In the very beginning of earth’s history, this planet was a giant, red hot, roiling, boiling sea of molten rock – a magma ocean. The heat had been generated by the repeated high speed collisions of much smaller bodies of space rocks that continually clumped together as they collided to form this planet. As the collisions tapered off the earth began to cool, forming a thin crust on its surface. As the cooling continued, water vapor began to escape and condense in the earth’s early atmosphere. Clouds formed and storms raged, raining more and more water down on the primitive earth, cooling the surface further until it was flooded with water, forming the seas. It is theorized that the true age of the earth is about 4.
American Museum of Natural History
Then, on October 6, , Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the Geneva Observatory announced the first definitive detection of an exoplanet orbiting an ordinary main-sequence star 51 Pegasi. Many known extrasolar planets are many times the mass of Jupiter, approaching that of stellar objects known as brown dwarfs. Brown dwarfs are generally considered stars due to their ability to fuse deuterium , a heavier isotope of hydrogen. Although objects more massive than 75 times that of Jupiter fuse hydrogen, objects of only 13 Jupiter masses can fuse deuterium.
Deuterium is quite rare, and most brown dwarfs would have ceased fusing deuterium long before their discovery, making them effectively indistinguishable from supermassive planets.
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Unlike the radioactive isotopes discussed above, these isotopes are constantly being replenished in small amounts in one of two ways. The bottom two entries, uranium and thorium , are replenished as the long-lived uranium atoms decay. These will be discussed in the next section. The other three, Carbon , beryllium , and chlorine are produced by cosmic rays–high energy particles and photons in space–as they hit the Earth’s upper atmosphere. Very small amounts of each of these isotopes are present in the air we breathe and the water we drink.
As a result, living things, both plants and animals, ingest very small amounts of carbon , and lake and sea sediments take up small amounts of beryllium and chlorine
See my copyright notice for fair use practices. Select the photographs to display the original source in another window. Links to external sites will be displayed in another window. Terrestrial planets have hard surfaces that can be re-shaped by several different processes:
It is simply the habit of calling Earth “Terra” in Sci Fi. The word is adopted from the Latin word for, well, earth. It is used to make the planet Earth follow the Roman naming systems for the planets of the Solar System and also as a more respectable description for the inhabitants of the planet rather than ” Earthling “. Latin-derived languages with less speakers. And it provides a convenient standardisation in that Earth is otherwise the only planet in the Solar system that is not named for a Roman deity.
This is often accompanied by reference to Earth’s sun as “Sol”, and the moon as “Luna”, to differentiate them from other suns or moons. Due to the evolution of the pronunciation of Latin itself, the older form “Tella” also fits here. Because, as the original novels reveal , the first Methuselahs were created on Mars. In Outlaw Star , humans are mostly referred to as just that, but some characters refer to them as Terrans.
Notably Aisha , and usually with a note of derision. Apparently they couldn’t tell the name of the planet and that of the species apart—they cannot do that for their own planet, either. Fan Works The primary kaiju home world and setting for the Godzilla series in The Bridge is referred to as Terra, which is also a moniker for certain labels. As such the benign kaiju faction is referred to as the Terran Defenders to distinguish them from the neutral or malign Mutations.
Geologists study rocks because they contain clues about what the Earth was like in the past. We can assemble a historical record of a planet and trace events that occurred long before humans roamed our planet. For example, one particular area may have experienced changes as extreme as changing from a desert to a swamp to a coral reef under the sea. Different rocks form under only certain conditions and even the dullest gray lump of a rock can tell us something important about the past.
Some types of things that rocks can tell us about our planet as well as other planets are:
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How do scientists find the age of planets date samples or planetary time relative age and absolute age? We have rocks from the Moon brought back , meteorites, and rocks that we know came from Mars. We can then use radioactive age dating in order to date the ages of the surfaces when the rocks first formed, i.
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By Nola Taylor Redd, Space. By dating the rocks in the ever-changing crust, as well as neighbors such as the moon and visiting meteorites, scientists have calculated that Earth is 4. How old are your rocks? Several attempts to scientifically date the planet have occurred over the past years. Scientists attempted to predict the age based on changing sea levels, the time it took for Earth or the sun to cool to present temperatures, and the salinity of the ocean.
As science progressed, these methods were proven to be unreliable; for instance, the rise and fall of the ocean was shown to be an ever-changing process rather than a gradually declining one. In an effort to calculate the age of the planet, scientists turned to the rocks that cover its surface. However, because plate tectonics constantly changes and revamps the crust, the first rocks have long since been recycled, melted down and reformed into new outcrops.
In the early 20th century, scientists refined the process of radiometric dating. Earlier research had shown that isotopes of some radioactive elements decay into other elements at rates that can be easily predicted. By examining the existing elements, scientists can calculate the initial quantity, and thus how long it took for the elements to decay, allowing them to determine the age of the rock.
A fist-size sample of the Acasta Gneisses, rocks in northwest Canada that are the oldest known rocks on Earth. Rocks older than 3.
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At the time that Darwin’s On the Origin of Species was published, the earth was “scientifically” determined to be million years old. By , it was found to be 1. In , science firmly established that the earth was 3. Finally in , it was discovered that the earth is “really” 4. In these early studies the order of sedimentary rocks and structures were used to date geologic time periods and events in a relative way.
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The strange object was spotted in images beamed back to Earth by Nasa’s Curiosity Rover, which has been trundling around on Mars since YouTube alien hunter Paranormal Crucible spotted what they claim is an alien skull lying on the surface of Mars. It is a form of apophenia, when people see patterns in random, unconnected data. There have been multiple occasions when people have claimed to see religious images and themes in unexpected places.
On the red planet, one of the most famous is the ‘face on Mars’ spotted by one of the Viking orbiters in This was later proven to just be a chance alignment of shifting sand dunes. Writing under the video, they said: An alien enthusiast recently claimed Curiosity had captured images of a shark on the surface of the planet and that this was proof that ancient oceans once covered Mars. Other bizarre claims include a mouse, various faces, including that of God’s, and even an Egyptian sarcophagus.
Although we’re not completely convinced by the ‘skull’, we will let you decide. Beside it, eagle eyed enthusiasts say there is another rock that looks much like a camel. Others have said the two rocks look more like a mother bear and its cub.