Unit 5: The Earth & The Moon

Earth and Moon imaged by NEAR
NEAR/Shoemaker Image (JHU/NASA)

We will begin our study of the Solar System at home with a discussion of the Earth and its nearest neighbor the Moon. In these four lectures we will explore their surfaces, interiors, atmospheres, and histories. Of particular interest will be those properties that we will use as a basis of comparison with other planets and bodies in the Solar System we will turn to next. A central theme that I wish to develop is that the study of the other worlds of our Solar System is not only interesting in itself, it is also teaching us important lessons about the past, present, and future of our home planet.


Lectures

Deep Time: The Age of the Earth (Oct 30)

Inside the Earth (Oct 31)
Homework #3 Due In Class, Tuesday October 31

The Earth's Atmosphere (Nov 1)

The Moon (Nov 2)

Quiz 3: Friday Nov 3, in class [Study Guide]

Lecture Podcasts Lecture Audio Podcasts

Associated Readings in Universe:

Chapters 8 & 9
These readings are considerably more detailed than the lectures. You should regard the readings as supplementary to the lectures, both reinforcing and extending the subjects covered in class. The goals of this unit and the one following are to give you a firm grounding in the basic factual material about the Solar System, and to draw essential connections that I hope will encourage you to undertake further exploration of this fascinating subject your own, even long after the course ends. We are currently in a golden age of planetary exploration, and I hope that this course will help you follow along with the exciting progress we are making in understanding our Solar System.
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Updated: 2006 October 28
Copyright Richard W. Pogge, All Rights Reserved.