3. Our Solar System and the Pluto Problem

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Frontiers/Controversies in Astrophysics (ASTR 160)

Class begins with a review of the first problem set. Newton's Third Law is applied in explaining how exoplanets are found. An overview of the Solar System is given; each planet is presented individually and its special features are highlighted. Astronomy is discussed as an observational science, and the subject of how to categorize objects in the Solar System is addressed. The Pluto controversy is given special attention and both sides of the argument regarding its status are considered.

00:00 - Chapter 1. Review of the Problem Set
06:22 - Chapter 2. Conservation of Momentum in Exoplanets
14:02 - Chapter 3. Inner and Outer Solar System Objects
29:47 - Chapter 4. Kuiper Belt Objects and Oort Cloud
35:13 - Chapter 5. Classification and Interpretation of Celestial Objects

Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses

This course was recorded in Spring 2007.