Chapter 8 notes

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

CHAPTER 8 FORMATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM 81Interstellar cloud is usually called a NebulaIn 1755 German philosopher Immanuel Kant proposed that our solar system formed from the gravitational collapse of an interstellar cloud of gas This theory was also called the nebular hypothesisAccording to the close encounter hypothesis the planets formed from blobs of gas that had been gravitationally pulled out of the Sun during the nearcollisionFew modifications to the nebular theory offered natural explanations for all 4 general features of our solar system82The solar system came from a cloud of gas called the solar nebula cold and low density gas that collapsed under its own gravity The cloud of gas was product of galactic recycling that occurred before our solar system was bornThe Big Bang essentially produced two chemicals Hydrogen and Helium Heavier elements were produced later by massive stars and released into space when they died These heavier elements mixed together with interstellar clouds of gas to form other starsSolar nebula contained 98 hydrogen and helium and 2 other elementsTerrestrial planets were made from the heavier elementsExplosion of a big star is called a supernovaHeating Spinning and Flattening altered the shape density and temperature of the solar nebulaHeating temperature increased as the solar nebula collapsed under its own gravity As it shrank gravitational potential energy was converted to kinetic energy of individual gas particles falling inwards Then the collisions between particles converted kinetic energy into thermal energy This led to the formation of the Sun where the temperature and density was highest in the core Spinning represents the law of angular momentum Flattening solar nebula flattened into a disk As clouds rotate faster the disk flattens pizza doughThe heating that occurs in a collapsing cloud of gas means it should emit thermal radiation primarily in the infrared
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