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Rosetta Stone

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0024
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter focuses on Ralph B. Baldwin's discovery that led to a reconsideration of the role of meteorite impact on the Moon, the Rosetta Stone of the solar system. In early 1941, the ... More


Dinosaur Killer

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0027
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter examines the theory that meteorite impact was responsible for the extinction of dinosaurs on Earth. The Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary, or K-T, is the point in geological time at which the ... More


The Ancient Planet

Frank H. T. Rhodes

in Earth: A Tenant's Manual

Published in print:
2012
Published Online:
August 2016
ISBN:
9780801478239
eISBN:
9780801466212
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:
10.7591/cornell/9780801478239.003.0007
Subject:
Earth Sciences and Geography, Environmental Geography

This chapter outlines efforts to measure the age of the Earth and considers the implications these pose to civilization. All civilizations, after all, seem to have had an interest in the beginnings ... More


A Break in the Storm

Peter J. Westwick

in Into the Black: JPL and the American Space Program, 1976-2004

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
October 2013
ISBN:
9780300110753
eISBN:
9780300134582
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Yale University Press
DOI:
10.12987/yale/9780300110753.003.0017
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter focuses on the discovery in 1996 of a meteorite on Earth—one with possible traces of Martian microbes—that sparked a new program, called Origins. This program laid out transcendent goals ... More


Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

James Powell

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.001.0001
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

Over the course of the twentieth century, scientists came to accept four counterintuitive yet fundamental facts about the Earth: deep time, continental drift, meteorite impact, and global warming. ... More


A Trivial Process

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0021
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter takes a historical look at how the idea of meteorite impact originated. In the late 1950s, Eugene Merle Shoemaker, a precocious geology graduate of the California Institute of ... More


To Hunt a Star

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0022
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter examines early scientific ideas that opened the door to the theory of meteorite impact. Isaac Newton showed that the Earth and the Moon are bound by an invisible yet irresistible force ... More


The Moon’s Face

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0023
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter takes a look at various theories that had been offered to explain lunar craters and their relevance to meteorite impact. In 1921 Alfred Wegener published the results of his ... More


Worlds in Collision

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0026
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter looks at space missions that shed more light on the nature of the Moon. On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 landed on the surface of Mare Tranquillitatis. When Apollo 11 returned samples to ... More


Out with a Bang

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0028
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This chapter examines how the impact skeptics reacted to Luis Alvarez's theory that the mass extinctions of the dinosaurs and seventy percent of all species on the planet at the Cretaceous-Tertiary ... More


From Heresy to Truth

James Lawrence Powell

in Four Revolutions in the Earth Sciences: From Heresy to Truth

Published in print:
2014
Published Online:
November 2015
ISBN:
9780231164481
eISBN:
9780231538459
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:
10.7312/columbia/9780231164481.003.0036
Subject:
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies

This book has taken a historical look at deep time, continental drift, meteorite impact, and global warming and how each of them overcame accusations of being heretic and eventually became accepted ... More


The Wilsons

David Clarke

in Reflections on the Astronomy of Glasgow: A story of some 500 years

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780748678891
eISBN:
9780748689286
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:
10.3366/edinburgh/9780748678891.003.0004
Subject:
Society and Culture, Scottish Studies

The story of Alexander Wilson's genius commences with his kite experiments to fly thermometers expertly made by himself, to measure the temperature of the atmosphere. This was done in collaboration ... More


The Question of Timing

John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton

in From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
May 2018
ISBN:
9780691175706
eISBN:
9781400885565
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691175706.003.0004
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter demonstrates how American geochemist Clair C. Patterson found out about the Earth's true age. Announcing his discovery at a meeting of the Geological Society of America, Patterson told ... More


Meteorites

John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton

in From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
May 2018
ISBN:
9780691175706
eISBN:
9781400885565
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691175706.003.0005
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter discusses how countless small rocks from space encounter Earth each day, burning up completely in the atmosphere as meteors. Most meteors are tiny, no larger than a grain of sand. These ... More


What Happened to the Asteroid Belt?

John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton

in From Dust to Life: The Origin and Evolution of Our Solar System

Published in print:
2017
Published Online:
May 2018
ISBN:
9780691175706
eISBN:
9781400885565
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691175706.003.0013
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter discusses the nature and composition of the asteroid belt. Although little is known about most of the individual members of the asteroid belt, astronomers have a good idea how much ... More


Exploring the Solar System

Karel Schrijver

in One of Ten Billion Earths: How we Learn about our Planet's Past and Future from Distant Exoplanets

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
July 2018
ISBN:
9780198799894
eISBN:
9780191864865
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198799894.003.0003
Subject:
Physics, Geophysics, Atmospheric and Environmental Physics, History of Physics

In this chapter, the author summarizes the properties of the Solar System, and how these were uncovered. Over centuries, the arrangement and properties of the Solar System were determined. The ... More


Lone Rovers

Karel Schrijver

in One of Ten Billion Earths: How we Learn about our Planet's Past and Future from Distant Exoplanets

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
July 2018
ISBN:
9780198799894
eISBN:
9780191864865
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198799894.003.0007
Subject:
Physics, Geophysics, Atmospheric and Environmental Physics, History of Physics

How do stars and planets break the bonds of gravity, and how do we know they do? Most stars form with hundreds, if not thousands, of nearby neighbors, and yet the Sun is all alone; we learn about its ... More


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