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earth science lecture one
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Basic Terms Used in Earth Science

  • Direct observations- when one uses his sense of sight, touch, hearing, smell or taste
  • Indirect observations- the use of instruments to detect, magnify and record information that our senses cannot pick up
  • Data- collection of observations
  • Classifying- grouping of similar events or objects based upon observed properties or characteristics
  • Inference- interpretation of observations
  • Hypothesis- possible solution to a problem provided the answer or solution is based on observations
  • Earth Science- is concerned with the entire earth and involves other sciences as well
  • Horizon- a line where the land or sea meets the sky; it also marks the longest distance an observer sees on the earth’s surface ("edge of the world")
  • Circumference- distance around a circle
  • Oblate spheroid- shape of the earth
  • Rotation- turning of the earth on its axis
  • Orbit- when earth revolves around the sun
  • Revolution- motion of a body around some point in space

Related Disciplines and Approaches

Biological Sciences

  1. Zoology
  2. Botany
  3. Biological Psychology
  4. Biomathematics
  5. Biophysics
  6. Physiology
  7. Biochemistry
  8. Anatomy
  9. Pathology
  10. Phytopathology
  11. Pathology
  12. Taxonomy
  13. Ecology
  14. Genetics
  15. Bacteriology
  16. Virology
  17. Mammalogy
  18. Ornithology
  19. Herpetology
  20. Ichthyology
  21. Entomology
  22. Helminthology
  23. Protozoology
  24. Mycology
  25. Pycology
  26. Lichenology
  27. Biosociology
  28. Parasitology
  29. Epidomology
  30. Gnotobiotics
  31. Biogeography
  32. Phytogeography
  33. Zoogeography
  34. Biological Limnology
  35. Biometeorology

Physical Sciences

  1. Astronomy
  2. Chemistry
  3. Geology
  4. Meteorology
  5. Oceanography
  6. Hydrology
  7. Physics

Social Sciences

  1. Anthropology
  2. Geography
  3. Physiogeography
  4. Oceanography
  5. Biogeography
  6. Linguistics of Philology
  7. Political Science

Earth Science History

  • Early Aztecs and Mayans (South America)- believed that the earth had the shape of a cross
  • Ancient Hindus- believed that the earth was shaped like a flat coin, with a layer of air on top of it and with "nirvana" or heaven beyond the air
  • Aristarchus- reasoned that the earth was round as a ball
  • Ferdinand Magellan (September 1519)- strongly believed that the earth was round
  • Heliocentric Theory – initiated by Aristarchus and later on, by Claudius Ptolemy (in his Almagest)
  • Geocentric Theory- initiated by Aristotle
  • Nicolaus Copernicus- the earth is a planet and revolves around the sun
  • Tycho Brahe- made accurate observations on Mars through his built pointers
  • Johannes Kepler- derived the 3 basic laws of planetary motion
  1. The path of each planet around the sun is an ellipse with the sun at one focus
  2. Each planet revolves so that a line connecting it to the sun sweeps over equal areas in equal intervals of time; and
  3. Orbital periods of the planets and their distances to the sun are proportional
  • Galileo Galilei- strongly supported the Copernican or heliocentric theory; greatest contribution were his descriptions of the behavior of moving objects
  • Sir Isaac Newton- contributions include the 3 laws of motion and his universal gravitation law which states that every body in the universe attracts every other body with a force that is proportional to their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them