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VARIOUS NOTES: ASTRONOMY....THE SOLAR SYSTEM

Definitions-

 

SECTION 1 Observing the Solar System

Geocentric- An Earth-centered explanation on how the planets move.  In a geocentric system, Earth is at the center of the revolving planets

 
Heliocentric- A sun-centered explanation on how the planets move.  In a heliocentric system, Earth and the other planets revolve around the sun

 
Ellipse- An elongated circle, or oval shape. Rotation of the planets


Inertia- The tendency of a moving object to continue in a straight line or a stationary object to remain in its place.

 
SECTION 2    The Sun
 
Nuclear Fusion- Hydrogen atoms join together to form helium. (only in extremely high temperatures)

 
Core- Center
 
Photosphere- The inner layer of the sun’s atmosphere.

 
Chromosphere- The middle layer of the sun’s atmosphere.

 
Corona- The outer layer of the sun.

 
Solar Wind- a stream of electrically charged particles sent out by the corona.

 
Sunspots- the areas of gas on the sun that are cooler than the gases around them.

 
Prominences- Reddish loops of gas. They link different parts of sunspot regions.

 
Solar flares- the energy heats gas on the sun to millions of degrees Celsius, causing the hydren gas to explode out into space, these are known as explosions.

 
SECTION 3 THE INNER PLANETS
 
The four inner planets are small and have rocky surfaces; these planets are also called the terrestrial planets

 
Venus rotates from east to west, the opposite direction from most other planets and moons. This type of rotation is called retrograde rotation.

 
Greenhouse Effect- the trapping of heat by the atmosphere.

 
SECTION 4 THE OUTER PLANETS
 
The first four outer planets are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune are much larger than Earth and do not have solid surfaces.

 
Because these four planets are all so large, they are also called the gas giants.

 
Pluto and Charon have solid surfaces and masses much less than that of Earth.

 
 
SECTION 5 COMETS, ASTEROIDS, AND METEROIDS
 
Comets- a dirty snowball about the size of an Earth mountain. And it hurls through space.

 
Comets are chunks of ice and dust whose orbits are usually very long in narrow ellipses.

 
Asteroids- objects revolving around the sun that are to small and to numerous to be considered planets
 
Asteroid belt- most asteroids revolve around the Sun, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter

 
Meteoroid- a chunk of rock or dust in space that usually break off of comets or asteroids

 
Meteor- a streak of light in the sky produced by the burning of meteoroids in the Earth’s atmosphere

 
Meteorite- a meteoroid that hit the Earth’s surface

 
SECTION 6 IS THERE LIFE BEYOND EARTH?
 
Extraterrestrial Life: life other than that on Earth
 
Earth has liquid water and a suitable temperature range and atmosphere for living things to survive

 
Since life as we know it requires water, scientists hypothesized that Mars may have once had the conditions needed for life to exist.

 
If there is liquid water on Europa, there might also be life.

 
QUESTIONS THAT MIGHT HELP YOU REVIEW :-)
 
Who was Copernicus and what did he do?
 
What is a meteor?
 
What are the 4 terrestrial planets?
 
How they are different from the gas planets?
 
What is Solar wind?
 
Which planet has retrograde rotation?
 
What are the Goldilocks conditions?
 
What is the Asteroid belt?
 
What is a Comet?
 
What are Prominences?
 
Pluto is not a planet anymore

What is the difference between a meteor and a meteorite and where a meteorite hits?

What is nuclear fusion?
 
What is an ellipse?
 
What are sunspots?
 
What is inertia?
 
What is heliocentric?