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Solar System Debris: Minor Bodies of the Solar System

Solar System Debris: Minor Bodies of the Solar System. Asteroids Comets Meteoroids. ~few hundred miles. sand grain. How big?. Everywhere!. * Where are they?. . . . But concentrated mainly in the:. Main Asteroid Belt Kuiper Belt Oort Cloud. Asteroids. * Debris left-over

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Solar System Debris: Minor Bodies of the Solar System

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  1. Solar System Debris: Minor Bodies of the Solar System Asteroids Comets Meteoroids

  2. ~few hundred miles sand grain How big?

  3. Everywhere! * Where are they? . . . But concentrated mainly in the: • Main Asteroid Belt • Kuiper Belt • Oort Cloud

  4. Asteroids

  5. * Debris left-over from solar system formation! Average separation  4 million miles p. 197

  6. 35 mi Ida & Dactyl

  7. Asteroids viewed from Earth p. 198

  8. 20 mi Near-Earth Asteroids: Orbits pass near and/or cross Earth’s orbit. Asteroid 433 Eros

  9. Asteroid 1994 XM1 Missed Earth by 65,000 mi!

  10. Comets

  11. Kuiper Belt

  12. Galaxy 4.6 hrs Kuiper Belt Object (KBO) 1993 SC * KBOs: mainly icy in composition ? Is Pluto just the largest KBO?

  13. 100,000 AU Oort Cloud some comets originate here p. 203

  14. Many comets orbit well out of plane of planets’ orbits.

  15. Comet Hyakutake (1996) ~ 50o

  16. Nucleus: ice with intermixed ‘gravel.’ . Comet Hale-Bopp (1997) Ion tail: ions energized by solar photons. Dust tail: dust particles scatter (reflect) sunlight. p. 201

  17. March 1, 2001: Hale-Bopp ~13 AU from Sun

  18. Solar wind + radiation pressure Comet tails always point away from the sun. p. 202

  19. Nucleus of Comet Halley “Dirty Snowball”

  20. 5 mi Comet Borrelly

  21. Periodic comets eventually evaporate . . . Some break up near the sun . . .

  22. . . . And some comets dive into the sun.

  23. Meteoroids

  24. * Stuff falls on Earth continuously – most of it harmlessly. Meteor– streak of light caused by heating of Meteoroid as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere.

  25. Meteorite– piece of meteoroid that reaches the ground.

  26. Large meteoroids: chipped from asteroids Small meteoroids: comet debris Meteor showers

  27. Leonid Shower (mid-November)

  28. Leo Radiant November, 2001

  29. Leonid Storm of Nov 17, 1966

  30. “Thirteen of us, mostly students, drove to observe and record the Leonids atop Kitt Peak on the night of Nov. 16-17, 1966. We formed a circle of chairs and began to study our assigned areas of the sky for meteors. It started off slowly, about 30/hour. After 3 hours it picked up dramatically, and we observed a peak of about 40/second that lasted for 10 to 20 minutes. This was 24,000 in a ten minute period, a rate of 144,000/hour. We stood in awe as the sky seemed filled with meteors.”

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