8 th Grade Chapter 1 Lesson 8 Pgs. 58-63 For Student Use Only
  • 2. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Asteroids, Comets and Meteoroids all travel through space.
      • Bode’s Law: Mathemtical Formula published in 1772
        • Bode’s Law: used to find the distance between planets. It found that there should be a planet between Mars and Jupiter
      • On Jan. 1, 1801 an Italian Astronmer discovered the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter
  • 3. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Asteroid Belt: Located between Mars and Jupiter
      • The Italian Astronomer that discovered the asteroid belt, named it Ceres. (He thought it was a small planet.)
      • It was soon found that Ceres was too small to be a planet and there were many other smaller objects around Ceres.
      • Asteroids are tiny “planets” or tiny chunks of rock
  • 4. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Asteroids:
      • Most asteroids traveling through the asteroid belt are grouped in clusters and have their own orbits.
      • They can sometimes crash into each other when their orbits are changed by gravitational pulls from other planets or asteroids.
      • They can come free of the asteroid belt when the gravitational pull of a planet pulls them out of orbit.
  • 5. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Asteroids
      • Most asteroids are not round like planets. They are oblong.
      • Some asteroids are not in the asteroid belt.
        • Jupiter’s Ateroids- Trojan asteroids
        • Apollo Asteroids- Follow individual paths and come close to Earth
  • 6. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Comets:
      • Tycho Brahe: discovered asteroids were not “invading” the Earth’s atmosphere, but were a natural part of the Solar System
      • Newton said comets follow the same rules of motion as the planets.
      • Edmund Halley proved Newton was correct by calculating the orbit of a comet and predicting when it would be visible again to Earth
        • This comet is called Halley’s Comet
  • 7. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Comet:
      • Comets have different parts.
        • Nucleus: The frozen chunk of ice at the head of the comet. (It is a dirty snowball.)
        • Coma: The gas and dust cloud created from the melting nucleus as it gets closer to the sun
        • Tail: The dust and gas particles that are wafted away from the coma in a blazing stream
          • Solar Wind- (the stream of charged particles from the sun) help create the comets tail
  • 8. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Comet
      • Comet means “long-haired star”
      • Called “comet” because of the tail
      • The tail usually has different colors
        • Dust- glows a yellow color (reflects sunlight)
        • Gas- glows a bluish tint (reacts with the solar winds)
  • 9. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Comet
      • Comets orbits are VERY ellipitical
      • The amount of time it takes for a comet to complete an orbit is called a period .
        • Enck’s Comet- has a period of 3 years and 4 monthes (shortest)
        • Halley’s Comet- has a period of 76 years. Last appeared in 1986
  • 10. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Meteoroid
      • Meteoroid- a smaller chunk of rock (or other space debris) than an asteroid
        • Meteors- Meteoroids that enter Earth’s atmosphere (AKA. Shooting stars)- they usually burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere
        • Meteor Shower- when Earth passes through a cluster of meteoroids- Named for the constellations they appear to radiate from
  • 11. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Meteoroids
      • Some meteors hit the earth
        • These meteors are too large to completely burn up in our atmosphere and will hit the Earth’s surface and become part of the soil.
        • These meteors that hit the earth’s surface are called Meteorites !
        • Meteorites are usually very small.
  • 12. Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids
    • Meteoroid Facts
        • Largest intact meteorite was found in Africa and weighed 66 tons.
        • Largest meteorite hit near Flagstaff, Arizona (thousands of years ago) and was probably 650 ft. in diameter and created a crater 4000 ft. deep.