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Lecture 3

GGR112H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: March Equinox, Shortwave Radio, Solar Irradiance

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Trevor Porter

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GGR112 – Lecture 3 – Solar Energy to Earth
and Seasons
Size of Earth to Sun’s Characteristics
The earth is relatively small in size compared to Sun
spots and even eruptions which come from the Sun
Earth is actually smaller than the average Sun spot
Solar System Formation
Gravity is what holds our solar system and other solar
systems together, pulled inward and functioning
Planetesimal hypothesis; states that other minute
(small) planets were pulled together (gravity) to form
into one
Dimensions and Distances
Speed of light
o300 000 kilometers per second
oUniverse is 46, 000, 000, 000 light years across
oMilky way galaxy 100 000 light years across
oOur solar system 11 light years across
oOur Moon is 1.28 light seconds away
Earth’s Orbit
Average distance from Earth to the Sun is 150 000 000
Perihelion – closest at January 3 – 147 255 000 km
Aphelion – farthest at July 4 – 152 083 000 km
Earth is 8 minutes 20 seconds from the Sun at speed of
PLANE OF ECLIPTIC – is the plane of Earth’s orbit
Solar Systems Formation and Structure
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Big Bang:
oAll matter in the universe can be traced back to one
point of origin
oRapid outward expansion of universe began ca. 13.7
billion years ago
oForming of stars and simple particles emerged ca. 400
million years later
Planetesimal (dust-cloud) hypothesis
oGravity is the key in the coming together of interstellar
oSuns condense from nebular dust clouds
oBeginning planets (proto-planets) gathered together in
whirlpools within nebula (cloud of gas and dust)
oMutual pulling force used by mass on all other objects
Milky Way Galaxy
100 000 light years across
more than 200 billion stars within
roughly 100 billion other galaxies exist
Solar Wind
ois a constant stream of plasma leaving Sun’s upper
atmosphere, contains electrons and protons – travels at
supersonic speed (not light speed)
oShockwaves in the solar wind made by solar storms
erupt Earth’s magnetic =eld and are the cause for Aurora
Borealis (Northern lights)
Sun Spots
oCaused by magnetic storms on Sun
oSuns spot activity is quasi-cyclic with a mean periodicity
of 11 years
Electromagnetic Spectrum of Radiant Energy
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