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VOLCANO A volcano is an opening, or rupture, in a planet's surface or crust, which allows hot magma, volcanic ash and gases

to escape from below the surface. Volcanoes are generally found where tectonic plates are diverging or converging. A mid-oceanic ridge, for example the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, has examples of volcanoes caused by divergent tectonic plates pulling apart; the Pacific Ring of Fire has examples of volcanoes caused by convergent tectonic plates coming together. By contrast, volcanoes are usually not created where two tectonic plates slide past one another. Volcanoes can also form where there is stretching and thinning of the Earth's crust in the interiors of plates, e.g., in the East African Rift, the Wells Gray-Clearwater volcanic field and the Rio Grande Rift in North America. This type of volcanism falls under the umbrella of "Plate hypothesis" volcanism. Volcanism away from plate boundaries has also been explained as mantle plumes. These so-called "hotspots", for example Hawaii, are postulated to arise from upwelling diapirs with magma from the coremantle boundary, 3,000 km deep in the Earth.

kind of volcanic activity. Where the mid-oceanic ridge is above sea-level, volcanic islands are formed, for example, Iceland.

Convergent plate boundaries Subduction zones are places where two plates, usually an oceanic plate and a continental plate, collide. In this case, the oceanic plate subducts, or submerges under the continental plate forming a deep ocean trench just offshore. Water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle wedge, creating magma. This magma tends to be very viscous due to its high silica content, so often does not reach the surface and cools at depth. When it does reach the surface, a volcano is formed. Typical examples for this kind of volcano are Mount Etna and the volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire. "Hotspots"

"Hotspots" is the name given to volcanic provinces postulated to be formed by mantle plumes. These are postulated Erupting volcanoes can pose many hazards, not only in to comprise columns of hot material that rise from the corethe immediate vicinity of the eruption. Volcanic ash can be a threat to aircraft, in particular those with jet engines where ash mantle boundary. They are suggested to be hot, causing largevolume melting, and to be fixed in space. Because the tectonic particles can be melted by the high operating temperature. Large eruptions can affect temperature as ash and droplets of sulfuric plates move across them, each volcano becomes dormant after a while and a new volcano is then formed as the plate shifts over acid obscure the sun and cool the Earth's lower atmosphere or troposphere; however, they also absorb heat radiated up from the postulated plume. The Hawaiian Islands have been suggested to have been formed in such a manner, as well as the Snake River the Earth, thereby warming the stratosphere. Historically, soPlain, with the Yellowstone Caldera being the part of the North called volcanic winters have caused catastrophic famines. American plate currently above the hot spot. This theory is currently under criticism, however. Etymology Volcanic Features The word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn The most common perception of a volcano is of originates from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman a conical mountain, spewing lava and poisonous gases from mythology. The study of volcanoes is called volcanology, a crater at its summit. This describes just one of many types of sometimes spelled vulcanology. volcano, and the features of volcanoes are much more complicated. The structure and behavior of volcanoes depends on a number of factors. Some volcanoes have rugged peaks formed by lava domes rather than a summit crater, whereas others Plate tectonic present landscape features such as massive plateaus. Vents that issue volcanic material (lava, which is what magma is called once it has escaped to the surface, and ash) and gases (mainly steam and magmatic gases) can be located anywhere on the landform. Many of these vents give rise to smaller cones such Divergent plate boundaries as Pu on a flank of Hawaii's Klauea. Other types of u volcano include cryovolcanoes (or ice volcanoes), particularly on At the mid-oceanic ridges, two tectonic plates diverge some moons of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune; and mud volcanoes, from one another. New oceanic crust is being formed by hot which are formations often not associated with known magmatic molten rock slowly cooling and solidifying. The crust is very thin at activity. Active mud volcanoes tend to involve temperatures much mid-oceanic ridges due to the pull of the tectonic plates. The lower than those of igneous volcanoes, except when a mud release of pressure due to the thinning of the crust leads volcano is actually a vent of an igneous volcano. to adiabatic expansion, and the partial melting of the mantle causing volcanism and creating new oceanic crust. Most divergent plate boundaries are at the bottom of the oceans, therefore most volcanic activity is submarine, forming new seafloor. Black smokers or deep sea vents are an example of this Fissure vents

Volcanic fissure vents are flat, linear cracks through The most common perception of a volcano is of which lava emerges. a conical mountain, spewing lava and poisonous gases from a crater at its summit. This describes just one of many types of volcano, and the features of volcanoes are much more complicated. The structure and behavior of volcanoes depends on a number of factors. Some volcanoes have rugged peaks formed Shield volcanoes by lava domes rather than a summit crater, whereas others present landscape features such as massive plateaus. Vents that Shield volcanoes, so named for their broad, shield-like issue volcanic material (lava, which is what magma is called once profiles, are formed by the eruption of low-viscosity lava that can it has escaped to the surface, and ash) and gases (mainly steam flow a great distance from a vent. They generally do not explode and magmatic gases) can be located anywhere on the landform. catastrophically. Since low-viscosity magma is typically low in Many of these vents give rise to smaller cones such silica, shield volcanoes are more common in oceanic than as Puu on a flank of Hawaii's Klauea. Other types of continental settings. The Hawaiian volcanic chain is a series of volcano include cryovolcanoes (or ice volcanoes), particularly on shield cones, and they are common in Iceland, as well. some moons of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune; and mud volcanoes, which are formations often not associated with known magmatic activity. Active mud volcanoes tend to involve temperatures much lower than those of igneous volcanoes, except when a mud volcano is actually a vent of an igneous volcano. Lava domes Lava The word volcano is derived from the name of Vulcano, a volcanic island in the Aeolian Islands of Italy whose name in turn originates from Vulcan, the name of a god of fire in Roman mythology. The study of volcanoes is called volcanology, sometimes spelled vulcanology. At the mid-oceanic ridges, two tectonic plates diverge from one another. New oceanic crust is being formed by hot molten rock slowly cooling and solidifying. The crust is very thin at mid-oceanic ridges due to the pull of the tectonic plates. The release of pressure due to the thinning of the crust leads to adiabatic expansion, and the partial melting of the mantle causing volcanism and creating new oceanic crust. Most divergent plate boundaries are at the bottom of the oceans, therefore most volcanic activity is submarine, forming new seafloor. Black smokers or deep sea vents are an example of this kind of volcanic activity. Where the mid-oceanic ridge is above sea-level, volcanic islands are formed, for example, Iceland. Subduction zones are places where two plates, usually an oceanic plate and a continental plate, collide. In this case, the oceanic plate subducts, or submerges under the continental plate forming a deep ocean trench just offshore. Water released from the subducting plate lowers the melting temperature of the overlying mantle wedge, creating magma. This magma tends to be very viscous due to its high silica content, so often does not reach the surface and cools at depth. When it does reach the surface, a volcano is formed. Typical examples for this kind of volcano are Mount Etna and the volcanoes in the Pacific Ring of Fire. Shield volcanoes, so named for their broad, shield-like profiles, are formed by the eruption of low-viscosity lava that can flow a great distance from a vent. They generally do not explode catastrophically. Since low-viscosity magma is typically low in silica, shield volcanoes are more common in oceanic than continental settings. The Hawaiian volcanic chain is a series of shield cones, and they are common in Iceland, as well. Domes are built by slow eruptions of highly viscous lavas. They are sometimes formed within the crater of a previous volcanic eruption (as in Mount Saint Helens), but can also form independently, as in the case of Lassen Peak. Like stratovolcanoes, they can produce violent, explosive eruptions, but their lavas generally do not flow far from the originating vent.

Cryptodomes Cryptodomes are formed when viscous lava forces its way up and causes a bulge. The 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens was an example. Lava was under great pressure and forced a bulge in the mountain, which was unstable and slid down the north side.

Volcanic cones (cinder cones)

Volcanic cones or cinder cones result from eruptions of mostly small pieces of scoria and pyroclastics (both resemble "Hotspots" is the name given to volcanic provinces postulated to be formed by mantle plumes. These are postulated cinders, hence the name of this volcano type) that build up to comprise columns of hot material that rise from the core- around the vent. These can be relatively short-lived eruptions that mantle boundary. They are suggested to be hot, causing large- produce a cone-shaped hill perhaps 30 to 400 meters high. Most volume melting, and to be fixed in space. Because the tectonic cinder cones erupt only once. Cinder cones may form as flank plates move across them, each volcano becomes dormant after a vents on larger volcanoes, or occur on their own. Parcutin in while and a new volcano is then formed as the plate shifts over Mexico and Sunset Crater in Arizona are examples of cinder cones. the postulated plume. The Hawaiian Islands have been suggested In New Mexico, Caja del Rio is a volcanic field of over 60 cinder to have been formed in such a manner, as well as the Snake River cones. Plain, with the Yellowstone Caldera being the part of the North American plate currently above the hot spot. This theory is currently under criticism, however. Stratovolcanoes (composite volcanoes)

Cross-section through a stratovolcano (vertical exaggerated): 1. Large magma chamber 2. Bedrock 3. Conduit (pipe) 4. Base 5. Sill 6. Dike 7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano 8. Flank 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano 10. Throat 11. Parasitic cone 12. Lava flow 13. Vent 14. Crater 15. Ash cloud



considered supervolcanoes because of the of basalt lava erupted, but are non-explosive.



Submarine volcanoes Submarine volcanoes are common features on the ocean floor. Some are active and, in shallow water, disclose their presence by blasting steam and rocky debris high above the surface of the sea. Many others lie at such great depths that the tremendous weight of the water above them prevents the explosive release of steam and gases, although they can be detected by hydrophones and discoloration of water because of volcanic gases. Pumice rafts may also appear. Even large submarine eruptions may not disturb the ocean surface. Because of the rapid cooling effect of water as compared to air, and increased buoyancy, submarine volcanoes often form rather steep pillars over their volcanic vents as compared to above-surface volcanoes. They may become so large that they break the ocean surface as new islands. Pillow lava is a common eruptive product of submarine volcanoes. Hydrothermal vents are common near these volcanoes, and some support peculiar ecosystems based on dissolved minerals.

Stratovolcanoes or composite volcanoes are tall conical mountains composed of lava flows and other ejecta in alternate layers, the strata that give rise to the name. Stratovolcanoes are also known as composite volcanoes, created from several structures during different kinds of eruptions. Strato/composite volcanoes are made of cinders, ash and lava. Subglacial volcanoes Cinders and ash pile on top of each other, lava flows on top of the ash, where it cools and hardens, and then the process begins Subglacial volcanoes develop underneath icecaps. They again. Classic examples include Mt. Fuji in Japan, Mayon are made up of flat lava which flows at the top of extensive pillow Volcano in the Philippines, and Mount Vesuvius and Stromboli in lavas and palagonite. When the icecap melts, the lavas on the top Italy. collapsed leaving a flat-topped mountain. These volcanoes are also called Table Mountains, tuyas or (uncommonly) mobergs. Throughout recorded history, ash produced by Very good examples of this type of volcano can be seen in the explosive eruption of stratovolcanoes has posed the greatest Iceland; however, there are also tuyas in British Columbia. The hazard to civilizations as compared to other types of volcanoes. origin of the term comes from Tuya Butte, which is one of the No supervocano has erupted in human history. Shield volcanos several tuyas in the area of the Tuya River and Tuya Range in have smaller pressure buildup from the underlying lava flow as northern British Columbia. Tuya Butte was the first compared to stratovolcanoes. Fissure vents and monogenetic such landform analyzed and so its name has entered the volcanic fields(volcanic cones) have less powerful eruptions, as geological literature for this kind of volcanic formation. The Tuya they are many times underextension. Stratovolcanoes have been a Mountains Provincial Park was recently established to protect this greater historical threat because they are steeper than shield unusual landscape, which lies north of Tuya Lake and south of volcanos, with slopes of 3035 compared to slopes of generally the Jennings River near the boundary with the Yukon Territory. 510, and their loose tephra are material for dangerous lahars.

