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Asteroids, comets, meteors, and moons


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Asteroids, comets, meteors, and moons

  1. 1. Brad Wahlgren
  2. 2. Comets <ul><li>Are small cosmic bodies that have an ellipsoidal orbit around the sun </li></ul><ul><li>Composed of rock, dust, ice, and frozen gasses </li></ul><ul><li>Comets do not become spherical because of their low mass and gravity </li></ul><ul><li>Have irregular shapes because of low mass and gravity </li></ul><ul><li>Range from 100 meters to 40 kilometers across </li></ul>
  3. 3. Comets Continued <ul><li>Gasses found on comets include Carbon Monoxide and Dioxide, Ammonia, Methane, Ethanol, and Ethane, etc </li></ul><ul><li>Comet Tails </li></ul><ul><li>As comets approach sun, solar radiation causes particles from the comet to dissipate, and peel off of comet leaving trail of dust </li></ul><ul><li>Escaping gas and dust create quasi-atmosphere called coma </li></ul>
  4. 4. Comet Tails <ul><li>Solar Winds and Radiation exert pressure on atmosphere causing tail to form </li></ul><ul><li>Tail and Coma make comet visible to Earth </li></ul><ul><li>Comas and tails vary in size </li></ul><ul><li>Tails can be up to 150 million km in length </li></ul><ul><li>Comas can be larger than planets </li></ul><ul><li>Comet tails leave trails of debris which can contribute to meteor showers </li></ul>
  5. 5. Orbit Patterns/Classifications of Comets <ul><li>Have ellipsoidal orbits which come close to sun for periods of time, and extend outward towards outer planets </li></ul><ul><li>Classified by length of orbits </li></ul>
  6. 6. Orbit Classifications <ul><li>Short Period Comets : have orbits less than 200 years and are divided into two subclasses </li></ul><ul><li>Subclasses: Jupiter Family: has orbit periods of less than twenty years. Halley Family has orbits from 20-200 years </li></ul><ul><li>Long Period Comets: have orbit periods ranging from two hundred to several thousand years, and remain gravitationally bound to the sun, and therefore never go out of orbit </li></ul>
  7. 7. Classifications(continued) <ul><li>Single Apparation Comets: Have long orbits periods, but these periods change due to gravitational pull by outer planets </li></ul><ul><li>All comet orbits are affected by the gravity of the giant planets they orbit by, and are constantly subject to change. </li></ul><ul><li>Comets can leave the solar system if they travel fast enough </li></ul><ul><li>Other exhaust themselves, and disintegrate, but others collide with celestial objects. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Asteroids <ul><li>Are small bodies that orbit the sun </li></ul><ul><li>Millions of asteroids in the solar system </li></ul><ul><li>Though to be remnants of planetismals which are small bodies that weren’t large enough to grow into planets </li></ul><ul><li>Many of the asteroids in the solar system are found in the asteroid belt </li></ul>
  9. 9. Makeup of Asteroids <ul><li>Several different types of asteroids and within this classes of asteroids as far as physical makeup goes </li></ul><ul><li>Jupiter Trojans </li></ul><ul><li>Near-Earth Asteroids-both explained later </li></ul><ul><li>C-type-makeup that consists mainly of carbon </li></ul><ul><li>S-type-Mostly rock and stone </li></ul><ul><li>M-type-metallic </li></ul>
  10. 10. Groups of Asteroids <ul><li>Asteroid Belt- Contains roughly 1.5 million asteroids with a diameter larger than 1 km, and several million more that are smaller than that </li></ul><ul><li>Trojan Asteroids share orbit with a moon, or orbit very close to a planet. Many of these Trojans can be found near Jupiter so they have the name “Jupiter Trojans.” </li></ul><ul><li>Near-Earth Asteroids: pass close to Earth in their orbits </li></ul>
  11. 11. Physical Makeup <ul><li>The composition of asteroids is very different for each asteroid, and all can contain different minerals and elements. </li></ul><ul><li>Can contain iron, nickel, and other metals </li></ul><ul><li>Found to contain amino acids which is a characteristic shared with comets </li></ul><ul><li>Classifications </li></ul><ul><li>Can be classified by orbits such as horseshoe and quasi-satellites, or by their reflections of light. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Comparing Asteroids with Comets <ul><li>After research, I don’t think there are many differences between the two. Both contain ice, rock, and minerals, and both orbit the sun. Each can be very large in size, and very small. However one of the main differences between the two is that comets have atmospheres that are created by their orbit, and their shapes are created by gravity, whereas asteroids are created by breaking of dwarf planets, etc. Comets also have their tails which are again, created by orbit, and comets change their physical makeup during orbit, but asteroids don’t. In addition, asteroids contain some of the same materials as comets such as amino acids, which is an interesting possible coincidence. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Meteroids <ul><li>A Meteroid is a sand to bolder sized particle in the solar system. Its visible path of light is called a Meteor, and if a meteroid falling to Earth survives the impact, it is called a meterite.”(quoted from Wikipedia). </li></ul><ul><li>Meteroids have very different physical makeups and can range from being 25% ice to metallic balls that are very dense </li></ul><ul><li>Also vary in size from being less than 1 meter in length to being 50 meters in length </li></ul><ul><li>All orbit the sun, but with varying speeds </li></ul>
