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Lecture 1 Notes - January 8.doc
Lecture 1 Notes - January 8.doc

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McGill University
Earth & Planetary Sciences
EPSC 180
Olivia Jensen

EPSC180 - Lecture 1 Notes Introduction: • Perihelion: the condition of being close to the sun • Aphelion: the condition of being far away from the sun • Perihelion and aphelion determines the seasons based on how far or close it is to the sun, thus determining the amount of sunshine and heat • The Earth rotates at an axis; thus (based on where we are) in Winter the Earth covers itself in most of the Northern shadow. In the summer, the Earth is inclined towards the sun and gets most of the sun Harvard Commencement Video: A Private Universe • While most people think the Earth circles in the sun in an ellipses, the reality is that the Earth rotates circular to the sun, with no difference in distance. What causes the different seasons is really based on the axis inclination the Earth is towards the sun Cosmic Collision Video: • Comets begin as chunks of ice and rocks that orbits around the sun, far beyond our solar system. If a comet orbits closer to the sun, it’s icy surface melts from solid to gas and will unleash a lot of gas and chunks of rocks which makes up a tail which is what we see • Collisions can be beneficial in our galaxy • Theory of moon creation: • Back in the early days after the Earth was formed, a comet nearly the size of the Earth collided with the Earth, nearly destroying the Earth. • The collision spewed lots of magma and shattered into many pieces/chunks of rocks. Due to gravity from the Earth, this kept the rocks suspended and over time, through the gravitational pull from the Earth fused these chunks together (snowball effect) into what is now the moon (less than a month) • The collision between the comet and the Earth made life possible because the collision tilted the Earth’s rotation, thus allowing for seasons and the moon’s gravitation pull gives rise to tides • System of the Sun: The sun is a star. It’s dark patches are sun spots; each of which is roughly the size of the Earth. Sun spots are dark be- • cause they are the coolest place on the sun (roughly 8000°F) The sun creates its immense heat through internal collisions between protons (fusion which releases lots of energy • through light) • Some of the light cha
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