Supervolcanoes A supervolcano is a large volcano that usually has a large caldera and can potentially produce devastation on an enormous, sometimes continental, scale. Such eruptions would be able to cause severe cooling of global temperatures for many years afterwards because of the huge volumes of sulfur and ash erupted. They are the most dangerous type of volcano. Examples include Yellowstone Caldera in Yellowstone National Park and Valles Caldera in New Mexico (both western United States), Lake Taupo in New Zealand, Lake Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia and Ngorogoro Crater in Tanzania, Krakatoa near Java and Sumatra, Indonesia. Supervolcanoes are hard to identify centuries later, given the enormous areas they cover. Large igneous provinces are also

Mud volcanoes Mud volcanoes or mud domes are formations created by geo-excreted liquids and gases, although there are several processes which may cause such activity. The largest structures are 10 kilometers in diameter and reach 700 meters high.

Erupted Materials

Lava composition

Another way of classifying volcanoes is by the composition of material erupted (lava), since this affects the shape of the volcano. Lava can be broadly classified into 4 different compositions (Cas & Wright, 1987): If the erupted magma contains a high percentage (>63%) of silica, the lava is called felsic. Felsic lavas (dacites or rhyolites) tend to be highly viscous (not very fluid) and are erupted as domes or short, stubby flows. Viscous lavas tend to form stratovolcanoes or lava domes. Lassen Peak in California is an example of a volcano formed from felsic lava and is actually a large lava dome. Because siliceous magmas are so viscous, they tend to trap volatiles (gases) that are present, which cause the magma to erupt catastrophically, eventually forming stratovolcanoes. Pyroclastic flows (ignimbrites) are highly hazardous products of such volcanoes, since they are composed of molten volcanic ash too heavy to go up into the atmosphere, so they hug the volcano's slopes and travel far from their vents during large eruptions. Temperatures as high as 1,200 C are known to occur in pyroclastic flows, which will incinerate everything flammable in their path and thick layers of hot pyroclastic flow deposits can be laid down, often up to many meters thick. Alaska's Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes, formed by the eruption of Novaruptanear Katmai in 1912, is an example of a thick pyroclastic flow or ignimbrite deposit. Volcanic ash that is light enough to be erupted high into the Earth's atmosphere may travel many kilometers before it falls back to ground as a tuff. If the erupted magma contains 5263% silica, the lava is of intermediate composition. These "andesitic" volcanoes generally only occur above subduction zones (e.g. Mount in Indonesia). Andesitic lava is typically formed at convergent boundary margins of tectonic plates, by several processes: Hydration melting of peridotite and fractional crystallization Melting of subducted slab containing sediments Magma mixing between felsic rhyolitic and mafic basaltic magmas in an intermediate reservoir prior to emplacement or lava flow. If the erupted magma contains <52% and >45% silica, the lava is called mafic (because it contains higher percentages of magnesium (Mg) and iron (Fe)) or basaltic. These lavas are usually much less viscous than rhyolitic lavas, depending on their eruption temperature; they also tend to be hotter than felsic lavas. Mafic lavas occur in a wide range of settings:

Lava texture Two types of lava are named according to the surface texture: Aa (pronounced [aa]) and phoehoe ([pa ho.eho.e]), both Hawaiianwords. Aa is characterized by a rough, clinkery surface and is the typical texture of viscous lava flows. However, even basaltic or mafic flows can be erupted as aa flows, particularly if the eruption rate is high and the slope is steep. Phoehoe is characterized by its smooth and often ropey or wrinkly surface and is generally formed from more fluid lava flows. Usually, only mafic flows will erupt as phoehoe, since they often erupt at higher temperatures or have the proper chemical make-up to allow them to flow with greater fluidity. Volcanic Activity

Popular classification of volcanoes A popular way of classifying magmatic volcanoes is by their frequency of eruption, with those that erupt regularly are called active, those that have erupted in historical times but are now quiet are called dormant or inactive, and those that have not erupted in historical times are called extinct. However, these popular classificationsextinct in particularare practically meaningless to scientists. They use classifications which refer to a particular volcano's formative and eruptive processes and resulting shapes, which was explained above. Active There is no consensus among volcanologists on how to define an "active" volcano. The lifespan of a volcano can vary from months to several million years, making such a distinction sometimes meaningless when compared to the lifespans of humans or even civilizations. For example, many of Earth's volcanoes have erupted dozens of times in the past few thousand years but are not currently showing signs of eruption. Given the long lifespan of such volcanoes, they are very active. By human lifespans, however, they are not.

Scientists usually consider a volcano to be erupting or likely to erupt if it is currently erupting, or At mid-ocean ridges, where two oceanic plates are showing signs of unrest such as unusual earthquake activity or significant new gas emissions. Most scientists consider a pulling apart, basaltic lava erupts as pillows to fill the gap; volcano active if it has erupted in the last 10,000 years (Holocene times) the Smithsonian Global Volcanism Shield volcanoes (e.g. the Hawaiian Islands, Program uses this definition of active. There are about 1500 active including Mauna Loa and Kilauea), volcanoes in the world the majority along the Pacific Ring of onboth oceanic and continental crust; Fire and around 50 of these erupt each year. An estimated 500 As continental flood basalts. million people live near active volcanoes. Some erupted magmas contain <=45% silica and produce ultramafic lava. Ultramafic flows, also known Historical times (that is, in recorded history) is another as komatiites, are very rare; indeed, very few have been timeframe for active. The Catalogue of the Active Volcanoes of erupted at the Earth's surface since the Proterozoic, when the the World, published by the International Association of planet's heat flow was higher. They are (or were) the hottest Volcanology, uses this definition, by which there are more than lavas, and probably more fluid than common mafic lavas. 500 active volcanoes. However the span of recorded history differs

from region to region. In China and the Mediterranean, it reaches There are many different types of volcanic eruptions and back nearly 3,000 years, but in the Pacific Northwest of the United associated activity: phreatic eruptions (steam-generated States and Canada, it reaches back less than 300 years, and in eruptions), explosive eruption of high-silica lava (e.g., rhyolite), Hawaii and New Zealand, only around 200 years. effusive eruption of low-silica lava (e.g., basalt),pyroclastic flows, lahars (debris flow) and carbon dioxide emission. All of these activities can pose a hazard to humans. Earthquakes, hot springs,fumaroles, mud pots and geysers often accompany volcanic activity. Extinct Extinct volcanoes are those that scientists consider unlikely to erupt again, because the volcano no longer has a magma supply. Examples of extinct volcanoes are many volcanoes on the Hawaiian Emperor seamount chain in the Pacific Ocean, Hohentwiel, Shiprock and the Zuidwal volcano in the Netherlands. Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is famously located atop an extinct volcano. Otherwise, whether a volcano is truly extinct is often difficult to determine. Since "supervolcano" calderas can have eruptive lifespans sometimes measured in millions of years, a caldera that has not produced an eruption in tens of thousands of years is likely to be considered dormant instead of extinct. Some volcanologists refer to extinct volcanoes as inactive, though the term is now more commonly used for dormant volcanoes once thought to be extinct. The concentrations of different volcanic gases can vary considerably from one volcano to the next.Water vapor is typically the most abundant volcanic gas, followed by carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. Other principal volcanic gases include hydrogen sulfide, hydrogen chloride, and hydrogen fluoride. A large number of minor and trace gases are also found in volcanic emissions, for example hydrogen, carbon monoxide, halocarbons, organic compounds, and volatile metal chlorides.

Large, explosive volcanic eruptions inject water vapor (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur dioxide (SO2), hydrogen chloride (HCl), hydrogen fluoride (HF) and ash (pulverized rock andpumice) into the stratosphere to heights of 1632 kilometres (1020 mi) above the Earth's surface. The most significant impacts from these injections come from the conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfuric acid (H2SO4), which condenses rapidly in the stratosphere to form fine sulfate aerosols. The aerosols increase Dormant the Earth's albedoits reflection of radiation from the Sun back into space and thus cool the Earth's lower atmosphere or It is difficult to distinguish an extinct volcano from a troposphere; however, they also absorb heat radiated up from the dormant (inactive) one. Volcanoes are often considered to be Earth, thereby warming thestratosphere. Several eruptions during extinct if there are no written records of its activity. Nevertheless, the past century have caused a decline in the average volcanoes may remain dormant for a long period of time. For temperature at the Earth's surface of up to half a degree example, Yellowstone has a repose/recharge period of around (Fahrenheit scale) for periods of one to three years sulfur 700 ka, and Toba of around 380 ka. Vesuvius was described by dioxide from the eruption of Huaynaputina probably caused Roman writers as having been covered with gardens and theRussian famine of 16011603. vineyards before its famous eruption of AD 79, which destroyed the towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Before its catastrophic One proposed volcanic winter happened c. 70,000 years eruption of 1991, Pinatubo was an inconspicuous volcano, ago following the supereruption of Lake Toba on Sumatra Island unknown to most people in the surrounding areas. Two other in Indonesia. According to the Toba catastrophe theory to which examples are the long-dormant Soufrire Hills volcano on the some anthropologists and archeologists subscribe, it had global island of Montserrat, thought to be extinct before activity resumed consequences, killing most humans then alive and creating in 1995 and Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska, which, before its a population bottleneck that affected the genetic inheritance of all September 2006 eruption, had not erupted since before 8000 BC humans today. The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora created and had long been thought to be extinct. global climate anomalies that became known as the "Year Without a Summer" because of the effect on North American and European weather. Agricultural crops failed and livestock died in much of the Northern Hemisphere, resulting in one of the worst famines of the 19th century. The freezing winter of 174041, Technical classification of volcanoes which led to widespread famine in northern Europe, may also owe its origins to a volcanic eruption. The three common popular classifications of volcanoes can be subjective and some volcanoes thought to have been It has been suggested that volcanic activity caused or extinct have erupted again. To help prevent people from falsely contributed to the End-Ordovician, Permian-Triassic, Late believing they are not at risk when living on or near a volcano, Devonian mass extinctions, and possibly others. The massive countries have adopted new classifications to describe the various eruptive event which formed the Siberian Traps, one of the largest levels and stages of volcanic activity. Some alert systems use known volcanic events of the last 500 million years of Earth's different numbers or colors to designate the different stages. geological history, continued for a million years and is considered Other systems use colors and words. Some systems use a to be the likely cause of the "Great Dying" about 250 million years combination of both. ago, which is estimated to have killed 90% of species existing at the time. Effects of Volcanoes The sulfate aerosols also promote complex chemical reactions on their surfaces that alter chlorine

and nitrogen chemical species in the stratosphere. This effect, together with increased stratospheric chlorine levels from chlorofluorocarbon pollution, generates chlorine monoxide (ClO), which destroys ozone (O3). As the aerosols grow and coagulate, they settle down into the upper troposphere where they serve as nuclei for cirrus clouds and further modify the Earth's radiation balance. Most of the hydrogen chloride (HCl) and hydrogen fluoride (HF) are dissolved in water droplets in the eruption cloud and quickly fall to the ground as acid rain. The injected ash also falls rapidly from the stratosphere; most of it is removed within several days to a few weeks. Finally, explosive volcanic eruptions release the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide and thus provide a deep source of carbon for biogeochemical cycles.

They include Arsia Mons, Ascraeus Mons, Hecates Tholus, Olympus Mons, and Pavonis Mons. These volcanoes have been extinct for many millions of years, but the European Mars Express spacecraft has found evidence that volcanic activity may have occurred on Mars in the recent past as well.

