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THE UNIVERSE AS WE KNOW IT

GALAXIES
These may be spiral or elliptical in shape and contain 200 billion stars. The Milky Way galaxy is 2.25 million
light years from the nearby Andromeda galaxy. About 24 galaxies form the local cluster, all moving around
space together.
QUASARS
Quasars are distant powerful sources of light and radio waves putting out the energy of 100 galaxies. They have
been identified as distant galaxies with an enormous central mass.
STARS
Stars are huge spheres of hydrogen (H) and helium (He). Nuclear fusion occurs at 15 million degrees as
hydrogen (H) nuclei slam together to form the helium (He) nuclei. (It is too hot for electrons to orbit the
nucleus and form atoms)
The sun has a mass of

kg and is 1.4 million km in diameter. Yet, it is called a yellow dwarf. Blue giants
can be 10 solar masses, while red dwarfs are only 0.1 solar masses. In size a red dwarf is less than half the suns
size, while the biggest stars are supergiants of 300 solar masses and would extend out to Jupiters orbit, if
placed at the centre of the solar system.
Surface temperature determines a stars colour.
Class Surface Temperature (K) Colour
O 30,000 Blue
B 10,000 to 30,000 Blue/White
A 10,000 White
F 6,000 to 10,000 White/Yellow
G 6,000 Yellow
K 4,500 Orange
M 3,000 Red



1. Blue giants are fusing furiously fast, so even though they may be up to 10 solar masses (Ms), they only
live up to 3-10 million years, and then explode as supernovas (supernovae). The core becomes a black
hole if it exceeds 3Ms. Cores between 1.4Ms and 3Ms, become neutron stars and because they spin rapidly
they appear to flash or pulsate and so termed pulsars. The gravity is so intense that atoms are crushed
together so that the star is very dense. Protons and electrons combine to form neutrons.
2. White dwarfs high surface temperature (10,000 to 30,000) so should be bright, but since they are only
Earth sized, their surface area is small, so they look dim. No fusion occurs; they are the cooling cores left
over after red giants fail. A teaspoon of their matter weighs as much as a bus.
3. Red giants form when sun sized stars expand and thus surface cools.
4. Supergiants stars larger than the sun classes B, A and F will eventually expand to be 500 times larger.
Antares the heart of the Scorpion and Betelgeuse Orions right armpit are such stars.
5. Red dwarfs dim so they fuse slowly, so live up to 3 trillion years. Then they just slowly fade away, once all
their hydrogen (H) is fused into helium (He).
6. Main sequence ranges from red dwarfs to blue giants, fusing slow and fast respectively with all rates and
thus surface temperatures and colours in between.


FORCES WITHIN THE EARTH
PLATE TECTONICS
In 1620, Francis Bacon noted how the west coast of Africa and the east coast of South America could fit together. In
1801, Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist and explorer noted also the similarity between the coasts of
western Africa and eastern South America. In 1858, Antonio Snider-Pellegrini suggested that the Earth solidified
from a molten state to one land mass and that certain imbalances caused it to be pulled apart.
In 1912, Alfred Wegner, a German meteorologist proposed the idea of moving continents. This wasnt too popular
with other geologists. He stated that all earths land masses were clumped into one supercontinent Pangaea (pan
meaning all, gaia meaning Earth).
Proof for his continental drift came from
1. The jigsaw fit of the coastlines
2. Similar rocks and fossils
where the coasts fit.
Sonar could show the ocean
floor topography of trenches,
abyssal plains, volcanic peaks
and mountains.
Harry Hess proposed that the
sea floor spread apart at the
underwater ridges. Hot magma
welled up in the mantle and split
the crust at the ridge.
Confirmation of sea floor spreading came in 1965. Underwater eruptions of basaltic lava had a tell-tale trace of the
Earths magnetic field recording in minerals containing iron. The fields reverse every few thousand years. An almost
mirror image pattern of stripes was detected by magnometers either side of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge:


The same sort of pattern exists on all other ridges. The theory was then confirmed.
implied movement
North to South magnetic field
PLATE INTERACTIONS
Every plate comes in contact with another plate at its
boundary:
Spreading zones are where the plates move apart
e.g. at mid-ocean ridges.
Subduction zones are where one plate rises over
the top of another. They occur at the edge of some
continents e.g. Japan and western South America.
Volcanoes form at subduction zones, and
earthquakes are common due to friction between
plates.
Collision zones are where two plates collide.
These two layers fold to form mountains
e.g. the Himalayas and areas of Southern Europe.
Transform fault zones are where plates slide past
each other, in opposite directions causing
earthquakes,
e.g. the San Andreas Fault, California, US and the
Alpine Fault, South Island, New Zealand.
FAULTS AND EARTHQUAKES
A fault is defined as a fracture in rocks due to stress and
strain which breaks the rock. Some well-known faults:
San Andreas Fault California, USA
Alpine Fault New Zealand
North Anatolian Fault Turkey
A fault line is a fracture where the crust has moved.
Following the 1855 Wellington Earthquake in New Zealand, geologists were able to establish the connection
between fault lines and earthquakes.
As far as seismologists can understand is that all, but the deepest earthquakes (600 km or more deep) occur on
faults. Seismic waves are generated when the two sides of the fault rapidly slip past each other:
P waves (primary waves) have a speed of 10 kilometres per second only. Only detected by seismometers,
which are instruments measuring earthquake waves.
S waves (secondary waves) have a speed of 6 kilometres per second. They are felt as preliminary tremors.
L waves (surface or longitudinal waves) causes all the destruction but are less than 150 kilometres (in
length)
For most earthquakes, the faults do not break the surface, so the faults can be seen only through analysing the
seismic waves. Faults can be anywhere from a few metres to several thousand kilometres long. Seismologists still
have to learn more about the mechanism that causes the deepest earthquakes. At 600+ km deep, the earth is
probably too warm for faults to be brittle like glass, so some form of chemical change might occur very rapidly.

University of Otago (Richard Sibson)
Types of faults:
Normal fault where the crust is being pulled apart,
normal faulting occurs, which the overlying
(hanging-wall) block moves down with respect to the
lower (footwall) block.
Reverse (or thrust) fault where the crust is being
compressed, reverse faulting occurs, which the
hanging-wall block moves up and over the footwall block.
A reverse slip on an inclined plane is referred to as thrust
faulting.
Strike-slip where the crustal blocks move sideways past
each other, usually along nearly-vertical faults. This
strike-slip movement is described as sinistral when the
far side moves the left, and dextral, when the far side
moves to the right.
Oblique slip involves a combination of these
movements.
Understanding faults can help use limit the force of earthquakes.
Tokyo, the capital of Japan is at a great risk due to many factors:
1. Liquidification of the ground causing buildings to topple.
2. Firestorms when small gas fires combine.
3. Tsunami caused by displacement of at least million litres of water.
4. Food and fuel shortages.
When the earthquake hit Northern Japan in March 2011, its effects resulted in a large tsunami which saw large parts
of north eastern Japan wiped out. Also the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima had resulted in possible contamination
to the food supply, as well as energy shortages.
FOLDING
Geological folding involves the bending or buckling of a single or multiple layered strata such as sediments and rocks,
which were originally a plane surface. The cause of this is due to a gradual build-up of strain.
Types of folds:
Anticline folds these folds concave upwards, with the oldest rocks in the middle.
Syncline folds these folds concave downwards, with the youngest rocks in the middle.
Monocline folds these folds have a structure similar to steps. An example of a monocline fold is between
Penrith and Lapstone in the Blue Mountains.