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Ch 8: Earth's Spheres and Astronomy

About This Chapter

Watch online video lessons to learn about Earth's spheres and orbit, its internal layers and the methods used to study them. Each lesson includes an self-assessment quiz that can tell you how well you understood the presentation.

Earth's Spheres and Astronomy - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Get an overview of Earth's four spheres before taking a more in-depth look at the atmosphere in the chapters to come. Learn how changes deep within Earth's core affect the outermost components of our planet, and find out how scientists use seismic waves to study its composition. You can wrap up this chapter with a lesson discussing the impact of Earth's orbit on each of these spheres. Lessons are designed to teach you about:

  • Interactions between Earth's four spheres
  • Components of the crust, mantle and core
  • Methods for studying Earth's internal layers
  • Earth's orbit and the Milankovitch hypothesis

Video Objectives
The Dynamic Earth: Internal & External Forces that Shape Earth's Surface Find out how earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and weathering transform Earth's lithosphere.
The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Atmosphere Discover components found in each of these four spheres.
Interactions of Earth's Spheres: Purpose and Examples Get some examples of how Earth's geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere interact.
Earth's Internal Layers: Crust, Mantle and Core Study properties of the inner and outer core. Learn about convection in the upper and lower mantle, and examine the thickness of the continental and oceanic crust.
How Scientists Study Earth's Interior Structure Explore the uses of seismographs and seismograms to study the composition of Earth's mantle and core.
Astronomy, the Milankovitch Hypothesis, & Earth's Climate Use the Milankovitch hypothesis to explain how Earth's orbit corresponds with cycles of climate change.

13 Lessons in Chapter 8: Earth's Spheres and Astronomy
Four Stages of Planetary Development

1. Four Stages of Planetary Development

This lesson will describe the four stage of planetary development. They are, from past to present, differentiation, cratering, flooding, and slow surface evolution.

Formation of the Earth: Theories

2. Formation of the Earth: Theories

In this lesson, the theory of how the planet Earth formed will be discussed. This includes looking at how it differentiated into three layers, how it formed its atmosphere, water, and land features, and how it continues to evolve today.

The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Atmosphere

3. The Four Spheres of Earth: Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, and Atmosphere

Earth is made up of four distinct yet connect spheres. In this video lesson, you will learn about where each sphere is found on Earth, as well as some features commonly found in each.

Interactions of Earth's Spheres: Purpose and Examples

4. Interactions of Earth's Spheres: Purpose and Examples

The four spheres of Earth drive all of its processes and support life on our unique planet. In this video lesson, you will see examples of how Earth's spheres interact with each other to form an overall complex and connected system.

Major Components of the Atmosphere

5. Major Components of the Atmosphere

Our atmosphere is a complex mixture of many different gases. In this video lesson you will identify the major components of Earth's atmosphere as well as how much there is of each.

The Structure of the Atmosphere

6. The Structure of the Atmosphere

If you've ever climbed a mountain or been to the beach, you know that the atmosphere is different at different levels. This lesson explains how the structure of the atmosphere is really like a layer cake.

The General Circulation of the Atmosphere

7. The General Circulation of the Atmosphere

The Sahara Desert, tropical rainforests, and cold polar winds are all due to Earth's rotation. In this video lesson, you will learn how this rotation has created global air circulation patterns on Earth and how it is responsible for such diverse climate patterns across the globe.

The Dynamic Earth: Internal & External Forces that Shape Earth's Surface

8. The Dynamic Earth: Internal & External Forces that Shape Earth's Surface

There are many geologic processes that shape the surface of the Earth. Not only do they build and destroy a variety of landscapes, but they also give us clues to the interior of the Earth and the forces that exist there.

Earth's Internal Layers: Crust, Mantle & Core

9. Earth's Internal Layers: Crust, Mantle & Core

Earth is made up of several different layers, each with unique properties. In this video lesson, you will identify each layer of Earth and how it relates to Earth as a whole.

How Scientists Study Earth's Interior Structure

10. How Scientists Study Earth's Interior Structure

We can't see what Earth's interior is made of, but scientists are able to study it in other ways. In this video lesson, you will learn how seismic activity helps us understand and describe the inner layers of the earth.

Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

11. Plate Tectonics: A Unified Theory for Change of the Earth's Surface

After many years of trying to solve the mystery of the moving continents, enough data and evidence was collected to develop a unifying theory of how the surface of the earth changes. It's called plate tectonics.

Seismic Wave: Definition, Types & Frequency

12. Seismic Wave: Definition, Types & Frequency

In this lesson, you will learn what seismic waves are, the various types of seismic waves, and their frequencies. You will learn about P-waves, S-waves, Rayleigh waves and Love waves. A short quiz will follow.

Subduction Zone: Definition, Location & Example

13. Subduction Zone: Definition, Location & Example

This lesson will discuss the meaning of the term 'subduction zone,' and where they occur in terms of tectonic plate boundaries. A few examples will be included, and a short quiz will follow.

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