Jupiter's moon Io is the most volcanically active object in the solar system because of tidal interaction with Jupiter. It is covered with volcanoes that erupt sulfur, sulfur dioxide and silicate rock, and as a result, Io is constantly being resurfaced. Its lavas are the hottest known anywhere in the solar system, with temperatures exceeding 1,800 K (1,500 C). In February 2001, the largest recorded volcanic eruptions in the solar system occurred on Io. Europa, the smallest of Jupiter's Galilean Gas emissions from volcanoes are a natural contributor moons, also appears to have an active volcanic system, except to acid rain. Volcanic activity releases about 130 to that its volcanic activity is entirely in the form of water, which 230 teragrams (145 million to 255 million short tons) of carbon freezes into ice on the frigid surface. This process is known dioxide each year. Volcanic eruptions may inject aerosols into as cryovolcanism, and is apparently most common on the moons the Earth's atmosphere. Large injections may cause visual effects of the outer planets of the solar system. such as unusually colorful sunsets and affect global climate mainly by cooling it. Volcanic eruptions also provide the benefit of adding In 1989 the Voyager 2 spacecraft nutrients to soil through the weathering process of volcanic rocks. observed cryovolcanoes (ice volcanoes) on Triton, These fertile soils assist the growth of plants and various crops. a moon of Neptune, and in 2005 the CassiniHuygens probe Volcanic eruptions can also create new islands, as the magma photographed fountains of frozen particles erupting from cools and solidifies upon contact with the water. Enceladus, a moon of Saturn. The ejecta may be composed of Ash thrown into the air by eruptions can present a hazard to aircraft, especially jet aircraft where the particles can be melted by the high operating temperature. Dangerous encounters in 1982 after the eruption of Galunggung in Indonesia, and 1989 after the eruption of Mount Redoubt in Alaska raised awareness of this phenomenon. Nine Volcanic Ash Advisory Centers were established by the International Civil Aviation Organization to monitor ash clouds and advise pilots accordingly. The 2010 eruptions of Eyjafjallajkull caused major disruptions to air travel in Europe. water, liquid nitrogen, dust, or methane compounds. Cassini Huygens also found evidence of a methane-spewing cryovolcano on theSaturnian moon Titan, which is believed to be a significant source of the methane found in its atmosphere. It is theorized that cryovolcanism may also be present on the Kuiper Belt Object Quaoar. A 2010 study of the exoplanet COROT-7b, which was detected by transit in 2009, studied that tidal heating from the host star very close to the planet and neighboring planets could generate intense volcanic activity similar to Io.

Volcanoes on other Planetary Bodies The Earth's Moon has no large volcanoes and no current volcanic activity, although recent evidence suggests it may still possess a partially molten core. However, the Moon does have many volcanic features such as maria (the darker patches seen on the moon), rilles and domes. The planet Venus has a surface that is 90% basalt, indicating that volcanism played a major role in shaping its surface. The planet may have had a major global resurfacing event about 500 million years ago, from what scientists can tell from the density of impact craters on the surface. Lava flows are widespread and forms of volcanism not present on Earth occur as well. Changes in the planet's atmosphere and observations of lightning have been attributed to ongoing volcanic eruptions, although there is no confirmation of whether or not Venus is still volcanically active. However, radar sounding by the Magellan probe revealed evidence for comparatively recent volcanic activity at Venus's highest volcano Maat Mons, in the form of ash flows near the summit and on the northern flank. There are several extinct volcanoes on Mars, four of which are vast shield volcanoes far bigger than any on Earth.

The protoplanetary disk is an accretion disk which continues to feed the central star. Initially very hot, the disk later cools in what is known as the T tauri star stage; here, formation of small dust grains made of rocks and ices is possible. The grains may eventually coagulate into kilometer-sized planetesimals. If the disk is massive enough the runaway accretions begin, resulting in the rapid100,000 to 300,000 yearsformation of Moon- to Mars-sized planetary embryos. Near the star, the planetary embryos go through a stage of violent mergers, producing a few terrestrial planets. The last stage takes around 100 million to a billion years. The formation of giant planets is a more complicated process. It is thought to occur beyond the so-called snow line, where planetary embryos are mainly made of various ices. As a result they are several times more massive than in the inner part of the protoplanetary disk. What follows after the embryo formation is not completely clear. However, some embryos appear to continue to grow and eventually reach 510 Earth massesthe threshold value, which is necessary to begin accretion of the hydrogenhelium gas from the disk. The accumulation of gas by the core is initially a slow process, which continues for several million years, but after the forming protoplanet reaches about 30 Earth masses it accelerates and proceeds in a runaway manner. The Jupiter and Saturnlike planets are thought to accumulate the bulk of their mass during only 10,000 years. The accretion stops when the gas is exhausted. The formed planets can migrate over long distances during or after their formation. The ice giants like Uranus and Neptune are thought to be failed cores, which formed too late when the disk had almost disappeared.

Theories about Earth

Tidal Theory

The tidal theory, proposed by James Jeans and Harold Jeffreys in 1918, is a variation of the planetesimal concept: it suggests that a huge tidal wave, raised on the sun by a passing Dynamic Encounter Theory star, was drawn into a long filament and became detached from the principal mass. As the stream of gaseous material condensed, The dynamic encounter theory is the theory for the it separated into masses of various sizes, which, by further historical origin of the planets as a result of a near collision of the condensation, took the form of the planets. sun and another star. This theory was first proposed by Georges Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707-1788), director of the royal botanical collection in Paris. Later Buffon disassociated himself from his own views, affirming (in an echo of Galileo) that he held to the literal Mosaic account and would give up his theory of the formation of the planets, which had been only "a purely philosophical supposition" (i.e., a thought experiment). These statements were probably ironic, since Buffon's later efforts continued his former work.

Nebular Hypothesis In cosmogony, the nebular hypothesis is the most widely accepted model explaining the formation and evolution of the Solar System. There is evidence that it was first proposed in 1734 by Emanuel Swedenborg. Originally applied only to our own Solar System, this method of planetary system formation is now thought to be at work throughout the universe.[3] The widely accepted modern variant of the nebular hypothesis is Solar Nebular Disk Model (SNDM) or simply Solar Nebular Model. According to the nebular hypothesis, stars form in massive and dense clouds of molecular hydrogengiant molecular clouds (GMC). They are gravitationally unstable, and matter coalesces to smaller denser clumps within, which then proceed to collapse and form stars. Star formation is a complex process, which always produces a gaseous protoplanetary disk around the young star. This may give birth to planets in certain circumstances, which are not well known. Thus the formation of planetary systems is thought to be a natural result of star formation. A sun-like star usually takes around 100 million years to form.

Solar Disruption Theory Solar disruption theory was one of several theories that emerged before the 18th century concerning the formation of the solar system. Solar disruption theory states that the collision of the sun with another stars caused debris to be ejected from its mass and these debris eventually became the planets. This theory was later discarded for the nebula theory of solar system formation. However there are some scientists that propose that it has some merit. The big question up until the 18th century was how the solar system was born. There were many explanations for why this

happen but many were really only conjecture given the tools available to astronomers at the time. The real question was what would be a probable origin under the known laws of physics. The advent of classical mechanics came to prove the nebular theory as the likely theory for the creation of the solar system. The reason was that most other theories could not explain how the planets formed without giving in to the Suns gravity and falling in. A new argument has emerged for a different form of solar disruption theory in this version it answers the idea in a more roundabout way that answers an interesting question. We know that the formation of the solar system itself was volatile but did the Sun and its planets really form in relative isolation from other star emerging in the Nebula? This new theory that emerged in 2004 supposed proposed that the influence of other stars may have influenced the formation of planets in the solar system.

formation of the Solar System. Although their exteriors are subjected to intense solar radiation that can alter their chemistry, their interiors contain pristine material essentially untouched since the planetesimal was formed. This makes each planetesimal a 'time capsule', and their composition can tell us of the conditions in the Solar Nebula from which our planetary system was formed (see also meteorites and comets).

Condensation Theory

The condensation theory of the solar system explains why the planets are arranged in a circular, flat orbit around the sun, why they all orbit in the same direction around the sun, and why some planets are made up primarily of rock with relatively thin atmospheres. Terrestrial planets such as Earth are one type In the meanwhile the main theory stands. We know in of planet while gas giants -- Jovian planets such as Jupiter -- are the nebular theory that stars are formed from spinning nebulas of another type of planet. gases and cosmic dust. Over time the masses clump together to the point where the mass reaches the level needed for gravity to This theory proposes that the Moon and the Earth initiate fusion. The planets are formed from the clumps of debris condensed individually from the nebula that formed the solar in the nebular disk that did not fall into the Sun and that they system, with the Moon formed in orbit around the Earth. However, eventually ended up colliding with each other forming planets. Any theory that suggests interference from the gravity fields of other if the Moon formed in the vicinity of the Earth it should have nearly the same composition. Specifically, it should possess a star systems has not been tested yet. It may have merit but we significant iron core, and it does not. Also, this hypothesis does dont have the technology to test theories on such large scales. not have a natural explanation for the extra baking the lunar material has received. Planetesimal Theory A widely accepted theory of planet formation, the socalled planetesimal hypothesis of Viktor Safronov, states that planets form out of cosmic dust grains that collide and stick to form larger and larger bodies. When the bodies reach sizes of approximately one kilometer, then they can attract each other directly through their mutual gravity, enormously aiding further growth into moon-sized protoplanets. This is how planetesimals are often defined. Bodies that are smaller than planetesimals must rely on Brownian motion or turbulent motions in the gas to cause the collisions that can lead to sticking. Alternatively, planetesimals can form in a very dense layer of dust grains that undergoes a collective gravitational instability in the mid-plane of a protoplanetary disk. Many planetesimals eventually break apart during violent collisions, as may have happened to 4 Vesta[1] and 90 Antiope,[2] but a few of the largest planetesimals can survive such encounters and continue to grow into protoplanets and later planets. Big Bang Theory According to the Big Bang model, the Universe expanded from an extremely dense and hot state and continues to expand today. A common analogy explains that space itself is expanding, carrying galaxies with it, like spots on an inflating balloon. The graphic scheme above is an artist's concept illustrating the expansion of a portion of a flat universe.

The Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological model that describes the early development of the Universe. According to the Big Bang theory, the Universe was once in an extremely hot and dense state which expanded rapidly. This rapid expansion caused the Universe to cool and resulted in its present continuously expanding state. According to the most recent measurements and observations, the Big Bang occurred approximately 13.75 billion years ago, which is thus considered the age of the Universe. After its initial expansion from a It is generally believed that about 3.8 billion years ago, singularity, the Universe cooled sufficiently to allow energy to be converted into various subatomic particles, including protons, after a period known as the Late Heavy Bombardment, most of the planetesimals within the Solar System had either been ejected neutrons, and electrons. While protons and neutrons combined to form the first atomic nuclei only a few minutes after the Big Bang, from the Solar System entirely, into distant eccentric orbits such as the Oort cloud, or had collided with larger objects due to the it would take thousands of years for electrons to combine with them and create electrically neutral atoms. The first element regular gravitational nudges from the Jovian planets (particularly Jupiter and Neptune). A few planetesimals may have been produced was hydrogen, along with traces of helium and lithium. Giant clouds of these primordial elements would coalesce through captured as moons, such as Phobos and Deimos (the moons of Mars), and many of the small high-inclination moons of the Jovian gravity to form stars and galaxies, and the heavier elements would be synthesized either within stars or during supernovae. planets. Planetesimals that have survived to the current day are valuable to scientists because they contain information about the The Big Bang is a well-tested scientific theory and is widely accepted within the scientific community. It offers a comprehensive explanation for a broad range of observed

phenomena. Since its conception, abundant evidence has been uncovered in support of the model. The core ideas of the Big Bang the expansion, the early hot state, the formation of helium, and the formation of galaxiesare derived from many observations that are independent from any cosmological model; these include the abundance of light elements, the cosmic microwave background, large scale structure, and the Hubble diagram for Type Ia supernovae. As the distance between galaxy clusters is increasing today, it can be inferred that everything was closer together in the past. This idea has been considered in detail back in time to extreme densities and temperatures, and large particle accelerators have been built to experiment in such conditions, resulting in further development of the model. On the other hand, these accelerators have limited capabilities to probe into such high energy regimes. There is little evidence regarding the absolute earliest instant of the expansion. Thus, the Big Bang theory cannot and does not provide any explanation for such an initial condition; rather, it describes and explains the general evolution of the universe going forward from that point on. Georges Lematre first proposed what would become the Big Bang theory in what he called his "hypothesis of the primeval atom." Over time, scientists would build on his initial ideas to form the modern synthesis. The framework for the Big Bang model relies on Albert Einstein's general relativity and on simplifying assumptions such as homogeneity and isotropy of space. The governing equations had been formulated by Alexander Friedmann. In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that the distances to far away galaxies were generally proportional to their redshifts an idea originally suggested by Lematre in 1927. Hubble's observation was taken to indicate that all very distant galaxies and clusters have an apparent velocity directly away from our vantage point: the farther away, the higher the apparent velocity. While the scientific community was once divided between supporters of the Big Bang and those of alternative cosmological models, most scientists became convinced that some version of the Big Bang scenario best fit observations after the discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation in 1964, and especially when its spectrum (i.e., the amount of radiation measured at each wavelength) was found to match that of thermal radiation from a black body. Since then, astrophysicists have formulated further hypotheses to account for some discrepancies that have arisen within the model.

2 And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. 3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. 6 And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. 7 And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so. 8 And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day. 9 And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. 10 And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good. 11 And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 13 And the evening and the morning were the third day. 14 And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years. 15 And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

Divene Theory

The Judeo-Christian creation story occurs at the very 16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars beginning of the Bible. According to this story the universe was also. created by God's command. These verses from the King James Version of the Bible also reflect other important Judeo-Christian traditions, including the sanctity of the Sabbath and the idea that 17 And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth. God created the human race in his own image. 18 And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-3 Genesis 1 1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 19 And the evening and the morning were the fourth day.

20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. 21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let fowl multiply in the earth. 23 And the evening and the morning were the fifth day. 24 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. 26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. 28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. 29 And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. 30 And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. 31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. Genesis 2 1 Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.

3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

The most contentious debates over evolution have involved religion. From Darwins day to the present, members of some religious faiths have perceived the scientific theory of evolution to be in direct and objectionable conflict with religious doctrine regarding the creation of the world. Most religious denominations, however, see no conflict between the scientific study of evolution and religious teachings about creation. Christian Fundamentalists and others who believe literally in the biblical story of creation choose to reject evolutionary theory because it contradicts the book of Genesis, which describes how God created the world and all its plant and animal life in six days. Many such people maintain that the Earth is relatively youngperhaps 6,000 to 8,000 years oldand that humans and all the worlds species have remained unchanged since their recent creation by a divine hand.

gravity on Earth. Water on the side of Earth that is closest to the Moon is pulled in the direction of the Moon, creating a bulge in the ocean. On the other side of Earth, the Moons gravity pulls Earth away from the water, producing a matching bulge. These bulges form high tides. Because the Earth rotates on its axis, every point on Earth (except the poles) travels through the two high tide zones and the two low tides zones each day. This is why there are two high tides and two low tides each day. Spring tides, which are especially strong, occur during new and full moonsevery two weekswhen Earth, the Moon, and the Sun are in alignment. Neap tides, which are weaker, occur during first and last quarter moons, when the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon form a right angle. Waves Wind causes waves in the ocean. As the wind blows over the surface of the ocean, it pushes on the water and transfers some of its energy to the water. The water gets energy from the wind because of the friction between air molecules and water molecules. It may seem that waves move forward or horizontally, but they do not. They move up and down. You can see this by watching a buoy in the water. It bobs up and down with waves rather than moving from side to side.

When the Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago... The ocean is not just where the land happens to be covered by water. The sea floor is geologically distinct from the continents. It is locked in a perpetual cycle of birth and destruction that shapes The following table lists the world's oceans and seas, according to the ocean and controls much of the geology and geological history area and average depth, including the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic of the continents. Geological processes that occur beneath the Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Arctic waters of the sea affect not only marine life, but dry land as well. Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Bering Sea, and more. The processes that mold ocean basins occur slowly, over tens and hundreds of millions of years. On this timescale, where a human Oceans cover more than 70% of Earths surface. About 97% of lifetime is but the blink of an eye, solid rocks flow like liquid, Earths water is contained in oceans and seas. The five oceans entire continents move across the face of the earth and mountains the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arcticare all grow from flat plains. To understand the sea floor, we must learn connected and form an enormous mass of water. Seas are smaller to adopt the unfamiliar point of view of geological time. Geology is bodies of salty water within the oceans. very important to marine biology. Habitats, or the places where organisms live, are directly shaped by geological processes. The The oceans are salty, which makes them unsuitable for drinking. form of coastlines; the depth of the water; whether the bottom is Most of the salt comes from minerals from rocks and soil that muddy, sandy, or rocky; and many other features of a marine have been washed from the land and carried into the oceans by habitat are determined by this geology. The geologic history of life rivers. The minerals are mostly chloride and sodium, which is also called Palentology . combine to make salt. Most of our table salt comes from the oceans. The presence of large amounts of liquid water makes our planet unique. Most other planets have very little water, and on The salinity, the amount of salt, varies in the oceans. Oceans in those that do, the water exists only as perpetually frozen ice or as warm, dry areas are more salty than the oceans in cold climates, vapor in the atmosphere. The earth, on the other hand, is very such as near the North and South Poles. Thats because ocean much a water planet. The ocean covers most of the globe and water in warmer areas evaporates quicker, leaving more salt plays a crucial role in regulating our climate and atmosphere. behind. The saltiest water in the world is in the Red Sea, which is Without water, life itself would be impossible. almost entirely surrounded by deserts. Our ocean covers 72% of the earth's surface. It is not distributed equally with respect to the Equator. About two-thirds Tides of the earth's land area is found in the Northern Hemisphere, which is only 61% ocean. About 80% of the Southern Hemisphere Tides, waves, and currents cause the oceans to move constantly. is ocean. A tide is the regular rise and fall of the sea level in oceans and other bodies of water. It is caused by the effect of the Moons Oceans and Seas

The ocean is traditionally classified into four large basins. The Pacific is the deepest and largest, almost as large as all the others combined. The Atlantic "Ocean" is a little larger than the Indian "Ocean", but the two are similar in average depth. The Arctic is the smallest and shallowest. Connected or marginal to the main ocean basins are various shallow seas, such as the Mediterranean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the South China Sea.

covered with water. The part of earth covered with water, the ocean, is covered because of the nature of the underlying rock.

Oceanic crustal rocks, which make up the sea floor, consists of minerals collectively called basalt that have a dark color. Most continental rocks are of general type called granite, which has a different mineral composition than basalt and is generally lighter in color. Ocean crust is denser than continental crust, though both Though we usually treat the oceans as four separate entities, they are less dense than the underlying mantle. The continents can be are actually interconnected. This can be seen most easily by thought of as thick blocks of crust "floating" on the mantle, much looking at a map of the world as seen from the South Pole. From as icebergs float on water. Oceanic crust floats on the mantle too, this view it is clear that the Pacific, the Atlantic and Indian oceans but because it is denser it doesn't float as high as continental are large branches of one vast ocean system. The connections crust. This is why the continents lie high and dry above sea level among the major basins allow seawater, materials, and some and oceanic crust lies below sea level and is covered by water. organisms to move from one "ocean" to another. Because the Oceanic crust and continental crust also differ in geological age. "oceans" are actually one great interconnected system, The oldest oceanic rocks are less 200 million years old, quite oceanographers often speak of a single world ocean. They also young by geological standards. Continental rocks, on the other refer to the continuous body of water that surrounds Antarctic as hand, can be very old, as old as 3.8 billion years...! the Southern Ocean. The earth and the rest of the solar system are thought to have originated about 4.5 billion years ago from a cloud or clouds of dust. This dust was debris remaining from a huge cosmic explosion called the big bang, which astrophysicists estimate occurred about 15 billion years ago. The dust particles collided with each other, merging into larger particles. These larger particles collided in turn, joining into pebble-sized rocks that collided to form larger rocks, and so on. The process continued, eventually building up the earth and other planets. So much heat was produced as the early earth formed that the planet was probably molten. This allowed materials to settle within the planet according to their density. Density is the weight, or more correctly, the mass, of a given volume of a substance. Obviously, a pound of styrofoam weighs more than an ounce of lead, but most people think of lead as "heavier" than styrofoam. This is because lead weighs more than styrofoam if equal volumes of the two are compared. In other words, lead is denser than styrofoam. The density of a substance is calculated by dividing its mass by its volume. If two substances are mixed, the denser material will tend to sink and the less dense will float. During the time that the young earth was molten, the densest material tended to flow toward the center of the planet, while lighter materials floated toward the surface. The light surface material cooled to make a thin crust. Eventually, the atmosphere and oceans began to form. If the earth had settled into orbit only slightly closer to the sun, the planet would have been so hot that all the water would have evaporated into the atmosphere. With an orbit only slightly farther from the sun, all the water would be perpetually frozen. Fortunately for us, our planet orbits the sun in a narrow zone in which liquid water can exist. Without liquid water, there would be no life on earth. The earth is composed of three main layers: the iron-rich core, the semiplastic mantle and the thin outer crust. The crust is the most familiar layer of earth. Compared to the deeper layers it is extremely thin, like a rigid skin floating on top of the mantle. The composition and characteristics of the crust differs greatly between the oceans and the continents. In the years after World War II, sonar allowed the first detailed surveys of large areas of the sea floor. These surveys resulted in the discovery of the mid-oceanic ridge system, a 40,000 mile continuous chain of volcanic submarine mountains and valleys that encircle the globe like the seams of a baseball. The mid-oceanic ridge system is the largest geological feature on the planet. At regular intervals the mid-ocean ridge is displaced to one side or the other by cracks in the earth's crust known as transform faults. Occasionally the submarine mountains of the ridge rise so high that they break the surface to form islands, such as Iceland and the Azores. The portion of the mid-ocean ridge in the Atlantic, known as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, runs right down the center of the Atlantic Ocean, closely following the curves of the opposing coastlines. The ridge forms an inverted Y in the Indian Ocean and runs up the eastern side of the Pacific. The main section of ridge in the eastern Pacific is called the East Pacific Rise. Surveys also revealed the existence of a system of deep depressions in the sea floor called trenches. Trenches are especially common in the Pacific. When the mid-ocean ridge system and trenches were discovered, geologists wanted to know how they were formed and began intensively studying them. They found that there's a great deal of geological activity around these features. Earthquakes are clustered at the ridges, for example, and volcanos are especially common near trenches. The characteristics of sea floor rocks are also related to the mid-oceanic ridges. Beginning in 1968, a deepsea drilling ship, the Glomar Challenger , obtained samples of the actual sea floor rock. It was found that the farther rocks are from the ridge crest the older they are. One of the most important findings came from the studying the magnetism of rocks on the sea floor. Bands of rock alternating between normal and reversed magnetism parallel the ridge.

