Chapter 1-The Grand Overview
                         Physical Geology Illustrated Vocabulary
Cochise College                                    
Geology Home Page  
Roger Weller, geology instructor     

Chapter 1
copyright 2015-Roger Weller
last edited: 12/22/15

Big Bang theory
-states that the entire Universe with all the galaxies, stars and planets
was created in a super explosion about 13.8 billion years ago.
-Big Bang theory-Opal's Pals

gas giant planets

-are the four largest planets in the solar system:
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune


iron meteorite

-is one of the most identifiable of the different varieties of meteorites. 
Iron meteorites are made mostly of iron with some nickel. 
Often the metal is crystallized and the pattern can be brought out by etching with acid;
the resulting geometrically arranged lines are referred to as a Widmanstatten pattern.

-iron meteorite from Argentina           

-Widmanstatten pattern           



-is the largest planet in the solar system. 
Jupiter is a gas giant whose diameter is ten times the diameter of Earth.



-is the fourth planet from the sun. 
Mars is smaller than Earth and its orbit lies between the orbits of Earth and Jupiter.



-is the planet whose orbit is closest to the sun.



-is a rock that enters the Earth's atmosphere from outer space and falls to the ground.

-iron meteorites from Argentina           

-stony meteorite


meteorite impact crater

-Large meteorites, traveling at great speeds, are capable of creating craters when they
strike the Earth.

-Arizona Meteor Crater, rim           

-Arizona Meteor Crater, floor          


plate tectonics

-The surface layer of the planet is brittle and broken into large pieces called plates.
Convection within the mantle of the planet moves these plates with respect to each other.


rock cycle

-is a description of physical processes that relate the formation of igneous rocks, sediments,
sedimentary rocks, and metamorphic rocks.

-rock cycle-Opal's Pals

solar system

-consists of our sun and all of the planets, asteroids, and comets associated with it.


solar wind

-is made up of high speed subatomic particles ejected from the sun.


stony meteorite

-Most of the meteorites that fall on the Earth are made primarily of silicate minerals.

-stony meteorite           


Sun (Sol)

-is the star at the center of our solar system. 
The diameter of the sun is approximately 100 times greater than the diameter of the Earth.


terrestrial planets

-are the four inner rocky planets of the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.



-is a glass meteorite; probably created during a meteorite impact on Earth where some of the
ground was fused by the enormous amount of kinetic is converted to heat energy

-Australasian tektite           




-is the second planet from the Sun in our solar system. 
It is approximately the same size of the Earth but is much hotter and it is wrapped in a carbon dioxide
atmosphere 100 times denser than the Earth's atmosphere.