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The Solar System Planets, Moons and Other Bodies Mercury Venus

The Solar System Planets, Moons and Other Bodies Mercury Venus

The Solar System Planets, Moons and Other Bodies Mercury

Planets, Moons and Other Bodies The Solar System Chapter 15 Homework: All the multiple choice questions in “Applying the Concepts” and Group A questions in “Parallel Exercises”. • Solar System –Sun – 9 planets – ~100 moons – Thousands of asteroids, millions of icy bodies, comets, … • Astronomical unit (AU) – Average Earth-Sun distance –1.5x10 8 km • Planet classification: size, density and atmosphere • Terrestrial planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars – Mostly rocky materials, metallic nickel and iron • Giant planets – Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – Mostly hydrogen, helium and methane • Pluto – In a class by itself – True planet • Innermost planet • Highly elliptical orbit • Average distance ~ 0.4 AU • Orbital period ~ 3 months • Rotational period ~ 59 days • Visible shortly after sunset or before sunrise • Highly cratered; no atmosphere Mercury Venus • Orbital distance ~ 0.7 AU • Morning and evening “star” • Exhibits phases, like the Moon • Rotational motion opposite orbital motion • Venusian “day” longer than Venusian “year” • Visited by numerous probes • Mostly CO 2 atmosphere, high temperature and pressure • Surface mostly flat but varied

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