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Lecture 14

Lecture 14 - Terrestrial Planets-Mercury and the Moon - October 29.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

October 29, 2013. Lecture 14 – Terrestrial Planets: Mercury and the Moon Nebular Hypothesis  Terrestrial planets aggregated to form (collection and smashing together of rocks)  Jovian planets form differently to create gaseous bodies  Difference between the two is the frost line o Distance from the sun where temperatures were low enough for water to condense  When planets become massive (10 Earth masses) they can pull out gas from the nebula  All planets orbit prograde (counterclockwise)  Most planets rotate prograde (Venus and Uranus are retrograde)  Most moons orbit prograde  Most bodies orbit on the same plane o Jupiter’s outer moons do not Moons  Mars has two moons, Deimus and Phobos o They are oddly shaped and very small relative to the size of Mars, Earth, or our Moon o It is possible they were captured by Mars  Earth’s moon is HUGE, and based on its not-so-dense composition did not likely form WITH Earth o Too huge to have been captured o Has a metal core and the rest is lithosphere o Most likely theory behind our moon’s formation is that during the formation of Earth something as large as Mars crashed into it and the debris that came off of this collision came together to form the Moon Age of Rock  Can tell by craters ALSO  Argon and Potassium are elements found in rock  As Potassium degrades it turns into Argon  By determining the ratio of Potassium to Argon you can determine the age of the rock o
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