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Reflections on the Solar System

By jhiianyselle May 09, 2013 3576 Words
PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Earth, Moon and Sun

In this topic, I have learned that Astronomy is the study of the moon, stars and other objects in space. Earth’s rotation on its axis causes day and night. One complete revolution of Earth around the sun is called a year and that Earth has seasons because its axis is tilted as it revolves around the sun.

I have also learned that the moon revolves around Earth and rotates on its own axis. The phase of the moon we see depends on how much of the sunlit side of the moon faces Earth. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between Earth and the sun, blocking the sunlight from reaching the Earth and that lunar eclipse occurs when Earth is directly between the moon and the sun, blocking the sunlight from reaching the moon. Tides occur mainly because of differences in how much the moon pulls on different parts of Earth.

If we didn't have a Moon, the global altitude of the ocean would have been different. If you take away the moon, suddenly a lot of water would be redistributed toward the Polar Regions. 

Earth would spin much faster without its orbiting moon. That's because the moon's gravity pulls on Earth's oceans. The moon is largely responsible for the tides. The pull of the moon, and ebb and flow of the tides, puts the brakes on Earth's daily rotation. 

The Moon has been a stabilizing factor for the axis of rotation of the Earth. For this reason, we had much less climatic change than if the Earth had been alone.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
The Solar System

In this topic, I have learned the different discoveries of the early scientists about the solar system. Ptolemy thought that Earth is at the center of the system of planets while Copernicus thought that the sun is at the center of the planets to which Galileo’s observations supported Copernicus’s theory. Kepler discovered that the orbits of the planets are ellipses and Newton concluded that two factors – inertia and gravity – combine to keep the planets in orbit.

We have also learned that the sun’s energy comes from nuclear fusion and that the sun’s atmosphere has three layers: the photosphere, the chromosphere and the corona. Features on or above the sun’s surface include sunspots, prominences and solar flares.

The four inner planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars- are small and have rocky surfaces. They are often called the terrestrial planets. The four outer planets- Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune – are much larger than Earth. Pluto and Charon have solid surfaces and masses less than that of Earth.

Most asteroids revolve around the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter and that comets are chunks of ice and dust that usually have long, elliptical orbits.

Is there life beyond Earth? Earth has liquid water and a suitable temperature range and atmosphere for living things to survive. Since life as we know it requires water, scientists hypothesize that Mars may have once had the conditions for life to exist.

The earth is getting too crowded by the increase in human population so studying the solar system helps to know whether there's life on another planet.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science
PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Stars, Galaxies and the Universe

In this topic, I have learned that astronomers use spectrographs to get information about stars. They also use parallax to measure distances to nearby stars. The main characteristics used to classify stars are size, temperature and brightness.

A star is born when nuclear fusion starts. The length of a star’s life depends on its mass. When a star runs out of fuel, it becomes white dwarf, a neutron star or a black hole. More than half of all stars are members of groups of two or more stars, called star systems. There are three types of galaxies: spiral galaxies, elliptical galaxies and irregular galaxies.

According to the big bang theory, the universe formed in an enormous explosion about 10 to 15 billion years ago. About 5 billion years ago, a cloud of gas and dust collapsed to form the solar system.

What will happen to the universe in the future? One possibility is that the universe will continue to expand, as it is doing now. All of the stars will eventually run out of fuel and burn out, and the universe will be cold and dark. Another possibility is that the force of gravity will begin to pull the galaxies back together. The result will be a reverse big bang. All of the matter in the universe will be crushed into an enormous black hole. Which of these possibilities is more likely? The answer depends on how strong the total force of gravity pulling the galaxies together is. This force depends on the total mass of the universe. It is very difficult for astronomers to estimate this mass because much of it is in the form of particles that do not give off electromagnetic radiation. The evidence so far suggests that the total mass of the universe is not great enough to pull the galaxies back together again. However, more research needs to be done to solve this problem.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Plate Tectonics

One of the most difficult questions that geologists have tried to answer is, What’s inside Earth? In this topic, I have learned that Earth’s interior is divided into the crust, the mantle, the outer core and the inner core. The lithosphere includes the crust and the rigid upper layer of the mantle; beneath the lithosphere lies the soft layer of the mantle called the asthenosphere.

