NATS 1570 Study Guide - Fall 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Earth, Solar System, Gravity

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Published on 30 Nov 2019
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NATS 1570
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So what makes up the Solar System?
Smaller planets - Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
Outer planets - Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
Two main types:
Inner rocky planets
Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars
Outer gas giants
Jupital, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
Uranus and Neptune are actually made up of ice not gas.
Dwarf planets
- Under the now official definition, PLutio, Eris, Ceres Makemake and Haumea are not
considered dwarf planets
- Small but orbit the sun
Moons
Earth and Mars have moons as do all the planets in the outer solar system
Mars’ moons are very small
The sun
Largest object in our solar system
Our star that provides most of the energy that powers life and climate on earth
How do we define a planet?
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- The term of a planet for the most part of history was assigned to things seen in the solar
system. - there was no official definition.
- In 2006, The International Astronomical Union has finally come up with a definitive
definition of a planet. The catch is, that the definition excludes Pluto.
What is a Planet? - has three basic requirements - this only applies to our solar system
1. It has to orbit the sun
2. It has sufficient mass to be spherical in shape (this is due to gravity)
3. It is ‘cleared’ its planetary orbit of other objects - complex condition, and excludes Pluto.
a. A planet has to have an orbit that is unique to itself.
Since Pluto and a few others do not meet the 3rd criteria, they are defined as ‘dwarf’
planets’
Any object that only meets the first criteria is now referred to as a small solar system
body] - like asteroids
Characteristics of a planet
Position in the solar system - the position in accordance to the sun
Physical body and lithosphere of the planet
Magnetic field
Atmosphere and hydrosphere (air and water)
Natural satellites - ie. moon rings
- Not all planets have a magnetic field, or an atmosphere or hydrosphere or satellites.
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