ASTROPHYSICS

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Sun
99% of the mass of the solar system

made mostly of H/He gas (plasma)

converts 4 million tons

Mercury
Made out of metal and rock, large iron core

cratered, desolate, long, tall, steep cliffs

Venus
Earth’s twin because size

surface hidden by clouds

1 day Venus 243 days earth

hellish conditions due to an extreme greenhouse effect

Earth
an oasis of life

the only planet with liqup d water in surface in SS

a surprisingly large moon (luna)

Mars
looks almost earth like

giant volcanoes, a huge canyon, polar caps

water flowed in distant past, could there have been life?

curiosity rover landed in August 2012

Jupiter
largest planet in SS

mostly H/He, no solid surface

300 times more massive than earth

many moons (4 Galilean)

failed star

much farther from sun than inner planets

Ganymede is bigger than earth (1 of the Galilean moons)

moons are as interesting as planet’s

Saturn
giant and gaseous

spectacular rings

rings are not solid, made out of small rocks and ice chunks each orbiting like a tiny moon

Cassini probe arrived July 2004 (started in 1997)

Uranus
smaller than Jupiter/Saturn

extreme axis tilt (sideways)

moons and rings

Neptune
similar to Uranus except axis tilt

has a storm

14 moons

not always 8th planet because its orbit is veey circle and Pluto more elliptic

Dwarf planets
Pluto, Eros and more

much smaller than major planet’s

Pluto has a moon that has almost its size (charon)
has 5 moons
it’s orbit is more than 200 earth years
orbit perihelion 49,5 AU aphelion 29 AU
no atmosphere
reclassified in 2006

what makes a planet a planet?
be in orbit around sun

have enough mass so gravity makes them round

have cleared their orbit of similar objects

if they don’t have these three points they are not a real planet

5 dwarf planet’s
Pluto Ceres Eros Haumea Makemake
Categories: Astrophysics