7.2 Patterns in the Solar System

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics

7.2 Patterns in the Solar System -Features that provide clues to how our solar system provide clues to how it formed? Feature 1: Patterns of motion among large bodies -the theory of solar system formation explains all these patterns as consequences of processes that occurred during the very first stages of the birth of our solar system -all planetary orbits are nearly circular and lie nearly in the same plane -all planets orbit the Sun in the same direction: counterclockwise as viewed from high above ,79K8479K!4O0 -most planets rotate in the same direction in which they orbit, with fairly small axis tilts -2489419K084O,7889028O,7J0244380[KL-L98L2LO,75745erties in their orbits around their planets Feature 2: The existence of two types of planets -Terrestial planets (Earth-like) -four planets of the inner solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) -relatively small and dense, rocky surfaces and an abundance of metals deep in their interiors -few moons, no rings -Jovian planets (Jupiter-like) -four planets of the outer solar system (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune) -much larger in size and lower in average density -numerous moons and rings -mostly made of hydrogen
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