It was the discovery of the magnetic anomalies on the sea floor, together with other evidence, that finally led to an understanding of plate tectonics. The earth surface is broken up into a number of plates. These plates, composed of the crust and the top parts of the mantle, make up the lithosphere. The plates are about 100 km thick. As new lithosphere is created, old The geological distinction between ocean and continents lithosphere is destroyed somewhere else. Otherwise, the earth is caused by the physical and chemical differences in the rocks would have to constantly expand to make room for the new themselves, rather than whether or not the rocks happen to be lithosphere. Lithosphere is destroyed at the trenches. A trench is

formed when two plates collide and one plate dips below the other and slides back down in to the mantle. This downwards movement of the plate into the mantle is called subduction. Because subduction occurs at the trenches, trenches are often called subduction zones. Subduction is the process that produces earthquakes and volcanoes, also underwater. The volcanoes may rise from the sea floor to create chains of volcanic islands.

explore ocean currents, ocean life, and the seafloor off their coastlines. The first scientific expedition to explore the worlds oceans and seafloor was the Challenger Expedition, from 1872 to 1876, on board the British three-masted warship HMS Challenger. But modern oceanography really took off less than 60 years ago, during World War II, when the U.S. Navy wanted to learn more about the oceans to gain fighting advantages, especially in submarine warfare. This section of Deeper Discovery will give you some background and history on the science of oceanography. It will show you how important early studies were and how far we have come since then in understanding the oceans and seafloor -- Earths inner space.

We now realize that the earth's surface has undergone dramatic alterations. The continents have been carried long distances by the moving sea floor, and the ocean basins have changed in size and shape. In fact, new oceans have been born. Knowledge of the process of plate tectonics has allowed scientists to reconstruct much of the history of these changes. Scientists have discovered, for example, that the continents were once united in a single supercontinent called Pangaea that began to break up about 180 million years ago. The continents have since moved to their Polynesian Seafarers present position. Seawater The characteristics of seawater are due both to the nature of pure water and to the materials dissolved in it. The solids dissolved in seawater come from two main sources. Some are produced by the chemical weathering of rocks on land and are carried to sea by rivers. Other materials come from the earth's interior. Most of these are released into the ocean at hydrothermal vents. Some are released into the atmosphere from volcanoes and enter the ocean in rain and snow. Seawater contains at least a little of almost everything, but most of the solutes or dissolved materials, are made up of a surprisingly small group of ions. In fact, only six ions compose over 98% of the solids in seawater. Sodium and chloride account for about 85% of the solids, which is why seawater tastes like table salt. The salinity of the water strongly affects the organisms that live in it. Most marine organisms, for instance, will die in fresh water. Even slight changes in salinity will harm some organisms. History of Oceanography Oceanography may be one of the newest fields of science, but its roots extend back several tens of thousands of years when people began to venture from their coastlines in rafts. These first seafaring explorers, navigators and oceanographers began to pay attention to the ocean in many ways. They observed waves, storms, tides, and currents that carried their rafts in certain directions at different times. They sought fish for food. They realized that although ocean water didnt look different from river water, it was salty and undrinkable. Their experiences and understanding of the oceans were passed down over thousands of years from generation to generation in myths and legends. But it wasnt until about 2,850 years ago (850 BC) that early naturalists and philosophers started trying to make sense of the enormous bodies of water they saw from land. Because people could see only endless ocean from the shoreline, they believed the world was flat. That didnt keep Columbus and others exploring the oceans in the late 1400s and early 1500s and finally discovering that the world is not flat, but round- a sphere whose surface is nearly 3/4-covered by oceans.

Masters of Ocean Currents

About 30,000 years ago, human cultures along the western coastline of the Pacific Ocean -- in the area between what is now Australia and China -- started to migrate eastward across the great expanse of the Pacific Ocean. We are not sure exactly why the migrations started, but tribal wars, disease epidemics, the search for food, or natural disasters such as large volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, may have been factors. Over about 25,000 years, these people, called the Polynesians, eventually colonized the islands of the south and western Pacific, from New Guinea in the west to Fiji and Samoa in the middle. Then they moved onward to Tahiti and finally Easter Island in the eastern south Pacific. The Polynesians colonized the Hawaiian Islands about 500 years ago. The Hawaiian Islands are among the worlds most remote island groups and were one of the last major island groups to be colonized by native cultures. How did the Polynesians manage to travel across thousands of miles of ocean without compasses, sextants, clocks, or other tools of modern navigation? Their migration was truly one of the great achievements of early seafaring cultures, and it marks the start of oceanographic observations by people who lived in harmony with the ocean. The Polynesians were very observant. They noted the directions that waves came from and how they affected or rocked their canoes. They had a keen sense of ocean currents and variations in bird and sea life in different places in the Pacific. They also were among the first people to use astronomical observations of the stars to help them navigate across the ocean. They made the earliest form of navigational or oceanographic map, called stick charts. These were made of pieces of bamboo or other wood that were tied together. The locations of islands were often marked with shells or knots, and curved pieces of wood represented the bending of ocean waves around the islands and the way waves rocked their canoes. Polynesians handed down their lore of the sea in both the oral and stick map traditions. The Mediterranean Sea

Modern oceanography began as a field of science only a Ancient Myths About the Oceans The people who lived around little less than 130 years ago, in the late 19th century, after the Mediterranean Sea began exploring this nearly landlocked sea Americans, British and Europeans launched a few expeditions to several thousand years ago. Sailors from Egypt, Phoenicia and

Crete mapped the regional coastlines to establish some of the earliest trading routes. Early Mediterranean civilizations, including the Greeks, have passed down many myths that include gods and goddesses who ruled over nature, such as Poseiden with his triton. Many Mediterranean legends, such as Jason and the Argonauts, also involved adventures on large and dangerous seas. Many of our earliest maps of the oceans and coastlines come from this region. These early mapmakers, or cartographers, were probably Mediterranean traders who made the maps to help them get back and forth to different cities on the Mediterranean coast.

About 2,900 years ago, the Greeks began to venture outside the Mediterranean, past the Straits of Gibraltar at the western end of the Mediterranean Sea. This narrow channel separates Europe from Africa, and the Mediterranean from the Atlantic Ocean. Just outside of the Straits of Gibraltar, early Greek Benjamin Franklin sailors noticed a strong current running from north to south. Because the sailors had only seen currents in rivers, they thought Discovering the Gulf Stream this great body of water on the other side of the Straits was a very big river. The Greek word for river was okeano, which is the Besides being a famous statesman and diplomat, Benjamin root of our word for ocean. Franklin was a well-known American scientist. He contributed to oceanography in the mid- to late 1700s by making and compiling Voyages of Exploration and Science good observations of ocean currents off the US East Coast. He was particularly interested in the Gulf Stream, a fast-moving The Age of Discovery current of warm surface water that sweeps up from Florida, along the continental slope off the US East Coast, and then bends About 650 years ago, European explorers turned to the sea to find eastward across the North Atlantic all the way to Europe. Franklin faster trade routes to cities in Asia and Europe. Prince Henry the was the first to refer to the Gulf Stream as a river in the ocean. Navigator of Portugal recognized the oceans importance to trade As Deputy Postmaster General of the American colonies, Franklin and commerce and he established a center of learning for the promoted using the Gulf Stream to speed up delivery of mail from marine sciences. You could think of it as the first oceanographic America to Europe, as well as to improve other commercial institution. Mariners came to the center in Sagres, Portugal, to shipping. learn about the oceans and currents and how to make maps. These early maps provided the basis for important expeditions. In the late 1400s, Cristopher Columbus became the first European to sail westward across the Atlantic Ocean and return home. In the early 1500s Ferdinand Magellan sailed all the way around, or circumnavigated, the globe. In the early 1700s, several European countries (mainly Spain, France and Britain) sought to expand their empires and discover new lands for raw materials, colonies or trade, and for spices from the East Indies, which they believed would help cure the Plague. They launched expeditions to survey faraway lands across the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, and in doing so also explored the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans. The Gulf Stream is not really a river in the ocean as Franklin thought. But the waters that make up the Gulf Stream are channeled into a certain direction and speed by many factorsincluding prevailing winds, the rotation of the planet, and colder currents around and below the Gulf Stream. This map of the Gulf Stream appears in the book by Benjamin Franklin and dates from 1769. The Gulf Stream is depicted as the dark gray swath that runs along the east coast of what is now the United States.

In 1728, John Harrison, a British cabinetmaker and inventor, started working on an important instrument to aid seafarers navigating across large areas of ocean, far away from land or coastlines. At the time, pendulum clocks kept time. Obviously, these clocks did not work well on a ship on the rolling ocean! In 1736, after years of work, Harrison invented a clock that used a spring instead of a pendulum. It was the first marine chronometer, an instrument that could give accurate time on a rolling ship. With it, sailors could figure out how far east or west they had gone from 0 Longitude, or the prime meridian, and what longitude they were sailing past. By 1761, Harrison had built four clocks, each better than the one before. The last clock was tested on a voyage between England and Jamaica, and it kept excellent time. It ran only about 5 seconds slow per day, and the ship steered a clear course to Jamaica, a true feat in those days.

One of the most famous voyages of discovery of this time began in 1768 when the HMS Endeavour left Portsmouth, England, under the command of Captain James Cook. Over 10 years Cook led three world-encircling expeditions and mapped many countries, including Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. He was an expert seaman, navigator and OCEAN GEOGRAPHY scientist who made keen observations wherever he went. He was also one of the first ship captains to recognize that a lack of Vitamin C in sailors diets (due mostly to a lack of fresh fruit) caused scurvy, a serious disease that killed many sailors in those There are 328,000,000 cubic miles of seawater on earth, times. Cook always sailed with lots of pickled cabbage, which he insisted that the sailors eat. Scurvy was never a problem on his covering approximately 71 percent of earth's surface. ships because the cabbage contained lots of Vitamin C.

The amount of water carried in the Gulf Stream is equal to almost 100 million cubic meters per second, which is nearly 100 times the combined flow of all the rivers on Earth! The speed of the Gulf Stream can be as high as 5 knots. Now you can see why ships heading north and eastward across the North Atlantic tried to stay in the current. It would nearly double their speed, so they could complete their voyages more quickly.

