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The Expanding Universe
Light from galaxies has been observed to be
red shifted.
Edwin Hubble (1929) recognized that the red shift
of light from galaxies is a result of the Doppler
He concluded galaxies are moving away at great
Curiously, no galaxies were found heading toward
That all galaxies have a red shift led to the
development of the Expanding Universe Theory,
which led to the Big Bang Theory.
Big Bang Theory
The concept of an expanding Universe led to
the question When did it all begin?
Based on the rate of expansion of the Universe,
astrophysicists have concluded that:
All of the mass and energy in the universe was
packed into a single microscopic point.
It exploded 13.7 Ga and has been expanding ever
Cosmic Background Radiation
In 1965, Arno Penzias and Robert Wilson of
Bell Telephone Laboratories made the second
important observation that provided strong
evidence for the Big Bang.
They discovered a pervasive background
radiation of 2.7 Kelvin (-270.3 degrees Celsius)
above absolute zero everywhere in the Universe.
This background radiation is thought to be the
fading afterglow of the Big Bang.
Big Bang Model
Initial state:
No matter existed
Universe consisted of pure energy

During 1st second:

The four basic forces separated
gravity, electromagnetic force, strong nuclear force,
weak nuclear force
Enormous expansion occurred
Big Bang Model, continued
300,000 years later:
atoms of hydrogen and helium formed
light (photons) burst forth for the first time

During the next 200 million years:

Continued expansion and cooling
Stars and galaxies began to form (due to
gravitational attraction of matter).
Elements heavier than hydrogen and helium
began to form within stars by nuclear fusion
Features of Our Solar System
Part of the Milky Way Galaxy
8 planets
101 known moons (satellites)
a tremendous number of asteroids
most orbit the Sun between the orbits of Mars
and Jupiter
millions of comets and meteorites
interplanetary dust and gases
Relative Sizes of the
Sun and Planets
Solar System Configuration
Origin of Our Solar System
Solar Nebula Theory
cloud of gases and dust

formed a rotating
concentrated 90%
of material in
center part of disk
forming a solar nebula
with an embryonic Sun
surrounded by a rotating cloud
Nebular Hypothesis of Solar System Formation
Embryonic Sun and Rotating Cloud

Planetesimals formed
and collided and grew in size and mass
The Planets

Terrestrial Planets Jovian Planets

Mercury Jupiter
Venus Saturn

Earth Uranus

Mars Neptune

small, composed of large, composed of

rock and metallic hydrogen, helium,
elements ammonia, methane;
small, central rocky
Earths Very Early History
About 4.6 billion years ago, early Earth was
relatively cool
with uniform composition/density (Homogeneous
Accretion Theory)
Composed mostly of silicates, and
iron and magnesium oxides
The temperature increased because of
meteorite impacts
gravitational compression
radioactive decay
Iron and nickel melted and Earths homogeneous
composition disappeared
Earths Differentiation
Differentiation = segregated into a series of
concentric layers of differing composition
and density
Molten iron and
nickel sank to form
the core
Lighter silicates
flowed up to form
mantle and crust
Differenciation of planets
EarthDynamic Planet

Earth was also subjected

to the same meteorite barrage
that pockmarked the Moon
Why isnt Earths surface also densely
Because Earth is a dynamic and evolving planet
Craters have long since been worn away
Earths Interior Layers
Continental (20-90 km
Oceanic (5-10 km
83% volume
composed largely of
dark, dense igneous
rock, rich in iron and
Solid inner region,
liquid outer region
iron and a small
amount of nickel
Earths Interior Layers
solid upper mantle
and crust
broken into plates
that move over the
part of upper
behaves plastically
and slowly flows
Earths Crust
outermost layer
continental (20-90 km thick)
density 2.7 g/cm3
contains Si, Al
composed mostly granite

oceanic (5-10 km thick)

density 3.0 g/cm3
composed of basalt and
Plate Tectonic Theory
Lithosphere is broken into individual pieces or

Plates move over the asthenosphere

as a result of underlying convection cells
Modern Plate Map
Plate Tectonic Theory
Plate boundaries are marked by
Volcanic activity
Earthquake activity

At plate boundaries
plates diverge,
plates converge,
plates slide sideways past each other
Plate Tectonic Theory
Types of plate boundaries
Plate Tectonic Theory
Influence on geological sciences:
Revolutionary concept
major milestone, comparable to Darwins theory of
evolution in biology
Provides a framework for
interpreting many aspects of Earth on a global scale
relating many seemingly unrelated phenomena

interpreting Earth history

Plate Tectonics and
Earth Systems
Plate tectonics is driven by convection
Solid Earth

in the mantle
and in turn drives mountain building
and associated igneous and metamorphic activity
Arrangement of continents affects
solar heating and cooling,

and thus winds and weather systems.

Rapid plate spreading and hot-spot activity
may release volcanic carbon dioxide
and affect global climate
Plate Tectonics and
Earth Systems
Continental arrangement affects ocean currents
Biosphere Hydrosphere

Rate of spreading affects volume

of mid-oceanic ridges and hence sea level
Placement of continents may contribute
to the onset of ice ages

Movement of continents creates corridors

or barriers to migration,
the creation of ecological niches,
and transport of habitats into
more or less favorable climates
Rock Cycle
The rock cycle is a pictorial representation
of events leading to
the origin, destruction, change
and reformation of rocks

Rocks belong to 3 major families


The rock cycle shows

how these rock families are interrelated
and can be derived from one another
Plate Tectonics and the Rock Cycle
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