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Home, Sweet Home..  Our solar system is comprised of 8 planets orbiting a massive G2V yellow star.  Stars are classified by the following ditty – “Oh,

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Presentation on theme: "Home, Sweet Home..  Our solar system is comprised of 8 planets orbiting a massive G2V yellow star.  Stars are classified by the following ditty – “Oh,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Home, Sweet Home.

2  Our solar system is comprised of 8 planets orbiting a massive G2V yellow star.  Stars are classified by the following ditty – “Oh, Be A Fine Girl. Kiss Me.”  Our Sun is considered a dwarf star, even though it has a diameter of 1,392,000 km (approximately 109 times that of earth).  Our sun exerts a gravitational force which keeps a planet (Neptune) in orbit over 4.5 billion kilometers away.

3  Our Sun is a nuclear fusion reactor – converting hydrogen into helium.  This fusion reaction fuses approximately 630 million tons each second.  The Sun has been burning like this for (arguably) 4.5 billion years and is estimated to be about half way through its lifespan.  At that point, the Sun will expand into a Red Dwarf and envelop Mercury, Venus, and Earth.

4  You can remember the eight planets by the statement “My Very Energetic Mother Just Sent Us Nothing”.  Pluto, which was discovered in 1930 and was demoted to dwarf planet in 2006.  The first 4 planets from the Sun are considered Terrestrial, and the remaining 4 are considered Jovian.  The main difference between Terrestrial and Jovian planets is their size.


6  Named for the Roman god of messengers.  Mercury is the closest planet to the Sun.  Mercury orbits the Sun once every 88 Earth days.  The surface of Mercury is pockmarked with craters from collisions with asteroids and comets and resembles our Moon.  Mercury has an atmosphere comprised mainly of hydrogen and helium.  Temperatures on Mercury vary from -280 o F to 800 o F.  The gravity on Mercury is nearly 1/3 of that of Earth.

7  Named for the Roman goddess of Love and Beauty.  Venus orbits the Sun every 225 Earth days.  The surface of Venus is rough and home to many craters and volcanoes.  Venus has an atmosphere comprised mainly of CO 2 with clouds of sulfuric acid.  The temperature on Venus does not vary from 460 o F and the atmospheric pressure is 100 times that of Earth.  The gravity of Venus is about 90% that of Earth.  Venus is considered to be somewhat of a twin to Earth.

8  Earth is the densest and fifth-largest of the 8 planets.  Based on its distance from the Sun, Earth is the only planet to possess water in all 3 states of matter.  Our atmosphere provides a temperature range hospitable to life.  As a result, the only life found in our solar system resides on Earth.  All life that has arisen on Earth, has remained on Earth. This includes minimal space travel.  517 humans have been in space, with a scant 12 having set foot on the Moon.

9  Earth’s Moon is a satellite trapped in a elliptical orbit.  The Moon is in a synchronous rotation to Earth, always presenting the same surface.  Even though the Moon appears bright, it has a dark surface and possesses the same reflectivity as coal.  12 humans have walked on the Moon between 1969 and 1972.  It has been long thought that the Moon was formed after a huge asteroid collided with the Earth, but this theory has recently been disputed.  The Moon possesses a gravity about 1/6 that of Earth.

10  Named for the Roman god of War.  Mars is approximately half the diameter and has 11% of the mass of Earth.  Early astronomers noted surface features on Mars that led them to believe they were seeing canals of liquid water.  Water is found on Mars in the polar ice caps.  The atmosphere of Mars is 95% CO 2, with trace amounts of oxygen gas.  Temperatures on Mars vary between -125 o F and 23 o F.  The gravity on Mars is about 1/3 that of Earth.  The period of Mars is 687 Earth days.  Rovers and landers have been placed on Mars.  Assuming you could launch with sufficient fuel, a trip to Mars would take slightly more than 6 months in each direction.

11  Jupiter is more than 2.5 more massive than all the other planets combined.  Jupiter is composed primarily of hydrogen and helium, with a possible rocky core.  Jupiter has more than 1,321 times more volume than Earth, but is only 318 more massive.  Jupiter possesses a massive storm, named the Great Red Spot, which was first noted in the 17 th century.  Jupiter’s surface temperature is believed to hover around -229 o F.  The gravity on Jupiter has been estimated to be about 25 m/s 2.  Since Galileo first discovered 4 Jovian moons, more than 60 additional moons have been identified.

12  In 1993, a comet trapped in orbit around Jupiter was discovered.  As astronomers studied this comet, they noted that it was spiraling in to the planet.  The comet broke into pieces due to the gravity of Jupiter.  Over 6 days in July of 1994, pieces of this comet slammed into Jupiter.  The largest fragment (G) caused an explosion equivalent to 6,000,000 tons of TNT.  The resulting fireball was measured as raising the temperature from 130K to 24,000K.

13  Named after the Roman God of Agriculture, as it appeared prominently in the sky around harvest time.  Saturn has a mass 95 times that of earth, but possesses a density 1/8 that of Earth.  Saturn orbits the Sun approximately every 10,000 days.  With an atmosphere comprised mainly of hydrogen and a rocky core containing iron, nickel, and rock, Saturn is the second largest planet and a gaseous giant.  The temperature on saturn varies from - 418 o F at the cloud top to 21,092 o F in the layer of metallic hydrogen.  Saturn’s gravitational field is slightly stronger than that of Earth (10.44 m/s 2 ).  The most notable feature of Saturn would be its rings, which surround the planet and extend to 75,000 miles from the cloud top.

14  Named for the Greek God of the Sky.  Located approximately 20x the distance from the Sun as that of Earth, Uranus has a period of 84 years and gets 1/400 the amount of sunlight as Earth.  Uranus has an atmosphere of hydrogen and helium surrounding a rocky core.  Uranus is the coldest planet in the solar system, with an average temperature of - 371 o F.  Tilted almost 90o, Uranus spins along the plane of orbit with the Sun.  Uranus is an icy orb that bears a striking similarity to its neighbor – Neptune.

15  Named for the Roman God of the Sea.  Neptune is similar to Uranus in size and composition.  The period of Neptune is approximately 165 years.  The average temperature is -328 o F.  With the demotion of Pluto to a dwarf planet, Neptune is the outermost planet in our solar system.

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