  14. 14. Meteors <ul><li>Occur most often in Mesophere </li></ul><ul><li>Several million daily occurences </li></ul><ul><li>Created because of atmospheric pressure on meteroid during entry to Earth </li></ul><ul><li>This creates a trail of gases and rocks which create the visible meteor that one may see </li></ul>
  15. 15. Comparing with Comets and Asteroids <ul><li>Meteroids/Meteors are different than comets and asteroids in the sense that they are much smaller than comets and asteroids, at times only 1 meter in diameter. Comets and Asteroids can be very large, even one hundred meters apart. However Meteoroids can be similar to comets, because comets have tails and atmosphere created by pressure, and Meteoroids have meteors created during entry to Earth because of pressure, which is similar to a tail because it is a streaming cloud of gases and rock. All of the three things contain ice, metal, and gases which gives them one of their only similarities. </li></ul>
  16. 16. Moons <ul><li>Is a body that orbits another cosmic body larger or smaller than itself. </li></ul><ul><li>Believed to be created by a collapsing area of a newborn star, and most of the same time the same area that created the object its orbiting </li></ul><ul><li>Others created by collision of two proto-planetary objects </li></ul><ul><li>Physical Makeup </li></ul><ul><li>May have tectonic activity, and contain water, methane, rock, iron, ect. </li></ul>
  17. 17. Different Orbits <ul><li>Most moons have orbits in the same direction as their planets rotation, and this is called a regular orbit. </li></ul><ul><li>Others have orbits that go against the rotation of their planets and these are called irregular orbits. </li></ul><ul><li>Moons can orbit things such as asteroids </li></ul><ul><li>Shapes of Moons </li></ul><ul><li>Most moons have rounded ellipsoidal shapes, and have very wide polar sides. Smaller moons have egg shapes, etc, but no moon is perfectly spherical </li></ul>
  18. 18. Comparing Moons, with Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids <ul><li>Asteroids, Comets, and Meteoroids all orbit the sun, but moons orbit planets and larger or smaller bodies, even satellites. However the definition of a moon is a body that orbits a larger and smaller body, so the three bodies could be considered moons. Geologically, all have ice, dust, and rock. Moons are larger than meteroids most of the time, and larger than most comets and asteroids, but some comets and asteroids are larger than moons. Moons have no atmosphere like a comet or tail like feature like a comet or meteor. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Lunar Phases <ul><li>Is how we see the moon from Earth, and how much of the moon is being illuminated by the sun, or in shadow </li></ul><ul><li>½ the moon is lit by the sun </li></ul><ul><li>New Moon happens when the moon is between the Earth and the Sun </li></ul><ul><li>Full Moon is when the whole sunlit portion of the moon is facing us </li></ul><ul><li>At a half moon the moon is at a 90 degree angle with the Sun and Earth so we see half the moon in light and half in shadow </li></ul>
  20. 20. Moon’s Effects On Earth <ul><li>Tides: Created by the Moon’s gravitational pull from one side of the Earth to the other. The two tidal bulges are formed, and dragged along the Earth’s surface as it rotates faster than the Moon. </li></ul><ul><li>Solar Eclipses: Created when the Moon, Earth, and Sun are all in a straight line. During a solar eclipse, the moon is between the Sun and Earth and the Earth is plunged into darkness. </li></ul><ul><li>Time: The moon helped the primitive man tell time </li></ul><ul><li>Folklore: The moon’s orbit helped influence storytelling and created stories such as the Werewolf which influenced culture throughout history. </li></ul>
  21. 21. Second Moon <ul><li>Affect on the Tides: If there was a second moon, it would/ could seriously affect how the tides function as far as their strength goes. If the second moon was as large as the first, the gravitational pull on Earth would seriously increase the distance the ocean went inland at high tide, and affect the distance it went back in low tide. </li></ul><ul><li>Lunar Eclipses would be affected if there was a second moon, because they could both be in the way of the sun blocking it out. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Moon Distance Increased/Decreased <ul><li>The affect on the tides would be affected if the distance was decreased because the moon’s gravitational pull would be less intense on the Earth because of the distance away, so the tides would be less powerful, or more powerful if the distance was increased. </li></ul><ul><li>If the moon was closer to the Earth, it might totally block out all light from the sun during a solar eclipse </li></ul><ul><li>The Space Race would have been affected because it wouldn’t of taken as advanced technology to reach the moon so Russia may have gotten to the moon first. </li></ul>