Chapter 2 . Creation of Oceans. Big Bang 13 bya. Supporting Evidence for the Big Bang Edwin Hubble discovered spreading of galaxies. Cosmic background radiation (the glow left over from the explosion itself) discovered in 1964 . . Origin of a Galaxy. Andromeda Galaxy.
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Creation of Oceans
Nuclear Fusion: The joining of atoms under tremendous temperatures and pressures to create atoms of a heavier element. In the Sun, four hydrogen atoms are fused to create each helium atom. Two of the hydrogen's protons become neutrons in the process
Large Stars (more, H & He): Fe
Supernova: Heavier Elements Formed
A nebula (a large, diffuse gas cloud of gas and dust) contracts under gravity. As it contracts, the nebula heats, flattens, and spins faster, becoming a spinning disk of dust and gas.
Star will be born in center.
Planets will form in disk.
Warm temperatures allow only metal/rock “seeds” to condense in the inner solar system.
Cold temperatures allow “seeds” to contain abundant ice in outer solar system.
Hydrogen and helium remain gaseous, but other materials can condense into solid “seeds” for building planets.
The seeds of gas giant planets grow large enough to attract hydrogen and helium gas, making them into giant, mostly gaseous planets; moons form in disks of dust and gas that surround the planets.
Terrestrial planets are built from metal and rock.
Solid “seeds” collide and stick together. Larger ones attract others with their gravity, growing bigger still.
Terrestrial planets remain in inner solar system.
Gas giant planets remain in outer solar system.
“Leftovers” from the formation process become asteroids (metal/rock) and comets (mostly ice).
Not to scale
The planet grew by the aggregation of particles. Meteors and asteroids bombarded the surface, heating the new planet and adding to its growing mass. At the time, Earth was composed of a homogeneous mixture of materials.
Earth lost volume because of gravitational compression. High temperatures in the interior turned the inner Earth into a semisolid mass; dense iron (red drops) fell toward the center to form the core, while less dense silicates move outward. Friction generated by this movement heated Earth even more.
The result of density stratification:
an inner and
and the crust.
Concentration of Atmospheric Gases (%)
Time (billions of years ago)
Fig. 2-11, p. 49
The evolution of our atmosphere
initial rise of O2 2.7 b. y. ago – but conclusive evidence is from 2.3 b. y. ago
Early atmosphere quite different from today’s
Billions of years ago
Millions of years ago
First galaxies form
First animals arise
Oldest dated rocks
First evidence of life
Solar nebula begins
Millions of years ago 66
First fishes appear
End of dinosaurs
Oxygen revolution begins
First marine mammals
Pangaea breaks apart
Ocean and atmosphere reach steady state (as today)
End of dinosaurs
Sun's output too low for liquid-water ocean
The sun swells, planets destroyed
Billions of years
in the future
Fig. 2-15, p. 51
1 billion = 1,000,000,000 or 109
Earth is 4.6 * 109 years old
Oceans are 4.2 * 109 years old
Oldest rocks date from 3.8 * 109 years ago
First evidence of life dates from 3.6 * 109 years ago
1 million = 1,000,000 or 106
Ocean and atmosphere reach the state we know today 800 * 106 years ago