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Ch 15: The Solar System: Layout, Formation & Dating

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about solar nebular theory, terrestrial and Jovian planets, the Kuiper belt and more. You can also take short self-assessment quizzes to test your understanding of these topics.

The Solar System: Layout, Formation & Dating - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Let our experienced instructors introduce you to the theories explaining the solar system's origin along with the evidence used to support them. We'll also show you how astronomers go about studying a billion-year-old process that involved intense heat and gravitational collapse. Lessons in this chapter are designed to teach you about:

  • Processes outlined in solar nebula theory
  • The chemical and material composition of the solar system
  • The solar system's layout and patterns of motion
  • Methods used to estimate the solar system's age

Video Objectives
Solar System Overview Differentiate between terrestrial and Jovian planets. Examine comets, meteors and meteorites.
The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System Learn how solar nebula theory explains the solar system's formation. Take a look at some of the evidence used to support it.
What Is the Age of the Solar System? Get an overview of the techniques astronomers use to estimate the age of the solar system.
The Growth & Chemical Composition of Our Solar System Learn how astronomers use concepts like condensation and uncompressed density to study the solar system's growth and chemical composition.
The Layout of the Solar System Find out what the solar system looks like from beyond Neptune's orbit.
Characteristics of the Solar System Discover why planetary and lunar orbits, the number of asteroids and the types of planets provide some insight into the solar system's formation.
Nebular Theory & Patterns of Motion in our Solar System Examine nebular theory to understand the processes involved in the solar system's formation and patterns of motion.
The Formation of the Planets Learn how a cloud of dust and gas condenses to form stars and planets. Find out why the solar system's planetary orbits and composition support nebular theory.
Gravity & the Solar System Explore the relationship between gravity and the solar system's evolution and formation.
Radioactive Dating & the Age of the Solar System Discover the uses of radioactive dating to estimate the ages of objects found in the solar system.

10 Lessons in Chapter 15: The Solar System: Layout, Formation & Dating
Solar System Overview

1. Solar System Overview

This lesson will go over the major aspects of our solar system, including the sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids.

The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

2. The Solar Nebula Theory: Formation of the Solar System

This lesson will go over the theory that explains how the solar system formed, what theory had once competed with it, and what important implication this theory carries.

Solar Nebula Theory & Patterns of Planetary Motion

3. Solar Nebula Theory & Patterns of Planetary Motion

This lesson will tie together the solar nebula theory and the patterns of motions of the planets in our solar system and why Venus and Uranus are exceptions in the solar system.

The Condensation Sequences & Planetary Formation

4. The Condensation Sequences & Planetary Formation

In this lesson, you'll learn why the planets have different densities despite being formed from the same solar nebula. We'll cover condensation, uncompressed densities, the ice line, and the condensation sequence.

What is the Age of the Solar System?

5. What is the Age of the Solar System?

This lesson will tell you how old our solar system is and how we know that's the case thanks to radioactive decay, isotopes, half-life, and the solar nebula.

What Are Planetesimals?

6. What Are Planetesimals?

This lesson will define what planetesimals are, how they relate to the solar nebula and protoplanets, and how they interacted with one another to eventually help form the planets in our solar system.

How Do Protoplanets Grow?

7. How Do Protoplanets Grow?

This lesson will teach you about protoplanets, how they formed, and most importantly, how their formation resulted in the planets we see today. We'll also cover outgassing, gravitational collapse, heat of formation, differentiation, and more!

What Is the Jovian Problem?

8. What Is the Jovian Problem?

This lesson goes over the two ways the Jovian planets may have formed, called the core accretion model and disk instability model, as well as the Jovian problem and which model solves it.

Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System

9. Major Characteristics of Planets in the Solar System

This lesson will go over some characteristics of the planets in our solar system with respect to their masses, diameters, temperatures, densities, and rotation.

Theoretical vs. Actual Temperature in our Solar System

10. Theoretical vs. Actual Temperature in our Solar System

This lesson will go over the predicted vs. observed temperature of major celestial bodies in our solar system, if there's a discrepancy between them, and why.

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