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Dating on earth solar power

Dating on earth solar power

Mercury Surface Temperatures of Planets Before we begin to discuss Mercury, let us take a look at the general situation with regard to surface temperatures of planets, relative to the temperature of the central star.

Dating on earth solar power

An important property of a planet is its albedo. Wikipedia lists the albedo of the planets, where you can see that it varies from very dark 0. The gas giants have albedos near 0. Earth's albedo is highly variable due to cloudsbut averages around 0.

Saturn's moon Enceladus has an albedo above 1 1. Keep in mind that albedo numbers are difficult to calculate, and vary quite a bit in different references. We can measure the amount of dating on earth solar power reflected from a planet, but how do we know the amount striking it? The Sun's spectrum peaks around nm. The spectrum of an object at room temperature about K peaks in the infrared about 10 mm.

Thus, we can tell the surface temperature of a planet by measuring its blackbody spectrum. Since we know the energy flux from the Sun, we can calculate the blackbody temperature one would expect at the surface of a planet from its distance from the Sun, and its albedo A. It should be obvious that the energy flux from the Sun integrated over an entire sphere centered on the Sun called the Luminosity is the same no matter how big the sphere is.

For a planet that rotates slowly, or has little atmosphere, the sub-solar temperature is the relevant one to use. However, when the planet is rotating rapidly, or has a substantial atmosphere, the redistribution of energy must be taken into account.

In most cases these match the appropriate temperature calculated above, but Venus and Jupiter disagree. Venus has extra heating due to the greenhouse effect, while Jupiter has some internal heat source. We will discuss both of these later.

These agree pretty dating on earth solar power with accepted values of maximum temperature at the equator about K and average temperature Kkeeping in mind that Mercury has a rather high eccentricity of 0. However, on the dark side of Mercury the equator temperature can be as low as K C, or F. Dating Rocks We can date the Earth by using radioactive decay of atoms.

Atoms come in many isotopes, all having the same number of protons, but different numbers of neutrons. When an isotope has a lot of neutrons, it can be stable over a long period of time, billions of years, but still have some probability to decay to a more stable isotope. Thus, one can take a sample of rock and compare the ratio of these two isotopes to get the age of the rock.

This works because Pb is a rare isotope in nature, so one can be quite sure that the rock had essentially none when it was first created.

Another pair of isotopes that is important for dating rocks is 40K, which decays into the inert noble gas 40Ar with a half-life of 1. When a rock is remelted, the Ar escapes and the clock is reset, so the age one measures is the age since the last remelting of the rock. When atoms decay, the change in the number is proportional to the number that exist i.

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The fraction is given by a constant of proportionality l. A rock has a ratio 40Ar to 40K of 1 to 4. How old is the rock, given that the half-life is 1. One sidereal day is Mercury is much less massive than Earth, so its gravity cannot squeeze rock to high density.

Thus, it must be made of naturally high density material--metals. One possibility is that Mercury was once much larger, but suffered a massive collision that made it lose dating on earth solar power of its outer mantel Wikipedia articleMessenger link.

The albedo is quite low, at 0. Yet during the long solar night, the dark-side temperatures drop to K. Surface Features: The Mercury Messenger spacecarft arrived at Mercury in Marchand is now busy making the most detailed maps and analysis of the planet ever.

As you know, going to Mercury is energetically expensive!

The Messenger mission had to use several planetary encounters with Earth, Venus, and Mercury to reduce speed enough to get into Mercury orbit. The Messenger mission has 7 key questions it is trying to answer. An earlier flyby mission, Mariner, 10 discovered a very weak, but present, magnetic field of nT nanotesla. Earth's magnetic field is some nT, more than datings earth solar larger than Mercury. Still, this is large power to deflect the solar magnetic field and solar wind, creating a small magnetosphere.

It was not clear until recently where such a magnetic field would come from, since Mercury rotates slowly, but recently it has been discovered that it has a liquid outer core, like Earth although much thinner.

Mercury's atmosphere, more properly called an exosphere, is very thin and consists of sodium atoms that are released from the surface by particle radiation and hang around for awhile but ultimately escape. It is of scientific interest to know the distribution of this exosphere, and in particular its dawn-dusk asymmetry, which can be observed from Earth during a transit of Mercury.

From these observations, the preliminary image in Figure 1a was obtained. Figure 1a: Preliminary data.

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