Observations from Earth

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2 Observations from Earth Sun Constellation Orion Constellation Orion All objects in the heavens rise in the east and set in the west. The Sun and stars all moved across the sky in a regular, predictable way. We can see several thousand stars easily! The Sun travels around the sky in 24 hours. The stars travel around the sky slightly faster than the sun (23 hours and 56 minutes). Different stars are visible to different observers and the path they take is different. That would be the case for an observer on a spherical surface (i.e. Earth is a sphere).

3 Observations from Earth Mars Planets (Anc. Greek: wandering star ) move differently than the stars: Mercury and Venus were only seen near sunrise or sunset. Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn usually moved slower than the stars (prograde motion). Sometimes Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn moved faster than the stars (retrograde motion). Retrograde motion varied slightly in when and how long it would last.

4 Solar System: models Geocentric Heliocentric

5 Geocentric model Aristotle, Ptolemy (2 nd century) Stationary (not moving) Earth is in the center. All celestial bodies move around it. Note only 7 classical planets (visible by naked eye).

6 Ptolemaic model Each planet is moved by a system of two spheres: deferent (larger), and epicycle (smaller). Tinted area represents space occupied by a planet. Very good prediction of planets positions. Problem with Venus phases! Why two spheres?

7 Heliocentric model Aristarchus, Copernicus (16 th century) Stationary Sun is in the center of the Universe. All celestial bodies revolve around it in circles, and also rotate. Same accuracy for planets positions as Ptolemaic model!

8 Heliocentric model refined th century: Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler, Isaac Newton Invention of the refracting telescope (up to 30x magnification). Galileo discovered four large moons of Jupiter (bodies that did not orbit Earth). Galileo observed all phases of Venus (not possible in Ptolemaic model). Galileo observed rotation of the Sun (annual variation of sunspots motion). Kepler formulated three laws of planetary motion (first law: The orbit of every planet is an ellipse with the Sun at one focus of the two). Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation.

9 Telescope: Then and Now Two of Galileo s first telescopes, 10x and 20x and his ink rendering of the Moon. Hubble Space Telescope (launched in 1990) allows observations in near-uv, visible, and near-ir spectra.

10 Solar System: sense of scale

11 Sun and Planets: sense of scale

12 Solar System: inventory Sun Planets 99.85% by mass 0.1 % by mass Satellites (moons) and Rings Asteroids Comets Meteoroids Dust Solar Wind (ionized gas)

13 The Formation of the Solar System nebula Solar system formed about 4.6 billion year ago, when gravity pulled together lowdensity cloud of interstellar gas and dust (called a nebula). The Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids are believed to form within million years.

14 The Sun is a star at the center of our Solar System The Sun is estimated to be 4.5 billion years old. It supports all life on Earth. It is 333,400 times more massive than the Earth. It is 99.85% of all the mass of the Solar System. Core temperature: 16 million C. Surface temperature: 7000 C. It takes several hundred thousand years for light to escape from the dense core and reach the surface. The Sun generates energy equivalent of 100 billion tons of TNT (famous explosive) exploding every second.

15 General Characteristics of Major Planets Nearly circular orbits (Mercury and Mars most eccentric). All orbits within 10 o of Earth s orbital plane. All planets revolve in the same direction. All except Venus rotate in the same direction.

16 Terrestrial Planets 1. MERCURY Smallest planet Craters 1 Year on Mercury = 88 Earth days 1 Day on Mercury = 58.6 Earth days <surface T> = 117 C day/ -170 C night <distance from the Sun> = 58 million km Number of moons = 0 3. EARTH The Blue Planet Water Life <surface T> = 15 C <distance from the Sun> = 150 million km Number of moons = 1 2. VENUS Sister planet CO 2 atmosphere Hottest planet 1 Year on Venus = 225 Earth days 1 Day on Venus = 243 Earth days <surface T> = 460 C <distance from the Sun> = 108 million km Number of moons = 0 4. MARS Red planet Polar ice caps Dust storms 1 Year on Mars = 687 Earth days 1 Day on Mars = 24.6 hours <surface T> = -63 C <distance from the Sun> = 249 million km Number of moons = 2

17 Jovian Planets 5. JUPITER Gas Giant Largest planet Giant storms Fastest rotation 1 Year on Jupiter = 11.9 Earth years 1 Day on Jupiter = 9 hours 50 minutes <distance from the Sun> = 778 million km Number of moons = 67! 6. SATURN Gas Giant Ring planet Metal-rock core? 1 Year on Saturn = Earth years 1 Day on Saturn = 10 hours 39 minutes <surface T> = -140 C <distance from the Sun> = 1457 million km Number of moons = URANUS Ice Giant 40 years long summer 1 Year on Uranus = 84 Earth years 1 Day on Uranus = 17 hours 14 minutes <surface T> = -197 C <distance from the Sun> = 2870 million km Number of moons = NEPTUNE Ice Giant Fastest winds Coldest planet 1 Year on Neptune = 164 Earth years 1 Day on Neptune = 19 hours 3 minutes <surface T> = -200 C <distance from the Sun> = 4498 million km Number of moons = 8

18 Additional Info Videos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epsy0lkm3zm https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8abzznv6y8 Simulator: Solar Systems Models Lab, Nebraska Astronomy Applet Project, University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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