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Lecture 22

AST 309 Lecture 22: Moons and Rings

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Department
Astronomy
Course Code
AST 309
Professor
Finkelstein Keely

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Moonsand Rings Wednesday, March 29, 2017 10:56 AM Origin of Satellites • Three basic types of satellites ○ "Normal" systems aroundgiant planets ○ Captured satellites ○ Satellite systems of the "EartMoon" type- catastrophiccollisions "Normal" Giant Planet Satellite Systems = Miniature Solar Systems • The normal satellite systemsaround thegas/ice giantsall orbit in the same directionastheplanetsaroundtheSun,andtheyhavelowinclinations • These moonsformedout of thedisk -shapednebula thatsurroundedthe giant planets ○ Also see slightdifferencesin compositionofthe Galileansatellites(4 main moonsofJupiter) § Suggests more rocky material closest to Jupiter and more ices farther awayfromJupiter - condensationprocess Captured Satellites • Usually relatively smallmoons,mostlythe outermostsatellitesin a system • Possibly captured asteroids ○ Includes thetwo moons ofMars, possibly 8 moonsof Jupiter, anda couple ofmoonsofbothNeptuneandSaturn ○ Ofthese moons,halforbitin retrograde motion (backwards)and most (exceptfor Mars'moons) haverelativelyhighinclinationsoutof theplane ofthesolarsystem • The massive,moreextended,earlyatmospherescould havebeenwhat allowed the planets to capture thesatellites… also could havebeen closeapproach of planetesimals,orcollisionsthatthrewoffdebris The Origin of Our Own Moon • Large size of the moonposesa problemfor planetaryformation scenarios. Some ideas: ○ The Earth and Moon formed together ○ The Earth capturedthe Moon ○ The Moon brokeoff the Earth ○ The Moon was formed in a giant impact of the Earth with another large body - leadingtheory Giant Impacts ○ The Earth capturedthe Moon ○ The Moon brokeoff the Earth ○ The Moon was formed in a giant impact of the Earth with another large body - leadingtheory Giant Impacts • OurMoon waslikelycreatedthrougha giantimpactevent • Othermoonspossibly created thisway: ○ Pluto's satellite, Charon, which is half the sizeof Pluto ○ Some pairs of aste
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