Start With Swirling Gas & Dust Started about 4.6 billion years ago Gravity starts to pull it into a disc. Sun forms at the middle Planets pull together in orbits “Wind” from the sun blows out most of whats left. You’ve got a solar system! (100 million years or so)
The Sun Holds the solar system together (gravity!) Contains over 99% of the solar systems mass (“stuff”) Runs on nuclear fusion Has solar flares, coronal mass ejections Core: 27 million degrees Surface: 10,000 degrees Corona: 3.5 million degrees
Solar eruption, 12/31/2012 See the video at: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sdo/news/solar-ballet2.html
Comparing the PlanetsHow far apart are they? See:http://www.northern-stars.com/solar_system_distance_scal.htm
Mercury Closest planet to the sun (29-43 million miles) Hot on one side (800 degrees), cold on the other (-290 degrees) Slightly larger than our moon Almost no atmosphere, but there is ice! 1 day there = 58.7 earth days 1 year there = 88 earth days 50 lb kid here = 19 lbs there
Venus HOT! 880 degrees “Super dense atmosphere: carbon dioxide, nitrogen, sulfuric acid. Just a little smaller than Earth. Spins backwards! The sun rises in the west, sets in east 50 lb kid on Earth = 45.5 lbs there. One year there = 243 days here One day there = 117 days here Landers last about 2 hours--then the atmosphere destroys them! http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/space-missions/missions-to-venus-m
Double Vortex Looks like two hurricanes right next to each other! Located at Venus north pole
Venus Transit of 2012 http://player.vimeo.com/video/43696319
Earth: You know this place! About 93 million miles from the sun Our atmosphere and magnetic field keep us safe from solar wind, radiation, etc. 1 year = 365.25 days 1 day = 23.93 hours Weve got a moon!
How we got the moon (maybe) “Giant impactor theory”
Mars Averages 143 million miles from the Sun About ½ as large as Earth Thin atmosphere, very cold! “Rusty,” surface makes it look red Two moons (captured asteroids?) Craters, volcanoes, ice (used to have rivers/oceans?) Lots of rovers/landers: Curiosity is the most recent
Cool stuff on Mars Olympus Mons (the largest volcano in the solar system!)
Vallis Marinaris Giant canyon 2500 miles long, 310 miles wide, 4 miles deep 10 times longer 3 times deeper than the Grand Canyon! Thought to have been made by “rift faults,” possibly deepened by flowing water.
Jupiter• The largest planet: 1300 times larger than earth!• About 480 million miles from the sun• First of the gas giants—mostly hydrogen & helium (may have a solid core)• Intense weather! Red spot = 300 year-old storm!• 63 moons• Very thin rings• 1 year=almost 12 earth years• 1 day = about 10 hours• 50 pound kid would weigh 125 pounds!
Uranus• “Tipped over” in its orbit (hit by a planet?)• About 1.8 billion miles from sun• 63 times larger than earth• Blue because of methane gas• Pretty cold: -357 degrees!• 50 lb kid = 45 lbs on Uranus• 27 moons, very thin rings
Neptune• About 2.8 billion miles from the sun• Also blue from methane• 1 year = 164 years• 1 day = 16 hours• COLD: -353 degrees• 50 lb kid = 57 lbs
Great Dark Spots• Storms, like Jupiter’s Great Red Spot• Dont last as long as the GRS