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Space Physics.

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Space Physics                                                                                            Matt Lewin | 5SLW - 2003

Space Physics


1a) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

b) Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Pluto

c) The masses of the planets (times 10^24 kg):

Jupiter: 1898.8; Saturn: 568.50; Neptune: 102.78; Uranus: 86.625; Earth: 5.9742; Venus: 4.8690; Mars: 0.64191; Mercury: 0.33022; Pluto: 0.015

2b) Polar orbit is an orbit with orbital inclination of around 90(, when the satellite will pass over each pole at least once during its journey around the Earth.

A geo-stationary orbit is when the satellite appears to be stationary.  It is when the satellite is always in the same position in respect to the Earth.

3a) A comet is a mixture of ices and dust, that for some reason did not become planets when the Solar System was formed.  Comets are invisible, except when they pass near the Sun and have highly eccentric orbits, and can often disappear for millennia at a time.  They have long tails, made up of plasma and dust sized particles that can stretch for up to 10 million km.


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b) Billions of years ago, as small cloud of gas and dust began to compress under its own weight.  Particles within the cloud's centre became so densely packed that they often collided and stuck (fused) together. The fusion process released tremendous amounts of heat and light, which could then combat the compressing force of gravity; eventually, the two forces became equal. The balance of fusion reactions versus gravitational collapse, which, occurred in this little cloud is referred to as a star.

c) The life of a star like our Sun lasts about 10, 000 million years.  It is a yellow dwarf for most of its life, like the Sun that we know.  When all the hydrogen is used up, the helium is used as a fuel, which produces much heavier elements such as oxygen.  The result of this is that it expands and cools to form a red giant.  Then the star uses up all its fuel, and collapses forming a white dwarf, which is a million times denser than water.

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c) Because the spectrum of the CMB is like that of a black body, it could not have been created by prosaic means which completely contradicts the Steady State Theory and can not be explained using this theory.  However, it does match the Big Bang Theory as it appears to have been created as a consequence of the Big Bang.image05.jpg

8) Both the history and the future of the Universe depend on its mass and whether the expansion rate of the Universe will be slowed by its own mass.  The mass of the Universe also controls the growth of hierarchical structure, including the collapse of material in to dense virialised regions associated with galaxies.  

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