Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites: Cosmic Invaders of the by Jon Erickson

By Jon Erickson

Asteroids, comets, and meteorites were gadgets of fascination, hypothesis, and worry for many of recorded human historical past. affects of comets and meteorites with Earth are actually well-known because the major reason for a number of sessions of mass extinction on this planet, together with termination of the dinosaurs sixty six million years ago...In this ebook Jon Erickson brilliantly offers the reader with a desirable and readable treatise on asteroids, comets, and meteorites., From the Foreword by means of Timothy Kusky

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Extra info for Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites: Cosmic Invaders of the Earth (The Living Earth)

Sample text

The high rotation rate would have generated temperatures high enough to melt the entire planet. Unlike earlier models of lunar formation such as fission, capture, or assembly in place, the theory better explains the present rotational speed of the Earth-Moon system. Earth’s new satellite continued growing as it swept up rocky material in orbit around the planet. Infalling bodies in orbit around the Moon also crashed to the surface. Eventually, the Moon cleaned away all debris in its eccentric path around Earth.

Greenland Sea Str ait ar k nm Strait Davis Baffin Island Greenland De Baffin Bay Iceland Area of oldest rocks 44 The Formation of Earth TABLE 2 EVOLUTION OF LIFE AND THE ATMOSPHERE Evolution Origin (millions of years) Atmosphere Humans Mammals Land animals Land plants Metazoans Sexual reproduction Eukaryotic cells Photosynthesis Origin of life Origin of Earth 2 200 350 400 700 1,100 1,400 2,300 3,800 4,600 Nitrogen, oxygen Nitrogen, oxygen Nitrogen, oxygen Nitrogen, oxygen Nitrogen, oxygen Nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide Nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen Nitrogen, carbon dioxide, oxygen Nitrogen, methane, carbon dioxide Hydrogen, helium above by the Sun and from below by active volcanoes on the ocean floor, which continually supplied seawater with the elements of life.

The heavier metallic elements sank toward the center, and the lighter materials rose toward the surface. The core attracted siderophilic, or iron-loving, materials such as gold, platinum, and certain other elements originating from meteorite bombardments during the planet’s early formation. The entire process of segregating the core and mantle took place within the first 100 million years, resulting in a planet that was molten throughout. 26 The Formation of Earth Ou Crust sphere o n e h Ast ne ion zo nsit a r T antle er m w Lo Figure 18 The structure of Earth, showing core, mantle, and crust.

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