Chapter Study Outline

  1. Study Plan

    Unlike the solid planets of the inner Solar System, four worlds in the outer Solar System were able to capture and retain gases and volatile materials from the Sun's protoplanetary disk and swell to enormous size and mass. By the end of this chapter you should be able to:

    1. Compare the size and origin of the Great Red Spot on Jupiter to Earth-based phenomena.
    2. Explain how to use a feature like the Great Red Spot to determine the rotation of a planet.
    3. Differentiate the giant planets from each other and from the terrestrial planets.
    4. Describe why the giant planets look the way they do.
    5. Determine the size of the giant planets and their wind speeds.
    6. Describe how gravitational energy turns into thermal energy and how that affects the atmospheres of the giant planets.
    7. Explain the extreme conditions deep within the interiors of the giant planets.
    8. Describe the origin and general structure of the rings of the giant planets.
  2. Organize
    1. Read Chapter 8 in your textbook or ebook.
    2. Take the Diagnostic Quiz to assess your understanding of the basic concepts and identify gaps in your understanding of the assigned reading.
  3. Learn
    1. Use the Flashcards to test your memory for new terms.
    2. Work the "Summary Self-Test" and "Questions and Problems" questions at the end of the chapter review materials.
    3. For an understanding of how to calculate important results from observations, review the Working It Out Boxes:
      1. Box 8.1, Finding the Diameter of a Giant Planet
      2. Box 8.2, How Do Astronomers Measure Wind Speeds on Distant Planets?
      3. Box 8.3, Internal Thermal Energy Heats the Giant Planets
    4. If your instructor has assigned SmartWork online homework, log in from the right navigation pane for additional practice and review.
  4. Connect
    1. Visit Astronomy In The News for breaking news of new discoveries and the opportunity to apply what you've learned in this chapter to real-world (and real- Universe) events. In this chapter, read "Giant Propeller Structures Seen in Saturn's Rings."
    2. Work through the Exploration exercise "Estimating Rotation Periods of Giant Planets," using the images of Neptune from Voyager 2.