THE EARTH IN SPACE
references are to the New York State Intermediate Level Science and
Physical Setting/Earth Science (Regents high school level) Core
to the Earth Science Reference Tables used in connection with
the Physical Setting/Earth Science examination)]
ESRT p. 15:
"Luminosity and Temperature of Stars"
"Solar System Data"
Sun and the planets that revolve around it are the major bodies in
the solar system. Other members include comets, moons, and
asteroids. Earth's orbit is nearly circular.
The shape of Earth, the other planets, and stars is nearly spherical. (ILS1.1c
in the solar system are in regular and predictable motion. (PS1.1a)
These motions explain such phenomena as the day, year, seasons,
phases of the Moon, eclipses, and
influences the motions of celestial objects. The force of gravity between two
objects in the
Universe depends on their
masses and the distance between them.
is the force that keeps planets in orbit around the Sun, and the Moon in
orbit around the Earth. (ILS1.1d )
Most planets in the solar system have a regular and
predictable motion. These motions explain such phenomena as a day, a year,
phase of the Moon, eclipses, tides, meteor showers, and comets. (ILS1.1d
Nine planets move around the Sun in nearly
circular orbits. (PS1.1b )
The orbit of each planet is an
ellipse with the Sun located at one of the foci.
Earth is orbited by one Moon and many
apparent motions of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars across the sky can be
explained by Earth's rotation and revolution. Earth's rotation
causes the length of one day to be approximately 24 hours. This rotation also
causes the Sun and Moon to appear to rise along the eastern horizon and to set
along the western horizon. Earth's revolution around the Sun defines the length
of the year as 365 1/4 days. (ILS1.1h )
apparent path through the sky varies with latitude and season. (PS1.1h )
of Earth's axis of rotation and the revolution of Earth around the
Sun cause seasons on Earth. The length of daylight varies
depending on latitude and season. (ILS1.1i )
latitude/longitude coordinate system and our system of time are based
on celestial observations. (ILS1.1f )
coordinate system of latitude and longitude, with the
equator and the prime meridian as reference lines, is based upon
Earth's rotation and our observation of the Sun and stars. (PS1.1c )
rotates on an imaginary axis at a rate of 15 degrees per hour. To
people on Earth, this turning of the planet makes it seem as though the Sun,
Moon, and stars are moving around Earth once a day. Rotation provides a basis
for our system of local time. Meridians of longitude are the basis for
time zones. (PS1.1d )
Foucault pendulum and the Coriolis effect provide evidence of Earth's
rotation. (PS1.1e )
changing position with regard to the Sun and Moon has noticeable effects.
Earth revolves around the Sun with
its rotational axis tilted at 23.5 degrees to a line
perpendicular to the plane of its
orbit, with the North Pole aligned with Polaris.
During Earth's one-year period of
revolution, the tilt of its axis results in changes in the
angle of incidence of the Sun's rays at
a given latitude. These changes cause variations
in the heating of the surface. This
produces seasonal variation in weather.
changes in the apparent positions of constellations provide evidence of
Earth's revolution. (PS1.1g )
70% of Earth's surface is covered by a relatively thin layer of water which
responds to the gravitational attraction of the Moon and Sun with a daily cycle
of high and low tides.(PS1.1i )
have internal and external sources of energy, both of which create heat. (PS2.1a
The Sun is a
major source of energy for Earth. Other sources of energy include nuclear
and geothermal. (ILS4.1a)
(incoming solar radiation) heats Earth's surface and atmosphere unequally
due to variations in: intensity, characteristics of surface materials, and
duration. (PS2.2a )
The transfer of heat energy within the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and surface
occurs as a result of radiation, convection, and conduction.
Heating of Earth's surface and atmosphere by the Sun drives
convection with the atmosphere and oceans.
Earth’s Sun is
an average-sized star. The Sun is more than a million times greater in volume
than Earth. (ILS1.1a )
are like the Sun but are so far away that they look like points of light.
Distances between stars are vast compared to distances within our solar system.
Moons are seen
by reflected light. Our Moon orbits Earth, while Earth orbits the Sun.
The Moon's phases as observed from Earth are the result of seeing
different portions of the lighted area of the Moon's surface. The phases repeat
in a cyclic pattern in about one month. (ILS1.1g )
is vast and estimated to be over 10 billion years old. The current theory is
that the Universe was created from an explosion called the Big Bang.
Evidence for this theory includes:
(Doppler effect) in light from very distant galaxies (PS1.2a )
when gravity causes clouds of molecules to contract until nuclear fusion
of light elements into heavier elements occurs. Fusion releases great amounts
of energy over millions of years. (PS1.2b )
The stars differ from each other in
size, temperature, and age.
Our Sun is a medium-sized star within
a spiral galaxy known as the Milky Way.
Our galaxy contains billions of
stars, and the Universe contains billions of galaxies.
system formed about 5 billion years ago from a giant cloud of gas and debris.
Gravity caused Earth and the other planets to become layered according to
density differences in their materials. (PS1.2c)
The characteristics of the planets of
the solar system are affected by each planet's location in
relationships to the Sun.
are small, rocky, and dense. The Jovian planets are large, gaseous, and
of low density.
comets, and meteors are components of our solar system.
have been correlated with mass extinction and global climate change.
be identified in Earth's crust.
atmosphere formed as a result of the outgassing of water vapor, carbon
dioxide, nitrogen, and lesser amounts of other gases from its interior. (PS1.2e
formed as a result of precipitation over millions of years. The presence of an
early ocean is indicated by sedimentary rocks of marine origin dating back about
4 billion years. (PS1.2f )
continuously been recycling water since the outgassing of water early in its
history. This constant recirculation of water at and near Earth's surface
is described as the hydrologic (water) cycle. (PS1.2g )
evolution of life caused dramatic changes in the composition of earth's
atmosphere. Free oxygen did not form in the atmosphere until
oxygen-producing organisms evolved. (PS1.2h )