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Ch 17: Small Celestial Bodies & Satellites in Our Solar System

About This Chapter

Watch online videos to discover the origins of satellites, asteroids, meteors, comets and other space objects. Each lesson is followed by a short quiz to help check your understanding of these topics.

Small Celestial Bodies & Satellites in Our Solar System - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use the lessons in this chapter to learn about some of the space debris found in our solar system. Instructors can show you how the Jovian moons formed and help you distinguish satellites from asteroids, plutinos and some of the Big Bang's other remnants of dust, gas and rock. By the time you finish this chapter, you should be familiar with the following:

  • Properties of regular and irregular satellites
  • Differences between meteors and meteoroids
  • Origins of asteroids and comets
  • Characteristics of trans-Neptunian objects

Video Objective
Satellite Formation in Our Solar System Explore the differences between regular and irregular satellites. Take a closer look at how collision fragments and asteroids become trapped in a parent planet's orbit.
Moons of the Jovian Planets Examine the physical characteristics of Saturn, Neptune, Jupiter and Uranus' most well-known moons, including Ganymede, Titan, Triton and Miranda.
Tidal Forces & Heat Transfer on Jovian Satellites Study the concepts of tidal heating, convection and conduction to learn how heat is transferred from a planet to its satellite.
Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics Investigate the physical characteristics and origins of these three types of space debris.
Meteoroids: Origin & Orbits Discover the sources of sporadic meteors and meteor showers. Learn how radiants and meteors are used to determine the orbits of meteoroids.
The Formation of Shooting Stars Find out what 'shooting stars' are really made of, and learn what causes the appearance of these short streaks of light.
Meteorite Classifications & Characteristics Survey the characteristics of iron, stony-iron and stony meteorites as well as the chondrite and achondrite subtypes.
Asteroids: Origin & Properties Examine the region of the solar system containing the asteroid belt. Identify characteristics of near-Earth objects and Apollo objects.
Comets: Origin & Properties Study the composition of a comet's nucleus, coma and gas tail or dust tail. Discover their origins in the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud.
What Are Trans-Neptunian Objects? Examine objects existing beyond Neptune's orbit, including dwarf planets, Kuiper Belt objects and plutinos.
Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres Take a closer look at the characteristics of these dwarf planets.

11 Lessons in Chapter 17: Small Celestial Bodies & Satellites in Our Solar System
Satellite Formation in Our Solar System

1. Satellite Formation in Our Solar System

This lesson will describe regular, irregular, collision fragments, captured asteroids, and other types of satellites orbiting around the planets of the solar system.

Moons of the Jovian Planets

2. Moons of the Jovian Planets

This lesson will introduce you to four well-known Jovian satellites called Titan, Triton, Miranda, and Ganymede. You'll be able to appreciate how vastly different just four of the hundreds of moons in our solar system are.

Tidal Forces & Heat Transfer on Jovian Satellites

3. Tidal Forces & Heat Transfer on Jovian Satellites

In this lesson, you'll learn about one of the ways by which Jovian satellites may stay warm through tidal heating, orbital resonance, convection, and conduction.

Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

4. Asteroids, Meteorites & Comets: Definitions and Characteristics

This lesson will cover the definitions and characteristics of asteroids, comets and meteorites. It will also explore what impact they have had on Earth and the impact they might have in the future.

Meteoroids: Origin & Orbits

5. Meteoroids: Origin & Orbits

This lesson will describe the origins of meteoroids, what comets have to do with their orbits, and the parent bodies of the meteorites we find on Earth.

The Formation of Shooting Stars

6. The Formation of Shooting Stars

This lesson will explain to you the differences between a meteor, meteoroid, and meteorite as well as how falling stars form and what the different kinds of meteorites are.

Meteorite Classifications & Characteristics

7. Meteorite Classifications & Characteristics

This lesson will go over the major types of meteorites and their major subclasses. Important terms and concepts we'll cover include the iron meteorites, stony-iron meteorites, stony meteorites, and carbonaceous chondrites.

Asteroids: Origin & Properties

8. Asteroids: Origin & Properties

This lesson will go over the history, origin, and orbit of asteroids. You'll also learn which asteroids are the most common type and what NEOs, Apollo objects, and many other objects are.

Comets: Origin & Properties

9. Comets: Origin & Properties

This lesson will define and discuss comets, a coma, dust tail, gas tail, sublimation, the composition of comets and their origins in the Oort cloud and Kuiper belt.

What Are Trans-Neptunian Objects?

10. What Are Trans-Neptunian Objects?

This lesson will discuss trans-Neptunian objects, the Kuiper belt, Kuiper belt objects, dwarf planets, and plutinos, as well as where they are found in our solar system.

Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

11. Dwarf Planets of the Solar System: Pluto, Eris, Haumea & Ceres

Discover why Pluto had to leave the league of planets and was downgraded to a dwarf planet. Learn the definitions for planet and dwarf planet. Find out about the currently classified dwarf planets in our solar system: Pluto, Eris, Ceres, Haumea and Makemake.

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