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Solar System Geology

Offering insights to the geological features of our solar system
by

Paul Wen

on 15 October 2012

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Transcript of Solar System Geology

The release
of gas dissolved
in Earth's crust and
volcanic activity produced
the atmosphere. SOLAR SYSTEM GEOLOGY By Paul Wen The Sun The Sun The Sun is the heart of our solar system. Everything in our solar system revolves around our sun. The Sun contains 99.8% of the entire
solar system's mass. The Sun may be an ordinary star,
but it is in the top 10% by mass. The Sun is composed of 70% hydrogen,
28% helium, and 2% heavy metals at the moment. The Core -The Sun's core takes up 25% of radius - Temperature can reach 15.6 million K
and pressure is 250 billion atmospheres. The Sun's power is produced by nuclear fusion
in the core. Each second, 700 million tons of hydrogen are converted to 695 million tons of helium and 5 million tons of energy in the form of gamma rays. The energy is absorbed by all layers of
the Sun and re-emitted at lower temperatures.
By the time it reaches the surface, it is mostly
visible light. The Photosphere The surface of the Sun is called the photosphere. Temperature is only 5800 K.
It's still pretty hot though. These are sunspots.
They can be very large.
They were formed by complicated
and confusing interactions with
the Sun's magnetic field. There is a small layer above the photosphere
called the chromosphere. The region above the chromosphere is
called the corona. Its temperature is
one million K. DRINK ME! The Sun regularly ejects
solar winds from the corona. Solar winds can cause
magnetic storms, knocking off power grids on Earth. It can also disrupt radio signals. Or create Aurora Borealis. Solar winds were responsible for the 1989 Quebec blackout. Mercury It is the smallest and closest
planet to the Sun. Why does Mercury have a
similar appearance to the moon? Mercury has no atmosphere to protect itself
from meteorites. This also explains why
Mercury has such an extreme change in temperature day and night. Since Mercury is so close to the Sun,
it is difficult for space probes to
explore the planet. The Sun is currently 4.6 billion
years and halfway through
its main sequence. Only the Marine 10 and MESSENGER have flown by
the planet. After the formation of the solar system,
Mercury, like other rocky planets, were
bombarded by heavy asteroids and
comets. Some regions were filled
with hot lava,which
eventually cooled down
to form large basins. There are also plains,
vast flatlands that are
most likely of volcanic
origin. VENUS It is the second planet
from the Sun. Its size is similar to Earth, and is
therefore nicknamed the Earth's twin. After the moon,
Venus is the
brighest object
in our night sky. Venus is covered with
highly reflective clouds
of sulfuric acid. This is Venus's
true face. Even though Venus is not the closest planet
to the Sun, it is by far the hottest planet in
the solar system. WHY? Venus has the densest atmosphere
out of the four inner planets,
composed mainly of carbon dioxide (96%). Its dense atmosphere (92 times
that of Earth's atmospheric
pressure) traps heat through
the greenhouse effect. Average surface temperature
is 462 C. Venus is believed to
have possessed oceans
in the past. What happened to them? The oceans vaporized due to the
greenhouse effect. Since Venus
has a very weak magnetic field,
most hydrogen has been swept
away into space by solar winds. The surface of Venus is desertlike
with extensive volcanism. There are over 1000
craters on Venus. Mercury goes through
extreme temperature changes due to having no atmosphere to retain heat. Day temperature is over 400 C,
while night temperature dips to -200 C Messenger to the gods Goddess of Love Leo The Ruler Gemini & Virgo Taurus & Libra EARTH Sorry I do not rule
any horoscopes Home to all living things. Formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago. Life appeared on its
surface 1 billion years later. This was possible due to Earth forming
an ozone layer, which with the help of
Earth's magnetic field blocks harmful
solar radiation. Y U NO LET
ME FRY YOU Earth just has the perfect
physical properties for
life to survive. Earth's crust is divided into
rigid segments called tectonic plates.They move. Earth was initially a
ball of fire due to
extreme volcanism
and frequent collisions
with other planet bodies. After a while, the Moon
formed as a result of a large asteroid hitting the Earth and
sending a portion of the mass
into space. Eventually, Earth's
outer surface cooled
down to form a crust. Ice from the comets colliding
with Earth became condensed
water vapor. These water vapors produced
Earth's oceans. About 3.5 billion years ago, the
Earth's inner liquid core created
a strong magnetic field, which
prevented solar winds from
stripping away the Earth's
atmosphere. We are now in the Holocene
Epoch of the Phanerozoic Eon. The Earth is currently in the Phanerozoic Eon. It spans approximately 545 million years. During this period, plate tectonics caused
