-Extremely large body of air characterized by similar temp. & humidity.
-very cold, dry
Ex: North America, Canada,
Ex: Interior U.S.
Ex: North Pacific
Ex: South Pacific, G.O.M., & South Atlantic
Ex: Southwest U.S.
-Transition zone b/w 2 air masses of different densities
- cold, dry stable air replaces warm, moist unstable air
-clouds of vertical development, thunderstorms
-warm, moist unstable air overrides cold, dry stable air
-horizontal cloud development w/ steady rain
discharge of electricity in mature storms
-cloud to cloud (80%)
-cloud to ground (20%)
explosive expansion of air due to heat from lightning
-sound wave move .2 miles per 2nd & an observer more than 3 miles away probably won't hear thunder
1. Highest winds on the eastern side or storm(wind & speed of storm)
2. Storm surge on northern side of storm: particularly damaging in combination w/ high tide
3. Hurricane spawned tornadoes that form in the outer thunderstorms(small super cell), typically F0-F2
-nearer stars should appear to shift in comparison with further stars throughout our orbit (year)
-Greek “proof” that earth is the center of the universe: Lack of detectable___________
How we can determine some distances
Ptolemy of Alexandria improved the geocentric model by incorporating the retrograde motion in “epicycles”
-Copernicus reconsidered Aristarchus’s heliocentric model with the Sun at the center of the solar system
-Was not a better model because planetary motion was in perfect circles.
Designed instruments of greater accuracy, hired Kepler
Using Tycho’s data, Kepler showed the orbit to be an ellipse
Kepler’s 3 Laws of Planetary Motion
1. Planets move in elliptical orbits with the Sun at one focus of the ellipse
2. The planet will sweep out equal areas in equal time intervals, The closer a planet is to the Sun, the faster it moves
3. The amount of time a planet takes to orbit the Sun is related to its orbit’s size, p2=a3
First person to use the telescope to study the heavens and show the true nature of the solar system:
He made major advances in mathematics, physics, and astronomy and wrote 3 laws of motion that describe motion on Earth and in space.
Gives the universe its structure and controls astronomical motion
-It is a universal force that causes all objects to pull on all other objects everywhere, older astronomers did not connect gravity and astronomical motion
As seen earlier, planets move along curved (elliptical) paths, or orbits. This is due to the external force of gravity
At a sufficiently high speed, an object travels so far that the ground curves out from under it. The object, now in orbit, still experiences the pull of gravity!
We measure mass using Newton’s version of Kepler’s 3rd Law
M1+M2=A3 / P2
is the acceleration a mass undergoes at the surface of an object
To overcome a celestial object’s gravitational force and escape into space, a mass must obtain a critical speed called the ______________
is occupied by a diversity of objects, but shows an underlying order in the dynamics of their movements
is a star whose output is generated by high temperature nuclear reactions in its core. Its large mass (99.9% of the mass of the solar system) holds the objects in our solar system in place
it is our best proxy for other stars because we can easily study it.
Small nuclei stick together to make a bigger one. (Sun, stars) High temperatures enable nuclear ________ to happen in the core by overpowering the repulsion between atoms.
Pluto and similar objects fail to fit into either family because they have inclined orbits and are very small, icy, and have not cleared their own orbits of debris.
are rocky or metallic bodies that orbit in the asteroid belt
are icy bodies that can grow very long tails of gas and dust as they near the Sun and are vaporized by its heat; they orbit in the Kuiper Belt or Oort Cloud
Conservation of Angular Momentum
Small things rotate or revolve faster than big things.
The solar nebula heats up as it collapses (gravitational potential energy is converted into thermal energy).
conservation of energy
Random motions cause the nebula to contract. The nebula heats up as gravity causes it to contract due to
The Moon is between the Earth and sun, casting a shadow on the earth
The Earth is between the Sun and the Moon, casting a shadow on the moon.
The Moon’s gravity pulls harder on near side of Earth than on far side. The magnitude of the tides is dependent upon the phase of the moon.
strong, gravitational forces from sun and moon pull, in the same direction.
-phase is new or full
weak, gravitational forces from sun and moon work against each other,
-phase is first or third quarter
gradually slows Earth’s rotation, the moons rotation, and makes the Moon move farther from Earth.
