GG-105: An illustrated voyage through our Solar
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GG-105: An illustrated voyage through our Solar Fall, 2007 Professor Klaus Keil Office hours in POST 509B: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Our star, the Sun, showing structure in its surface (“granules”, and a major solar flare.

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GG-105: An illustrated voyage through our Solar

Fall, 2007

Professor Klaus Keil

Office hours in POST 509B: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 - 11:00 a.m.


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Our star, the Sun, showing structure in its surface (“granules”, and a major solar flare


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Mariner 10 image of the highly cratered surface of Mercury (“granules”, and a major solar flare







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Earth’s Changing Climate and continents

Carbon dioxide

Ozone Hole

Climate Records


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The Moon, our neighbor in space, has large impact basins (mare) filled with black volcanic basalt flows.

The crater with the pronounced ejecta rays at the bottom of the image is Tycho


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The Apollo spacecraft over the Moon, showing the dark, basaltic mare and the light, anorthositic highlands. Planet Earth in the background.


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The rising Earth with the Moon in the foreground basaltic mare and the light, anorthositic highlands. Planet Earth in the background.


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Apollo 11, first landing on the Moon. basaltic mare and the light, anorthositic highlands. Planet Earth in the background.

There is no atmosphere on the Moon, yet the flag appears to be blowing in the wind; it is supported by a rod on the top!


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Size comparison of Earth, Mars and the Moon: Mars is “in-between” Earth and Moon in size and in many of its properties




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The first color image of the surface of Chryse Planitia on Mars obtained in 1976 by the Viking Lander. The surface soil is red, because when basalt weathers, red iron oxide forms, just like in Hawaii.

The color was calibrated by the known color of the cable in the foreground on the Viking Lander.

Notice the reddish, rather than blue, sky. This results from red dust blown into the thin Martian atmosphere by wind storms.


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Possible Water on Mars: Past and Present? Mars obtained in 1976 by the Viking Lander. The surface soil is red, because when basalt weathers, red iron oxide forms, just like in Hawaii.

Ancient river valleys

Recent gullies


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Asteroid Eros, with landing site of the spacecraft NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) indicated



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Cut and polished slab of a chondritic meteorite, a fragment of a broken-up undifferentiated, primitive asteroid. White = metallic Fe,Ni; gray = silicates. Diameter of slab ~ 6 cm.


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Cut, polished, and etched slab of an iron meteorite, a fragment of the core of a broken-up, differentiated (melted) asteroid, showing the Widmanstätten structure and a round inclusion of troilite, FeS. Longest dimension ~ 10 cm.


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Cut, polished, and etched slab of a pallasite, a fragment from the core - mantel boundary of a broken-up, differentiated (melted) asteroid. Longest dimension ~ 8 cm.


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Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System. from the core - mantel boundary of a broken-up, differentiated (melted) asteroid. Longest dimension ~ 8 cm.

The “Big Red spot” is a gigantic hurricane.


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Jupiter’s moon Io, volcanologically the most active object in the Solar System.

The unusual color is due to sulfur, ejected by volcanoes (the dark objects are volcanic calderas).


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Saturn, the ringed planet in the Solar System.



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Saturn’s moon Mimas rings in Saturn’s ring system


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Saturn’s moon Titan rings in Saturn’s ring system


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The Huygens Probe of the Cassini spacecraft diving into the atmosphere of, and landing on, Saturn’s moon Titan


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1910 apparition of Halley’s comet atmosphere of, and landing on, Saturn’s moon Titan


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