Friday, January 07, 2000

Solar System

Answer the following questions in a Word document, using your text as a resource.

1. What is an astronomical unit?

An Astronomical unit is a mean distance between the Earth and Sun. It is 150 million KM or 93 million miles. It is 1.496e11 meters. Giovanni Cassini developed the original lower number in 1671.

2. What are the Kuiper Belt and the OortCloud?

The Kuiper belt is a belt full of trillion+ comets and 100,000s of 100 KM rock. It is said to be excess rocks that were formed by the solar nebula. The Kuiper belt has three dwarf planets called MakeMake, Sedna and Haumea. The book only mentioned Sedna. Kuiper belt starts at 30 AU. The oort cloud starts at 50 AU and has trillion or more iceballs circling the Sun. Icy chunks come into the inner solar system as a comet.
3. What direction do the comet tails point?

The Comet tails point away from the Sun, because the solar wind is burning it up and pushed to the rear. A comet is made up of ice or is a huge snowball.

4. Why do some of the large moons of the Giant Planets have surfaces full of craters and others are smooth?

Some moons have no atmosphere so the meteorites wouldn’t be burnt up. Others have large atmospheres and aren’t acceptable to small meteorite or Asteroid damage. Saturn and Jupiter have a lot bigger atmosphere then Earth which allows them evaporate gigantic meteorites or asteroids to the point where there is only a little bit of the rock left on ground.


Dickinson, T. (Ed.). (2004). "Chapter 1"
The Universe and Beyond, 4th Edition. (pg 11 - 19) Canada: Firefly Book, Inc.
Dickinson, T. (Ed.). (2004). “Chapter 2 "
The Universe and Beyond, 4th Edition. (pp 21-39) Canada: Firefly Book, Inc.
Dickinson, T. (Ed.). (2004). “Chapter 3"
The Universe and Beyond, 4th Edition. (pg 41-53) Canada: Firefly Book, Inc.
Dickinson, T. (Ed.). (2004). “Chapter 4"
The Universe and Beyond, 4th Edition. (pp 55-71) Canada: Firefly Book, Inc.
Anonymous (2010). MakeMake
Retrieved April 30, 2010, from Windows2Universe website

Anonymous ( September, 2008). Fifth Dwarf Planet Named Haumea
Retrieved April 30, 2010, from ScienceDaily website


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