Chapter 1 and Lecture 1 and 2 Notes.docx

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Earth Science
Lindsay Schoenbohm

Chapter 1 and Lecture 1 and 2 Notes Geology: Study of the Earth’s lithosphere (rocky part), including the planet’s core, mantle and crust. Earth Science: Study of the planet Earth, including the Earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere - Scientific method – (scientists use) sequence of steps for systematically analyzing scientific problems in a way that leads to verifiable results - Hypothesis – possible explanation, involving only naturally occurring processes - Theories – scientific ideas supported by abundance of evidence Earth System: - lithosphere: rocky surface and interior of Earth - hydrosphere: water, liquid and frozen - atmosphere: the gaseous envelope - biosphere: Earth’s living matter Aspects of Geology = fossil, cave, mine, volcanic eruption, earthquake, flood Problems facing Earth Scientist- 1. only partial info available 2. processes are only observable as they are acting now, possibly different in the past 3. cant design practical experiment b/c TIME + SCALE for many processes too large to observe Structure of the universe = heliocentric universe (theory by Copernicus and Galileo)= Earth and planets orbit the sun Solar System = the sun, planets, moons, and countless other small objects held together by “glue” of gravitational attraction Planet= object that orbits a star, is spherical Moon= sizeable body locked in an orbit around a planet Terrestrial planets = the inner planets = Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars= small and closer to the sun Gas- Giant Planets = outer planets= Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus = huge and most of mass contains gas and ice Formation of the Universe -Big Bang = cataclysmic explosion -Big Bang Theory = all matter + energy (everything that now constitutes the universe) was initially packed into an infinitesimally small point which than exploded 13.7 billion years ago -Explosion = irregular distribution of Hydrogen, Helium and other light elements -Stars form and explode in several cycles. Larger elements form through fusion Formation of the Earth + Solar System - Nebula forms from hydrogen helium and heavier elements left from the big bang, and previous star cycles - nebula condenses into a swirling disc, with a central ball surrounded by rings. - Ball at center grows dense and hot enough for fusion. It becomes the Sun. - In the rings, dust particles collide and stick together, forming planetesimals
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