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Module 4 Notes

by: Hannah James

Module 4 Notes Geoscience 115

Hannah James
GPA 4.0
Science Behind the News- The World Around Us
Philip Brown

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About this Document

These are the notes from Module 4- Comets
Science Behind the News- The World Around Us
Philip Brown
Class Notes
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Hannah James on Sunday September 6, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Geoscience 115 at University of Wisconsin - Madison taught by Philip Brown in Spring 2014. Since its upload, it has received 63 views. For similar materials see Science Behind the News- The World Around Us in Geology at University of Wisconsin - Madison.

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Date Created: 09/06/15
Comets Real news 39 Comet Lovejoy is leaving the inner solar system for the next 8000 years In 2013 comet ISON had an encounter with the sun where it evaporated because it got too close 0 On Valentines Day 2011 the Stardust spacecraft ew close to the Tempel I comet and got pictures of it The best and the brightest 39 In 1997 HaleBopp was the brightest object in the sky and was supposed to be the best brightest and most important comet of the century But comets are no better than dirty snowballs but the sun heats them up and they catch the light causing their tails to form 39 HaleBopp had an extremely bright and big tail Whv should we embout HaleBonn 39 First seen July 23 1995 Was bright very far away so it was big 40km in diameter 0 While Hyukatake was only 3 km it was very bright because in came 10 times closer than HaleBopp so it seemed bright even though it wasn39t defined as bright What do they really mean Comets are stuff left over from the formation of the solar system 0 Some of the rocky stuff got trapped in the asteroid belt but the icy stuff became comets These comets show the conditions from the formation of the solar system but every rm I pass near the sun more chemicals burn off or undergo chemical reactions 0 Hale Bopp appeared to be a normal comet with a nucleus coma and multiple tails Where are they Comets spend most of their time in two places 0 The Oort Cloud a vast cloud of comets that39s mainly empty space Located far beyond Pluto 0 The Kuiper Belt located out beyond Neptune 39 The HaleBopp comet was from the Oort Cloud This was obvious because its orbit was not coplaner same plane as the planets Lessons from last time March 1996 Hyakutake became the brightest comet since the 7039s It allows scientists to makG many diSCOVeI ieS The comet admitted 100 times as many XRays as predicted 39 But don39t possess the nuclear furnace needed to emit Rays this powerful 39 Scientist believe that the comet re ective the Xrays in the sunlight but they did not originate from its 1111016118 39 In reality the Rays originated from an area in front of the comet called the coma 39 This is the gauzy cloud of gas and dust that spews from the comet39s nucleus 39 So the Xrays were probably made by a shockwave from the collision of solar wind and the coma The comet was the first to show Conclusive signs of the presence of the hydrocarbons methane CH4 ethane C2H6 and acetylene C2H2 when the solar system formed 0 The high levels of ethane made it unlikely that the comet formed in interstellar space but the ratio of the hydrocarbon gases also didn39t prove that the comet formed closer to the sun Gloom and doom Comets used to be used as predictions of omens 0r Were seen as a way Of communication from an ancient alien civilization They might be comets 39 Scientists believe that the activities of our solar system occur in other places in the Universe 39 H 163296 is a star giving birth to its own solar system and we can see many comets drawing to the solar system as it forms Clouds of comets evervwhere Most astronomers believe it likely that Other stars haVc Comet Clouds Where is the proof 0 The ultraviolet light sampled by Skyward satellites show material falling into other stars 0 In some cases the material scene is similar to that found in comets that orbit our sun Because of the temperatures most of the materials would not be that close to stars without riding on an object comets Infrared images Show that material in the disks of some of the stars have the same spectral signature as the comets in our solar system Comets in history Does ignorance prevail Comments used to be feared because they came and went quickly and also seemed unpredictable itomv of a comet Comets are fuzzy luminous objects that orbit the sun 0 They orbit more often than most people think because only bright comets get attention 0 Scientists think that eomets were created 46 billion years ago along with our solar system it39s planets and it39s moons The quotdirty snowballquot theory by Fred L Whipple suggests that the nucleus Of a COInCt iS composed mostly of ice with a little dust The nucleus of a comet is so small that it39s hard to see from Earth but the coma is huge This coma is also made of gas and dust and is Visible because it re ects sunlight and is uorescent Bringing up the rear In style 39 Comets have two types of tails The dust tail is dust blown from the comet as it nears the sun Th6 dust ShineS aS it reflects sunlight The gas tail is composed of ions and is straighter and narrower than the dust tail 0 Forced away from the sun by solar wind it is Virtually straight and shines like the coma by orescence 0 Comet tai1s have very small amounts of matter but can stretch up to 150 km Where do comets come from Most comets are located in the Oort Cloud and the graVitational tug from a star can kick one loose and send it in the space or into a long elliptical around the sun 0 Because comets are from this huge cloud unpredictable and can be knocked loose at any t1me One primo time capsule Because comets spend their lives in deep space they could have matter that hasn39t changed since primordial times 39 But how do humans find out about it 39 Spectroscopy physics that deals with the interpretation of electromagnetic spectra such as that produced by stars and comets Scientists use this to measure the light re ected by the comet and obtain a fingerprint detailing the elements it contains 0 This is how scientist know that comets are made out of different types of ices carbon monoxide ammonia etc because each one has a distinct chemical signature Scientists have also been able to obtain and study comet dust nursing a U2 Crashing comets dead dinosaurs and you 39 There is a theory that a ManhattanSized comet or asteroid crashed into Earth at the end of the Cretaceous period and killed all the dinosaurs by causing a chain of events earthquakes climate change etc 0 Theory received a boost in 1991 when the Chicxulub impact crater was discovered near Mexico39s Yucatan Peninsula Is earth nothing but a cosmic punching bag 0 There39s other evidence that comets used to crash into earth 39 It39s suggested that a comet or asteroid string like ShoemakerLevy 9 that crashed into Jupiter stitched a line of eight craters across the Midwestern United States just 320 million years ago


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