ASTR 688 S
Evolution of the Solar
- Time: Tuesday/Thursday 3:30-4:45, Spring 1996
- Room: CSS 0201
- Prof: Doug Hamilton
The spectacular recent discoveries of planets around a pulsar, of the
missing link between big planets and small stars, and of a "Jupiter"
orbiting dangerously close to a sun-like star have demonstrated that
extraterrestrial solar systems need not closely resemble our own. Yet
processes governing the origin and evolution of solar systems strongly
constrain the possible forms that such systems eventually
take. In this course we will investigate the various dynamical
processes that have sculpted our solar system in an effort to
understand how it has attained its current state. In studying these
fundamental processes, we will draw parallels between the solar
system, satellite systems of the giant planets, and other solar
systems. Throughout the course, emphasis will be placed on
understanding the dynamic and compositional states of the planets,
satellites, rings, comets, asteroids, and dust which comprise our own
The course is open to graduate and upper level undergraduate students
with a good physics and/or astronomy background. Please contact
Doug Hamilton with any questions.
Rough Outline of the Course
What's Out There
- Inventory of the Solar System
- Other Recently Discovered Solar Systems
- Two-body Problem (Energy + Angular Momentum, Orbital Elements)
- Three-body Problem (Roche Lobes, Hill Sphere, Zero Velocity Curves)
- Many-body Problem
- Orbital Perturbation Theory & the Disturbing Function
Early Solar System History
- Collapse to a Disk.
- Disk Physics
- Resonances - Gaps, Spreading, Density & Bending Waves.
- Resonance Overlap
- Accretion & Runaway Growth.
Late Solar System History
- Ejection of the Comets, Gravity Assist Trajectories
- Kuiper Belt and Oort Cloud
- Heavy Impact Era
- Impact Hypothesis for the Formation of the Moon.
- Tidal Evolution
- Spin States of the Planets
- Orbital Forcing of the Terrestrial and Martian Climates.
- Future of the Solar System - Chaos