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Earth Science

FINAL REVIEW - Space, Earth's Layers, and Plate Tectonics

TermDefinition
Equator An imaginary line drawn around the Earth equally distant from both poles, dividing the earth into northern and southern hemispheres.
Hemisphere A half of a sphere or half of the earth usually divided into northern and southern halves by the equator.
North Pole The northernmost part of the Earth. This location is the northern end of the axis of rotation.
South Pole The southernmost part of the Earth. This location is the southern end of the axis of rotation.
Axis An imaginary line about which a body rotates.
Rotation of Earth The spinning (turning) of Earth on its axis. It takes 24 hours, and provides Earth with a day-and-night cycle.
Revolution of Earth The movement of the Earth around the Sun. It takes about 365.25 days to complete, and provides us with seasons (changes in amount and intensity of sunlight).
Revolution of Moon The movement of the Moon around the Earth. It takes about 28 days to complete, and causes the phases of the moon to occur.
Phases of the Moon The moon appears different each day over the course of the month. It can appear as a full moon, a gibbous, a crescent, or a new moon.
Tilt of the Earth This is the main reason why we have four different seasons.
Earth’s Ocean Tides This phenomenon is caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon.
Lunar Eclipse Earth blocks the sunlight from hitting the moon. The sunlight bends around Earth’s atmosphere, allowing red wavelengths of light to reach the moon, causing it to appear red.
Solar Eclipse The moon blocks sunlight from hitting the Earth, casting a shadow and could cause the Earth to appear dark during the day time.
Breathable Atmosphere An atmosphere that contains a mixture of gases including oxygen, allowing organisms to intake the oxygen to carry out life processes.
Fertile Soil Soil that is capable of growing plants.
Liquid Water This state of matter for water is the best for supporting life.
Adequate Sunlight The perfect amount of sunlight needed to sustain life on a planet.
Space Exploration The process in which humans create technologies that help us understand things outside of Earth.
Probe A robotic spacecraft that explores outer space to collect information on planets and nearby celestial objects. Example: Rover, Venera, Curiosity.
International Space Station A habitable artificial satellite that is in low Earth orbit and is used for scientific research in space.
Space Telescope An instrument located in outer space that is used to observe distant planets, galaxies and other astronomical objects. Example: Hubble, Chandra, Fermi, Spitzer Telescopes.
NASA An independent agency that is responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. Stands for National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Galaxy A collection of million to billions of stars and planets that are held together by gravity and are typically orbiting a black hole. Example: The Milky Way (our galaxy), Andromeda (neighbor)
Solar System The collection of eight planets and their moons in orbit around the Sun, together with smaller bodies in the form of asteroids, meteoroids, and comets.
Sun The massive, bright star that the Earth orbits.
Planet A celestial body moving in an elliptical orbit around a star. Example: Earth
Moon A natural satellite that orbits a planet. Example: Titan, Phobos, Ceres, Luna
Crust The thinnest and outermost layer of the Earth. It consists of an oceanic part, and a continental part.
Mantle The thickest layer of the Earth that contains semiliquid molten rock. This convective layer is responsible for the movement of the lithosphere (tectonic plates).
Outer Core The liquid part of the nickel and iron core.
Inner Core The solid part of the nickel and iron core. It is solid due to high pressure.
Lithosphere This part of the Earth consists of the crust and the uppermost part of the Mantle. This part moves due to the convection in the mantle.
Tectonic Plates Pieces of the lithosphere that move a few centimeters per year due to convection in the mantle.
Convergent Boundary This boundary is formed when tectonic plates collide into one another.
Divergent Boundary This boundary is formed when tectonic plates separate from one another.
Transform Boundary This boundary is formed when tectonic plates slide passed each other in opposite directions.
Rift Valley An opening in the Earth’s crust that forms when tectonic plates diverge. (divide)
Mountain Building This occurs when two continental plates converge. (collide)
Volcanic Eruption This occurs when magma from the mantle comes up to the Earth’s surface.
Earthquake This occurs due to a release in built up stress at a plate boundary or fault.
P-Wave The fastest seismic wave that travels as a longitudinal wave through the Earth.
S-Wave The slower seismic wave that travels as a transverse wave through the Earth.
Surface Wave A combination of transverse and longitudinal wave motions that occur on the surface of the Earth. These are the most destructive of the seismic waves. (Love and Rayleigh waves.)
Weathering The breakdown of rock by physical or chemical means, such as rain, wind, tumbling, into small tiny pieces.
Erosion The transport of rock sediments or soil.
Parent Rock The rock in which a soil is created from. This is the largest component of soil.
Soil Properties A soils texture, particle size, pH, fertility, and ability to hold moisture.
Rock Cycle A process or cycle in which rocks become different types of rocks and are recycled through the Earth.
Sedimentary Rock This rock type is produced when broken down pieces of rock are collected and cemented together.
Igneous Rock This rock type is produced when magma from the mantle cools and solidifies.
Metamorphic Rock This rock type is produced when rocks and minerals fuse together underground due to high heats and pressure.
Pedosphere The layer of soil on the surface of the Earth.
Soil Conservation The process in which humans carry out different methods and techniques to preserve soil and ensure that it is not destroyed by erosion.
Waxing The process in which amount of illuminated surface of the Moon increases.
Waning The process in which the amount of illuminated surface of the Moon decreases.
Created by: codymcmaster