Space Studies Tuesday, Lesson 1-2 The Solar System

This week in the JPL class, we're learning about the planets themselves.  I found this neat video that  also gives some great info:

Here are the neat things I found in this lesson:
“The presence of life on Earth causes oxygen to be abundant in the atmosphere, and in this Earth is unique in our solar system. Without life, most of the oxygen would soon become part of the compounds on the planet's surface. Thus, the discovery of oxygen's signature in the atmosphere of an extrasolar planet would be significant.”
I knew that oxygen was necessary for life, which is why I thought we were looking for it.  I didn’t realize it was the other way around—that life may be necessary for oxygen retention!

Here’s something else I’d always wondered:  why can we see the sun and the moon at the same time?  It’s because of the moon’s distance.  Did you know the moon is gradually spiraling away from the earth?  38 meters/millennium. 

This caught my attention about Jupiter: 
“It emits electromagnetic energy from charged atomic particles spiraling through its strong magnetic field. If this sizzling magnetosphere were visible to our eyes, Jupiter would appear larger than the full Moon in Earth's sky.”   
I’m wondering how we’d harness that energy in the future.  It may become a Rescue Sisters story one day.  Also on the agenda for Rescue Sisters:  ice mining of Saturn’s rings and its moon Enceladus.

Did you read the lesson?  Learn anything new?

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