Chapter 21

Chapter 21 - Note that the following lectures include...

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Note that the following lectures include animations and PowerPoint effects such as fly ins and transitions that require you to be in PowerPoint's Slide Show mode (presentation mode).
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The Moon and Mercury: Airless Worlds Chapter 21
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The two preceding chapters have been preparation for the exploration of the planets. In this chapter, we begin that detailed study with two goals in mind. First, we search for evidence to test the solar nebula hypothesis for the formation of the solar system. Second, we search for an understanding of how planets evolve once they have formed. The moon is a good place to begin because people have been there. This is an oddity in astronomy in that astronomers are accustomed to studying objects at a distance. In fact, many of the experts on the moon are not astronomers but geologists, and much of what we will study about the moon is an application of earthly geology. Guidepost
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While no one has visited Mercury, we will recognize it as familiar territory. It is much like the moon, so our experience with lunar science will help us understand Mercury as well as the other worlds we will visit in the chapters that follow. Guidepost (continued)
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I. The Moon A. The View From Earth B. Highlands and Lowlands C. The Apollo Missions D. Moon Rocks E. The History of the Moon F. The Origin of Earth's Moon II. Mercury A. Rotation and Revolution B. The Surface of Mercury C. The Plains of Mercury D. The Interior of Mercury E. A History of Mercury Outline
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The Moon: The View from Earth From Earth, we always see the same side of the moon. Moon rotates around its axis in the same time that it takes to orbit around Earth: Tidal coupling: Earth’s gravitation has produced tidal bulges on the moon; Tidal forces have slowed rotation down to same period as orbital period
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Lunar Surface Features Two dramatically different kinds of terrain: Highlands: Mountainous terrain, scarred by craters surfaces: Maria (pl. of mare ): Basins flooded by lava flows
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Highlands and Lowlands Sinuous rilles = remains of ancient lava flows May have been lava tubes which later collapsed due to meteorite bombardment. Apollo 15 Apollo 15 landing site landing site
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The Highlands Older craters partially obliterated by more recent impacts … or flooded by lava flows Saturated with craters
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Impact Cratering Impact craters on the moon can be seen easily even with small telescopes. Ejecta from the impact can be seen as bright rays originating from young craters
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The Moon’s Craters (SLIDESHOW MODE ONLY)
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History of Impact Cratering Most craters seen on the moon’s (and Mercury’s) surface were formed within the first ~ 1/2 billion years. Rate of impacts due to interplanetary bombardment decreased rapidly after the formation of the solar system.
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Missions to the Moon Major challenges: Lunar module (LM) of Apollo 12 on descent to the surface of the moon Need to carry enough fuel for: in-flight corrections, descent to surface, re-launch from the surface, return trip to Earth; need to carry enough food and
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Chapter 21 - Note that the following lectures include...

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