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Solar System Formation Flashcard

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Where did the raw materials of our solar system come from?
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The Raw Materials of our Solar System came from a huge gas cloud made from recycled “star dust.”
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How did our solar system form?
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The solar system formed from a cloud of cold gas and dust called the solar nebula about 4.6 billion years ago
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What were conditions like in the early solar system?
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dust collects together into planetesimals planetesimals collect together into protoplanets Protoplanets gather up left over debris and became planets
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How do planets form?
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The planets formed by the accretion of planetesimals and the accumulation of gases in the solar nebula
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Which planet formed closest to the Sun at temperatures below the freezing point of water?
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Jupiter
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Astronomers have discovered massive gas giants like Jupiter orbiting companion stars closer than the orbit of Venus. Why don’t astronomers believe that these gas giants formed at these locations?
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The temperature in the early solar nebula was too high at these distances.
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Planet detection
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Direct: Observations of the planets themselves (VERY difficult and rare) Indirect: Measurements of stellar properties revealing the effects of orbiting planets Gravitational tugs Transits
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What are gravitational tugs?
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The star and planet orbit around their common center of gravity. The star wobbles around that center of mass with the same period as the planet. We can measure this wobble.
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What is the transit method?
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Transit: when a planet crosses in from of a star. The resulting eclipse reduces the star’s apparent brightness.
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Which of the following facts CANNOT be explained by the theory that the planets formed out of a rotating flattened disk that formed from the solar nebula?
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Most of the moons in our solar system belong to the Jovian planets.
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In a solar system with a central star that is ten times hotter than our Sun, one would expect the distances over which terrestrial planets formed to be __________ ours.
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greater than
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What was the form of the material from which the Solar System formed?
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a nebula made mostly of hydrogen and helium gas, but enriched in heavier elements from previous supernova explosions.
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The most probable theory for the Solar System’s formation is
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gas and dust clouds condensed to form the Sun, whereas planets formed later within a nebular disk
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The manner in which the terrestrial planets formed was
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accretion of solid planetesimals containing mostly rocky material.
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How do rocky planets develop a core that has a higher density than rocks at their surface?
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material with higher density sinks to the center of the planet, while the less dense material stays at the surface.
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In general, what are the characteristics of the planets that have been found so far around other stars?
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They are the mass of Saturn or larger, and are therefore Jovian-type planets
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What type of search technique has discovered the largest number of planets around stars other than Sun?
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Looking for tiny variations in the star’s velocity, caused by the gravitational pull of one or more planets orbiting the star.