AST101- TUTORIAL (Nov 22).docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

AST101 ASTEROIDS, COMETS, MOONS Asteroids  Rocky and metal – some have icy mantle (eg ceres)  Circular orbit  Some have carbonaceous (carbon molecules) chondrite (primitive asteroids)  from differentiation and melting of planetesimals in beginning of solar system  Total mass is about 4% of our moon (very tiny and insignificant)  Can find them in asteroid belt (between mars and jupiter)  But can also find them in other parts of solar system (Orbiting Jupiter – called Trojan)  special because they will never collide with jupiter because the orbital period of jupiter is same of trojan asteroids) – gravitational attraction is completely balanced and they’ll never collide with each other  Important because they can hit up o Eg. YU55 (happened nov 8 of this year) and if it hit us it would cause gigantic impact – was 400m in diameter o If an asteroid is bout 100 m or bigger, we should be concerned about it – 400m is HUGE o Just a 100m one destroyed a whole forest even though never hit earth Comets  Icy and have tails  In Kuiper belt and oort cloud  Elliptical orbit  As it gets close to sun, suns radiation spews out the vapor (tail); solar wind hits on the coma and it squeezes out the vaporized material and forms the tail o Through solar radiation and solar wind  Has 2 tails- dust tail and plasma tail o Different materials have different velocities  the velocity is what determines degree of deflection, why you can see two distinct tails o Why are tails directed away from sun? Because of relative velocity A typical shooting star (fallen asteroid) has a size closest to what?  A pebble Meteor showers  Strings of shooting stars  Leftover debris from
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