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34 terms

Planets

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Terrestrial
means "Earth-like"
Terrestrial planets
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars
Mercury
Closest to the Sun - has no atmosphere - fastest orbit - weak gravity - and is covered with more than 75% impact craters.
Venus
"Earth's Twin" - Similar to Earth in gravity, diameter, and surface - rotates from east to west, which is opposite of all of the other planets - therefore, sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Can be seen in morning and evening, but not at midnight aka "The Evening Star". The atmosphere has very high CO2 content.
Mars
"The Red Planet" - Takes 2 times as long as the Earth to orbit the Sun - very weak magnetic field - Has polar ice caps made of CO2 - Has canyons, mountains, and dust storms - Has two moons: Phobos & Demos
Jovian Planets
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Jovian Planets
much larger - no solid surface - made mostly of gases: H & He - have rings - have many moons
Jupiter
Largest planet in our solar system - rotates faster than any other planet - strongest known magnetic field - has "The Great Red Spot" - Has many moons: Callisto, Europa, Io, Ganymede, etc.
Saturn
"The Ringed Planet" - has the most visible rings - rings are rocks and ice - lowest density of all planets - Moon: Titan is the second largest moon in our solar system and is the only moon to have a substantial atmosphere.
Uranus
Axis is tipped on the side but magnetic field is not - Cannot easily been seen with the unaided eye - largest moons are Miranda, Ariel, & Oberon
Neptune
most distant Jovian planet - axis is normal but magnetic field is tipped - existence was predicted mathematically
Pluto
"Planet or Not?" - Moon: Charon - Charon is half the size - We know very little about this planet because it is so far away
Comets
"Dirty Snowballs" - made of dust, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide - have tails which point away from the Sun due to the solar wind - have elliptical orbits - Ex. Halley, Enke, Kohoutek
Asteroids
solid rock masses - thousands exist in our solar system - most have circular orbits, but some have elliptical orbits like comets - this leads scientists to believe some asteroids may be extinct comets - Examples of asteroids: Ceres, Pallas
Meteoroid
a piece of rock or ice traveling through space
meteor
(aka shooting star) is a meteoroid burning up in the Earth's atmosphere - meteorite - part of a meteoroid that survives the Earth's atmosphere and strikes the Earth - meteorites may be stone, iron, or a mixture of both - most often found on the Antarctic ice sheet
Impact Craters
Huge bowl-shaped depression caused by a meteorite impact - Example: Barringer Crater in Arizon
Terrestrial
means "Earth-like"
Terrestrial planets
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars
Mercury
Closest to the Sun - has no atmosphere - fastest orbit - weak gravity - and is covered with more than 75% impact craters.
Venus
"Earth's Twin" - Similar to Earth in gravity, diameter, and surface - rotates from east to west, which is opposite of all of the other planets - therefore, sun rises in the west and sets in the east. Can be seen in morning and evening, but not at midnight aka "The Evening Star". The atmosphere has very high CO2 content.
Mars
"The Red Planet" - Takes 2 times as long as the Earth to orbit the Sun - very weak magnetic field - Has polar ice caps made of CO2 - Has canyons, mountains, and dust storms - Has two moons: Phobos & Demos
Jovian Planets
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Jovian Planets
mush larger - no solid surface - made mostly of gases: H & He - have rings - have many moons
Jupiter
Largest planet in our solar system - rotates faster than any other planet - strongest known magnetic field - has "The Great Red Spot" - Has many moons: Callisto, Europa, Io, Ganymede, etc.
Saturn
"The Ringed Planet" - has the most visible rings - rings are rocks and ice - lowest density of all planets - Moon: Titan is the second largest moon in our solar system and is the only moon to have a substantial atmosphere.
Uranus
Axis is tipped on the side but magnetic field is not - Cannot easily been seen with the unaided eye - largest moons are Miranda, Ariel, & Oberon
Neptune
most distant Jovian planet - axis is normal but magnetic field is tipped - existence was predicted mathematically
Pluto
"Planet or Not?" - Moon: Charon - Charon is half the size - We know very little about this planet because it is so far away
Comets
"Dirty Snowballs" - made of dust, ammonia, methane and carbon dioxide - have tails which point away from the Sun due to the solar wind - have elliptical orbits - Ex. Halley, Enke, Kohoutek
Asteroids
solid rock masses - thousands exist in our solar system - most have circular orbits, but some have elliptical orbits like comets - this leads scientists to believe some asteroids may be extinct comets - Examples of asteroids: Ceres, Pallas
Meteoroid
a piece of rock or ice traveling through space
meteor
(aka shooting star) is a meteoroid burning up in the Earth's atmosphere - meteorite - part of a meteoroid that survives the Earth's atmosphere and strikes the Earth - meteorites may be stone, iron, or a mixture of both - most often found on the Antarctic ice sheet
Impact Craters
Huge bowl-shaped depression caused by a meteorite impact - Example: Barringer Crater in Arizon