07_Terrestrial_Planets - Terrestrial Planets Terrestrial...

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Terrestrial Planets
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Terrestrial Planet Surfaces How do they compare to one another?
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Comparison of Planetary Surfaces heavily cratered {scars from the heavy bombardment} some volcanic plains Venus volcanoes and bizarre bulges Mars volcanoes and canyons apparently dry riverbeds {evidence for running water?} Earth all of the above plus liquid water and life
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Inside the Terrestrial Worlds After they have formed, the molten planets differentiate into three zones: core - made of metals mantle - made of dense rock crust - made of less dense rock Lithosphere - the rigid, outer layer of crust & part of the mantle which does not deform easily
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Inside the Terrestrial Worlds
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Inside the Terrestrial Worlds active geology inactive geology
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Heating the Terrestrial Worlds Planetary interiors heat up through: accretion differentiation radioactivity Supplies all the heat at the beginning Supplies heat throughout the planet’s life
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Cooling the Terrestrial Worlds Planets cool off through: conduction - heat flowing on the microscopic level convection - heat flowing on the macroscopic level (bulk motions) radiation the larger the planet, the longer it takes to cool off!
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Cooling the Terrestrial Worlds
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Magnetic Fields Electric charges moving via convection in a molten iron core and spinning acts like an electromagnet magnetic field Earth has a magnetic field Mercury surprisingly has a weak magnetic field ??
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Shaping Planetary Surfaces Major geological processes that shape planetary surfaces: impact cratering : excavation of surface by asteroids or comets striking the planet volcanism : eruption of lava from interior tectonics : disruption of lithosphere by internal stresses erosion : wearing down by wind, water, ice
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Impact Cratering objects hit planet at 10 – 70 km/s solid rock is vaporized a crater is excavated matter is ejected in all directions craters are circular large craters have a central peak
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Counting Craters to find Surface Age Cratering rate decreased as Solar Systems aged. The older the surface, the more craters are present.
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Underground, molten rock, called magma , breaks through crack in the lithosphere, sometimes gently, sometimes violently. Trapped gases are released, called volcanic
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07_Terrestrial_Planets - Terrestrial Planets Terrestrial...

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