UA PTYS 206  Comets (34 pages)
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Comets
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Lecture Notes
 Pages:
 34
 School:
 University of Arizona
 Course:
 Ptys 206  Our Golden Age of Planetary Exploration
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Unformatted text preview:
PYTS ASTR 206 Comets Announcements HW6 available today due in a week Use Kevin as the TA for this one 2 In class assignments left in 3 lectures 1 PYTS ASTR 206 Comets Comets PTYS ASTR 206 The Golden Age of Planetary Exploration Shane Byrne shane lpl arizona edu 2 PYTS ASTR 206 Comets In In this this lecture lecture Observations of comets What are comets Cometary tails Composition and structure Ion and dust tails Where do comets come from Orbits of comets Oort cloud Scattered Kuiper Belt 3 PYTS ASTR 206 Comets Observations Observations of of comets comets Comets have been known from ancient times Thought to foreshadow disasters and major battles Pre telescopes the known solar system was a pretty empty place Moon and the Sun Mercury Venus Mars Jupiter Saturn And COMETS No Uranus No Neptune No planetary Moons except ours No Asteroids No Kuiper Belt Objects 4 PYTS ASTR 206 Comets 5 People have recorded comet sightings for millennia 167 BC 687 AD 1986 AD PYTS ASTR 206 Comets 6 Ancient Greeks thought comets were atmospheric phenomena In the west this went unchallenged until telescopes came along Tycho Brahe s parallax measurements proved this wrong Comets were much further away than the Moon Renaissance astronomers thought comets moved in straight lines through the solar system Even Kepler argued they shouldn t follow elliptical orbits like the planets In the 1680s astronomers tracked a comet and showed it had an elliptical orbit Comets were solar system objects just like planets PYTS ASTR 206 Comets 7 Newton finally settled this in his Principia Mathematica 1687 Showed that comets moved in parabolic or elliptical orbits by the Sun s gravity e 1 A parabolic orbit PYTS ASTR 206 Comets If they have orbits then they re periodic The same comet should come back In 1705 Edmund Halley connected the dots 8 Used Newton s laws to figure out the orbit of many comets Comets seen in 1531 1607 and 1682 were the same object Predicted a return in 1759 Halley s comet has been seen 30
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