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Earth Science as Compared to other Planets in our Solar System

A comparison of the science of Earth as compared with the other planets in our solar system.

a. Much is known about planet Earth, as it is our home planet. It is therefore an ideal planet for comparative planetology. Briefly describe the properties of our planet and explain them. Include the qualities of the earth's interior, and how we learn about it, as well as a description of properties that shape and change the earth's surface (i.e. impact cratering, volcanism, tectonics, erosion).

b. Then, examine each planet in our solar system. How does it compare to Earth? What are its unique characteristics? Why do these features exist on that planet, as opposed to Earth?

you can use popular astronomy magazines and reputable Web sites. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Web sites (http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/ and http://www.nasa.gov/), will assist you in finding the latest information on planets.

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Briefly describe the properties of our planet and explain them. Include the qualities of the earth’s interior, and how we learn about it, as well as a description of properties that shape and change the earth’s surface (i.e. impact cratering, volcanism, tectonics, erosion).

According to geologists, the earth is made up of four layers: the inner core, outer core, mantle, and crust. The inner core is approximately 800 miles thick; the outer core, about 1,400 miles; the mantle, approximately 1,800 miles; and the crust is estimated to be between five and twenty-five miles thick. Considering the impossibility of direct studies to be conducted on the interior of the earth, geologists rely on “chemical analysis of meteorites” (Dutch, 2004) and the study of waves created by earthquakes throughout the planet. Seismographs, instruments used to study earthquake vibrations, assist geologists in determining the makeup of the Earth’s interior by measuring the “speed and motion of vibrations traveling through the Earth” (Dutch, 2004).

(This will help to get you started. If you go to the NASA site provided in the assignment, click on the ‘Skip to NASA homepage’ link, click on the ‘for Students’ ...

Solution Summary

The solution compares the science of the Earth to other planets in our solar system.

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