continents to drift about, forming a single
large landmass known as Pangaea and splitting into the current continents later. The last glacial period of the current ice
age ended 10,000 years ago. How we take care of our planet will
determine the future of our planet. MARS God of War ARIES Why is Mars called the
Red Planet? Mars's red color
come from the abundant iron
oxide on its surface. Mars share many similar features
as the Earth and the Moon. Its surface include impact craters, basins, volcanoes, valleys, deserts, and polar ice caps. Mars also has a similar axle tilt as Earth, which means the rotational period and seasonal cycles are alike to those of Earth. Mars may have once
been a habitable planet.
Why? In 2005, radar data showed that there is a huge quantity of water in the ice caps
of the polar regions. Liquid water can exist if the temperature is above 0 C and the pressure is high enough to prevent sublimation. Ex. Hellas Planitia From observing rock and soil samples, scientists have concluded that at certain
points in history, flowing water on Mars
was common. The past flow of water suggests a potential
for life to survive, but the lack of a magnetic
field and a thin atmosphere means that heat
will not be retained, and solar radiation will
cause great damage to any surviving life. Mars has frequent dust storms.
A lot of them are planet-wide. They're similar to water clouds
on Earth. Mars has two small, natural moons. Phobos and Deimos They are irregularly shaped,
and may have been the
result of asteroid capture. ASTEROID BELT The asteroid belt is located
between Mars and Jupiter. It is the group of planetesimals formed
after the solar nebula, but Jupiter's gravity was too strong for them to combine into
planets. JUPITER King of the Gods Sagittarius Gas giant 2.5 times the mass of all other planets combined It is the fourth
brightest object when viewed
from Earth. Jupiter is mainly composed of hydrogen (89%), with a quarter of its mass being helium (10%). The atmosphere is
separated into different
bands at different latitudes. This is the Great Red Spot, a giant
storm that has been constantly
brewing ever since it was
discovered in the 1700s. Jupiter has a strong
magnetic field. It has
a faint ring of moons.
The largest moons
are the 4 Galilean moons. SATURN God of Agriculture,
Liberation, and Time Capricorn Lord of
the Rings Saturn may have a core
composed of iron, nickel,
and silicon and oxygen
compounds found in rocks. Saturn appears to be yellowish due to the
presence of ammonia crystals in the upper atmosphere. Saturn's magnetic field is slightly weaker than that of Earth's. It might have been created by electric current in the layer of metallic hydrogen. Saturn's most famous feature
is its ring system. The ring is composed of countless
small ice particles and a very
minimal amount of rocky material. The ring makes Saturn appear
brighter as a result of reflection.
However, a telescope is still needed
to see Saturn. The origin of the ring system
is unclear. National Geographic
believed that the rings of Saturn
may have been the result of
a giant moon crashing into
Saturn and being stripped of its
icy shell. Saturn has 62 moons with
confirmed orbits. The largest moon is Titan,
which is larger than Mercury! Titan has a nitrogen rich atmosphere like Earth's. Its climate (wind and rain)
creates similar surface
features to the Earth's. The presence of liquid hydrocarbon
suggests that there is microbial extraterrestrial life on Titan. URANUS God of the Sky Aquarius Although a gas giant, Uranus is
placed in a separate category
called ice giants along with Neptune. Uranus is a really slow orbiting planet. It finishes one cycle around the Sun in 84 years. Uranus has the coldest planetary atmosphere in the
solar system, with a minimum of -224 C. Although Uranus has similar hydrogen and helium content, Uranus contains more ices
such as water, methane, and ammonia. Hence the "ice giant". One special thing about Uranus is that its axle tilt is 97 degrees.
That means its north and south poles lie where most planets have their equators.
This gives Uranus extreme seasonal variations. NEPTUNE God of the Sea Pisces The farthest planet away from the Sun (30 AU), Neptune has only been visited by one
spacecraft (Voyager 2) in 1989. It is similar to its ice giant cousin Uranus
in terms of structure and size. Neptune was the first planet to be discovered
by mathematical inductions. Uranus's unexpected change in orbits prompted scientists to suggest that there is another large body nearby. One major difference between Uranus and Neptune is that Neptune has an active climate. Its weather is characterized by extreme storms. Winds can reach 2000km/h or over 600m/s. That's almost breaking the
speed of sound! Why does Neptune have seasonal variations like Earth and Mars? Neptune's axle tilt is 28 degrees, which is similar to the Earth's (23 degrees) and Mars's (25 degrees).
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