Also discussed in this topic is that heat can be transferred in three ways: radiation, conduction and convection. Differences of temperature and density within a fluid cause convection currents.

Alfred Wegener developed the idea that the continents were once joined and have since drifted apart. Most scientists rejected Wegener’s theory because he could not identify a force that could move the continents.

The theory of plate tectonics explains plate movements and how they cause continental drift.

Plate tectonics causes all oceans and mountains, and is the driver behind the shape of continents.

Volcanoes:

There are several processes in Plate Tectonics that cause volcanism, but they result in two main types of volcanism.

Volcanism in subduction is caused by volitals, like H2O, CO2. These are carried down by the plate, mainly in the form of weak minerals. These minerals break down with pressure and temperature into stronger minerals that don't contain water and carbon dioxide. The leftover gases and liquids travel into the mantle (the mantle wedge) and hydrate the mantle, causing melting. The melt rises and then... volcano!

The other main cause is from rising mantle material, which forms decompression melting. Basically, hot mantle is kept from melting by the pressure of the earth at depth. When this material rises, the pressure drops much faster than the temperature, and thus it partially melts. This mainly occurs at divergent boundaries (ocean ridges) and hot spots, which are areas in plate tectonics that have rising materials or spreading.

Mountain Belts:

Non-volcanic mountain belts are caused by compressive stress in plate tectonics. This can be 1. fold and thrust belts in highly compressive subduction zones (almost always from oceanic beneath continental subduction, e.g. east Andes, Rockies) or 2. continental-continental collisions (e.g. Himalaya, Appalachian).

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Earthquakes

I have learned in this topic that stresses on Earth’s crust produce compression, tension and shearing in rock. Faults are cracks in Earth’s crust that result from stress and that faulting and folding of the crust cause mountains and other features to form on the surface.

Seismic waves travel through Earth, they carry the energy of an earthquake from the focus to the surface. Earthquake produce two types of seismic waves, P waves and S waves, that travel out in all directions from the focus of an earthquake. Today, the moment magnitude scale is used to determine the magnitude of an earthquake. Other scales that geologists have used to rate earthquakes include the Mercalli scale and the Richter scale.

Geologists use instruments to measure deformation and stress along faults. Scientists determine earthquake risk by monitoring active faults and by studying faults where past earthquakes have occurred.

Earthquakes can damage structures through tsunamis, landslides or avalanches and shaking or liquefaction of the ground. New buildings can be designed to withstand earthquakes; old buildings can be modified to make them more earthquake-resistant.

Which buildings should be modified? It is clear that the best way to save lives is to make buildings that can withstand severe shaking. Modifying existing buildings could save lives but unfortunately, building renovations are costly same with houses, only few homeowners can afford the cost of making their houses safer. They might need financial aid or a tax break to help them make these changes.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Volcanoes

A volcano is an opening on Earth’s surface where magma escapes from the interior. Magma that reaches Earth’s surface is called lava. The constructive force of volcanoes adds new rock to existing land and forms new islands. Most volcanoes occur near the boundaries of Earth’s plates and along the edges of continents, in island arcs or along mid-ocean ridges.

An eruption occurs when gases trapped in magma rush through an opening at the Earth’s surface, carrying magma with them. Volcanoes can erupt quietly or explosively, depending on the amount of dissolved gases in the magma and on how thick or runny the magma is. When magma heats water underground, hot springs and geysers are formed. Volcano hazards include pyroclastic flows, avalanches of mud, damage from ash, lava flows, flooding and deadly gases.

Lava and other volcanic materials on the surface create shield volcanoes, cinder cones, composite volcanoes and plateaus. Magma that hardens beneath the surface creates batholiths, dome mountains, dikes and sills, which are eventually exposed when the covering rock wears away.

