Formation of the Solar System and Extra-solar planets. Third Midterm Exam. IYA lecture extra credit 4/16/09

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1 Formation of the Solar System and Extra-solar planets Third Midterm Exam How did it go? They will be returned on Tuesday IYA lecture extra credit Last IYA lecture of the semester is tonight at 7:30pm in Hodges 260 (this room). The talk is on Superstring Theory. If you can not make the public lecture tonight, you may attend the scientific colloquium at 4pm in this room. However, the colloquium will be targeted towards people with a physics background. 1

2 The Solar System not to scale How should we divide the Solar System? The Inner Planets (Family Portrait) 2

3 The Outer Planets (Family Portrait) What else is out there? Comets & Asteroids What do all Solar System Objects have in common? They all orbit in nearly the same plane. They all revolve around the Sun counter-clockwise. All the major planets, except Venus and Uranus, rotate on their axis counter-clockwise. Terrestial planets are small, rocky, and close to the Sun Jovian planets are large, gaseous, and further from the Sun. Rocky debris, asteroids, tend to be close to Sun. Icy debris, comets, tend to be far from Sun. The Earth, Moon, Mars, meteorites, and the Sun are all about 4.6 billion years old. Any model explaining the formation of the Solar System needs to explain these properties. 3

4 The solar system formed from a cloud of cold gas and dust called the solar nebula about 4.6 billion years ago Disks around young stars Planet Formation 4

5 Formation of the Solar System The planets formed by the accretion of planetesimals and the accumulation of gases in the solar nebula This is called the condensation sequence. 5

6 4/16/09 The temperature at which a material can condense (become a liquid or solid) determines the composition of the planet formed. Rocky, dense planets form close to Sun. Gaseous, low density planets form far from Sun. Which planet formed at the furthest location from the Sun where it was hot enough to boil water? A. Mercury B. Mars C. Jupiter D. Neptune E. None of the above Compared to the Sun, where would the closest Jovian planets be able to form around an A spectral class star? A. Closer to the star B. Farther from the star C. Same distance D. Insufficient information E. I have no idea. 6

7 According to the condensation sequence model, Could a planet like Saturn form at 1 AU around the Sun? A. Yes B. No C. Maybe D. I have no idea Until 1992, there were only 9 planets known and they all orbited around the Sun... Things have changed dramatically since then Extra-Solar Planets 2006 Today: 344 planets and counting around 291 stars! 3 planets 7

8 Extra-solar planets Extra-solar planets found to date, do not seem to be anything like the planets in our solar system. Jupiter Masses M E J Extra-solar planets They are found closer to stars and are more massive than anything found in the solar system. Why? Jupiter Masses M E J Extra-solar planets 1. They must have formed further away from the star. 2. These are the easiest planets to find. Jupiter Masses M E J 8

9 How do we find extra-solar planets? 1. Pulsar timing: changes the arrival time of pulses first extra-solar planets discovered this way 2. Doppler Effect: look for velocity shift due to gravitational pull of planet first extra-solar planets around normal stars found this way 3. Astrometry: look for shift of star position due to gravity of planet 4. Transit: small planet blocks light from star as it passes in front of it. 5. Direct Imaging: Take a picture Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, other dwarf planets Planets around Pulsars The first extra-solar planets were found around pulsars in The gravitational pull of the planets causes the pulsar to wobble around. This wobble causes the normally very stable pulsar period to vary slightly. Planets have masses of , 0.02, 3.9, and 4.2 Earth masses; the smallest extra-solar planets found to date. Planets around Pulsars This is the most sensitive method. It only works for planets around neutron stars. Not useful for finding habitable planets. 9

10 Scientists use the Doppler shift to measure the tug of planets on stars. Here is how it works: If an unseen planet tugs the star back and forth the light from the star shifts slightly to the red as the star moves away from you. and slightly to the blue as it moves toward you. Astronomers can detect these shifts by very carefully observing the spectra (or colors) of the stars. The Doppler Method First used to detect planets around normal stars in It is the most successful method to date. Works best for systems close to edge-on (like a frisbee). Most sensitive to massive planets, close to stars (largest Doppler shifts). The longer you look, the more distant a planet you can find. Learn the period, semi-major axis and mass of the planet. Astrometry We can measure the tiny wobble of stars against other stars in the background. The apparent motion of Sun due to Jupiter as viewed from a distance. 10

