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75 Cards in this Set

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Astronomical unit
Average distance between Earth & sun

Aprox. 93 million miles
Oval orbits on which planets travel around the Sun (keepers 1st law)
light comes in pieces called photons...

Characterized by ravellings, frequency and energy

Each photon has a particular amount of energy (color)
light year
light travel distance in one year: 6 trill miles per yr.
distance between wave peaks

there are long & short wavelengths
Number of waves that pass a given point in a given time

High/low frequencies
Visible white light Spectrum: RED, ORANGE, yellow, GREEN, BLUE, INDEGO, VIOLET

Blue: short wave, High freq., high energy
RED: Long wave, Low Freq, low Energy
electromagnetic spectrum
A range of light from large wavelengths to very small.

RADIO waves, Microwaves, INFRARED, Visible light, ultraviolet, X-rays, Gamma rays
continuous spectrum
continuous spectrum (energy at all wavelengths)

note: A rainbow is an example of a continuous spectrum. Most continuous spectra are from hot, dense objects like stars, planets, or moons. The continuous spectrum from these kinds of objects is also called a thermal spectrum, because hot, dense objects will emit electromagnetic radiation at all wavelengths or colors.
emission spectrum
emission spectrum: (Energy at few wavelengths) very few colored lines in spectrum (clouds of interstellar gas)

Note: Thus, emission spectra are produced by thin gases in which the atoms do not experience many collisions (because of the low density). The emission lines correspond to photons of discrete energies that are emitted when excited atomic states in the gas make transitions back to lower-lying levels.
absorption spectrum
absorption spectrum: (some dark lines, absence of light in Spectrum)

Note: occurs when light passes through a cold, dilute gas and atoms in the gas absorb at characteristic frequencies; since the re-emitted light is unlikely to be emitted in the same direction as the absorbed photon, this gives rise to dark lines (absence of light) in the spectrum.

example: Sun, Stars
Doppler (effect) shift
Light emitted from object moving towards us will have its wavelength Shortened (Blue shift)

Light emitted from object moving away will have its wavelength lengthened (RED shift)

The larger the shift the faster the object is moving, can only tell us about objects moving away or towards
light pollution
Alteration of natural light levels in the outdoor environment owing to artificial light sources.
Lens Refracts/ Bends light

(Refracting telescope gathers & bends light)
primary lens determines size of telescope, one basic design
A mirror reflects light (same direction)
-scattered Reflection: light reflected randomly

(reflecting telescope): uses mirrors to gather and reflect light, many designs
Newtonian telescopes
The Newtonian telescope is a type of reflecting telescope

invented by the British scientist Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727), using a concave primary mirror and a flat diagonal secondary mirror. Newton’s first reflecting telescope was completed in 1668 and is the earliest known functional reflecting telescope.[
Atmospheric windows
Where Atmosphere is transparent to Certain wavelengths of light

-only visible & Radio wavelengths get to Earth
Several telescopes working together as one for better resolution
adaptive optics
Instruments using a method called adaptive optics can eliminate the blurring effect of the atmosphere.
CCD (charged-coupled devices)
The CCD is a major technology for digital imaging. In a CCD image sensor, reverse-biased p–n junctions (essentially photodiodes) are used to absorb photons and produce charges representing sensed pixels; the CCD is used to read out these charges.
Solar System
A solar system consists of a star and all the objects orbiting it as well as all the material in that system.

Our Solar System includes the Sun together with the eight planets and their moons as well as all other celestial bodies that orbit the sun.
Terrestrial (rocky Planets)
Inner planets (formed inside frostline): Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars

characteristics: small, rock & metal, High density, solid Surface, few moons, Close to Sun
Jovan (gas giants)
Outer planets (formed outside frost line): Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

characteristics: Larger size/ mass, Gas, Low density, No Solid surface, all have rings & many moons, far from Sun
leftover rocky Planetesimals, formed inside frost line
Asteroid Belt
The asteroid belt is the region of the Solar System located roughly between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter. It is occupied by numerous irregularly shaped bodies called asteroids or minor planets
leftover icy planetesimals outside the frostline
Nebular Theory
Solar system formed out of a cloud of gas dust

-98% H & He from big Bang, 2% Heavier elements produced by Stars

-instabilities in rotating solar nebula collapse due to gravity

- crowd flattened into a disk, Sun formed at center, planets formed in disk

-Early accretion process formed many Small planetesimals, these planetesimals grew by accreting Smaller ones and eventually the largest survived collisions & grew into planets
Solar Nebula
Cloud of gas & dust

98% H & He 2% Heavier elements produced by Stars
Frost line
The frost line, refers to a particular distance in the solar nebula from the protosun where it is cold enough for hydrogen compounds such as water, ammonia, and methane to condense into solid ice grains.