Volcanoes help us understand how Earth was born, the stages which it developed through, the magnetic field and so on. Wherever there's an active volcano, a scientists facility will be nearby. Of course aside from contributing to science, the scientists can also predict when eruptions will occur, providing locals with enough time to evacuate.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Minerals

A mineral is a naturally occurring inorganic solid that has a distinct chemical composition and crystal shape. Each mineral can be identified by its own physical and chemical properties. Some of the properties of minerals include hardness, color, streak, luster, density, cleavage and fracture, and crystal structure. Hardness is measured by the Mohs hardness scale. Minerals usually consist of two or more elements joined together in a compound.

Minerals form inside Earth through crystallization as magma or lava cools. Minerals form on Earth’s surface when materials dissolved in water crystallize through evaporation. Mineral deposits form on the ocean floor from solutions heated by magma. The hot-water solutions containing minerals erupt through chimneys on the ocean floor, then crystallize when they come in contact with cold sea water.

Minerals are useful as the source of all metals, gemstones and of many other materials. Geologists locate ore deposits by prospecting – looking for certain features on and beneath Earth’s surface. Ores can be removed from the ground through open pit mines, strip mines or shaft mines. Smelting is the process of heating an ore to extract a metal.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Rocks

A rock is a hard piece of Earth’s crust. Geologists classify rocks according to their color, texture, mineral composition and origin. The three kinds of rocks are igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.

Igneous rocks form from magma or lava. They are classified according to their origin, texture and composition. Most sedimentary rocks form from sediments that are compacted and cemented together. The three types of sedimentary rocks are clastic rocks, organic rocks and chemical rocks. In a process that takes place deep beneath the surface, heat and pressure can change any type of rock into metamorphic rock. Geologists classify metamorphic rock according to whether the rock is foliated or nonfoliated.

When corals die, their skeletons remain. More corals grow on top of them, slowly forming a reef. The series of processes on and beneath Earth’s surface that change rocks from one type of rock to another is called the rock cycle.

Each rock, whether a small pebble or a giant boulder, tells a story. By observing a rock’s characteristics, geologists learn about the forces that shaped the portion of Earth’s crust where the rock is formed. The rocks in our own community tell the story of Earth’s crust on our area.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
The Atmosphere

Earth’s atmosphere makes condition on Earth suitable for living things. Earth’s atmosphere is made up of molecules of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon dioxide and water vapor, as well as some other gases and particles of liquids and solids.

Most air pollution results from burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil. Nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons and other air pollutants react with one another in the presence of sunlight to form a mix of ozone and other chemicals called photochemical smog. Acid rains forms when nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides combine with water in the air to form nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

Properties of air include mass, density and pressure. Air pressure is the result of the weight of a column of air pushing down on an area. Air pressure is measured with mercury barometers and aneroid barometers. Air pressure decreases as altitude increases. As air pressure decreases, so does density.

The four main layers of the atmosphere are classified according to changes in temperature. These layers are the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere and the thermosphere. Rains, snow, storms and most clouds occur in the troposphere. Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs energy from the sun. Most meteoroids burn up in the mesosphere, producing meteor trails. The aurora borealis occurs in the ionosphere. Communications satellites orbit Earth in the exosphere.

The atmosphere that surrounds our planet Earth contains the right proportions of gases that are absolutely essential for life, one of those gases is oxygen, making up 21 percent of the air we breathe, without it humans and animals die within minutes. But too some of those gases, by themselves are deadly but because air contains safe proportions of these gases, we can breathe them without harm. 

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science
PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Weather Factors

Energy from the sun travels to Earth as electromagnetic waves – mostly visible light, infrared radiation and ultraviolet radiation. When Earth’s surface is heated, it radiates some of the energy back into the atmosphere in the form of longer-wavelength radiation.

The energy in motion in the molecules of a substance is called thermal energy. The three forms of heat transfer are: radiation, conduction and convection – they all work together to heat the troposphere.

All winds are caused by differences in air pressure, which are the result of unequal heating of Earth’s surface. Local winds are caused by unequal heating of Earth’s surface within a small area. The movement of air between the equator and the poles produces global winds.