11 4/16/09 Astrometry Need very high angular resolution, so best done in the radio or in visible or IR light from space. Works best for face-on systems. Most sensitive to massive planets far from star, but... If the planet is too far, and the period too large, it will take a long time to see the motion. Get the period, semi-major axis, and mass of the planet. Transits For example, we will look for the star s light to dim slightly when a planet passes in front. NASA s Kepler Mission will hunt for planets using a specialized one-meter diameter telescope called a photometer to measure the small changes in brightness caused by these passing planets (or transits). Just launched this year! Transiting Planets Looking for very small dip in the brightness of a star (less than a few percent). Can be done with a small telescope. Planet must orbit close to edge-on. Most sensitive to large planets, close to stars. Often used with Doppler method to learn more about planet and star. 11

12 Planetary Atmospheres Transits tell you the period, semi-major axis, and radius of the planet, but with spectroscopy you can learn a lot more Light from star can be absorbed by atmosphere of planet while it is transiting. The absorption spectrum can show signatures of methane (like Jupiter) or water (like Earth). Very hard observation, but our best bet for discovering if a planet has an atmosphere like Earth. Direct Imaging The first planets ever discovered (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune) and many asteroids, comets, and dwarf planets (e.g. Pluto) were found with this technique. Very hard when looking for faint planet near bright star. Stars are a billion times brighter 12

13 than the planet hidden in the glare. Like this firefly. Direct Imaging Telescopes that block the light from the central star can take images of planets that might be in orbit around them. Most sensitive to planets far from stars that are faint. Works best in the infrared where planets are brighter as compared to stars. But it doesn t tell you much about the properties of the planet (period and semi-major axis if you watch its orbit). 13

14 Images of extra-solar planets These are visible light images from Hubble (space) and Gemini (ground) of planets around nearby stars, where the starlight has been removed. Most of new discoveries are gas giants like Jupiter or Saturn and in the wrong location. The right location in our solar system. 17 Many of the new planets get too hot or too cold to support life. Too hot! Just right! Too cold! Most of them have highly elliptical orbits, or are too close to their parent stars. 14

15 The Habitable Zone The habitable zone (HZ) is the ring around the star where it is not too hot or too cold for water to be liquid. As the brightness of the Sun changes over its lifetime, the HZ can move in and out. The location of the HZ is proportional to luminosity/brightness of the Sun. The Habitable Zone For higher luminosity stars, the HZ is further from the star (Mars or Jupiter for an A or F star). For lower luminosity stars, the HZ is closer to the star (Mercury and Venus for a K or M star). HZ Mass of Star Semi-Major Axis Let s review with some questions 15

16 What types of planetary systems are easiest to detect with the Doppler method? A. Those that are face-on to our point of view. B. Those with low mass planets C. Those with planets far from the star D. Those with massive planets Which methods work for face-on planetary systems? A. Doppler method. B. Astrometry C. Transits D. Direct imaging Which method would you not use to find habitable planets? A. Doppler method B. Astrometry C. Pulsar Timing D. Transits E. Direct imaging 16

17 As the Sun ages, it will get brighter. What will happen to the habitable zone? A. It will stay the same B. It will move closer to the Sun C. It will move father from the Sun How does the habitable zone for a M star compare to the Sun? A. It is at the same distance B. It is closer to the M star than to the Sun C. It is closer to the Sun than the M star When the Sun becomes a Red Giant, which planet will most likely be in the habitable zone? A. Mercury B. Venus C. Earth D. Jupiter E. Pluto 17

18 Participation Question 1. Find a partner and write both your names on a sheet of paper. 2. Consider the following scenario and answer the following questions in complete sentences: You are searching for earth-like planets that may have liquid water. What techniques for planet detection would you use? Around what types of stars would you search for planets? Why? Be sure to consider the location of the habitable zone for different types of stars and what methods are best suited for detecting planets for those stars. You have 10 minutes. Announcements Turn in your participation question. Homework #10 available on-line. Due in-class, Thursday, April 23. Homework #11 will be assigned next week and be due on Tuesday, April 28. Next IYA Lecture, tonight, April 16, 7:30 pm, Hodges 260. It is about string theory (one theory to explain the Universe). Planetarium extra credit, Thursday, April 23 at 1:30pm. Signup sheet is up front. Observing extra credit during the last week of classes. Finish reading Chapter 12, take a gander at Chapter

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