Interesting Facts about the Terrestrial Planets


A Scientific Theory is the successful end result of the Scientific Method. In the Scientific Method, you go through the steps of observing, hypothesizing, and experimenting a concept or event to see if it’s valid and can be explained. If the event does end up proving to be legit, then a Scientific Theory is created to help explain what happened. A lot of people think that a Scientific Theory is something that’s not necessarily true; however, a Scientific Theory is true because it’s actually based on lots of testing and evidence. Without a solid foundation of testing and evidence, then a Scientific Theory wouldn’t achieve its goals and would just end up not explaining the event/concept. But, one very important thing that must be recognized is that even though a Scientific Theory is supported by a lot of evidence and tests, they are not the final word/decision when it comes to an event/concept. Scientific theories can be replaced and redefined if new discoveries or evidence/data was found that changes how the event took place. Theories must also be continually tested throughout the years in case they need some fixing. They also have to be simple enough to understand and be able to explain more than 1 phenomenon.
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Astronomers always want bigger telescopes because by using them, astronomers can gain a clearer image and see more light. When it comes to telescopes, it deals with Light- Gathering Power which states that the brightness the telescope receives is directly proportional to the area of the telescope’s mirror. With this, a bigger telescope would mean more light an astronomer will get to see. By using a bigger telescope, an astronomer will get more of an area to gather data on. In addition, bigger telescopes deal with Resolving Power in that the bigger a telescope is, the better details and resolve for the image you get. Overall, bigger telescopes allow astronomers more opportunities for their work/discoveries to improve. Based on recent studies, astronomers would most likely agree that when it comes to building a bigger facility for a bigger telescope, it would be very beneficial if they used a big Reflector Telescope with a bit mirror. This way, astronomers can improve their work/data especially at a good location for an observatory such as quiet places with clear skies.
One thing about our planet Earth is that we have these seasons in a specific order every year. The reason why we have seasons is because Earth’s Rotation Axis tilts in relation to the Sun. When the Earth is rotating on its axis while revolving around the sun, the Earth tilts with mostly one side facing the sun closer than the other. When that happens, sunlight will hit that area and basically cause the seasons. To go into more detail, the seasons are caused by the varying angle of illumination when Earth’s Axis tilted. A few people think that seasons are primarily caused by the Earth’s distance to the sun; however, that’s not the case because the sunlight energy amount that hits upon an area never changes. The sunlight is just more spread out over the titled area that’s closer to the sun. It’s basically taking a flashlight and shining it against the wall and see that the flashlight is still the same but the light is just spread out and eventually, the wall (Earth) receives the light and heats up. The light is just spread out and some areas receive more of an impact which leads to the seasons.
The Greenhouse Effect is the process that warms the Earth’s surface and the Earth’s low atmosphere. One misconception is that it’s dangerous for the Earth; however, the Earth needs the Greenhouse Effect because it helps keep the Earth’s temperature above the freezing point of water. Without it, the Earth would freeze and it would be harmful for life on Earth. The first part of the Greenhouse Effect is when the Sun gives off light/radiation. Some of it is reflected by Earth’s atmosphere, but most of the light/radiation is absorbed and it heats the Earth’s surface. To cool down, the Earth emits Infrared Radiation which goes up to the atmosphere. Some of the infrared radiation passes through the atmosphere, but most of it is just absorbed and re-emitted in all directions by greenhouse gas molecules/clouds in the atmosphere. This warms the Earth’s surface and low atmosphere. Over the years, there have been more Greenhouse Effects caused by Humans. Another thing about the Greenhouse Effect is that it can lead to a potential disaster in the future if it ever got to extreme levels. Without enough Greenhouse Effect, the Earth would freeze while too much Greenhouse Effect would eventually create a dangerous disaster for the Earth in the future.
Venus is a terrestrial planet and is considered to be the 3rd brightest object in the sky (after the Sun and Moon). Its atmosphere is hot, dense, and full of carbon dioxide (97%) and Nitrogen (3%). It’s actually about 90 times more massive than Earths so it has more pressure and there is no life and no oxygen. The reason why Venus is very hot is because it has a stronger Greenhouse Effect. On Venus, its Carbon Dioxide atmosphere is so deep/dense that only a smaller fraction of Infrared Radiation can escape into the space which helps create its strong Greenhouse Effect and gives Venus its higher temperatures. With a stronger Greenhouse Effect, it doesn’t matter where you are on Venus because you will receive the same hot temperature. There has been a lot of research on how come Earth is suitable for life with water even though at one point it had the same Carbon Dioxide amount as Venus does now. The reason why is because Earth was at the right distance from the sun for water to form. Due to this, Earth was able to have oceans and life while Venus never had oceans to absorb the Carbon Dioxide because its temperature was higher so its Carbon Dioxide stayed in the atmosphere.
Mars is one of the Terrestrial Planets and it’s considered to be the “most Earth-like planet”. Currently, its atmosphere consists of thin/dust storms and is about 95.3% Carbon Dioxide. It also possibly had water at one point. Recent research suggests that there can be ice caps mostly made of water on Mars. It also has been suggested and theorized that at one point Mars was a warmer planet than it is now. Researchers have hypothesized that there is water underground on Mars. Back then, Mars was apparently warmer, but for water, it needed a thicker atmosphere to help support it. With that, there’s a lot of speculation on where’s the water now and what happen that caused Mars to become colder. According to recent research on Mars, it’s believed that some water is in polar caps while most of it is possibly in underground ice known as permafrost. In addition, the reason why Mars is colder now is mainly because back then it use to have had a thicker atmosphere of Carbon Dioxide which might have led to a stronger Greenhouse Effect. So maybe that Greenhouse Effect caused Mar’s magnetic field to leave. With that, it’s been hypothesized that without a magnetic field, Mars had no way to protect itself and it led to its Greenhouse Effect to go down which caused it to go from a warm/wet planet into its current state. Even though Mars became colder, there is a possible way for it to go back to being a warm/wet planet. It’s been suggested that if more Carbon Dioxide entered Mar’s atmosphere, the planet would become warmer and the permafrost might melt which will release any potential water onto Mars. This process might be the key to help return Mars to its previous state and lead to a potential flow of water on Mars. However, this process takes time and will take years (centuries even) for it to work which is considered a potential big project for the Earth.
The research behind Plate Tectonics reveals that our Earth’s crust is broken and divided into plates beneath the surface. This type of research started when people started to notice that the continents had similar fossils and were shaped like “puzzle pieces”. It was eventually theorized that at one point, all the continents were one until they were all separated due to movements of the Earth’s plates. The reason why these Tectonic Plates move is because the Earth’s interior is producing heat and by releasing it, it causes the movements for the plates. This type of heat is actually made in the Earth’s core and mantle with the mantle being solid but slowly moves due to pressures. With that, a lot of research has been conducted to determine where the Earth gets this heat which causes the movement of the Tectonic Plates. It turned out to be because of Radioactive Decay which actually provides more than half of the Earth’s total heat. In fact, it’s been stated that someday the Earth’s heat will eventually decrease and will run out in hundreds of years. As a result, this heat is a limited source which not only helps in moving the plates, but also helping create natural effects. For example, mountains are made when two crust plates collide with each other. Another example would be that when two solid plates move side by side, they eventually hit each other and create pressures which cause earthquakes. All this wouldn’t be achievable if Radioactive Decay didn’t provide the interior heat to help move the Plate Tectonics.

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