Astronomy 6570

Physics of the Planets

Fall 2015

Tuesday & Thursday

11:40AM - 12:55PM

SSB 301

Instructor: P. Nicholson, room 418

Course Outline
0. Introduction
bullet Historical Review
bullet Coordinate Systems & Time Scales
I. Orbital Mechanics
bullet Planetary Orbits
bullet Perturbation Theory & Orbital Precession
bullet Secular Perturbations & Resonances
II. Rotational Mechanics and Gravity Fields
bullet Rotation & Oblateness
bullet Gravity Fields & Figures of Equilibrium
bullet Free & Forced Pole Precession
III Tides & Orbital Evolution
bullet Tidal Torques & Evolutionary Timescales
bullet Evolution of the Earth-Moon System
bullet Satellite Shapes
IV Reflected & Thermal Radiation
bullet Photometric Measurements
bullet Thermal Emission & Thermal Equilibrium
bullet Sub-surface temperature profiles
V Planetary Atmospheres
bullet Planetary Atmosphere Preview
bullet Vertical Structure; Scale Height, Homopause, Exobase
bullet Radiative Equilibrium Profiles; 2-Stream Approx.
bullet Zonal Winds & Geostrophic Balance
VI Planetary Rings
bullet Structure & Equilibrium Configuration; Shepherding
bullet Waves, Wakes, Ringlets & Gaps
VII Planetary Interiors
bullet Seismology & the Earth's Interior
bullet Terrestrial Planets & Icy Satellites
bullet Jovian Planets: Observational Constraints
bullet Jovian Planet Models; Polytropes & "Real" Planets
VIII Review Session