The moon currently rotates only once during its entire orbit around the earth:
Residual heat from accretion
Convection and Conduction
- Transfer of heat by mass circulation (warm air rises, cool air sinks)
- Most important heat process in the atmosphere*
- The transfer of heat from molecule to molecule within a substance (always warm to cool)
* Least effective heat transfer in the atmosphere
Lightest rock making up the crust
Heavier rock in the mantle
Dense metal in the core
Reverse or thrust fault
is the center of the sun. Nuclear reactions take place here, producing energy.
has the hottest temperature
Weather and Erosion
- Air Pressure *
The total amount of energy stored in any object is capable of doing. ex. Potential: *mass E=MC2* Gravity (gravitational potential Energy)
-Any moving substance possess energy of motion.
ex. Kinetic: *Thermal energy: kinetic energy of particles
-The temperature of the air is a measure of the average kinetic energy of its molecules
- Celsius- Kelvin
0 degrees kelvin, when all particles stop moving
Heat is transferred in the atmosphere by…
- Energy from the sun travels in the form of waves
Removing heat from the atmosphere
water vapor --> ice
the heat energy required to change the state of a substance
H2O (water vapor) - Most abundant*
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) keeps temp. from fluctuating too much on earth
N2, O2, Ar
the atmosphere selectively absorbs some radiation and transmits others
Earths motions: short term
1. Revolution eliptical path around sun every 365.25 days
2. Rotation counterclockwise on eastward every 24 hours
-angle of the earth and where the sun is in the sky
- when the earth tilts towards the sun in summer, higher solar angles and longer days equate to high temperatures and the opposite happens for winter
- the hemispheres experience the opposite seasons.
Changes in the shape of Earths orbit around the sun.
changes in the orientation of earths axial tilt
total amount of water vapor in the air
amount of water vapor in the air over how much the air can “hold”
- content/capacity } dependent upon temperature
What the air actually feels like (dependent on temp. and humidity)
Dew Point Temperature
- The temp. to which air must be cooled in order for saturation to occur, RH at dew point is 100%
- Objects at the earths surface cool below the atmospheric temperature and water condenses upon them (dew or frost)
How Are clouds formed?
- for water to condense in the atmosphere, it must have something to condense on.
- At about 75% relative humidity, water vapor condenses on aerosols (solid or liquid particles in the atmosphere)
- As large areas of humid air rise from the surface and the water vapor cools and condenses they form clouds.
- the individual drops are too small to fall to the ground.
Type of clouds that develop
Intensity of the precipitation
-At points where major convection cells meet, extremely fast winds @ 10-15 km altitude are created (polar & subtropical)
-can intensify a developing mid-lat cyclone by drawing more warm air upwards from the center
- 60- 90 degrees north
- Polar Easterlies
- 30-60 degrees north
-upper level lows derive energy from horizontal temperature variations and are the most intense at high altitudes
- 0-30 degrees north
- Trade Wind
-fronts w/ no movement
-winds parallel but opposite direction
Ex: Combination of alternating triangle(cold) and circle(warm).
- cold front catches up to & over takes a warm front
-occlude mature mid-latitude cyclone
-Stormy unsettled weather
R in NH
L in SH
-Mid-Latitude cyclone forms & moves along the boundary b/w polar air & warmer southern air(known as polar fronts)
-A stationary front develops along a boundary b/w a warm air mass & a cold air mass
-Winds move in opposite directions parallel to the front
-During later stages, a separate cold & warm front develop. A center of low pressure forms at the junction b/w fronts
-The cold front moves faster than the warm front creating a wave (this happens b/c air moves from high to low pressure)
-The cold front will eventually catch up w/ the warm front, creating an occluded front (closed off)
-The center of low pressure become cut off & a stationary front develops
-60 degrees Polar Jet stream
-30-60 degrees Mid-latitude cyclones or "upper level lows"
-30 degrees subtropical jet stream
-short lived & not usually associated w/ fronts.
Stages: Cumulus, mature (cumulonimbus), dissipating
Large, long-lasting thunderstorm w/ a single rotating updraft (mesocyclone) formed due to shear winds in conjunction with a developing mid-latitude cyclone.
-Based upon the damage created by a storm, not wind speed
-F0 weakest, F5 Strongest
1. Surface convergence trigger (tropical wave), and little to no wind shear.
2. At least 80 degrees F sea surface temperature
-June 1st- Nov 1st
-Typically no greater than 20 degrees latitude N or S
3. Coriolis effect
west northwest, northeast due to influence of the prevailing trade winds
-form preferentially in warm ocean currents
-historically based on location then only female names.
