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Solar System

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    Solar System Solar System Presentation Transcript

    • The Solar System Earth Science 1st Semester
      • The sun is the central hub of a rotating wheel of planets, their moons, and many other smaller celestial objects, such as comets and asteroids.
      • The sun is estimated to contain 99.85% of the mass of our solar system .
      • The planets traveling outwards from the sun are as follows: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
      • Pluto is no longer considered a planet.
      • Due to the sun’s gravity , all planets move in an elliptical orbit in the same direction around the sun.
      • The closer a planet is to the sun, the faster it travels in its orbit.
    • The Planets: An Overview
      • The planets fall into two groups – the terrestrial planets, and the Jovian planets.
      • The terrestrial planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.
      • They are relatively small and rocky .
      • Since they are closer to the sun they are also known as the inner planets .
      • The Jovian planets include Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune .
      • They are huge planets made primarily of gas .
      • Since they are further from the sun, they are known as outer planets .
      • Size is the most notable difference between the terrestrial and Jovian planets.
      • Density, chemical makeup, and the rate of rotation are other ways in which the two groups of planets differ.
      • The planets have different densities because of their different chemical compositions.
    • The Interiors of the Planets
      • The substances that make up the planets are divided into three groups based on their melting points.
      • Gases: Hydrogen and Helium – have melting points near absolute zero (-273  C or 0 kelvin)
      • Rocks : made from compounds of silicates and metallic iron , both of which have melting points above 700  C.
      • Ices: Include ices made from compounds of ammonia, methane, carbon dioxide , and water.
      • These particular ices have intermediate melting points.
      • Terrestrial planets are dense and consist mostly of rocky and metallic substances.
      • They have very little gas and ice .
      • The Jovian planets are less dense because they contain:
      • Large amounts of gases like hydrogen and helium.
      • Ices made from water, ammonia, and methane.
      • The outer planets cores contain rocky and metallic materials.
    •  
    • The Atmospheres of the Planets
      • A planet’s ability to hold onto an atmosphere depends on its mass and temperature .
      • Small, relatively warm planetary bodies , with small surface gravity cannot hold much gas.
      • Therefore, terrestrial planets have very thin atmospheres .
      • Jovian planets however, have very thick atmospheres composed of hydrogen, helium, methane and ammonia.
      • They are able to retain thick atmospheres due to their large mass, and low temperatures.
    • Formation of the Solar System – Nebular Theory
      • Nebula are clouds of dust and gas in space.
      • These thin, gaseous clouds begin to rotate in space and collapse in upon themselves.
      • As they continue to contract , they begin to spin faster .
      • According to the nebular theory , the sun and planets formed from just such a rotating disk of dust and gases.
      • As the speed of rotation increased, the center of the disk began to flatten out and increase in temperature.
      • The sun eventually formed in this location.
    • Planetesimals
      • Planets began to grow as solid bits of matter began to collide and clump together in a process known as accretion.
      • The colliding matter formed small irregularly shaped bodies known as planetesimals .
      • As the collisions increased , the planetesimals grew in size , eventually growing large enough to exert a gravitational pull on surrounding objects and pull them in.
      • In this fashion the planetesimals added more mass and grew into true planets.
      • In the inner solar system, only metals and rocks with high melting points and high densities could remain.
      • The sun is too hot for materials with low melting points to stay solid.
      • The sun does not attract items with low densities towards it.
      • Materials with low melting points and low densities (like gases) would be forced into the outer solar system due to the sun’s heat and the solar wind.
      • In the outer solar system, the colder temperatures allowed materials with low melting points to form up as ice.
      • The Jovian planets were able to form from accumulating solid bits of matter but also from large quantities of ice.
      • Eventually, the Jovian planets grew so large that they were able to attract even the lightest gases like hydrogen and helium.