Relative humidity is the percentage of water vapor in the air compared to the amount of water vapor the air could hold. It can be measured with a psychrometer. Clouds of all kinds form when water vapor in the air becomes liquid water or solid ice. Meteorologists classify clouds into three main types: cumulus, stratus and cirrus.

Common types of precipitation include rain, sleet, freezing rain, hail and snow. Rain is measured with a rain gauge and scientists have used cloud seeding to produce rain and to clear fog from airports.

A drenching spring rain is just what the flowers need! As the weather gets warmer, the garden will bloom. Warm days, soft winds and plenty of rain – all of these are weather factors that affect growing things.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Weather Patterns

When the sky turns dark and threatening, it’s not hard to predict the weather. A storm is on its way. But wouldn’t you rather know about an approaching storm before it actually arrives?

There are four major types of air masses that influence the weather: the maritime tropical, continental tropical, maritime polar and the continental polar. When air masses collide, they form four types of fronts: cold fronts, warm fronts, stationary fronts and occluded fronts. Cyclones and decreasing air pressure are associated with storms and precipitation.

Thunderstorms and tornadoes form within large cumulonimbus clouds. During thunderstorms, avoid touching metal objects. A hurricane begins over warm water as a low-pressure area. If you hear a hurricane warning and are told to evacuate, leave the area immediately. Snow falls when humid air cools below 0°C. If you are caught in a snowstorm, try to find shelter from the wind.

Floods occur when so much water pours into a stream or river that it overflows its banks on either side of the channel. The first rule of flood safety: Move to higher ground and stay away from flood waters.

Meteorologists interpret weather information from local weather observers, instruments carried by balloons, satellites and weather stations around the world. Changes in weather technology have occurred in two areas: gathering weather data and using computers to make forecasts. Standard symbols on weather maps show fronts, areas of high and low pressure, types of precipitation and temperatures.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Climate and Climate Change

The climate of a region is determined by its temperature and precipitation. The main factors that influence temperature are latitude, altitude, distance from large bodies of water and ocean currents. The main factors that affect precipitation are prevailing winds and the presence of mountains. The different seasons are a result of the tilt of Earth’s axis as Earth travels around the sun.

Climates are classified according to temperature and precipitation. There are five main climate regions: tropical rainy, dry, temperate, marine, temperate continental and polar. Highlands are often considered to be a sixth climate region.

During each ice age, huge sheets of ice covered much of Earth’s surface. Possible explanations for major climate changes include movement of continents, variations in the position of Earth relative to the sun and changes in the sun’s energy output.

Human activities that add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere may be warming Earth’s atmosphere. Chemicals produced by humans have been damaging the ozone layer.

Most of the desert is too dry for trees. Only cactus, shrubs and other hardy plants are able to survive in the parched land. So if you see palm trees, you know there must be water nearby. Palm trees in the desert grow only in a small area with its own climate – a microclimate.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

PARTIDO STATE UNIVERSITY
Goa, Camarines Sur

SCHOOL OF GRADUATE STUDIES AND RESEARCH

REFLECTION PAPER ON
Earth’s Water: Waves

About 97 percent of Earth’s water is salt water stored in the ocean. Less than 1 percent is usable fresh water. In the water cycle, water evaporates from Erath’s surface into the atmosphere. The water forms clouds, then falls back to Earth as precipitation. Energy from the sun drives the water cycle. The water cycle renews Earth’s supply of fresh water. In the world as a whole, the rates of evaporation and precipitation balance each other. People use water for many purposes, including household use, industry, agriculture, transportation and recreation. All living things need water to carry out their life processes.

Most waves are caused by winds blowing across the surface of the water. When waves enter shallow water, the wavelength shortens and the wave height increases. The wave becomes unstable and breaks on the shore. Waves erode shorelines, carving cliffs and breaking up rocks into pebbles and sand.

Currents are formed by Earth’s rotation, winds and differences in water temperature. The movement of warm-water and cold-water surface currents carries water around the world and influences coastal climates. Density differences between warm and cold water cause many deep-water currents in the ocean. El Niño changes the pattern of winds and currents and affects Earth’s weather.

Prepared by:

MIRINISA R. CRISPIN
MAED. Science

Cite This Document

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