Earth Revealed: Assignment #1
Please answer each question (TYPED!). Try to keep the answers as short as possible while still answering the question in its entirety. 5 points each.
- Contrast the geocentric and heliocentric Universe concepts.
- What was the Big Bang and when did it occur?
- Why was Pluto removed from the list of planets in our Solar System?
- Are all stars that we see today considered to be first-generation stars? What is the evidence for your answer?
- Why isn’t the Earth homogenous?
- What are the principal layers of Earth? What happens to earthquake waves when they reach the boundary between layers?
- How do temperature and pressure change with increasing depth in the Earth?
- Where does Earth’s magnetic field originate (i.e. how is it generated) and what is the primary benefit of the magnetic field to life on Earth?
- What is the difference between the lithosphere and the asthenosphere? At what depth does the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary occur (give answer in a range)? Is this above or below the Moho? Is the asthenosphere entirely liquid?
- What is the atmosphere composed of?Why would you die of suffocation if you were to eject from a fighter plane at an elevation of 12 km without an oxygen tank?
- What is the difference between a mineral and a glass?
- Explain why cubic zirconia is NOT a mineral.
- Some physical properties are more useful for certain minerals than others. Explain how color can be useful to identify some minerals but not others. Be sure to use mineral examples in your answer.
- Diamond is a polymorph of graphite. What is a polymorph and explain how a piece of graphite could be turned into a diamond by geologic processes.
- What is the prime characteristic that geologists use to separate minerals into classes?