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Geo midterm 2 notes.docx

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Western University
Geography 2090A/B

Lecture 5 Geo of the Solar Systemsun is the central mass of the solar systema star that produces power by converting hydrogen to heliumsun ejects sub atomic particles which stream out through the solar system called the solar windthese produce the aurora known as the northern lights on earthlarge solar flares disrupt communications and power grids damage satellites and could kill unprotected astronautsthe definition of a planet has no exact meaning but implies the object orbits a star and is quite large but the planet itself is not a starPlanetsmid sized rocky worlds include Mercury Venus Earth Marsgiant gas planets include Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune dwarf planets like Pluto are usually mixtures of ice and rockcomparative planetology is the study of theoretical backgrounds of all the physical sciences physics chem bioMoonsatellitesA satelliteto a moon orbits a planet rather then a starSatellites may be rocky moons of earth and marssatellites may be Icy moons of saturnsatellites may be a mixture of the two rocky and icyA moon of jupiter Io has dozens of active volcanoes Europa also a moon of jupiter has a liquid ocean under its Icy surfaceTitan a moon of saturn has a thick hazy atmosphere and lakes of liquid methaneEnceeladus moon of saturn emits jets of water vapour from warm vents at its south poleTritan a moon of neptune has an atmosphere and gas jets erupting from its surfaceall four giant gas planets have rings made of billions of small particles each particle is a tiny moonAstroidsalso called minor planetssmall planets orbiting the sunsome come close to earth called NEOs near earth objectsAstroids are not just hazards they may contain valuable resources for further space development CommitsCommits are seen in the night sky as a smeared or fuzzy light among the starsCommits can hit a planet to make a crater and also provide water carbon compounds or other resources to future space travellersKuiper Belt and Oort CloudThe Kuiper Belt is a zone outside the orbits of the main planets where numerous icerich asteroids or comets orbitPluto was once considered the largest of the KBOs Kuiper Belt objects but other KBOs as big as pluto or bigger and being found nowthe Oort Cloud is a huge spherical cloud of commits surrounding the sun the inner parts of the Oort Cloud merge with the Kuiper BeltOrbitsAn orbit is the path one object follows in space as a result of its velocity and gravity it experiences Gravity determines orbitThe most efficient way to travel from one orbit to another eg Earth to Mars is through a Transfer OrbitLEOLow Earth Orbit within a few hundred km of earths surface This is where the space station orbitsAn orbit over the equator always flies over the same areasA polar orbit can fly over any point as a planet rotates under itLeo is getting crowded with space junkGeo Stationary OrbitAn object in a circulair equatorial 24 hour orbit stays over the same place all the time this is called GEO geo stationary orbitGetting crowded as wellA similar concept is the Geosynchronous Orbit it also takes 24 hours but it is not above the equator or circularThe satellite seems to wonder over the sky in a looping pattern instead of appearing fixedLagrange pointsare places where objects orbit in formationSome asteroids travel in Lagrangetype paths relative to Jupiter and some other planetsthey are called Trojan asteroidsPoints like these can be used to park spacecraft for research Van Allen radiation beltsearth is surrounded by dangerous radiation beltsastronauts usually orbit below themin apollo missions they passed it quick enough for it not to effect themSouth Atlantic Anomaly is where the radiation belt dipsthis can be dangerous to electronic equipment The MoonEarths natural satellite no air no water no volcanoes Marsthe only planet that is likely welcoming for humans to visitsmaller then earth cold and thin atmosphere Lecture 7 Space in our LivesLecture 6Flyby orbit landing roving sample returnTypical sequence of spacecraft exploration of another world1Fly past a planetFlybyFirst Moon flyby Luna 3 1959took pictures of its far sideFirst successful Mars flyby Mariner 4 1965returned with 22 small imagesThe Voyager missions 19791989 involved two spacecrafts and flights past all 4 of the giant outer planetsFirst Pluto flyby New Horizons is currently being developed2Orbiting mission used to gather detailed observations over a long period of timeOrbiting Mission
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