1,133 volcanic cones and sea mounts. Two or three could By volume, the ocean makes up 99 percent of the erupt at any moment. planet's living space- the largest space in our universe The highest tides in the world are at the Bay of Fundy, known to be inhabited by living organisms. which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. At About 97 percent of all water on earth is in our oceans, 2 some times of the year the difference between high and percent is frozen in our ice caps and glaciers, less than low tide is 53 feet 6 inches, the equivalent of a three0.3 percent is carried in the atmosphere in the form of story building. clouds, rain, and snow. All of our inland seas, lakes and The oceans cover 71 percent of the Earth's surface and channels combined add up to only 0.02 percent of earth's water. contain 97 percent of the Earth's water. Less than 1 percent is fresh water, and 2-3 percent is contained in The Antarctic Ice Sheet is almost twice the size of the glaciers and ice caps. United States. Earth's longest mountain range is the Mid-Ocean Ridge, Earth's ocean is made up of more than 20 seas and four which winds around the globe from the Arctic Ocean to oceans: Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Pacific, the oldest the Atlantic, skirting Africa, Asia and Australia, and and the largest. crossing the Pacific to the west coast of North America. It The ocean accounts for 0.022 percent of the total weight is four times longer than the Andes, Rockies, and of earth, weighing an estimated Himalayas combined. 1,450,000,000,000,000,000 short tons (1 short ton = Canada has the longest coastline of any country, at 2,000lbs). 56,453 miles or around 15 percent of the world's 372,384 The average worldwide ocean depth is about 12,460 feet miles of coastlines. (3,798 meters), with the deepest point of 36,198 feet A slow cascade of water beneath the Denmark Strait (11,033 meters) which is located in the Mariana Trench sinks 2.2 miles, more than 3.5 times farther than in the Pacific Ocean; the tallest mountain, Mount Everest, Venezuela's Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on land. measures 29,022 feet (8,846 meters). If Mount Everest El Nio, a periodic shift of warm waters from the western were to be placed into the Mariana Trench it would be covered with sea water more than a mile (1.5 km ) deep. to eastern Pacific Ocean, has dramatic effects on climate worldwide. In 1982-1983, the most severe El Nio of the Although Mount Everest is often called the tallest century created droughts, crop failures, fires, torrential mountain on Earth, Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on rains, floods, landslides--total damages were estimated the island of Hawaii, is actually taller. Only 13,796 feet of at more than $8 billion. Mauna Kea stands above sea level, yet it is 33,465 feet At the deepest point in the ocean the pressure is more tall if measured from the ocean floor to its summit than 8 tons per square inch, or the equivalent of one A slow cascade of water beneath the Denmark Strait person trying to support 50 jumbo jets. sinks 2.2 miles; more than 3.5 times farther than At 39 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of almost all Venezuela's Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on land. of the deep ocean is only a few degrees above freezing. Earth's largest continuous mountain chain is the Mid If mined, all the gold suspended in the world's seawater Ocean Ridge, stretching for 40,000 miles, rising above the surface of the water in a few places, such as Iceland. would give each person on Earth 9 pounds. It is four times longer than the Andes, Rocky Mountains, In 1958, the United States Coast Guard icebreaker East and Himalayas combined. Wind measured the world's tallest known iceberg off Ninety percent of all volcanic activity occurs in the western Greenland. At 550 feet it was only 5 feet 6 oceans. In 1993, scientists located the largest known inches shorter than the Washington Monument in concentration of active volcanoes on the sea floor in the Washington, D.C. South Pacific. This area, the size of New York State, Although Mount Everest, at 29,028 feet, is often called hosts 1,133 volcanic cones and seamounts. Two or three the tallest mountain on Earth, Mauna Kea, an inactive could erupt at any moment. volcano on the island of Hawaii, is actually taller. Only The highest tides in the world are at the Bay of Fundy, 13,796 feet of Mauna Kea stands above sea level, yet it which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. At is 33,465 feet tall if measured from the ocean floor to its some times of the year the difference between high and summit. low tide is 53 feet 6 inches, the equivalent of a five-story If the ocean's total salt content were dried, it would building. cover the continents to a depth of 5 feet. Canada has the longest coastline of any country, at Undersea earthquakes and other disturbances cause 56,453 miles or around 15 percent of the world's 372,384 tsunamis, or great waves. The largest recorded tsunami miles of coastlines. measured 210 feet above sea level when it reached In 1958, the United States Coast Guard icebreaker East Siberia's Kamchatka Peninsula in 1737. Wind measured the world's tallest known iceberg off The Antarctic Ice Sheet is almost twice the size of the western Greenland. At 550 feet it was only 5 feet 6 United States. inches shorter than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. THE WEATHER MAKER The volume of the Earth's moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean. The ocean determines climate and plays a critical role in Ninety percent of all volcanic activity occurs in the Earth's habitability. Most of the solar energy that reaches oceans. In 1993, scientists located the largest known the Earth is stored in the ocean and helps power oceanic concentration of active volcanoes on the sea floor in the and atmospheric circulation. In this manner, the ocean South Pacific. This area, the size of New York state, hosts

plays an important role in influencing the weather and Over 90 percent of trade among countries is carried by climatic patterns of the Earth. ships. Two hundred million years of recorded geologic and The ocean is a source of mineral deposits, including oil biologic history of the Earth are found in the ocean's and gas. floor. By studying ocean sediments, scientists can learn About half the communications between nations are via about ancient climate, how it changed, and how better to underwater cables. predict our own climate. Many nations' battles have been fought on or under the The top 10 feet of the ocean hold the same amount of water. thermal energy as exists in the entire atmosphere. Knowing oceanography can enhance the conditions for El NiZo, a periodic shift of warm waters from the western trade, communications, and defense. to eastern Pacific Ocean, has dramatic effects on climate worldwide. In 1997-1998, the most severe El NiZo of the OUR MISUSE OF THE OCEAN century created droughts, crop failures, fires, torrential rains, floods, landslides--total damages were estimated In 1993, United States beaches were closed or swimmers at more than $90 billion (United Nations) advised not to get in the water over 2,400 times because Undersea earthquakes and other disturbances cause of sewage contamination. The problem is even worse tsunamis, or great waves. The largest recorded tsunami than the numbers indicate: there are no federal measured 210 feet above sea level when it reached requirements for notifying the public when water-quality Siberia's Kamchatka Peninsula in 1737. standards are violated, and some coastal states don't monitor water at beaches. The largest amount of oil entering the ocean through human activity is the 363 million gallons that come from OUR USE OF THE OCEAN industrial waste and automobiles. When people pour their used motor oil into the ground or into a septic system, it eventually seeps into the groundwater. Substances from marine plants and animals are used in Coupled with industrial waste discharged into rivers, oil scores of products, including medicine, ice cream, becomes part of the run-off from waterways that empty toothpaste, fertilizers, gasoline, cosmetics, and livestock into the ocean. All of this oil impacts ocean ecosystems. feed. The Coast Guard estimates that for United States waters, Examine the foods in your own kitchen and you may find sewage treatment plants discharge twice as much oil the terms "alginate" and "carrageenan" on the labels. each year as tanker spills. Carrageenans are compounds extracted from red algae that are used to stabilize and jell foods and Animals may perish when the oil slicks their fur or downy pharmaceuticals. Brown algae contain alginates that feathers, decreasing the surface area so they are no make foods thicker and creamier and add to shelf life. longer insulated from the cold water. Or the animals may They are used to prevent ice crystals from forming in ice ingest the oil, then become sick or unable to reproduce cream. Alginates and carrageenans are often used in properly. puddings, milkshakes, and ice cream. The commonly Each year industrial, household cleaning, gardening, and used color additive beta-carotene often comes from automotive products are added as water pollutants. green algae as well as many vegetables, including About 65,000 chemicals are used commercially in the carrots. Many people don't realize that kelp is harvested United States today, with about 1,000 new ones added like wheat; a substance called algin is extracted and is each year. Only about 300 have been extensively tested used in lipstick, toothpaste and ice cream. You might be for toxicity. wearing kelp right now, since it is used in the dyes that It is estimated that medical waste that washed up onto color our clothes. Long Island and New Jersey beaches in the summer of Oils from the orange roughy, Hoplostethus atlanticus, a 1988 cost as much as $3 billion in lost revenue from deep-sea fish from New Zealand, are used in making tourism and recreation. shampoo. The most frequently found item in beach cleanups are The remains of diatoms, algae with hard shells, are used pieces of plastic. The next four items are plastic foam, in making pet litter, cosmetics, pool filters and tooth plastic utensils, pieces of glass and cigarette butts. polish. Lost or discarded fishing nets keep on fishing. Called The ocean holds immense quantities of protein. The total "ghost nets," this gear entangles fish, marine mammals, annual commercial harvest from the seas exceeds 85 and sea birds, preventing them from feeding or causing million metric tons. Fish is the biggest source of wild or them to drown. As many as 20,000 northern fur seals domestic protein in the world. may die each year from becoming entangled in netting. Since the architecture and chemistry of coral are very The Mississippi River drains more than 40 percent of the close to human bone, coral has been used to replace continental United States, carrying excess nutrients into bone grafts in helping human bones to heal quickly and the Gulf of Mexico. Decay of the resulting algae blooms cleanly. consumes oxygen, kills shellfish and displaces fish in a Horseshoe crabs have existed in essentially the same 4,000 square mile bottom area off the coast of Louisiana form for the past 135 million years. Their blood provides and Texas, called the "dead zone." a valuable test for the toxins that cause septic shock, The zebra mussel is the most famous unwanted ship which previously led to half of all hospital-acquired stowaway, but the animals and plants being transported infections and one-fifth of all hospital deaths. to new areas through ship ballast water is a problem


around the world. Poisonous algae, cholera, and little more than a year and can grow to a maximum of countless plants and animals have invaded harbor waters 200 feet. and disrupted ecological balance. Hydrothermal vents, fractures in the sea floor that spew There are 109 countries with coral reefs. Reefs in 90 of sulphur compounds, support the only complex ecosystem them are being damaged by cruise ship anchors and known to run on chemicals, rather than energy from the sewage, by tourists breaking off chunks of coral, and by sun. commercial harvesting for sale to tourists. One study of a cruise ship anchor dropped in a coral reef for one day found an area about half the size of a football field completely destroyed, and half again as OCEAN PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY much covered by rubble that died later. It was estimated that coral recovery would take fifty years. At the deepest point in the ocean the pressure is more Egypt's High Aswan Dam, built in the 1960s to provide than 8 tons per square inch, or the equivalent of one electricity and irrigation water, diverts up to 95 percent person trying to hold-up 50 jumbo jets against the force of the Nile River's normal flow. It has since trapped more of gravity. than one million tons of nutrient rich silt and caused a The major ions in seawater are Na+, Mg2+, Ca2+, K+, Sr2+, sharp decline in Mediterranean sardine and shrimp Cl-, SO42- (sulfate), HCO3-(bicarbonate), Br-, B(OH)3 (boric fisheries. acid), and F-. Together, they account for almost all of the The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization salt in seawater. estimates that of the seventeen major fisheries areas in At 39 degrees Fahrenheit (3.89 degrees Celsius), the the world, four are depleted and the other thirteen are temperature of almost all of the deep ocean is only a few either fished to capacity or overfished. degrees above freezing. Commercial marine fisheries in the United States discard If extracted, it is estimated that all the gold suspended in up to 20 billion pounds of non-target fish each year-the world's seawater would give each person on Earth 9 twice the catch of desired commercial and recreational pounds. fishing combined. Worldwide this adds up to a staggering If the ocean's total salt content were dried, it would 60 billion pounds each year!! cover the continents to a depth of 500 feet. With only 4.3 percent of the world population, Americans When nitrogen and phosphorus from sources such as use about one-third of the world's processed mineral resources and about one-fourth of the world's nonfertilizer, sewage and detergents enter coastal waters, renewable energy sources, like oil and coal. oxygen depletion occurs. One gram of nitrogen can cause enough organic growth to require 15 grams of oxygen to decompose the resulting vegetation. A single ABOUT OCEAN LIFE gram of phosphorus will deplete about one hundred grams of oxygen. Life began in the seas 3.1 billion to 3.4 billion years ago. Land dwellers appeared 400 million years ago; a Sea relatively recent point in the geologic time line. The blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus, is the largest known animal ever to have lived on sea or land. They A sea is a large body of saline water that may be connected with can reach over 110 feet and weigh almost 200 tons an ocean or may be a large saline lake that, like the Caspian Sea, (more than the combined weight of 50 adult elephants). lacks a natural outlet. Sometimes the terms sea and ocean are The blue whale's blood vessels are so broad that a full- used synonymously. grown trout could swim through them, and the heart is the size of a small car. The oarfish, Regalecus glesne, is the longest bony fish in the world. With its snakelike body, sporting a magnificent red fin along its 50-foot length horselike face and blue gills, it accounts for many sea-serpent sightings Green turtles can migrate more than 1,400 miles to lay their eggs. Bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, are among the largest and fastest marine fish. An adult may weigh 1,500 pounds and swim up to 55 miles per hour. Penguins "fly" underwater at up to 55 miles per hour. A group of herring is called a seige. A group of jelly fish is called a smack. Many fish can change sex during the course of their lives. Others, especially rare deep-sea fish, have both male and female sex organs. Giant kelp, the fastest growing plant in the ocean, can grow up to 2 feet per day. Under optimal conditions, giant kelp can grow to a length of more than 100 feet in The Arctic (belonging to the Arctic Ocean) and Antarctic (Southern Ocean) seas are two seas that freeze in winter (this occurs below the freezing point of pure waterat about 1.8 C (28.8 F). Frozen salt water is transformed into "sea ice". Humans have navigated the seas since antiquity. The Ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians navigated the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, while Hannu was the first sea explorer for whom substantial information exists in the modern era. Hannu sailed along the Red Sea, eventually reaching theArabian Peninsula and the African Coast around 2750 BC.[3] In the 1st millennium BC, Phoenicians and Greeks established colonies throughout the Mediterranean, including outlets like the Black Sea. The seas along the eastern and southern Asian coast were used by the Arabs and Chinese for navigation, while the North Sea and the Baltic Sea were known to Europeans during Roman times. Other seas were not used for navigation in the ancient era, as they had yet to be discovered.

