Aim of this course: Course Outline. The Terrestrial Planets Lecture 1: Introduction

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1 The Terrestrial Planets Lecture 1: Introduction Aim of this course: Provide a general introduction to the four terrestrial (Earth-like) planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars). By the end you should be able to identify their major features and their common or unique properties.? The Terrestrial planets at correct relative size: Mercury Venus Earth Mars Course Outline Lecture 1 Introduction Lecture 2 Earth interior Lecture 3 Earth atmosphere Lecture 4 Venus Earth s twin? Lecture 5 Mars dead or alive? Lecture 6 Mercury dense and hot Lecture 7 The Moon properties & origin Lecture 8 Summary & Planet Formation Course books, handouts and the WWW Listed textbook for this course: Discovering the Solar System by Barrie W. Jones Good for detail and if doing several planet courses Any modern introductory astronomy text e.g. Astronomy Today by Chaisson & McMillan On-line: brief summary handout (as given out today) and (incomplete images and tables) copies of each lecture, at You need to take notes of text material during lectures 1

2 MANY web pages some recommended examples: A multimedia tour of the Solar System. Another multimedia experience. An excellent site for information on extra-solar planets. Site for information on the Apollo missions to The Moon. Quiz: name the 10 largest objects in the Solar System (excluding the Sun) Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Earth Venus Mars Ganymede Titan Mercury km km km km 6378 km 6052 km 3397 km 2635 km (Moon of Jupiter) 2575 km (Moon of Saturn) 2440 km Introducing the Solar System 2

3 What is in the Solar System? Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, dust The Planets The planets orbit counterclockwise in the Ecliptic plane Orbits are ellipses, with Sun at one focus most with small eccentricity (e) (orbits obey Kepler s Laws) Earth orbits Sun at mean distance of one Astronomical Unit Sun = 99.85% of mass Comet West Eros Dust Mercury s orbit (and Pluto) has a significant eccentricity and inclination (angle from Ecliptic plane)? Planets = 0.135% of mass! Planet Orbital semi-major axis (AU) Planetary data Orbital Period (years) Mass (Earths) Diameter (Earths) Average Density (kg/m³) Mercury Venus Earth Mars Jupiter Saturn Uranus Neptune Pluto Asteroids interplanetary debris Over 100,000 known - most between Mars and Jupiter (>100m are asteroids; rest are meteroids) Total mass < 0.05 x Moon. Largest is Ceres (940 km) Earth-crossing asteroids are of great interest! Source of most meterorites/meteors Iron & Nickel rare, similar to type M asteroids Chondrite similar to terrestial mantle/crust 3

4 NASA Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous Mission Principal target: asteroid Eros Arrived late 1998; landed Feb NASA Stardust Mission Target: Comet Wild 2 Landing image: Distance 250 m Image = size of lecture room East and West hemispheres Size 33 x 13 x 13 km Big craters, grooves, then smaller craters get evolutionary sequence from surface features View from 500 km looks like an asteroid surface Left image: short exposure - see craters, boulders etc. Right image: long exposure - see dust jets The Kuiper Belt and Pluto (&TNOs) Kuiper belt: ~10 10 icy objects beyond Neptune ( AU) Pluto is a large example. Quaoar discovered in 2002 half the size of Pluto. Other large objects found since (e.g. Sedna; 2003 UB313 (Eris)). Pluto See changes in colour over time and in mass of atmosphere. May be due to melting/warming of nitrogen ice. 4

5 Is Pluto a planet? Question: Should other large objects at similar distances to Pluto (including Pluto) also be called planets? Eris and Dysnomia Eris is the Greek goddess of strife and discord. Her child, Dysnomia, is the goddess of Lawlessness. All are in inclined, eccentric orbits with periods of years. Several have moons. Where is Eris? Dysnomia s orbit allows for an accurate mass estimate: M(Eris) = 1.27 x M(Pluto) Eris density (~2.5 kg m -3 ) similar to Pluto (~1.8 kg m -3 ) (low compared to Earth) IAU resolutions 2006 (or, how to lose friends and influence nobody) 5A. The IAU therefore resolves that "planets" and other bodies in our Solar System, except satellites, be defined into three distinct categories in the following way: (1) A "planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. (2) A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, (c) has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite. (3) All other objects except satellites orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar-System Bodies". IAU resolutions 2006 (or, how to lose friends and influence nobody) 5A. The IAU therefore resolves that "planets" and other bodies in our Solar System, except satellites, be defined into three distinct categories in the following way: (1) A "planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, and (c) has cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit. (2) A "dwarf planet" is a celestial body that (a) is in orbit around the Sun, (b) has sufficient mass for its self-gravity to overcome rigid body forces so that it assumes a hydrostatic equilibrium (nearly round) shape, (c) has not cleared the neighbourhood around its orbit, and (d) is not a satellite. (3) All other objects except satellites orbiting the Sun shall be referred to collectively as "Small Solar-System Bodies". 6A. The IAU further resolves: Pluto is a "dwarf planet" by the above definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-neptunian objects. 6A. The IAU further resolves: Pluto is a "dwarf planet" by the above definition and is recognized as the prototype of a new category of trans-neptunian objects. 5

6 The Oort cloud Extends to 100,000 AU with total mass = 30 x Earth 4 th October 1957 Sputnik 1 launched 27 th August 1962 Mariner 2 - the first interplanetary craft flies to Venus 6

7 20 th July 1969 Apollo 11 lands on Moon 29 th March 1974 Mariner 10 reaches Mercury Messenger flyby 1,2,3: Feb. 14 & Oct , Sept July 1976 Viking landers touch down on Mars 20 th August 1977 Voyager 2 launched 5 th September 1977 Voyager 1 launched No Martians seen Followed Pioneer missions (launched 1972/73) to Jupiter 7

8 Voyager mission used Gravitational slingshot July 1979 Voyagers discover Volcanism on Io and 3 new moons of Jupiter 1981 Voyager 2 image of Saturn. Voyager finds 3 new moons and complex structure in the rings January 1986 Voyager 2 reaches Uranus. Finds 10 moons and measures a magnetic field 8

9 August 1989 Voyager 2 passes Neptune, finding 6 moons and geysers on Triton Magellan maps Venus Feb Voyager 1 portrait of the Solar System September 1992 First Kuiper Belt Object discovered 9

10 1995 First extra-solar planet discovered by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz December 7 th 1995 Galileo drops probe into Jupiter Probe entered atmosphere at 106,000 mph (x100 rifle bullet) 15 th October 1997 Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn launched arrived July 2004 January 2004 ESA Mars Express image of Gusev crater + image from NASA Spirit rover Saturn and Titan from 285 million km 10

11 Cassini (Saturn) & Huygens probe (2005, Titan) Deep Impact Comet Tempel 1: 2005 July 4 Surface image View from 8km up Huygens probe release into Titan First extra-solar planet imaged: 2008 Kepler planets February 2011 Planet roughly x3 mass of Jupiter but orbits at a distance of 115 AU (about x20 distance of Jupiter ) 11

12 Messenger (2004; arrived 2011) Bepi-Colombo (2016; arrives 2024) Selected Missions NASA mission to Mercury ESA+Japan mission to Mercury Rosetta (2004) Venus Express (2005) Corot (France/ESA) (2006) Kepler (NASA) (2009) ESA mission to visit comets ESA mission to Venus Search for extra-solar planets The End New Horizons Mission (2006) NASA mission to visit Pluto (2015) and the Kuiper belt 12

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