Get Asteroids, comets, and meteorites: cosmic invaders of the PDF

By Jon Erickson

ISBN-10: 0816048738

ISBN-13: 9780816048731

Sincerely written and good illustrated with black-and-white photos, illustrations, and worthwhile tables, Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites presents scholars, researchers, and normal readers with the main updated details in this attention-grabbing box. From the times of the dinosaurs to our glossy surroundings, this e-book explores all facets of those cosmic invaders.

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Extra resources for Asteroids, comets, and meteorites: cosmic invaders of the earth

Example text

During Earth’s long history, the planet was repeatedly bombarded by asteroids and comets. The cratering rate was much higher in the early years than today, which was fortunate for life. For if the rate of meteorite bombardment had remained high, species would have gone down much different evolutionary pathways. The meteorite bombardments would have made living conditions very difficult for early life-forms. Frequent impacts would have blasted organic molecules apart before they ever had a chance to organize into living cells.

5 percent of the planet’s total volume. During this time, Earth spun wildly on its axis, completing a single rotation every 14 hours. The high rotation rate likely arose as the planet was forming by the accretion of planetesimals. The impactors imparted angular momentum to Earth, causing it to spin faster and faster. The high rotational energy maintained high temperatures throughout the planet. Present-day plate tectonics (Fig. 7 billion years ago, when the formation of the crust was nearly complete.

The Precambrian shields are extensive uplifted areas surrounded by sediment-covered bedrock called continental platforms. The platforms are broad, shallow depressions of basement complex filled with nearly flat-lying sedimentary rocks. The best-known areas are the Canadian Shield in North America (Fig. 37) and the Fennoscandian Shield in Europe. 01 3 11 Humans Mastodons Ice age Cascades 26 37 Saber-toothed tigers Alps 54 65 Whales Horses, Alligators Rockies Birds Sierra Mammals Dinosaurs Atlantic Reptiles Appalachians Ice age Quaternary Cenozoic Tertiary Cretaceous Nevada Mesozoic Pleistocene Pliocene Neogene Miocene Oligocene Paleogene Eocene Paleocene 135 Jurassic 210 Triassic 250 Permian Pennsylvanian 280 310 Trees Paleozoic Proterozoic Archean Carboniferous Mississippian 345 Devonian Silurian Ordovician Cambrian 400 435 500 570 700 2500 3500 4000 4600 Amphibians Insects Sharks Land plants Fish Sea plants Shelled animals Pangaea Laursia Gondwana Invertebrates Metazoans Earliest life Oldest rocks Meteorites 51 Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites Figure 36 The rings indicate the location of Archean impact structures in central Ontario.

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Asteroids, comets, and meteorites: cosmic invaders of the earth by Jon Erickson

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