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SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND

Solar System and Planetary


Motion
• The heliocentric model of Copernicus became accepted.
However his model was far from describing the true
motion of the planets as suggested by KEPLER’S LAWS.
1. The orbit of the planet around the sun is an ellipse with the
Sun being of its foci.
2. A planet sweeps out equal areas during time intervals.
3. The square of the orbital period T of a planet is directly
proportional to the cube of the semi-major axis a of its orbit.

T =ka
2 3
This simply says that the further away is a planet from
the sun, the longer it takes for that planet to revolve
around the sun.
T =ka
2 3
ASTRONOMICAL UNIT (au)
• A unit of length used in astronomy equal to the mean
distance of the earth from the sun or about 93 million
miles (150 million kilometers
• USING (au) ALSO ALLOWS US TO OBTAIN KEPLER’S
CONSTANT (k) CONVENIENTLY.

T2=ka3 k=T2 = 1yr2


a3 au 3
MEAN DISTANCE AND PERIOD OF
PLANETS
CLASSIFICATION OF THE PLANETS

• TERRESTRIAL PLANETS
• They look like Earth in certain characteristics.
• JOVIAN PLANETS
• No resemblance to terrestrial planets.
EARTH AS A LIFE-SUSTAINING
PLANET
1. RELATIVE STABLE TEMPERATURE
(at ~20˚C during daytime)
• Compared to another planets, Mars, for
example, is nearly warm as Earth during
daytime but plunges into deep freezing
coldness during night time (-123˚ C)
EARTH AS A LIFE-SUSTAINING
PLANET

2. ATMOSPHERE- Earth’s atmosphere is 78%


N2, the stuff of element tissues of many
living organisms. Also, it contains high
quantity of O2 which is present in water.
EARTH AS A LIFE-SUSTAINING
PLANET
3. CIRCUMSTELLAR HABITABLE
ZONE/HABITABLE SONE/GOLDILOCK’S ZONE
Earth receives enough radiant energy to make liquid
water possible.
EARTH AS A LIFE-SUSTAINING
PLANET

3. MAGNETIC FIELD
Earth’s magnetic field acts like a shield which protects us
from the harmful radiation coming from the sun. Without
it and the atmosphere, all organisms will be destroyed
POOR PLUTO!

• 1930-Discovery of Pluto by Clyde Tombaugh. It was


discovered in a region in our solar system called Kuiper
belt. Pluto is smaller than moon and it takes 248 Earth
years to make a complete revolution around the Sun.
• In August 25, 2006, the GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
INTERNATIONAL ASTRONOMICAL UNION developed a
new definition of plant and voted on Pluto based on this
definition
POOR PLUTO!
CRITERIA PLUTO
Must orbit around the Sun YES
Must be spherical in shape YES
Must be the dominant space object in its orbit NO

As an object in the Kuiper Belt, it only has 0.07 mass of the entire
mass of objects in its orbit. Earth, by way of comparison, has 1.7
million times the mass of all objects in its orbits.

THIS MAKES PLUTO CLASSIFIED AS “DWARF PLANET”


EXOPLANETS
• There are two reasons why it is difficult to find planets
outside the SOLAR SYSTEM:
1. They are to tiny that the light they reflect is nearly
UNDETECTABLE.
2. When these come close to their Sun, the glare of the sun
overcomes the image of the planet.
• Nevertheless, NASA did discover exoplanets. In fact,
there are 3,580 of such planets listed in Extrasolar
Planets Encyclopedia.
• There are two methods to find exoplanets. These are
through Doppler shift and through the method of transit.
METHODS USED IN IDENTIFYING EXOPLANETS
• DOPPLER EFFECT
• The shifting in the light spectrum due to the movement of a
light source relative to the observer.
• In this case the light source is the sun of the exoplanets. Their
sun has its own small orbit.
METHODS USED IN IDENTIFYING
EXOPLANETS
• When an exoplanet crosses (transits) the linear sights
from Earth to its sun, it partially blocks the light emitted
by the Sun reducing its brightness as seen from Earth.
The sequence of brightness and reduced brightness is
an indication of an orbiting exoplanet
DISTANCES AMONG SPACE OBJECTS
1. Astronomical Unit
1 au=150 million kilometers
2. Light Year
• A light-year is the distance light travels in one Earth year. 
1 Light Year = 9.45 x 1012 km
1 Light Year = 6.3 x 104 au
3. Parsec (pc)
• Is the distance where on astronomical unit (1 au)
subtends an angle of one arcsecond
1 parsec = 206, 265 au
1 parsec = 3.09 x 1013 km = 3.26 ly