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58 Cards in this Set

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What is planetary elongation?
to view a planet, it must be above the horizon while the sun is below the horizon
what is elongation?
angle subtended b/w sun & planet as seen from Earth. 0 degrees has planet in same direction and 180 degress is opposite in sky
what happens if the elongation angle is small?
-there is a small amount of time to observe a planet (after sunset, before sunrise)
-when viewed near horizon, it suffers a lot of atmosphere distortion
what happens if the elongation angle is large?
there is a longer viewing time and is seen higher in the sky b/c of less atmospher distortion
what are superior planets?
Mars through pluto
What are inferior planets?
Mercury and Venus
what is the opposition of superior planets?
has elongation angle of 180 degrees
has longest viewing time-all night
this is cloest position to earth and is largest and brightest
what is the conjunction of superior planet?
has elongation angle of 0 degrees
furthest position from Earth
planet is behind sun and you cannot see it
What angles are possible for superior planets?
all elongation angles are possible
what is the conjunction of inferior planets?
when elongation is 0 degress
is closest to Earth
looking directly into the sun
and view the night side of the planet
what is the viewing time of Mercury & venus?
always have a small elongation angle
there is a short viewing time
what is the effect of a long rotation period on Mercury?
day is a day for a very long time - very hot (700)
night is night for a long time - very cold (-300)
What is the consequence of Mercury with no atmosphere?
no protection from UV & X rays from sun
No greenhouse effect
no burnup of meters that will hit Mercury
What is the suface analysis of Mercury?
NO VOLCANOES
lots of craters areas- old surface
inter crater plains -young surface and repaving process
What is the repaving process on Mercury?
impacts crack surface and lave oozed through cracks and repave the surface
What is Caloris Basin?
huge asteroid impact that is 1300 KM in size
What is unique about Venus?
rotates backwards
1 day is 243 earth days
no moons
day temp=night temp
what is unique about the atmosphere of Venus?
completely covered in thick clouds of CO2, very thick atmosphere 90x earth
what is the consequence of a thick atmosphere?
greenhouse effect that enables the night temp and day temp to be equal at about 900 degrees
very few craters that are burned up
Does Venus have volcanoes?
lots of dormant volcanoes that have repaved the surface volcanoes also increase the greenhouse effect
What planet experiences seasons?
Mars
What is the temp of Mars?
day usually below 32 degress and night is nearly -200 degress
What is the consequence of Mars' thin atmosphere?
lots of craters - old surface
What is the evidence of past h2o on Mars?
dry river beds
dry tributaries
tear drop islands
rounded boulders & pebbles from errosion
what does the evidence of h2o on mars prove?
the planet must have been warmer in the past and had a much thicker atmosphere
What are the common themes for terrestrial planets?
rockey surface/interior
dense composition
very little atmosphere
-atm. represents a tiny amount of total planet's mass
what are the common themes for jovian planets?
very large rock ice core
develop huge atmospheres of gas
atm. is huge amount of planet's total mass
What are the atm. features of Jupiter?
zones- latitudes which are bright where warm gas rises
belts- darker latitudes where cool gas falls - convection
What is differential rotation on Jupiter?
each latitude has winds moving at diff. speeds/directions
What is the Great Red Spot on jupiter?
huge hurricane
lasted for centuries
3 earth diameters
What are the atm. features of Saturn?
very windy
has zones/belts too
very hot south pole -mystery?
What are the atm. features of Uranus?
featureless
tipped on its side - collision?
blue color - methane gas
What are the atm. features of Neptune?
blue color - methane gas
fast wind speeds
has methane ice cirrus clouds
great dark spot - tornado that is 1 earth diameter
What are the Galilean moons of Jupiter?
Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto
Give some facts about Io?
size of earth moon
most volcanic moon- lead to new surface and few craters
heating from jupiter causes hot interior on Io
Give some facts about Europa?
size of earth moon
very reflective moon b/c it is icy
heavily cracked with few craters
What is so unique about Europa?
liquid h20 may flow through cracks, freeze and repave
What may the tidal heating cause on Europa?
Warm interior with liquid oceans of water which may indicate life
Give some facts about Ganymede?
largest moon in SS
bigger than mercury
very old surface with many craters
Give some facts about Callisto?
3rd largest moon in SS
most cratered object in SS
Name 6 Saturn Moons of interest?
Mimas, Phoebe, Hyperion, Iapetus, Enceladus, Titan
Give some facts about mimas?
has huge impact crater
Give some facts about Phoebe?
heavily cratered
comet like
captured object from SS
Give some facts about Hyperion?
irregular shape & small
fragment of larger moon
sponge-like crater appearance
cavernous interior-low density moon
Give some facts about Iapetus?
2 toned moon
1 hempisphere bright and other is dark
Give some facts about Enceladus?
extremely bright and reflective
old surfaces and new
has huge faults - tiger stripes
Give some facts about Titan?
2 nd largest moon
larger than mercury
thick atmosphere
What does studies of Titan resemble?
may be similar to atm. of earth before life
What are the rings of Saturn?
Very reflective - icy composition
made of small particles of rock and ice
thousands of rings
very few large gaps b/w rings
What about the rings of Jupiter?
there are very thin rings
What about the rings of Uranus/Neptune?
very large gaps
rings are very thin
much darker and less reflective
very few rings made up of larger ice particles
What is unique about Pluto?
spins backwards
tilt at 120 degrees
spins slowly
highly inclined orbit to ecliptic plane
very eccentric orbit
Where is PLuto at its perihelion?
b/c of such an eccentric orbit, pluto becomes 8th planet and passes neptune for 20 year period
What are the arguments for pluto being a planet?
it has history for being a planet?
it is spherical (asteriod ceres is also spherical)
has 3 moons
what are the arguments against pluto being a planet?
its uniqueness from other planets
it de-emphasizes the meaning of a planet
at least 3 other pluo sized objects were found in Kuiper Belt
discuss triton moon of neptune
coldest moon recorded
active geysers and volcanoes of ice
discuss phobos of Mars
7 mile crater caused by great shockwave
humans may be able to go to phobos to study mars
discuss the earth moon
oldest rocks found 4.5 billion ys.
moon may have derived from hitting earth & formed moon
may have previously been filled with hot volcanic surface