AS101 Lecture 18

AS101 Lecture 18 - AS101 Lecture 18 Logistics: Do the night...

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AS101 Lecture 18 Logistics: • Do the night lab as soon as you can Last Lecture: • Solar System formation • Dating the solar system Today’s Lecture: • Geology of Terrestrial Planets
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Comparative Planetary Geology Geology : The word geology comes from the Greek geo, “Earth”, and logia, “the study of”. Thus geology refers to the study of the planet earth, its exterior and its history. Planetary Geology : The study of all solid bodies in the solar system.
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Uniformitarianism Uniformitarianism , a key geologic principle, states that the physical and chemical processes that have acted throughout geologic time are the same processes that are observable today. Basically it says that the laws of Physics and Chemistry does not change with time
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Why comparative planetary geology? All planets started with the same nebula. We understand why there are differences between the Jovian planets and terrestrial planets So, why are the terrestrial planets different? “frost line” temp ~ 150 K
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Lets take a broad-brush look
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Major features Mercury and Moon has heavily cratered surface and volcanic planes Venus ’ relatively smooth surface has many volcanoes, mountains and continent-size features Mars shows surface features formed by running water and has the largest volcano in the solar system The Earth has all these plus life
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More Graphically
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Tools of planetary geologists Astronaut on the Moon Viking lander
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Voyager
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Photographs, taken in visible light provide valuable geologic information about a planet. For example, by knowing the location of the Sun with respect to the camera position, one could calculate the height of surface features by examining shadows. The same technique is used
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This note was uploaded on 04/14/2011 for the course ASTRO 101 taught by Professor Oppenheim during the Spring '11 term at BU.

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AS101 Lecture 18 - AS101 Lecture 18 Logistics: Do the night...

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