9 terms

Intro to Planet Composition & Formation

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Impact Crater
Depression on the surface of a planet or moon caused by a space object hitting the surface.
Density
Measure of the mass of a substance per unit volume. Describes how compact something is. Equation: Mass divided by Volume = Density
Erosion
The action of surface processes (water flow or wind) that remove soil, rock, or dissolved material from one location and transport it to another location
Interstellar Cloud (AKA Nebula)
A cloud of gas and dust that is present at the beginning of every star's life.
Terrestrial Planet
The 4 planets closest to the Sun that are similar in size to Earth and possess solid, rocky surfaces.
Gas Giant
The farthest 4 planets from the Sun which are much larger than Earth and do not possess solid surfaces.
Planetesimal
A space object built of solid particles that can form planets through collision and mergers.
Radioactive Decay
Process in which radioactive elements break down (decay) and turn into new elements. This process is used to determine the age of rocks.
Half Life
Length of time required for half of the radioactive atoms in a sample to decay
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