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83 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back
4 major subfields of Earth Science
geology, oceanology, meterology, astronomy
Height of Mt Everest (feet and miles)
29,028ft and 5.5 miles
Elevation of Hawaii
2.6 miles above sea level
Average depth of the ocean (in miles)
2.3 miles
Deepest part of the ocean (name, feet, miles)
Maryana Trench 36,204 feet and 6.8 miles
Earth's 4 "Spheres"
Atmosphere, Hydrosphere, Geosphere, Biosphere
a repeatable observation or measurement
Scientific Law
a regular pattern of behavior in nature, law of gravity...for example
a possible explanation of related facts
a hypothesis that has withstood critical testing; a theory is the best known explanation of certain facts. But theories are more than just successful hypotheses. They are larger, comprehensive explanations of much data. Theories answer not one, but many questions.
3 major philosophical assumptions of science
nature is intelligible, nature is uniform, methodological naturalism
What is the science of cosmology?
eternal universe or created universe
When did the Big Bang supposedly occur (in billion years ago)?
12-13 billion years ago
The 3 primary lines of evidence for the Big Bang theory?
1. Red shift
2. Background radiation
3. Abundance of H&He in the universe
What does Red Shift tell us?
That planets are moving away because the wavelengths are longer.
Solar Nebula Hypothesis
1. Gravitational collapse of nebula, 2. Protosun/Protostar 3. Main sequence star nuclear fushion beings 4. Gravitational collection of debris in nebular disk to form protoplanets-planet.
When did the Solar Nebula Hypothesis supposesedly take place?
5.0 billion years ago
The yearly path of the Sun plotted against the background of stars.
A band along the ecliptic containing the 12 constellations of zodiac
North Star, end of the little dipper.
7 Wanderers
did not follow their own path. Were planets (7 originally) Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiters, Saturn, Sun, Moon.
Geocentric Cosmos
The concept of an Earth-centered universe
Heliocentric Cosmos
The concept of a sun-centered universe
How many constellations are currently reconized by astronomers?
What was Copernicus the first to propose?
Heliocentric Cosmos/Universe
Kepler gave us the 3 Laws of what?
Planetary Motion
Two observations that Galileo made that essentially proved the heliocentric view of the cosmos?
1. Phases of Venus
2. Moons of Jupiter
Newton is most famous for his Law of Universal Gravitation, which explains why planets _____ the Sun.
What is a light year?
measuring stick of space. Distance light travels in one year nearest star.
Distance in light years to Proxima Centauri, what is Promixma Centauri?
4.2 light years: nearest star (besides the sun)
4 types of galaxies
spiral, elliptical, irregular, barred spiral
Two methods used to judge the distance to stars.
Stellar Parallax & Cepheid Variable
Large red object is not hot enough to engage in nuclear fusion, is is not yet a star.
Main-sequence star
when nuclear fusion begins
White dwarf
collapse of star ejection of "smoke ring" of energy.
Red giant
a large red mass
Planetary nebula
Beautiful, gleaminf, spherical clouds
Stars exceeding three solar masses have relatively short life spans and terminate in a brilliant explosion
Neutron star
These objects are thought to be the remnants of supernova events
Black hole
A massive star that has collapsed to such a small volume that its gravity prevents the excape of all radiation.
What does the solar system consist of?
Sun, planets, moons, asteroids, comets
Terrestiral (inner planets)
Hard ground-Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars
Jovian (outer planets)
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Sun is composed of, what two gases?
Hydrogen and Helium
Why does the Sun shine?
Nuclear fusion
Sight of nuclear fusion
Convective Zone
energy moves towards sun's surface
Sun's "Surface" (300 miles thick), nearly all visable ligh originates
Cloud around the sun. Spicules- spike hoping off the sun.
"Sun's atmosphere" halo of light around the sun. Seen during an ecclipse-source of solar wind.
ll year cycles one appears-magnetic disturbance
Solar Flares
eruptions of x ray's, gamma rays, UV rays
Solar Prominences
large "flames" or "fountains" of hot gas.
Distance from the Earth to the Sun
93 million miles AU
Mercury: greatest extremes in temp, no atmosphere and no moons.
800 degrees F
280 degrees F
Venus: atmosphere of CO2, day longer than year.

Why is it so hot?
Number of moons?
So hot because of the greenhouse effect.

Has no moons
Mars: thin atmosphere of CO2.

What kind of water is on Mars? What are the names of the moons?
Perma frost and ice, 2 moons named Phobos and Deimos
Why does Mars exhibit "retrograde motion"?
Results from the combination of the Earth and the planet's own motion around the Sun.
What is Mons Olympus? What is it's height?
Largest known volcano, located on Mars. Is 75,000 ft.
Moon: When did we first step on the moon? Who was the first man to step on the moon?
June 20, 1969-Neill Armstrong
Name the three surfaces of the moon
Terrae or Lunar highlands
Mare, Maria "seas"- large-lava filled
What is lunar regolith composed of?
ejecto and micrometeorites
What happened during the four stages of lunar history?
1. Orgin of the moon >4.6bill years ago
2. Pre-Imbiran Period 4.5-4.0 billion years ago-formation of lunar crust (terrae), extensive meteorite bombardment.
3. Imbrian Period-4.0-2.0 billion years-formation of the Maria basins, 2nd period of heavy meteorite bombardment.
4. Eratosthenian Period- 2.0-1.0 Billion years ago-formation of non-rayed craters
5. Copernican Period- 1 billion years ago to Present-formation of rayed craters
Gravitation field of the moon
1/6th of the Earth's
Jupiter is 1/10th the size of the sun and is the largest planet in our solar system. It is reconized by it's Great Red Spot. What are the four moons of Jupiter?
Io, Europa (has water and ice), Ganymede, Callisto
What are the rings of Saturn composed of?
Rock and Ice
What is unique about the spin of Uranus?
It spins on it's side
What's unique about Neptune's moon Triton?
is thought to be a Kuiper Belt object that was captured
Neptune is known as a very turbulent planet. What mark defines Neptune?
The Great DARK spot (a large hurricane)
Pluto's Moon
Pluto may be...
a large object from the Kuiper belt
Where is the astroid belt located?
between Mars and Jupiter
orbits the sun every 4.6 years, largest asteroid
Basic types of Meteroites
iron, stoney irons, and stoney
What is the probably origin of asteroids?
fragments of broken planets that once orbited between Mars and Jupiter
What is a "shooting star"?
A meteor that comes into Earth's atmosphere and is burned up by the atmosphere
Why are so few craters found on Earth's surface?
weathering and erosion, landing in the water
What are comets?
ice and rock
Why do comets glow with a coma and tail when they approach the Sun?
ice particles melting
Kuiper belt
A region outside the orbit of Neptune nuture most short-period comets are though to originate.
Oort cloud
a spherical shell composed of comets that orbit the Sun at distances generally greater that 10,000 times the Earth-Sun distance.
Other intelligent life in the universe?
Limited travel, distance
From what kind of exploding star to the heavy elements (like carbon, iron, gold, etc.) come from?
Super Nova