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Lecture 2

Lecture 2.docx

Earth and Environmental Sciences
Course Code
Jie Li

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Lecture 2
Solar system overview
oMercury is at 7 degree tilt from the ecliptic plane
oVenus has a 4 degree tilt from ecliptic plane
o1 AU= 1 astronomical unit= average distance btwn Sun an Earth=150
million km
oComet belt in our solar system-> Kuiper Belt ~ 200 million comets
Bulk Composition:
oMassive gaseous Sun
oSmall rocky interior planets  iron/nickel cores and rock (silicates)
oLarge outer gaseous planets water and rock core, metallic hydrogen,
molecular hydrogen gas
oLeft overs:
Rocky asteroids
Icy comets
Dwarf Plants: Pluto and Eris
Kuiper Belt objects
Comparative planetology
oGlobal composition
Rock/metal vs gas vs ice
oSurface features
Craters, volcanoes, mountain belts, clouds
Composition, extent, cloud cover
Jovian (gaseous) vs terrestrial planets
Mass/volume= DENSITY
Density as guide to composition
oEarth: Mass=1, radius=1, density= 5.5
oSun: Mass= 330,000, Radius= 110, Density=
oJupiter: Mass= 318, Radius=11, Density=1.2
Building blocks: atoms and isotopes
oMatter consists of elements
oSmallest unit of an element is an atom
oEach atom has
Protons +
Electron cloud –
oElectron loss or gain leads to ions
oIsotopes of an element have
Same # of protons
Different # if neutrons
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