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The Solar System.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Solar System

The solar system is made up of the sun, the planets, their moons, asteroids and comets.

Planets

Mercury

Venus

Earth

Mars

Jupiter

Saturn

Uranus

Neptune

Pluto

The Sun

The sun is a star that lives at the centre of the solar system. Its huge gravity holds the planets in place.

Asteroids

Asteroids are lumps of rocky debris that float around in the Solar System. Most are found in the main asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars.

Asteroids range in size from tiny dust particles to huge worlds nearly 1,000 km (600 miles) across.

Most asteroids are oddly shaped. They aren't spherical like planets, because their gravity is too low to pull them into a round form. (This only happens when asteroids are over 250 km in size.)

Smaller ones are angular and shaped like potatoes and peanuts. The oddest looking asteroid so far is called 'Kleopatra', which looks like a 220km long dog bone.

Comets

Comets are dirty snowballs of ice and dust that revolve around the sun in long orbits. When they approach the sun they heat up, leaving a trail of gas behind them, which looks like a trail.

Relationships between Orbits and Distance.

The relationship between the time taken to orbit the sun and the planet distance from the sun is that the further the planet from the sun the slower the orbit.

Moons

Moons rotate around their parent planet.

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Middle

Ultraviolet radiationProtons bombardmentsCold

2. Evidence that meteorites contain life

  1. Amino acids (left handed in helicity)
  2. Bacteria
  3. Carbon
  4. Protected inside rocks

3. Bacteria can live for a long time in sleeping state until awakened

4. Mars is safer than Earth (less bombardments and less gravity)

5. Mars not as hot as Earth in early development

6. Mars had have had oxygen back then when Earth did not.

Earth is special because its seas contain the key ingredients for life.

Origin of life

The origin of life is the key to the meaning of life. Scientists define life as several characteristics, but the most important aspect is reproduction and metabolism.

The others are:

Autonomy

Nutrition

Complexity

Organization

Growth and development

Information content

Hardware/Software

Permanence and change

Scientists say that the odds of producing the right proteins by chance are something like 1040,000. This can be compared to a whirlwind sweeping through a junkyard and producing a fully-functional Boeing 747.

The theories presented on this website are all theories and are not proven to be facts. There are, though, scientific evidence that support and also challenge these theories.

Nebulae

Originally, the word "nebula" referred to almost any extended astronomical object (other than planets and comets). The etymological root of "nebula" means "cloud". As is usual in astronomy, the old terminology survives in modern usage in sometimes confusing ways.

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Conclusion

NGC 7023 shown)

Dark Nebulae

Dark nebulae are clouds of dust which are simply blocking the light from whatever is behind. They are physically very similar to reflection nebulae; they look different only because of the geometry of the light source, the cloud and the Earth. Dark nebulae are also often seen in conjunction with reflection and emission nebulae. A typical diffuse nebula is a few hundred light-years across. (NGC 2264 shown; see also the Horsehead Nebula)

Planetary Nebulae

Planetary nebulae are shells of gas thrown out by some stars near the end of their lives. Our Sun will probably produce a planetary nebula in about 5 billion years. They have nothing at all to do with planets; the terminology was invented because they often look a little like planets in small telescopes. A typical planetary nebula is less than one light-year across. (M 57 shown)

Supernova Remnants

Supernovae occur when a massive star ends its life in an amazing blaze of glory. For a few days a supernova emits as much energy as a whole galaxy. When it's all over, a large fraction of the star is blown into space as a supernova remnant. A typical supernova remnant is at most few light-years across. (M 1 shown)

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