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Fenster schliessen

On what does the shape of an asteroid depend on?

Strength of its gravity

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On what does the brightness of an asteroid depend on?

  • Size
  • Distance
  • Reflectivity (i.e. Albedo)
Fenster schliessen

What is an asteroid?

"rubble piles"  made out of metal and rock

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Why is there no Planet between Mars and Jupiter, where the asteroid belt is?

Because of Jupiter's gravitational petrurbations, which prevented coalescence of material into a planet.

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What is an orbital resonance?

Occurs when two orbiting bodies exert a regular, periodic graviational influence on each other (usually because their orbital periods ae related by a ratio of two small integers.)

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What are Comets?

= small, primitive objects that contain a substantial quantity of water ice and other frozen volatiles.

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Why do Comets have clouds of gas and dust, visible as long tails?

Because of the vaporiation of ice by increasing solar radiation.

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What are the features of a comet?

  1. Nucleus = small body at center from which the atmosphere is released.
  2. Coma = atmosphere surrounding hte nucleus.
    1. Inner Coma is brightest part of a comet and made of gas and dust ejected from nucleus.
  3. Tail = Long stream of gas and dust; can be p to 100 million km long.
    1. Plasma Tail = Composed of ionized gas.
    2. Dust Tail = composed of dust particles escaping from coma.