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Geology Lecture 2-Planets notes

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David Schneider

Geology Lecture 2 – January 8 , 2014 th The Solar System And The Origins Of Earth The solar system: - Consists of our stars, the sun, the planets, satellites and asteroids. - Located on the arm of a very large spiral galaxy. - Within the Milky Way galaxy. Geocentric Perspective: - Proposed by Aristotle (384-322 BCE) - Challenged by Aristarchus (312-230 BCE) - Ptolemy (150 CE) o Proposed that planets also follow a small circular orbit o Predicted periods of retrograde motion Retrograde motion: - Copernicus (1473-1543) o Suggested that because Mars has the larger retrograde motion it is the closest to Earth whereas Saturn is furthest from Earth because it has the smallest retrograde motion. o Proposed that Earth spins on its axis leading to sunrise and sunset Kepler (1571-1630) - Law of Ellipses o The orbit of each planet is an ellipse with sun at one focus - Law of orbital harmony o For any planet, the square of the orbital period in years is proportional to the cube of the planet’s average distance from the sun - Law of equal areas o A line drawn from a planet to the sun sweeps out equal areas in equal time o The orbital velocity changes 3 Mercury (d = 4,880km p = 5.4g/cm ): - 0 satellites - 70% metallic and 30% silicate composition; internally layered - Larges temperature range (-170 to 425 degrees Celsius) Venus (d = 12,104km p = 5.24g/cm ): 3 - 0 satellites - Earth’s twin; volcanoes, tectonics - Thick (deadly) atmosphere which inhibits telescope observation Earth (d = 12,760km p = 5.52g/cm ): 3 - 1 satellite 3 Moon (d = 3,475km p = 3.3g/cm ): - Impact theory of formation during initial spiraling of nebula - 90% plagioclase feldspar - “foam” on magma ocean - Moon evolution o Formation of crust o Lunar highlands o Maria basins o Rayed craters Mars (d = 6,787km p = 3.96g/cm ): 3 - 2 satellites - Ancient volcanoes and tectonics; internally layered; crust: basalt - There is evidence of flowing water and erosion 3 Jupiter (d = 143,000km p = 1.33g/cm ): - Surface is liquid hydrogen - 63 satellites + moonlets - Layered atmosphere; giant storms - Core region is surrounded by dense metallic hydrogen which extends outward to about 78% or the radius of the planet Lo (one of the four Galilean satellites) - currently volcanically active - melting is from tidal energy - Fountains of lava gush 160km in height Saturn (d = 121,000km p = 0.69g/cm ): 3 - The rings are <100m thick - 56 satellites + moonlets - Core similar to Earth surrounded by a deep layer of metallic hydrogen - An intermediate layer of liquid hydrogen and liquid helium - An outer gaseous layer - Magnetic field! Enceladus (moon): icy planet w
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