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Chapter 16.docx

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Western University
Earth Sciences
Earth Sciences 1086F/G
Deana Schwarz

Chapter 16: Uranus and Neptune Intro - Uranus and Neptune are ice giants - High proportion of water, ammonia and methane - Kinda like twins o Slush ice, dark rings, methane atmosphere - Difference mainly in heat (Neptune is 7000 K, Uranus is 5000 K) - Planet discoveries o Uranus  Found by William Herschel • He became balling and shit  Names Georgium Sidus  Been mistaken for a star many times  Bode renamed it Uranus (old Greek god) • Titius-Bode Law o Neptune  Found by deviation from perfect orbit  John Couch Adams and Urbain Jean Le Verrier did same thing independently  Triumph for Newtonian physics – 3 laws of motion and law of gravity Missions - Voyager 2 – fly-by - Neptune orbiter – 2030? Planetary Facts - Both have low densities - Neptune has orbital period twice as long as Uranus - Orbit and rotation o Uranus – rotation pretty much on side  Gets 42 years sunshine then 42 years darkness o Neptune – strongest winds in solar system  Closest to Kuiper Belt  Can destabilize Kuiper Belt objects Internal structure - Uranus and Neptune pretty much the same - Rocky core, mantle of slush water/methane/ammonia, inner atmosphere of methane/ammonia/water, outer atmosphere of hydrogen and helium - Low escape velocity - Internal heat and magnetic fields o Uranus has lowest heat of all Jovian planets  Maybe because of weird obliquity? DUNNO o Neptune has radioactive decay inside to make heat o Uranus magnetosphere  Comes from 1/3 way to south pole  Doesn’t match axis of rotation  Makes teardrop sheath & auroras o Neptune magnetosphere  Doesn’t match axis of rotation  Field from dynamo Atmosphere - Uranus and Neptune pretty much all molecular hydrogen and helium, little methane - More methane the deeper you go, ammonia and water too - Methane absorbs red light - Uranus o No surface, gradual fluid layer instead o Organic molecules, CO, CO2 o Upper stratosphere and troposphere  Cloud layers at diff heights in troposphere  Rotation is controlling factor - Neptune o Upper stra
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