The White Sea was known to Novgorodians and used for Others navigation since not later that the 13th century.[4] Pomors, living at the White Sea coast, also sailed to Svalbard, but the Barents Argentine Sea Denmark Strait Labrador Sea Sea got its name later, due to the 16th century Dutch expedition Bay of Biscay English Channel Marmara Sea headed by Willem Barentsz. Other seas in Arctic Russia were Bay of Campeche Gulf of Guinea North Sea explored in connection with the search of the Northern Sea Route. Bay of Fundy Gulf of Maine Norwegian Sea In the first half of the 17th century the Kara Sea was already used Black Sea Gulf of Mexico Sargasso Sea on a regular basis for navigation between the city Caribbean Sea Gulf of St. Sea of Azov of Arkhangelsk and the mouth of the Ob River and upstream to Celtic Sea Lawrence Sea of the the city of Mangazeya (Mangazeya Trade Route) and to the mouth Chesapeake Bay Gulf of Venezuela Hebrides of the Yenisei River (Yenisey Trade Route).[5] In 1648, Semyon Davis Strait Irish Sea Wadden Sea Dezhnev led an expedition down the Kolyma River, around the cape now known as Cape Dezhnev, and to the mouth of the Anadyr River.[6] By the end of the 17th century, the seas along what is now the Arctic and Pacific coasts of Russia were Arctic Ocean already discovered, although the systematic description and reliable mapping of the coast line only began in the 18th century, Amundsen Gulf Greenland Sea Laptev Sea and the geographical locations of all islands were not established Baffin Bay Hudson Bay Lincoln Sea until the first half of the 20th century, when aviation was Barents Sea James Bay Prince Gustav Adolf Sea employed. Beaufort Sea Kara Sea Pechora Sea Chukchi Sea Kara Strait White Sea East Siberian Sea Southern Ocean Amundsen Sea Bass Strait Bellingshausen Sea Cooperation Sea Cosmonauts Sea Davis Sea D'Urville Sea Drake Passage Great Australian Bight Gulf St Vincent King Haakon VII Sea Lazarev Sea Mawson Sea Riiser-Larsen Sea Ross Sea Scotia Sea Somov Sea Spencer Gulf Weddell Sea

Indian Ocean Andaman Sea Arabian Sea Bay of Bengal Gulf of Aden List of the Ocean and Seas Gulf of Oman Laccadive Sea Mozambique Channel Persian Gulf Red Sea Timor Sea

Atlantic Ocean

Baltic Sea Archipelago Sea Bay of Bothnia Bothnian Sea Mediterranean Sea Aegean Sea Mirtoon Sea Sea of Crete Thracian Sea Adriatic Sea Alboran Sea Balearic Sea Catalan Sea Cilician Sea Gulf of Sidra Ionian Sea Levantine Sea Libyan Sea Ligurian Sea Sea of Sardinia Sea of Sicily Tyrrhenian Sea Central Baltic Sea Gulf of Bothnia Gulf of Finland Gulf of Riga Oresund Strait Sea of land

Pacific Ocean Arafura Sea Banda Sea Bering Sea Bismarck Sea Bohai Sea Bohol Sea (also known as the Mindanao Sea) Camotes Sea Celebes Sea Ceram Sea Chilean Sea Sea of Chilo East China Sea Flores Sea Gulf of Alaska Gulf of California (also known as the Sea of Cortz) Gulf of Carpentaria Gulf of Thailand Halmahera Sea Java Sea Koro Sea Molucca Sea Philippine Sea Savu Sea Sea of Japan Sea of Okhotsk Seto Inland Sea Sibuyan Sea Solomon Sea South China Sea Sulu Sea Tasman Sea Visayan Sea Yellow Sea

Coral Sea

Salish Sea

known as groups and clusters, which, in turn usually form larger superclusters. At the largest scale, these associations are generally arranged into sheets and filaments, which are surrounded by immense voids.

Landlocked seas Some large inland lakes, usually brackish, are called "seas". Aral Sea Caspian Sea Dead Sea Great Salt Lake Salton Sea NGC 4414, a typical spiral galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, is about 55,000 light-years in diameter and approximately 60 million light-years away from Earth. Etymology

The word galaxy derives from the Greek term for our own galaxy, galaxias (, "milky one"), or kyklos ("circle") galaktikos ("milky")[12] for its appearance in the sky. In Greek mythology, Galaxy Zeus places his son born by a mortal woman, the infant Heracles, on Hera's breast while she is asleep so that the baby will drink her A galaxy is a massive, gravitationally bound system consisting of divine milk and will thus become immortal. Hera wakes up while stars, stellar remnants, an interstellar medium of gas and dust, breastfeeding and then realizes she is nursing an unknown baby: and an important but poorly understood component called dark she pushes the baby away and a jet of her milk sprays the night matter. The word galaxy is derived from the Greek galaxias sky, producing the faint band of light known as the Milky Way. (), literally "milky", a reference to the Milky Way galaxy. Examples of galaxies range from dwarfs with as few as ten million (107) stars to giants with a hundred trillion (1014) stars, each In the astronomical literature, the capitalized word 'Galaxy' is used to refer to our galaxy, the Milky Way, to distinguish it from the orbiting their galaxy's own center of mass. billions of other galaxies. The English term Milky Way can be traced back to a story by Chaucer: Galaxies contain varying amounts of star systems, star clusters and types of interstellar clouds. In between these objects is a sparse interstellar medium of gas, dust, and cosmic rays. Dark "See yonder, lo, the Galaxy matter appears to account for around 90% of the mass of most galaxies. Observational data suggests that supermassive black Which men clepeth the Milky Wey, For hit is whyt." holes may exist at the center of many, if not all, galaxies. They are thought to be the primary driver of active galactic nuclei found Geoffrey Chaucer. The House of Fame, c. 1380. at the core of some galaxies. The Milky Way galaxy appears to harbor at least one such object. When William Herschel constructed his catalog of deep sky objects in 1786, he used the name spiral nebula for certain objects such Galaxies have been historically categorized according to as M31. These would later be recognized as immense their apparent shape; usually referred to as their visual conglomerations of stars, when the true distance to these objects morphology. A common form is the elliptical galaxy, which has an began to be appreciated, and they would be termed island ellipse-shaped light universes. However, the word Universe was understood to mean profile. Spiral galaxies the entirety of existence, so this expression fell into disuse and are disk-shaped with the objects instead became known as galaxies. dusty, curving arms. Those with irregular or unusual shapes are Observation history known as irregular galaxies and typically Milky Way originate from disruption by the Galactic Center of the Milky Way gravitational pull of neighboring galaxies. Such interactions between nearby galaxies, The Greek philosopher Democritus (450370 BC) which may ultimately result in a merging, sometimes induce proposed that the bright band on the night sky known as the Milky significantly increased incidents of star formation leading to Way might consist of distant stars.[16] Aristotle (384322 BC), starburst galaxies. Smaller galaxies lacking a coherent structure however, believed the Milky Way to be caused by "the ignition of are referred to as irregular galaxies. the fiery exhalation of some stars which were large, numerous and close together" and that the "ignition takes place in the upper There are probably more than 170 billion (1.7 1011) part of the atmosphere, in the region of the world which is galaxies in the observable universe. Most are 1,000 to continuous with the heavenly motions." The Neoplatonist 100,000 parsecs in diameter and usually separated by distances philosopher Olympiodorus the Younger (c. 495570 AD) was on the order of millions of parsecs (or megaparsecs). Intergalactic scientifically critical of this view, arguing that if the Milky Way space (the space between galaxies) is filled with a tenuous gas of were sublunary it should appear different at different times and an average density less than one atom per cubic meter. The places on the Earth, and that it should have parallax, which it majority of galaxies are organized into a hierarchy of associations

does not. In his view, the Milky Way was celestial. This idea would be influential later in the Islamic world.

In the 10th century, the Persian astronomer, Azophi, made the earliest recorded observation of the Andromeda Galaxy, describing it as a "small cloud". The Andromeda Galaxy was independently According to Mohani Mohamed, the Arabian astronomer rediscovered by Simon Marius in 1612. Al-Sufi also identified the Alhazen (9651037) made the first attempt at observing and Large Magellanic Cloud, which is visible from Yemen, though not measuring the Milky Way's parallax, and he thus "determined that from Isfahan; it was not seen by Europeans until Magellan's because the Milky Way had no parallax, it was very remote from voyage in the 16th century. These were the first galaxies other the Earth and did not belong to the atmosphere." The Persian than the Milky Way to be observed from Earth. Al-Sufi published astronomer al-Brn (9731048) proposed the Milky Way galaxy his findings in his Book of Fixed Stars in 964. to be "a collection of countless fragments of the nature of nebulous stars." The Andalusian astronomer Ibn Bajjah In 1750 Thomas Wright, in his An original theory or new ("Avempace", d. 1138) proposed that the Milky Way was made up hypothesis of the Universe, speculated (correctly) that Milky Way of many stars that almost touch one another and appear to be a was a flattened disk of stars, and that some of the nebulae visible continuous image due to the effect of refraction from sublunary in the night sky might be separate Milky Ways. In 1755, Immanuel material, citing his observation of the conjunction of Jupiter and Kant introduced the term "island universe" for these distant Mars as evidence of this occurring when two objects are near. In nebulae. the 14th century, the Syrian-born Ibn Qayyim proposed the Milky Way galaxy to be "a myriad of tiny stars packed together in the Toward the end of the 18th century, Charles Messier compiled a sphere of the fixed stars". catalog containing the 109 brightest nebulae (celestial objects Actual proof of the Milky Way consisting of many stars came in 1610 when the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei used a telescope to study the Milky Way and discovered that it is composed of a huge number of faint stars. In 1750 the English astronomer Thomas Wright, in his An original theory or new hypothesis of the Universe, speculated (correctly) that the galaxy might be a rotating body of a huge number of stars held together by gravitational forces, akin to the solar system but on a much larger scale. The resulting disk of stars can be seen as a band on the sky from our perspective inside the disk. In a treatise in 1755, Immanuel Kant elaborated on Wright's idea about the structure of the Milky Way. with a nebulous appearance), later followed by a larger catalog of 5,000 nebulae assembled by William Herschel. In 1845, Lord Rosse constructed a new telescope and was able to distinguish between elliptical and spiral nebulae. He also managed to make out individual point sources in some of these nebulae, lending credence to Kant's earlier conjecture.

