Introduction - Introduction

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  Introduction We will examine the Earth and Moon first to get some ideas about what  planets and moons should be like. This will allow us to develop some models  for the rest of the solar system. Here is a good overview of the earth:  http://www.planetscapes.com/solar/eng/earth.htm General Properties   shape o almost a sphere - from gravity o bulges at the equator - from rotation (as shown if Figure 5.2)  [Link to Figure 5.2] density o (mass per unit volume) o 5.5 grams / cm 3 o for comparison: water = 1 g / cm 3 "rock" = 2.5 g / cm 3 iron = 8 g / cm 3 o => Earth must have a dense region down deep reflection of light o "albedo" = percentage of light reflected o 37 % o for comparison ice has high albedo (close to 100%) clouds and water have moderate albedo (around 40 - 60  %) dirt has low albedo (around 10 %) age: between 3.6 and 4.5 billion years old o from radioactive dating of rocks
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Introduction - Introduction

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