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Lecture 19

AST 309 Lecture 19: Properties of Our Young Solar System

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Department
Astronomy
Course
AST 309
Professor
Finkelstein Keely
Semester
Spring

Description
Propertiesof Our YoungSolarSystem Wednesday, March 22, 2017 10:52 AM Radioactive Decaying • Radioactive isotopes occur naturally in rocks ○ They are unstable ○ They constantlydecayintomorestable elements • The unstable elementis knownas theparent elementandthe stableresult is knownasthe daughterelement ○ K-40decaysintoAr -40 • Can measurecomparativeamounts from theparentand daughter element ○ Age Dating ourSolarSystem • Radiometricdating can onlymeasure the age of rocksinceitsolidified ○ Geologic processesonEarthcauserockto meltandsolidify § Earth rocks cant be usedto measure the Solar System'sage • We must fid rocks whichhave not melted or vaporizedsince theywere condensedfromtheSolarnebula If rocks on Earth are notgoodwaysto agedatethe solar system, whatrocks orother objectscanweuse? • Meteorites, the moon, sample fromthe hyper belt • Meteorites imply an ageof 4.6 billion years for the age of theSolar System Results of radioactive decay dating • OldestrocksonEarth 4 billion years • Oldestrocksonmoon 4.4 billionyears • OldestMeteorites 4.6 billion years ○ Meteorites are left over fromSolar System formation • Conclusion:firstrocks in our solar systemcondensedabout4.6billionyears ago • For reference,the universeis thought to be 13.8 billion years old. So solar system formed relatively recently comparedto ageofUniverse • Oldestrocksonmoon 4.4 billionyears • OldestMeteorites 4.6 billion years ○ Meteorites are left over fromSolar System formation • Conclusion:firstrocks in our solar systemcondensedabout4.6billionyears ago • For reference,the universeis thought to be 13.8 billion years old. So solar system formed relatively recently comparedto ageofUniverse Processes of Planet Formation • Condensation: ○ Transition directly from gas (vapor) to solidphase ○ Example onearth: formationof snowflakes • Solar nebula slowly cooled down, so condensation could eventually begin ○ Differentsubstanceshavedifferentcondensation points,wheretheycan becomesolids • Regions nearestto the Sunwerewarmer thanthose farther away • Pattern of condensation was determined by local temperature of thedisk a that location • • Hydrogen andhelium alwaysin gasform,fartherout Mate
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