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AST101 – Mastering Astronomy Assignment 2 notes.doc

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
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Michael Reid

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AST101 – Assignment 2 notes: Comparative Planetology Part A Based on what we find in our own solar system, we expect that terrestrial planets will likely be located nearer to the planetary system’s star than any Jovian planet. Jovian planets will likely be formed farther out Part B Compared to terrestrial planets, jovian planets are more massive and lower in average density. However, the densities in their deep interiors are quite high, in some cases higher than the densities found at the centers of the terrestrial worlds Part C Which planet is approximately halfway between Pluto’s orbit and the Sun? Uranus, the 7 planet from the Sun. Notice that Uranus is located at an average distance of 19.2 AU, which is close to half of Pluto’s average distance of 39.5 AU. Many people are surprised to realize that Uranus, the seventh planet from the Sun, is only half as far as Pluto. This surprising fact arises because the outer planets are much more widely spaced than the inner planets. Part D The dwarf planet Eris was discovered in 2005, orbiting the Sun at an average distance about twice that of Pluto. In which of the following ways do Pluto and Eris differ from the terrestrial and jovian planets in our solar system? Both Pluto and Eris: • Are smaller than any of the terrestrial planets • Travel in more elliptical orbits than any of the terrestrial or jovian planets • Are less massive than any of the terrestrial or jovian planets -- • About where is our solar system located within the Milky Way Galaxy? o About 2/3 of the way from the center of the galaxy to the outskirts of the galactic disk -- • Neptune is about 30s as far from the Sun as our own planet • Venus is the planet with the highest average surface temp. • The planet with the lowest average density is Saturn • The planet that orbits closest to the Sun is Mercury. • The only rock
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