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Lecture 11

ASTR 3 Lecture 11: Astronomy 11:19

by OneClass1132301 , Winter 2015
4 Pages
101 Views
Winter 2015

Department
Astronomy and Astrophysics
Course Code
ASTR 3
Professor
Fortney
Lecture
11

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Thursday, November 19, 2015
Astronomy
12.2 Comets
-What are comets like?
comets formed beyond the frost line, comets are icy counterparts to asteroids
nuclear of a comet is a “dirty snowball”
most comets do not have tails - the part that gets left behind
most comets remain perpetually frozen in the outer solar system
only comets that enter the inner solar system grow tails
-Nuclear of a comet
source of material for comet’s tail
-Anatomy of a comet
a coma is the atmosphere that comes from a comet’s heated nucleus
a plasma tail is gas escaping from coma, pushed by the solar wind
a dust tail is pushed by photons
growth of tail: nucleus begins to warm up, gas begins to form around nucleus and
gets hotter and hotter as it gets closer to the sun (tail always points away from the
sun because the solar wind is pushing the tail)
-Comets eject small particles that follow the comet around in its orbit and cause
meteor showers when Earth crosses the comet’s orbit (they come into earth’s
atmosphere at very high speed and vaporize)
-Where do comets come from?
only a tiny number of comets enter the inner solar system, most stay far away from
the Sun
Oort Cloud contains a trillion comets - much much further away than those in the
kuiper belt
-comet orbits have random tilts and eccentricities, its a shit show
so does the Kuiper belt - comets orbit in the same plane and direction as planets
!1
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find more resources at oneclass.com Thursday, November 19, 2015 Astronomy 12.2 Comets - What are comets like? comets formed beyond the frost line, comets are icy counterparts to asteroids • • nuclear of a comet is a “dirty snowball” • most comets do not have tails - the part that gets left behind • most comets remain perpetually frozen in the outer solar system • only comets that enter the inner solar system grow tails - Nuclear of a comet • source of material for comet’s tail - Anatomy of a comet • a coma is the atmosphere that comes from a comet’s heated nucleus • a plasma tail is gas escaping from coma, pushed by the solar wind • a dust tail is pushed by photons • growth of tail: nucleus begins to warm up, gas begins to form around nucleus and gets hotter and hotter as it gets closer to the sun (tail always points away from the sun because the solar wind is pushing the tail) - Comets eject small particles that follow the comet around in its orbit and cause meteor showers when Earth crosses the comet’s orbit (they come into earth’s atmosphere at very high speed and vaporize) - Where do comets come from? • only a tiny number of comets enter the inner solar system, most stay far away from the Sun • Oort Cloud contains a trillion comets - much much further away than those in the kuiper belt - comet orbits have random tilts and eccentricities, its a shit show • so does the Kuiper belt - comets orbit in the same plane and direction as planets ▯1 find more resources at oneclass.com find more resources at oneclass.com Thursday, November 19, 2015 - kuiper belt comets formed in the belt: flat plane aligned with the plane of planetary orbits, orbiting in the same direction as the planets Pluto - discovered in 1930 - pluto will never hit Neptune, even though their orbits cross, because of their 3:2 orbital resonance - Neptune orbits three times during the time Pluto orbits twice - Pluto has an inclined and very eccentric orbit - Is Pluto a planet? • much smaller than the territorial or jovian planets • not a gas giant like other outer planets • has an icy composition like a comet • has a very elliptical, inclined orbit • has more in common with comets than with the eight major planets - What is Pluto like? • its moon charon is nearly as large as pluto itself (probably made by a major impact) • pluto is very cold • pluto has a thin nitrogen atmosphere that may refreeze onto the surface as Pluto’s orbit takes it farther from the sun - it is beli
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