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ASTA01H3 (100)
Lecture 1

ASTA01H3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Cubic Centimetre, Solar Wind, Molecular Cloud


Department
Astronomy
Course Code
ASTA01H3
Professor
Parandis Tajbakhsh
Lecture
1

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Comets
The radiation pressure as well as solar wind push gas and dust away.
Due to the fact that dust and gas respond differently to radiation pressure and solar wind,
the tail sometimes separates into a gas and a dust tail.
The gas tail points directly away from the Sun while the dust tail points approximately
away from the Sun.
Meteor Showers
Meteor showers happen when meteoroids enter the Earth’s atmosphere at the time Earth’s
orbit coincides with the orbit of a comet. The rocky and metallic debris left from
vaporization of a comet nucleus produces the shower.
This debris is spread along the comet’s orbit and enter the Earth’s atmosphere in parallel
paths.
Perspective makes the meteors in a meteor shower look as if they emanate from the same
point.
Formation of the Solar System-Important Observations
The orbits of the planets of the solar system very closely lie in the same plane.
Orbits of the planets are very nearly circular.
Almost all the planets in the solar system rotate in the same direction.
The Sun also rotates around its axis in a counter-clockwise motion.
Exceptions: Venus and Uranus
Venus rotates in a clockwise direction.
Even most of the moons in the solar system rotate in the same counter-clockwise
direction. The “preferred” direction of rotation is a sign of formation of the solar system
from a rotating disc.
Any theory of the formation of the solar system must be able the justify the following facts:
(1) The fact that there are two types of distinct planets in the solar system: Terrestrials
and Jovians
(2) The fact that almost all objects in the solar system have the same direction of
rotation (counter-clockwise).
(3) The fact that almost all objects in the solar system have the same direction of
revolution (counter-clockwise).
(4) The fact that almost all the orbits of the objects lie in the same plane.
The Formation of the Stars
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