It would have existed between the orbits or Mars and Jupiter.

The frost line therefore separates terrestrial planets from jovian planets
Early building blocks for planets
differentiation (Rocky Planets)
Heat from formation caused melting of planet, then Separation of materials according to density called differentiation

Gases were released from interior to form atmosphere

High density Sinks to core, low density rises to surface
plate tectonics:
Constant destruction and renewal of Earths surface due to motion of crust driven by Earths internal heat
Unique to Earth.

convergent Zone:
Plates move toward each other, old crust recycled
ocean/ocean, cont/cont,
ocean /cont: Subduction Zone old oceanic crust recycled

Divergent Zone: Oceanic
plates move apart, spread at center, new crust is made, mid ocean rise, mid atlantic rise
hot spot
The places known as hotspots or hot spots in geology are volcanic regions thought to be fed by underlying mantle that is anomalously hot compared with the mantle elsewhere. They may be on, near to, or far from tectonic plate boundaries.
The Earth's crust is an extremely thin layer of rock, like the skin of an apple in relative terms. It amounts to less than half of 1 percent of the planet. floats on Earths more dense mantle
The mantle is the thick layer of hot, solid rock between the crust and the molten iron core.
Metal core High density

The core is a dense ball of the elements iron and nickel. It is divided into two layers, the inner core and the outer core. The inner core - the center of earth - is solid and about 780 miles thick. The outer core is so hot that the metal is always molten, but the inner core pressures are so great that it cannot melt, even though temperatures there reach 6700ºF The outer core is about 1370 miles thick. Because the earth rotates, the outer core spins around the inner core and that causes the earth's magnetism
In the earth the lithosphere includes the crust and the uppermost mantle, which constitute the hard and rigid outer layer of the Earth
Solar wind
constant stream of charged particles, esp protons and electrons, emitted by the sun at high velocities, its density and speed varying during periods of solar activity. It interacts with the earth's magnetic field, some of the particles being trapped by the magnetic lines of force, and causes auroral displays
Solar wind collides with atmosphere near magnetic poles

-excite atoms in upper atmosphere
-atmosphere glows
magnetic fields
Earth's magnetic field (also known as the geomagnetic field) is the magnetic field that extends from the Earth's inner core to where it meets the solar wind
-supplies air we breathe, protects Earth's surface from solar radiation, without greenhouse effect earth would be too cold for liquid water to exist, pressure allows water to exist, gravity allows Earth to retain its atmosphere
ozone (Stratosphere)
Absorbs dangerous UV radiation, without it life on Iandwould be impossible
greenhouse effect
-Gasses in atmosphere trap heat & keeps earth warm

-Green House GASSES: Carbon dioxide, Water vapor, Methane
runaway greenhouse effect
occurs when a planet absorbs more energy from the sun than it can radiate back to space. Under these circumstances, the hotter the surface temperature gets, the faster it warms up
-The breakdown or transport of material through the action of
-ice Iiquid, Gas
-Erosion cannot occur on worlds without an atmosphere
volcanoes cover old Surf. w/new, produced Earths early atmosphere and oceans
(EARTHS size allows it to retain internal heat driving volcanism)

-Stratovolcanoes: only form over subduction zones
-Hot Spot Volcanoes: Occur over a hot Spot within a plate
-- ocean plate: sheild volcano (Hawii)
-- Continental plate (Yellowstone)
impact cratering
-Earth was bombarded by impacts when young
-impact rate has decreased over time
--Ancient craters have been erased by geological processes
Lunar highlands
-Light areas on moon
-Rugged Mts. formed by impact craters
-Heavily cratered: very old surface
Lunar Mare
-Dark areas on moon
- Maria is Latin for "seas" (mare, singular "sea")
-Low, flat Lava filled
-fewer craters than highlands : younger surface
Tycho contributions
Made Accurate measurements of planets
-used to determine True Planet measurements
-used by Keeper to determine that mars had an oval elipse not circular
Kepler contributions
First to correctly explain planetary motion, accurate predictions of planet positions, elliptical orbiting, faster when close to sun, relationship between planet orbit period (time to make 1 orbit)
Newton contributions
-Discovered law of gravity (Fg=M1xM2/D2)
-invented telescope using mirrors
-used prisim to understand properties of white light
What are the three types of spectra?