-how: alternation female and male names
-retired (Katrina, Camille)
-At strongest, Cat 5
-made landfall as a cat 3w/ 920 mb pressure and > 20ft storm surge just east of new Orleans on august 29, 2005.
(Special case bonding)
Van Der Waals Bonding
(Special case bonding)
(Special case bonding)
Sedimentary rocks Structures
We estimate star temperature by the color and spectral type.
Through the use of models and observations, they were the first to explain the workings of the heavens
Galileo established the idea of inertia (objects in motion tend to stay in motion)
Newton’s Second Law of Motion – F=ma
A force will cause an object to have non-uniform motion, a changing velocity
a = Acceleration is defined as a change in velocity
m=Mass should not be confused with weight, which is a force related to gravity – weight may change from place to place, but mass does not
Newton’s Third Law of Motion – Action and Reaction
When two objects interact, they create equal and opposite forces on each other. This is true for any two objects, including the Sun and the Earth!
are almost circular lying in nearly the same plane. All of the planets travel counterclockwise around the Sun (as seen from high above the Earth’s north pole) and most rotate in the same direction
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars. Small rocky objects with relatively thin or no atmospheres
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
Much larger than terrestrial planets and are gaseous, liquid, or icy
All objects in the Solar System seem to have formed at nearly the same time, out of the same original cloud of gas and dust. Radioactive dating of rocks from the Earth, Moon, and some asteroids suggests an age of about 4.5 billion yrs
A theory of the Solar System’s formation must account for the following:
Triggered by a collision with another cloud or a nearby exploding star, rotation of a nebula forces clouds to gravitationally collapse into a rotating disk. A few million years pass for a cloud to collapse into a rotating disk with a bulge in the center
Temperatures in the center of the forming solar system would eventually reach the temperatures necessary for the onset of nuclear fusion and the formation of a star (the sun).
Formation of Terrestrial vs. Jovian Planets
Temperatures would have allowed for solid particles of metal and rock to condense in the inner nebula and metal, rock, and ices in the outer nebula.
Next step is for the tiny particles to stick together into bigger pieces in a process called accretion which forms planetesimals and eventually formed planets, moons, and other orbiting objects.
Planetesimals in the inner solar nebula were rocky-iron composites (forming terrestrial planets), while planetesimals in the outer solar nebula were icy-rocky-iron composites (forming jovian planets)
- Atmospheres were the last planet-forming process
- Outer planets gravitationally captured their atmospheres from the solar nebula
- Inner planets created their atmospheres by volcanic activity and perhaps from comets and asteroids that vaporized on impact
The Moon’s Unusual Size and Mass
Our Moon is 1/4 the Earth’s diameter, and approximately 1/100 of the mass.
The Giant Impact Theory of Lunar Formation (Fig. 7.13)
The moon’s size and cratered appearance give us evidence of its formation. The giant impact theory provides an explanation on why our moon is very large compared to earth.
Our moon orbits the Earth every 29.5 days, or roughly once a “moonth” which creates lunar phases.
The Moon’s illumination is reflected light from the sun shining on half of the moon.
-Phase of the moon must be full (lunar) or new (solar), and these phases must occur at the same time as the moons orbit crosses into the same plane as the sun (or node). Only a small area on the surface experiences a full eclipse, and an area around that experiences a partial
NASA and the Apollo Missions: The Golden Days
-A NASA spaceflight endeavor that landed the first humans on Earth's moon
-The goal was accomplished during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969 with the landing of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit.
Applying what we have learned about Earth’s interior to other planets
tells us what their interiors are probably like.
Differentiation by Density into Crust/Mantle/Core (Fig. 6.8)
Gravity pulls high-density material to center, and lower-density material rises to surface.
Heat/ Convection drives geological activity (Fig. 6.1)
Convection in the Mantle drives Plate Tectonics and reshapes the surface
Earth’s Magnetic Field (Fig. 6.16)
Earth has a magnetic field generated in its metallic core that deflected charged particles from the sun.
The earth’s surface is constantly “recycling” due to tectonics, which explains geological phenomena such as Earthquakes, Mountain Belts, Continental Drift, Volcanoes…
Earth’s Surface Shaping Processes include
Venus has volcanoes and fractures indicating tectonic activity.
