Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Comets and the Kuiper Belt

Comets and The Kuiper Belt

Image result for comets

     Comets are a big rock of ice and silicates. These usually hang out in the Kuiper Belt but when they complete their orbit, in which they get close to the sun, is when their ice starts to evaporate due to the temperatures in which the ice cannot be to stay solid. This is apparent in our planets that of which the terrestrial planets are made of silicates and the gas giants are made of gas because of the cold temperatures which allow for such gas to form. This is where the comets are formed. There is such a thing called the Kuiper belt where there are small rocks that did not get used in the formation of the solar system, either got caught in the orbit of the sun, not used, or the gas giants prevented them to have gravitational forces great enough to form into something. These comets, however, formed in the Oort cloud which contains the Kuiper belt. This makes sense in a way because where would new ones come from? There is a satellite launched on Jan. 9th, 2006 in which took a photo of Pluto on July 14, 2015 which is believed to be close to the Oort cloud. This could mean a big discovery in this decade and/or a good explanation.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Saturn's Rings

                 Saturn's Rings

Image result for saturn     Saturn's Rings are a unique thing for our solar system, though, they are not the only planet that has rings, it is still a great structure. How do these rings form? In every body that has mass, there is a force called tidal force in which the gravity of one object pulls on another, causing it to deform or tear apart. This is seen on Earth where the Moon pulls on Earth's ocean water, causing tides to become higher or lower, the sun has the same affect on Earth, too. It is dependent on how close the object is to the other and how massive it is that causes these effects.

     Using the idea of tidal forces, we can calculate what is called the Roche limit (named after the astronomer who made the equation) in which an object will be torn apart by tidal forces and form a ring. The equation is Lp = 2.44(PM/Pm)*1/3*Rp  . R is the radii of the bigger body (Saturn). PM is the Primary density of the bigger body (Saturn). Pm is the density of the smaller body (some smaller object). You can see such a limit by looking at the rings and seeing where it ends and where it begins. The Roche limit is the minimum amount of distance in which something can orbit before being torn apart by the forces of the orbited body.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Planet Nine

Planet Nine

Image result for Planet nine
Planet nine is an idea that there may be a planet unknown or unseen that is beyond Pluto that is orbiting the Sun. Many say it is a captured planet in which planets that do not have a star to orbit have been captured in an orbit of another star, whether it may be temporary or permanent. It is too dark for us to see if it is there, but there is evidence that it may exist. Orbits from other dwarf planets, like Sedna and Eris. Their orbits are highly elliptical and that of which are unusual. There must be something pulling on them with gravity and making their orbits not circular but elliptical. Astronomers believe that there may be something near the size of Neptune orbiting or passing by our solar system.