AST101H1 Study Guide - Fall 2018, Comprehensive Special Request Notes - Earth, Sun, Gravity

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University of Toronto St. George
AST101H1
The Sun and Its Neighbours
Special Request
Fall 2018
Prof. Bryan Gaensler, C. Barth Netterfield, Ilana MacDonald
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AST101 Lecture 3 The Solar System
Solar System: a solar system consists of a star orbited by planets, moons, and lots of debris
(comets, asteroids, dust) PowerPoint, Slide #5
o “The Solar System” refers to our solar system
The Solar System:
The sun is not exactly at the centre
The further away from the sun, the slower the planets orbit
All planets are orbiting in almost the same plane
o The closest dwarf planet Ceres, as well as other dwarf planets do not
All planets are orbits the same way, with the exception of Venus and Uranus
o Uranus orbits on its side
o Venus orbits the opposite direction
Inner solar system includes Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
Outer solar system includes Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune as well as many dward
planets and comets
The solar system contains only one star: the Sun
The Terrestrial Planets:
Earth, Mercury, Venus, Mars
Located closest to the sun
Terrestrial means “Earth-Like”
Rocky and relatively small
Thin or no atmosphere
Very few moons
Made from heavy elements such as iron and carbon
The Jovian Planets:
Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune
Jovian means “Jupiter-Like”
Mostly liquid and gas
Many moons in varying sizes
Made from light elements such as hydrogen and helium
Mercury:
Resembles our moon
Rocky, contains craters
Extremely hot because it is close to the sun
Contains virtually no atmosphere
o Much less atmosphere when compared to Earth
No moons
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425 degrees Celsius when facing the sun
-170 degrees Celsius when facing away from the sun
A canyon found on Mercury allows us to believe that tectonic activity most likely took
place in the past
Venus:
Thick carbon dioxide atmosphere
o Moving your arms through Venus’s atmosphere would resemble the feeling of
moving your arms through a body of water
460 degrees Celsius everywhere on the planet, all the time
o Because of the thick atmosphere
Acid clouds
No moons
Rotates very slowly
Considered the planet most like Earth
Earth:
Contains many bodies of water
Everything on earth (climate, ocean ect) influenced by biological activity
o Earth would be very different without life
Mars:
Very thin atmosphere
Experiences wind storms and clouds of dust
Once contained volcanoes which are now extinct
o Olympus Mons: a volcanic mountain larger than Mount Everest
Evidence shows that at one time there was water but there doesn’t seem to be any
currently
o Water may be behind the surface
o Mars contains ice caps of dry ice and water
Asteroid Belt:
Located in the gap between Mars and Jupiter
Contains many thousands or millions of rubble piles
Believed to be made up of material left over from the formation of the solar system
There are known to be parts in the Asteroid Belt which are chunks from the core of some
planet that exploded
Jupiter:
The largest planet in the solar system
If Jupiter contained slightly more mass, gravity would cause it to shrink
o Jupiter is about as big as a planet can possibly be
An Earth sized rock is surrounded by a thick gaseous atmosphere
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