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Earth + Space
Universe 14000myo Galaxies – star collections (Milky Way) Solar system 5000myo
Created when dust and gas pulled together by gravity making clumps…. Made of hot gases
Sun is a star;
Dating the Earth
Rocks change very slowly due to erosion and weathering. Deeper the rock the older it is. Radioactive dating;
Estimating the age of something like a rock by measuring its radioactivity. Also used on fossils (stony remains of an animal or plant that lived millions of years ago).
Originally described in 1915 by Alfred Wegener (a meteorologist). Idea that crust consists of a number of tectonic plates which constantly move
Either away from, against or alongside each other. Move between 2 and 20cm a year. Now measured using satellites.
and rocks identical in Africa and South America. Continents fit like a jigsaw. Land bridge;
Rocks lightest at the top cannot sink into heavier rocks.
cannot see or feel continents moving. Land bridge could have joined Africa and S America. Wegener not a geologist (rock expert).
Theory now accepted after initial criticism. Proved by mapping major oceans. Ridges (mountain chains) down the centre of oceans emit molten lava which cools to make new rock (Constructive margin). This is constantly pushed along to make way for newer rock. Shown by magnetic stripes of the Earths field direction of the time. Discovered by scientist Fred Vine (1963).
Occur at plate boundaries;
Earthquakes, Volcanoes Landslides, Floods, Tsunami’s
Geohazard prediction technology Educate people in what to do. Building regulations (reduce chance of buildings collapsing). Emergency plans/staff training.
A few times during Earth’s history a massive asteroid (dwarf rocky planet) or comet (ball of frozen gases and water) has struck. Meteorites (tiny dust grains) regularly hit. Craters seen on Moon and not Earth because Earth is covered in land and sea. No rocks found from meteorites, the Earth, Moon or Mars have been older than 5000myo.
Dinosaurs were thought to be dying out anyway but most accepted theory is a massive asteroid striking the Gulf of Mexico (65mya). Impact partly vapourised the ground, wind carried the material around the world, and it settled into layer of dust (contains iridium found in meteorites). Another theory; huge floods of molten basalt rock from frequent eruptions (India, Siberia especially). Not all flood basalt events have caused a mass extinction though as happened with the dinosaurs.
What are we made of?
Earth made from just 92 different atoms. Observations of sunlight spectrum found the same 92 atoms only. Heat of stars estimated using colour (white-hot warmer than red-hot). Stars are mainly hydrogen which fuses to form helium (nuclear fusion) making energy. If a star was just a fire-ball it would use up oxygen quick. Eventually stars use up hydrogen and start to die out and give out less and less energy.
Life of a Star
Nebula Protostar Main Sequence Star (the Sun) Red Giant White Dwarf Black Dwarf
Are we alone?
The shift of an object against a more distant background. Further away the less it shifts. Used to measure distance to stars. Nearer an object (star) the brighter it is. Distance that light travels in a year. A planet of any star apart from the Sun. Around 130 at the moment – could they sustain life?
Formation of the Universe
Telescopes work better away from sea level (less light pollution such as streetlamps). Used to work out distances between galaxies which shows that they are moving away from each other. Big Bang Theory;
That the Universe burst into existence from nothing with incredible heat. Some evidence for this comes from microwaves.