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Week 10 Astronomy Notes

by: Raleigh Zook

Week 10 Astronomy Notes ASTR 1210

Marketplace > University of Virginia > Astronomy > ASTR 1210 > Week 10 Astronomy Notes
Raleigh Zook
GPA 3.55

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About this Document

These notes go over moons, rings, comets, and Pluto (all within our solar system).
Introduction to the Sky and Solar System
Remy Indebebetouw
Class Notes
astronomy, Science, planet, composition, Rings, moon, Pluto, comets, solar system
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Raleigh Zook on Tuesday April 5, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to ASTR 1210 at University of Virginia taught by Remy Indebebetouw in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Introduction to the Sky and Solar System in Astronomy at University of Virginia.


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Date Created: 04/05/16
Week 10 Notes Moons: Tidal Heating (of Jupiter by its moons) • As they go around elliptical orbit, they get closer to body and get tidally stretched and further away back to spherical shape—more liquid, more pliable due to this elliptical orbit • Geological activity o (Also) Composition: More ice than solid rock Galilean Jupiter Moons: Io and Aurorae • Io appears red and green…charges particles are similar to Earth’s aurorae, which is also red and green o Plasma torus—Trail behind it in orbit. That charged material interacts with Jupiter’s magnetic field and gets caught and rams into Jupiter o Charged particles don’t go across magnetic fields, only along magnetic fields • Io is geologically active à Jupiter has a strong magnetic fields à Strong aurora Europa’s Ocean • Surface is covered in ice • Dark lanes are cracks in the ice and later freezes • Why do they crack? Due to tidal stresses, but its interior is heated by tidal heating, as well (warm, convecting ice) Ganymede • Less tidal heating, because further out • Largest moon (in solar system) • Geological activity • Tidal heating and heat from its possible radioactive decay Callisto • Too far out for tidal heating • Icy • No orbital resonances • Has magnetic field Saturn’s Moons • 52 of them were named, but there are more tiny moons • Titan o 1.8x mass of Earth’s moon o Surface gravity is about the same as Earth’s moon, about 0.9x more o Saturn’s largest moon o Only moon in solar system with a really thick, enormous atmosphere (only moon to have a thick atmosphere)—Surface pressure is 1.5x that of Earth’s o Mainly nitrogen, but also argon, methane, and ethane—Blue color due to hypo-carbons o Cyrovolcanoes (Spewing out methane; Not hot, like lava standards, but hotter than other materials around); Lakes of liquid methane/ethane; Methane rain—smog § Weather processes, just not with water o Temperature is about -180C o Lacks acetylene on its surface o Hydrogen is present down its atmosphere o Organic compounds are made in its atmosphere • Medium moons o Show past geological activity like volcanism and tectonics Uranus Medium moons • Various geological activity • Miranda: Tectonics and some craters (Possibly tidal heating in the past) Neptune • Triton o Like Pluto, but larger o Past geological activity o Orbits backwards! So that means it was probably captured Rocky Planets • Higher temperature to develop rocks (rock melts at high temperatures • “Only large rocky planets have enough heat for activity” Icy Moons • Ice melting at lower temperatures • Tidal heating: The driving action to melt internal ice Rings: Saturn’s Rings • Denser rings: More opaque • Very low average density (0.02g/cm3)—if it was smoothed out o More dense than air, but 100x less than water • 2% of volume has rock in it. Rocks are separated by 3x their size • Very, very thin; Only some tens of meters thick • Enceladus, its geysers, and E ring • Gaps in the rings—there is a tiny moon in between sometimes o Interactions with rings • Shepherd Moons o With their gravitational interaction can keep materials there…force particles into narrow ring (from lecture) o Replenished/shaped by these moons of different sizes • Resonance Gaps o If there is a larger moon and an orbital resonance, then resonance gaps could form in the rings • Believed that material does go away; Relatively young, gets dark over time—very bright, white are young • Comparing to other planets: o The four jovian planets (Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, and Neptune) have rings o Jupiter’s rings are just dark—more dusty material –time makes it darker, icy particles get dark over time o The rest (besides Saturn) of the rings are smaller and darker o Uranus’s rings are sideways and shepherded by some of its moons o They probably formed from dust when moons impacted these planets § Rings are not from planet formation (Particles are too small and could not have survived that long)—New § Replacing the tiny particles is a continuous process § Impacts with their moons o Rings forming § Small moons that are close and impacts on these moons randomly occur Comets • Icy (and remain frozen in outer rinks of solar system)—middle of it is a “dirty snowball” o Nucleus: Source of material for its potential tail • Don’t have tails—only those that are in the inner solar system grow tails o Plasma tail: Gas that escapes from a coma (Pushed by solar wind) § Coma: Atmosphere from a heated nucleus o Dust tail: Pushed by photons in contrast to plasma tail—left behind from where the comet went • Impacts • Come from outer solar system—Kuiper belt o Only a small amount enter into the inner solar system and most of them stay far away from the sun o Oort Belt (further out)—random tilts of comets § They used to be closer to the Sun, but gravitational interactions with the jovian planets kicked them out, which is why orbits are in different directions o Kuiper Belt § Same plane and direction • If a comet is an orbit, some material gets left behind in the orbital path à Meteor showers o Meteor showers: Emanate from same region of the sky due to Earth’s motion § 1998 Leonids Pluto • Biggest comets…formed in the Kuiper belt; Icy


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