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Solar System History Ch 9. Big Bang Theory Solar Nebula Planetesimals Terrestrial Planets. Big Bang Hypothesis.

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Solar System HistoryCh 9

Big Bang Theory

Solar Nebula

Planetesimals

Terrestrial Planets


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Big Bang Hypothesis

13-14 billion years ago, all matter and energy was concentrated into a single, inconceivably small (and very dense) point. This hypothesis stems from a mathematical solution to the problem

This hypothesis was tested through the Doppler shift in stellar spectrum, which implied that matter was flying apart in all directions throughout the universe


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The Hubble Telescope

Can detect faint light that has travelled for billions of years, …. from the start of the current universe


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Nebular Hypothesis and the origin of our Solar system

  • Older than 4.56 billion years ago

  • Gravity is the cause of “condensation” of the cloud

  • Cloud contracted WHILE spinning ever faster

  • H and He are the most common elements

  • H and He collected to form fusion reactions


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Nebular Hypothesis and the origin of our Solar system

  • Fusion is more energetic and atomic fission but requires greater pressures

  • Hydrogen “fuel” burns to create He


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Nebular Hypothesis and the origin of our Solar system

  • Planetesimals (early-stage, immature, small planets) on the periphery of this contracting, spinning dust cloud began to clump together locally.

  • Denser materials fell closer to the sun

  • Less dense materials (gases) could escape to greater distances from the sun e,.g., Jupiter floats in water



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Nebular Hypothesis and the origin of our Solar system

  • Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars are called the terrestrial planets



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Size and Relief of Venus, Earth, Mars

Fig. 9.7



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How old is the Earth?

Younger than the planetesimals 4.56 by


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How old is the Earth?

Older than the moon ……… oldest rocks are4.47 by

…... the moon started to form earlier … 4.5 by


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What was happening between 4.56 and 4.5 by ?

  • (1) Accretion to create the first earth… a “magma” earth (100 million-year-period


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What happened to the Earth at 4.5 by ?

  • Earth was hit by a giant bolide (before 4.47 by) that remelted it and led to the formation of the moon


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What was happening between 4.5 and 4.4 by ?

  • (1)Mainly cooling and differentiation: Gravity pulled the denser materials toward the core when the Earth was still molten


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