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This course examines the history and geology of the solar system. No two planets are exactly alike, and as we acquire more data and higher-resolution images, our sense of wonder grows. However, we can’t hike around and hammer rocks on Venus or Titan, so we have to infer composition, form, texture and process from remotely-captured images and sparse chemical and spectral data. We will consider the origin of the solar system, the formation and evolution of planetary bodies, and the role of impacts, volcanism, tectonics and geomorphology in shaping them. We will summarize basic geological concepts of stratigraphy, structure and chronology and show how they can be applied off-world. We will review solar system exploration, and will include planetary data in lab exercises. This course is in the Solid Earth group for the Geosciences major.
Grading: yes pass/fail option,
yes fifth course option
Periodic short quizzes, reading journal, lab exercises, class participation
any 100-level GEOS or any 100-level ASTR course, or permission of instructor
Geosciences majors, Astronomy/Astrophysics majors, and sophomores
This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
GEOS Group C Electives - Solid Earth