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THE PLANET EARTH

THE FORMATION OF THE EARTH WAS AN OFFSHOOT OF THE FORMATION OF THE UNIVERSE.
Formation of the Universe: Big Bang Theory

Formation of the Solar System: Nebular Hypothesis

THE BIG BANG THEORY


proposed by the Belgian priest Georges Lematre in the 1920s Edwin Hubble justified Lematres theory through observations that the Universe is continuously expanding; galaxies are moving away from each other

THE SOLAR SYSTEM: leftover from the Big Bang


the sun

the planets the satellites and rings comets and asteroids meteoroids and dust

COMPOSITION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM BY MASS


OBJECT Sun PERCENTAGE OF MASS 99.85%

Jupiter all other planets comets satellites and rings asteroids meteoroids and dust

0.10% 0.04% 0.01% (?) 0.00% 0.00% 0.0000001% (?)


Source: Abell, Morrison, and Wolff, 1987

How big are we?

How small are we?

How small are we?

THE NEBULAR HYPOTHESIS


the solar system originated from a single rotating cloud of gas and dust, starting 4.6 billion years ago, which contracted due to gravity

the idea was first proposed by Immanuel Kant and Pierre Simon de Laplace in the 18th century

THE NEBULAR MODEL


Time 1

The Big Bang produced enormous amount of matter: rotating cloud of gas and dust.
The rotating gas-dust cloud began to contract due to gravity. Most of the mass became concentrated at the center, forming the SUN.

Time 2

Time 3

The remaining matter condensed to form the planets.

http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/astronomy/solar-system/contraction.jpg

SOLAR SYSTEM

THE SUN
mostly made up of hydrogen, the principal product of the Big Bang suns center became compressed enough to initiate nuclear reactions, consequently emitting light and energy (sun became a star) a middle-aged star
http://www.harrythecat.com/graphics/b/sun23.gif

THE PLANETS
composition depended on distance from the sun planets nearest the sun contained high-temp minerals (e.g. iron) while those that are far away contained lower-temp materials (e.g. methane and ammonia, and some that contained water locked in their structures)
http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/facts/planets/planets.gif

Mercury
Venus Earth

- inner or terrestrial planets (nearest the sun) - rocky composition: largely silicate rocks and metals (Si, Fe, O) - giant or Jovian planets (outer planets; far from the sun) - lack solid surfaces: in gaseous or liquid form - composition: light elements (H, He, Ar, C, O, Ni)
- neither a terrestrial or Jovian planet

Mars
Jupiter

Saturn Uranus
Neptune

Pluto

- similar to the icy satellites of the Jovian planets

SOME INTERESTING FACTS


1. Planets revolution = counterclockwise direction. 2. Planets rotation direction the same as direction of revolution except for Venus, which rotates in a retrograde direction. 3. Uranus rotates about an axis that are tipped nearly on their sides. 4. Orbital Speed of the Earth = 30 km/s

THE EARTH
started as dust ball from the nebular gas and dust brought together by gravity (accretion), which was heated (heating) and eventually segregated into layers (differentiation) as it cooled when cooling set in, the denser elements (e.g., iron) sank while the lighter ones floated out into the surface, creating a differentiated Earth

CONSEQUENCES OF THE HEATING & DIFFERENTIATION OF THE EARTH


1. formation of atmosphere (mostly gases from volcanic activity) 2. formation of oceans (water released from crystal structure)
* Life started when atmosphere was modified due to the appearance of the blue-green algae.

THE DIFFERENTIATED EARTH

Internal Structure of the Earth


Crust
1. Oceanic basaltic composition (SiMa) 6 to 11 km thick density: ~3.0 g/cm3 2. Continental granitic composition (SiAl) 20 to 60 km thick density: ~2.7 g/cm3 Continental crust
Oceanic crust

Internal Structure of the Earth


Mantle extends to a depth of ~2900 km (Fe, Mg) 1. Upper mantle extends from the base of the crust
2. Mesosphere lower mantle; from 660 km depth to the core-mantle boundary

Internal Structure of the Earth


Core iron rich sphere with small amounts of Ni and other elements Outer core 2270 km thick; liquid Inner core solid sphere with a radius of 1216 km

Discontinuities/Boundaries
1. Mohorovicic crust mantle

2. Gutenberg core mantle 3. Lehmann outer core inner core


From study of seismic waves

Internal Structure of the Earth


Mechanical layers 1. Lithosphere a. Upper crust brittle; 4-15 km depth b. Lower crust/uppermost mantle ductile; 15 to 100 or 200 km depth 2. Asthenosphere weak sphere; beneath the lithosphere and within the upper mantle 3. Mesosphere solid, rocky layer

THE EARTHS VITAL STATISTICS

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION (by mass)


34.6% 29.5% 15.2% 12.7% Iron Oxygen Silicon Magnesium

SHAPE
Oblate spheroid flattened at the poles and bulging at the equator

SIZE
Earths circumference was first calculated by Eratosthenes

Circumference = 360 degrees

800 km

7 degrees

VITAL STATISTICS
Equatorial Radius = 6378 km

Polar Radius = 6357 km Equatorial Circumference = 40076 km Polar Circumference = 40008 km Volume = 260,000,000,000 cu. miles Density = 5.52 g/cm3

THE EARTHS LARGE SCALE FEATURES

External Features of the Earth


1. Continents 2. Ocean basins

ISOSTASY
from a Greek word meaning same standing basically concerned with the buoyancy of the blocks of the Earths crust as they rest on the mantle changes in the load over certain regions causes the lithosphere to make adjustments until isostatic equilibrium (i.e., neither rising or sinking) is reached

PRATTS THEORY
Elevation is inversely proportional to density. Thus, the higher the mountain, the lower is its density; that is, light rocks float higher.

depth of compensation

AIRYS THEORY
Mountains have roots which extend down into the mantle. Thus, elevation is proportional to the depth of the underlying root.

antiroot

root

depth of compensation

HOW OLD IS THE EARTH?


Oldest dated Earth rocks: 3.4 to 4.03 b.y.

Meteorites and moon rocks: ~4.5 b.y.

TRIVIA
What is the highest elevation on earth? Mount Everest (8,848 m)

TRIVIA
What is the tallest feature on earth?
Mauna Loa (10,203 m)

TRIVIA
What is the deepest point on earth? Marianas Trench (10,203 m)