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Chapter 6

Chapter 6 Formation of the solar system.doc

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Natural Science
NATS 1740
Randy Hoffman

Chapter 6 Formation of the solar system Brief tour of the solar system The Sun - 696,000 km radius - 333,000 times earths mass - 98% hydrogen and helium, 2% other elements - 5500 degrees Celsius Mercury - Made of rocks and metals - Smallest planet - No moons - Avg temp 700K - 0.39 AU away from sun Venus - Rocks and metals - Avg temp 740K - No moons - 0.72 AU away from sun Earth - Rocks and metals - Avg temp 290K - 1 moon Mars - 1.52 AU from sun - Avg Temp 220K - 2 moons very small - Rocks and metals Jupiter - 5.20 AU from sun - Largest planet - Made from hydrogen and helium - 63 moons - Avg Temp 123K Saturn - 9.54 AU from sun - Avg Temp 95K - 60 Moons - Hydrogen and Helium Uranus - 19.2 AU from sun - Hydrogen, helium, hydrogen compounds - Avg Temp 60K - 27 Moons Neptune - 30.1 AU from sun - 13 Moons - Avg Temp 60K - Hydrogen, helium hydrogen compounds Pluto - 39.5 AU - Ices and rock - Avg Temp 40K - 3 Moons 6.2 clues to the formation of our solar system What features of our solar system provide clues to how it was formed? Theory of the formation of the solar system 1.) Patterns of motion among large bodies : the sun planets and large moons generally orbit and rotate in an organized way\ - All planetary orbits are nearly circular and lie nearly in the same plane - All planets orbit the sun in the same direction - Most planets rotate in the same direction in which they orbit with small axis tilt - Most of the solar systems large moons exhibit similar properties in their orbits around their planets 2.) 2 major types of planets: 8 planets divide clearly into 2 groups 3.) Asteroids and comets: between and beyond the planets, large numbers of asteroids and comets orbit the sun 4.) Exception to the rules: only earth has a large moon among inner planets, Uranus is tipped to the side • Successful theory of solar system formation must allow for exceptions to the general rules • What theory best explains the features in our solar system? • Nebular theory: our solar system formed from the gravitational collapse of a great cloud of gas and it explains all the general features of our solar system 6.3 The birth of our solar system Where did the solar system come from? • Solar nebula: cloud of gas that collapsed - The gas that made up the solar nebula contained hydrogen and helium from the Big Bang and heavier elements produced by stars - What caused the orderly patterns of motion in our solar system Heating spinning and flattening • Heating: temperature of solar nebula increased as it collapsed - Conservation of energy  Gravitational potential to kinetic to thermal • Spinning: solar nebula rotated faster and faster and shrank in radius  Represents the conservation of angular momentum  Helped ensure that not all material collapsed in the centre • Flattening: solar nebula flattened into a disk
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