Thick carbon dioxide atmosphere produces strong greenhouse effect, which traps heat in a planet’s atmosphere.
Water may have come to Earth by way of icy comets from the outer solar system and/or from degassing water vapor after the crust cooled.
What makes a planet geologically active? Size and Mass
What makes a planet habitable?
Earth is habitable in part because it is large enough to remain geologically active, and it is at the right distance from the Sun so oceans could form.
Jovian Planet Comparison:
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, the cores are all similar in size but the total mass and radius of the planets differs greatly
The jovian planets differ in the amount of H/He gas accumulated.
The jovian planets differ in the amount of H/He gas accumulated.
are squished and stretched as they orbit Jupiter which heats the moon.
The Roche Limit/Radius (Fig. 10.15) Moons cannot form within a certain radius determined by the planets mass and size, and this distance is the roche limit.
-Only comets that enter the inner solar system grow tails.
On orderly, inclined orbits
Earth experiences a “meteor shower” when we pass through a debris rich part of our orbit.
(Other planets too)
The earliest Earth materials contain evidence of this, and could have been degassing from the cooling Earth (volcanoes) or a separate icy, comet impact, 4.0 Billion years ago.
Is thought to have been produced by photosynthesis in early blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) that created structures called stromatolites, 2.5 billion years ago.
A cooling event, which was most likely the result of a gigantic meteorite impact at the end of the Cretaceous period, which produced the chixulub impact crater in the Gulf of Mexico, near the Yucatan peninsula 65 million years ago.
Precambrian (Hadean, Archean, Proterozoic) (4.54 Billion years ago)
Paleozoic (Phanerozoic)(544 Million years ago)
Mesozoic (Phanerozoic)(251 Million years ago)
Cenozoic (Phanerozoic)(65 Million years ago)
Before early geologists, he deduced that the age of the earth was 6,000 years based on counting generations in the bible.
Undertook the colossal task of calculating an actual age of the earth using thermodynamics
but came up with an age of 20 million years because he didn’t know about radioactivity as a heat source.
Used radioactive isotopes to determine the actual age of the earth.
Original Horizontality and Lateral Continuity
Cross Cutting Relationships
Nicholas Steno and
Charles Lyell's Principles of Relative Age Dating
Principle of Original Horizontality and Lateral Continuity
Principle of Cross Cutting Relationships
Principle of Faunal Succession
A rock’s relative age can be determined by the fossils type it contains. Fossils in progressively older rock show increasingly greater differences from species living in present
Principle of Faunal Succession
Principle of Landscape Development (Succession)
Conformable Contact or Conformity
Determining an actual age (ex. in years) for geologic events or formations by using radiometric dating
Rodinia supercontinent forms near the South Pole which shuts down oceanic circulation leading to glaciation event called "Snowball Earth"
First appearance of large, shelly fossils in the rock record, called the "Cambrian Explosion"
Freshwater swamps that cover the continents will eventually turn to coal.
Mass Extinction of terrestrial vertebrates after cooling event most likely triggered by a gigantic asteroid impact near the Yucatan peninsula.
Cambrian (544 Million years ago)
Ordovician (490 Million years ago)
Silurian (441 Million years ago)
Devonian (418 Million years ago)
Mississippian (355 Million years ago)
Pennsylvanian (311 Million years ago)
Permian (300 Million years ago)
Triassic (251 Million years ago)
Jurassic (200 Million years ago)
Cretaceous (145 Million years ago)
Tertiary (65 Million years ago)
Quaternary (55 Million years ago)
If fusion never starts… Star-like objects not massive enough to start fusion are...
is the outside layer of the sun. This is the visible layer, where light is emitted.
Most likely formed in the aftermath of a large impact with Earth.
Prokaryotic (simple celled) life, oceans, and continents became part of Earth during this eon.
Was most likely chemosynthetic, deriving energy from chemical reactions at mid-ocean ridges. The earliest fossil evidence is from 3.8 billion years ago.
(544 – 251 Million years ago)
It was well into the Devonian period (about 420 mya) when it started to become common as the first vertebrate organisms. Amphibians and Reptiles would come later.
(251–65 Million years ago)
Life would have to adapt to a warmer world during this era and the Western U.S. mountains would start to form.