A friend of yours who has not taken astronomy sees a meteor shower (she calls it a bunch of shooting stars). The next day she confides in you that she was concerned that the stars in the Big Dipper (her favorite star pattern) might be the next ones to go. How would you put her mind at ease?
In what ways are meteorites different from meteors? What is the probable origin of each?
How are comets related to meteor showers?
What do we mean by primitive material? How can we tell if a meteorite is primitive?
Describe the solar nebula, and outline the sequence of events within the nebula that gave rise to the planetesimals.
Why do the giant planets and their moons have compositions different from those of the terrestrial planets?
How do the planets discovered so far around other stars differ from those in our own solar system? List at least two ways.
Explain the role of impacts in planetary evolution, including both giant impacts and more modest ones.
Why are some planets and moons more geologically active than others?
Summarize the origin and evolution of the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars.
Why do meteors in a meteor shower appear to come from just one point in the sky?