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What is Earth Science?

An overview of the group of four sciences that deals with Earth and its neighbors in space.
by

Denise Greenberg

on 12 August 2015

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Transcript of What is Earth Science?

What is Earth Science?
Earth Science
is the name for the group of sciences that deals with Earth and its neighbors in space.
Formation of Earth
Earth Science includes many subdivisions of geology such as geochemistry, geophysics, and paleontology...
Geology

is the study of the physical makeup and history of Earth.
Oceanography

studies the composition, movements and features of the ocean.
A scientist who studies the physical earth is called a
geologist.
An example of a geologic event could be a volcanic eruption.
A scientist who studies oceanography is called an
Oceanographer.
An example of an oceanic event could be ocean waves.
Meteorology

is the study of the atmosphere and the processes that produce weather and climate.
Like oceanography, meteorology also involves other branches of science.
Meteorology is NOT the study of meteors!
A scientist who studies the atmosphere is called a
meteorologist.
An example of a meteorological event would be a hurricane.
Another would be a thunderstorm.
Another geologic event is mountain building.
Another example would be tides.
Astronomy,
the study of the universe beyond Earth, is useful for discovering the origins of our own planet.
A scientist who studies astronomy is called an
astronomer.
An example of an astronomical event would be a comet orbiting the Sun.
Another example would be a solar prominence.
Earth is always changing, and always has been.
Sometimes the changes are rapid and violent.
Most changes, however, take place so gradually that they go unnoticed during a human's lifetime.
Scientists understand that Earth and the other planets formed during the same time span and from the same material of the Sun.
The Nebular Hypothesis
The

nebular hypothesis
suggests that the bodies of our solar system evolved from an enormous rotating cloud called the solar nebula.
Chapter 1, pp 1- 5
The make-up of planets is affected by how close they are to the Sun.
Inner planets are small - because the materials which make them up were rare in the Solar Nebula. Their gravity is weak because they are small, as well.
Inner planets also have thin atmospheres because they were not able to hold on to most of the lighter gases of the nebular cloud.
(Mars horizon.)
Because of their huge size, the outer planets' gravity was strong enough to hold these heavier gases.
Layers Form on Earth
When Earth was newly formed the denser elements, mostly iron and nickel, sank to Earth's center.
Lighter rocky components floated from the center to the surface.
The outer planets were formed from water vapor, carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane.
The lighter, rocky components floated outward, toward the surface.
As a result of this process, Earth's structure is not uniform; - it has layers of materials that have different properties.
as well as oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy.
The Inner Planets
The Gas Giants
Full transcript