Astronomy 1210 -- March 19, 2012 (22)
Important Topics from Last Time
- Exam 2 results should be available on Wednesday
- Conditions don't look too promising for labs for the next couple of days.
- Exam 3 review questions are available
- Watch a Wallops Island rocket experiment sometime... -- also
- The "constellation of the week" is Ursa Major - see also
Today's Key Topics
- Regular features of the solar system
- Environments where planetary systems are forming today
- Gravitational collapse of a diffuse interstellar cloud to make a thin flat disk
- Accretion of planets from the solid particles
- Composition vs. distance from the Sun; Forming Jupiter
- Evidence for solar systems forming elsewhere
- Radioactive dating and the age of our Solar System
- Searching for other solar systems
- Today: Cosmic Perspective Chapter 8; Sections 16.1 and 16.2
- Jupiter and Venus are now moving apart. If you've been watching, Venus is almost stationary with respect to the horizon at sunset while Jupiter sinks lower in the west each day heading for conjunction in a couple of months.
- The Moon is now a waning crescent visible against a dark sky only in the early morning before dawn.
- Look for the Big Dipper (part of Ursa Major) rising in the Northeast early in the evening and high overhead in the middle of the night.
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National Weather Service Current Forecast
Current location of the Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE)