Mastering Astronomy notes 4-8

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Astronomy & Astrophysics
Stefan Mochnacki

Plate tectonics helps keep carbon out of atmosphere, keeping it cool (unlike venus which has no plate tectonics and is very hot) 1) volcanoes release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere 2) the carbon dioxide dissolves in the rain 3) minerals and carbon dioxide is washed by the rain into oceans of the earth 4) they react together to form rock 5) plate tectonics drags the rock into the mantle where it is again released by out gassing of volcanoes Carbon cycle keeps the temperature of the earth not too cold or too hot Small icy moons are more active than small rocky planets because a) icy compositions b) heating source tidal heating the ice on these moons requires a lower temperate to melt than the rocks on the rocky planets. Rock melts at higher temperate. This is why tidal heating occurs easily on icy moons. The ice melts enabling tidal heating to drive geological activity, more likely to have geological activity than terrestrial planets (example: mercury and Ganymede similar in size, Ganymede ongoing geological activity, mercury geologically dead) The small moons have irregular shapes, their gravities are too weak to force them into spheres Only large planets can retain enough heat to stay geologically active blackbodyHOTTER, PRODUCES MORE LIGHT = SHORTER WAVELENGTH (blue side) Asteroid Belt In between orbits of Mars and Jupiter Material left over from the formation of the solar system, prevented from turning into a planet by tides from Jupiter Jupiter thick atmosphere surrounding giant ball of liquid hydrogen Io most volcanically active because of jupiters tides Uranus Neptune mostly icy mixture Uranus tipped on its side Kuiper belt is ring of comets orbiting beyond Neptune Leftover debris from formation of solar system Asteroids: metal, rock asteroid belt Comets: icy kuiper belt Oort cloud: cloud of comets surrounding entire solar system
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