How are they produced?
hot, dense objects will emit electromagnetic radiation at all wavelengths or colors.
-Emission line:
emission spectra are produced by thin gases in which the atoms do not experience many collisions (because of the low density).
-Absorption line:
occurs when light passes through a cold, dilute gas and atoms in the gas absorb at characteristic frequencies; since the re-emitted light is unlikely to be emitted in the same direction as the absorbed photon, this gives rise to few dark lines (absence of light) in the spectrum
Quantum model of atom (hydrogen)

how does it explain emission and absorption spectra?
-Nucleus: Proton (+), Neutrons (no charge)
-Electrons (-):: Move around tire nucleus in specific energy levels

-Ground State: Electrons in lowest energy level
-Excited state: Electrons in higher energy level
-Ionized: Electron has escaped the atom
Parts of the electromagneic spectrum?
Radio waves, Microwaves, Visible region(ROYGBIV), Ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, Gamma rays.
In thermal radiation is color related to temp?
Yes: the hotter it is the Shorter the wavelength
is infrared felt as heat?
Basic functions of a telescope:

refractor, reflector, Newtonian


Why are observatories built on mountaintops?
Reduce atmospheric effects
why are orbiting telescopes important?
Eliminates Atmospheric Effects
How do radio telescopes work and what are they used for?
Collect radio waves that pass through atmospheric window
can use in daytime
Makeup up of the Solar system.
Planets, asteroids, proto-planets, satellites (moons), comets, and the Sun.
Names of planets & order from Sun
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Relative sizes of the planets Largest to smallest
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus,
Neptune , Earth, Venus,
Mars , Mercury
characteristics of planets


Gas Giants:
-Core: highest density material, primarily metals
-Mantle Mantle: Rocky material moderate density
-Crust: Lowest density rock forms outer skin
Lithosphere: composed of planet's crust & upper mantle (rigid)

Gas Giants:
why did rocky and gas giant planets form where they did?
-Solar wind

When the sun first came into being, this wind was far stronger than it is today -- strong enough to blast lighter elements such as hydrogen and helium away from the inner orbits. When these expelled elements reached the outer orbits, the strength of the solar wind dropped off. The gravity of the outer gas giants quickly drew these elements in, bloating them into their current forms: solid cores of rock and ice covered with gas.
Mercury features (1st planet from Sun)
-38% size of Earth
-No moon
-tenuous atmosphere: Most extreme temps diff. from day /night of any terrestrial body
-Weak magnetic field: Conducting core?
-No aurora, No tectonics, Geologically dead
Venus features
Venus is always covered by a thick layer of clouds that make it impossible to see the surface for light in the visible part of the spectrum. Light at radar wavelengths penetrates the cloud deck and allows us to study the surface. A comparison of the motion of the surface with that of the upper clouds indicates that while the surface takes about 8 months to rotate, the clouds rotate all the way around the planet in about 4 days. This indicates that there are very high velocity winds in the upper part of the Venusian atmosphere.
Earth features (3rd planet from Sun)
-Plate Tectonics, Volcanism, cratering, erosion ,atmosphere, Interior :Core, Mantle, crust
Origin of earths moon
formed as a result of a giant impact: a Mars-sized body hit the nearly formed proto-Earth, blasting material into orbit around the proto-Earth, which accreted to form the Moon.[

Note: More craters means older surface, less = newer
Earths Interior
-Core: highest density material, primarily metals
--- inner core Solid (iron/nickel)
--- Outer Core LIQUID (iron/nicke)
Responsible for Earths magnetic field

-Mantle Mantle: Rocky material moderate density
-Crust: Lowest density rock forms outer skin
Lithosphere: composed of planet's crust & upper mantle (rigid)
How has Earths atmosphere changed over time?
-Primary atmosphere (first): carbon dioxide, Nitrogen, Water vapor, out gassing accreting planetesimals

-Secondary Atmosphere (present day)
21% oxygen, 77% Nitrogen, 2% other gases
-Oxygen produced by plant life 3.3 bill. yrs. ago
What is happening below western Washington?
We live in a subduction zone

-Volcanoes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis
differentiation (Gas Planets)
Interior got hot, differentiation occurred, ice vaporized to gas
differentiation (Gas Planets)
Interior got hot, differentiation occurred, ice vaporized to gas