AST101- Oct 27, 2011.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Astronomy & Astrophysics
Michael Reid

AST101 Comparative planetology Active vs inactive geology Active: earth, venus  very similar in composition, size and shape (only surfaces different) Inactive: mars, mercury, moon  none similar  Main difference between active and inactive geology: their size (they are larger) Heat: 3 ways in, 3 ways out Accretion: smash stuff into it - Mainly happened in the early solar system - Transfer thermal energy to heat - Heat goes mainly in the crust Differentiation: making those heavy stuff sink into the interior, giving up potential gravitational energy in the form of heat - Heavy stuff sinks to middle, lighter stuff rises to surface - Mainly happened when planets were young Radioactivity: radioactive atoms decay and produce energy - Can continue for billions of years - When first comes together (the planet) it binds all elements together and many of them are radioactive because they came from supernova; once all the elements are incorporated into a planet they sit there and decay and release their energy at different rates and times - Takes longer for planet to decay if larger 3 ways to cool a planet - Convection: heat is carried by hot material moving to a cooler area, eg. boiling o Eg. hot water at bottom of pot and starts to expand where the cold sinks to the bottom and then get heated itself - Conduction: heat
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