Sketch of Messier 51 by Lord Rosse in 1845, later known as the Whirlpool Galaxy

The shape of the Milky Way as deduced from star counts by William Herschel in 1785; the solar system was assumed to be near the center.
The first attempt to describe the shape of the Milky Way and the position of the Sun in it was carried out by William Herschel in 1785 by carefully counting the number of stars in different regions of the sky. He produced a diagram of the shape of the galaxy with the solar system close to the center. Using a refined approach, Kapteyn in 1920 arrived at the picture of a small (diameter about 15 kiloparsecs) ellipsoid galaxy with the Sun close to the center. A different method by Harlow Shapley based on the cataloguing of globular clusters led to a radically different picture: a flat disk with diameter approximately 70 kiloparsecs and the Sun far from the center. Both analyses failed to take into account the absorption of light by interstellar dust present in the galactic plane, but after Robert Julius Trumpler quantified this effect in 1930 by studying open clusters, the present picture of our galaxy, the Milky Way, emerged. Distinction from other nebulae

In 1912, Vesto Slipher made spectrographic studies of the brightest spiral nebulae to determine if they were made from chemicals that would be expected in a planetary system. However, Slipher discovered that the spiral nebulae had high red shifts, indicating that they were moving away at rate higher than the Milky Way's escape velocity. Thus they were not gravitationally bound to the Milky Way, and were unlikely to be a part of the galaxy. In 1917, Heber Curtis had observed a nova S Andromedae within the "Great Andromeda Nebula" (as the Andromeda Galaxy, Messier object M31, was known). Searching the photographic record, he found 11 more novae. Curtis noticed that these novae were, on average, 10 magnitudes fainter than those that occurred within our galaxy. As a result he was able to come up with a distance estimate of 150,000 parsecs. He became a proponent of the so-called "island universes" hypothesis, which holds that spiral nebulae are actually independent galaxies. In 1920 the so-called Great Debate took place between Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, concerning the nature of the Milky Way, spiral nebulae, and the dimensions of the Universe. To support his claim that the Great Andromeda Nebula was an external galaxy, Curtis noted the appearance of dark lanes resembling the dust clouds in the Milky Way, as well as the significant Doppler shift.

The matter was conclusively settled in the early 1920s. In 1922, the Estonian astronomer Ernst pik gave a distance determination which supported the theory that the Andromeda Nebula is indeed a distant extra-galactic object. Using the new 100 inch Mt. Wilson telescope, Edwin Hubble was able to resolve the outer parts of some spiral nebulae as collections of individual stars and identified some Cepheid variables, thus allowing him to estimate the distance to the nebulae: they were far too distant to be part of the Milky Way. In 1936 Hubble produced a classification system for galaxies that is used to this day, the Hubble sequence.


The Hubble classification system rates elliptical galaxies on the basis of their ellipticity, ranging from E0, being nearly spherical, up to E7, which is highly elongated. These galaxies have an ellipsoidal profile, giving them an elliptical appearance regardless of the viewing angle. Their appearance shows little structure and Modern research they typically have relatively little interstellar matter. Consequently these galaxies also have a low portion of open clusters and a In 1944, Hendrik van de Hulst predicted microwave radiation at a reduced rate of new star formation. Instead they are dominated wavelength of 21 cm resulting from interstellar atomic hydrogen by generally older, more evolved stars that are orbiting the gas; this radiation was observed in 1951. The radiation allowed common center of gravity in random directions. The stars contain for much improved study of the Milky Way Galaxy, since it is not low abundances of heavy elements because star formation ceases affected by dust absorption and its Doppler shift can be used to after the initial burst. In this sense they have some similarity to map the motion of the gas in the Galaxy. These observations led the much smaller globular clusters. to the postulation of a rotating bar structure in the center of the Galaxy. With improved radio telescopes, hydrogen gas could also The largest galaxies are giant ellipticals. Many elliptical be traced in other galaxies. galaxies are believed to form due to the interaction of galaxies, resulting in a collision and merger. They can grow to enormous In the 1970s it was discovered in Vera Rubin's study of the sizes (compared to spiral galaxies, for example), and giant rotation speed of gas in galaxies that the total visible mass (from elliptical galaxies are often found near the core of large galaxy the stars and gas) does not properly account for the speed of the clusters. Starburst galaxies are the result of such a galactic rotating gas. This galaxy rotation problem is thought to be collision that can result in the formation of an elliptical galaxy. explained by the presence of large quantities of unseen dark matter. Spirals Beginning in the 1990s, the Hubble Space Telescope yielded improved observations. Among other things, it established that the missing dark matter in our galaxy cannot solely consist of inherently faint and small stars. The Hubble Deep Field, an extremely long exposure of a relatively empty part of the sky, provided evidence that there are about 125 billion (1.251011) galaxies in the universe. Improved technology in detecting the spectra invisible to humans (radio telescopes, infrared cameras, and x-ray telescopes) allow detection of other galaxies that are not detected by Hubble. Particularly, galaxy surveys in the Zone of Avoidance (the region of the sky blocked by the Milky Way) have revealed a number of new galaxies. Types and morphology Galaxies come in three main types: ellipticals, spirals, and irregulars. A slightly more extensive description of galaxy types based on their appearance is given by the Hubble sequence. Since the Hubble sequence is entirely based upon visual morphological type, it may miss certain important characteristics of galaxies such as star formation rate (in starburst galaxies) and activity in the core (in active galaxies). Spiral galaxies consist of a rotating disk of stars and interstellar medium, along with a central bulge of generally older stars. Extending outward from the bulge are relatively bright arms. In the Hubble classification scheme, spiral galaxies are listed as type S, followed by a letter (a, b, or c) that indicates the degree of tightness of the spiral arms and the size of the central bulge. An Sa galaxy has tightly wound, poorly defined arms and possesses a relatively large core region. At the other extreme, an Sc galaxy has open, well-defined arms and a small core region. A galaxy with poorly defined arms is sometimes referred to as a flocculent spiral galaxy; in contrast to the grand design spiral galaxy that has prominent and well-defined spiral arms. In spiral galaxies, the spiral arms do have the shape of approximate logarithmic spirals, a pattern that can be theoretically shown to result from a disturbance in a uniformly rotating mass of stars. Like the stars, the spiral arms rotate around the center, but they do so with constant angular velocity. The spiral arms are thought to be areas of high-density matter, or "density waves". As stars move through an arm, the space velocity of each stellar system is modified by the gravitational force of the higher density. (The velocity returns to normal after the stars depart on the other side of the arm.) This effect is akin to a "wave" of slowdowns moving along a highway full of moving cars. The arms are visible because the high density facilitates star formation, and therefore they harbor many bright and young stars. A majority of spiral galaxies have a linear, bar-shaped band of stars that extends outward to either side of the core, then merges into the spiral arm structure. In the Hubble classification scheme, these are designated by an SB, followed by a lower-case letter (a, b or c) that indicates the form of the spiral arms (in the same manner as the categorization of normal spiral galaxies). Bars

Types of galaxies according to the Hubble classification scheme. An E indicates a type of elliptical galaxy; an S is a spiral; and SB is a barred-spiral galaxy.

are thought to be temporary structures that can occur as a result of a density wave radiating outward from the core, or else due to a tidal interaction with another galaxy. Many barred spiral galaxies are active, possibly as a result of gas being channeled into the core along the arms. Our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is a large disk-shaped barred-spiral galaxy about 30 kiloparsecs in diameter and a kiloparsec thick. It contains about two hundred billion (210 11) stars and has a total mass of about six hundred billion (610 11) times the mass of the Sun.

and may have been disrupted. Nearby examples of (dwarf) irregular galaxies include the Magellanic Clouds.

NGC 5866, an example of a lenticular galaxy

Dwarfs Despite the prominence of large elliptical and spiral galaxies, most galaxies in the universe appear to be dwarf galaxies. These galaxies are relatively small when compared with other galactic formations, being about one hundredth the size of the Milky Way, containing only a few billion stars. Ultra-compact dwarf galaxies have recently been discovered that are only 100 parsecs across. Many dwarf galaxies may orbit a single larger galaxy; the Milky Way has at least a dozen such satellites, with an estimated 300 500 yet to be discovered. Dwarf galaxies may also be classified as elliptical, spiral, or irregular. Since small dwarf ellipticals bear little resemblance to large ellipticals, they are often called dwarf spheroidal galaxies instead. A study of 27 Milky Way neighbors found that in all dwarf galaxies, the central mass is approximately 10 million solar masses, regardless of whether the galaxy has thousands or millions of stars. This has led to the suggestion that galaxies are largely formed by dark matter, and that the minimum size may indicate a form of warm dark matter incapable of gravitational coalescence on a smaller scale. Interacting The average separation between galaxies within a cluster is a little over an order of magnitude larger than their diameter. Hence interactions between these galaxies are relatively frequent, and play an important role in their evolution. Near misses between galaxies result in warping distortions due to tidal interactions, and may cause some exchange of gas and dust. The Antennae Galaxies are undergoing a collision that will result in their eventual merger. Collisions occur when two galaxies pass directly through each other and have sufficient relative momentum not to merge. The stars within these interacting galaxies will typically pass straight through without colliding. However, the gas and dust within the two forms will interact. This can trigger bursts of star formation as the interstellar medium becomes disrupted and compressed. A collision can severely distort the shape of one or both galaxies, forming bars, rings or tail-like structures. At the extreme of interactions are galactic mergers. In this case the relative momentum of the two galaxies is insufficient to allow the galaxies to pass through each other. Instead, they gradually merge to form a single, larger galaxy. Mergers can result in significant changes to morphology, as compared to the original galaxies. In the case where one of the galaxies is much more massive, however, the result is known as cannibalism. In this case the larger galaxy will remain relatively undisturbed by the merger, while the smaller galaxy is torn apart. The Milky Way galaxy is currently in the process of cannibalizing the Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy and the Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy.

Other morphologies

Hoag's Object, an example of a ring galaxy

Peculiar galaxies are galactic formations that develop unusual properties due to tidal interactions with other galaxies. An example of this is the ring galaxy, which possesses a ring-like structure of stars and interstellar medium surrounding a bare core. A ring galaxy is thought to occur when a smaller galaxy passes through the core of a spiral galaxy. Such an event may have affected the Andromeda Galaxy, as it displays a multi-ringlike structure when viewed in infrared radiation. A lenticular galaxy is an intermediate form that has properties of both elliptical and spiral galaxies. These are categorized as Hubble type S0, and they possess ill-defined spiral arms with an elliptical halo of stars. (Barred lenticular galaxies receive Hubble classification SB0.) In addition to the classifications mentioned above, there are a number of galaxies that can not be readily classified into an elliptical or spiral morphology. These are categorized as irregular galaxies. An Irr-I galaxy has some structure but does not align cleanly with the Hubble classification scheme. Irr-II galaxies do not possess any structure that resembles a Hubble classification,


Formation and evolution

M82, the archetype starburst galaxy, has experienced a 10-fold The study of galactic formation and evolution attempts to answer increase[69] in star formation rate as compared to a "normal" questions regarding how galaxies formed and their galaxy. evolutionary path over the history of the universe. Some theories in this field have now become widely accepted, but it is still an active area in astrophysics. Stars are created within galaxies from a reserve of cold gas that forms into giant molecular clouds. Some galaxies have been observed to form stars at an exceptional rate, known as a starburst. Should they continue to do so, however, they would consume their reserve of gas in a time frame lower than the lifespan of the galaxy. Hence starburst activity usually lasts for only about ten million years, a relatively brief period in the history of a galaxy. Starburst galaxies were more common during the early history of the universe, and, at present, still contribute an estimated 15% to the total star production rate. Starburst galaxies are characterized by dusty concentrations of gas and the appearance of newly formed stars, including massive stars that ionize the surrounding clouds to create H II regions. These massive stars produce supernova explosions, resulting in expanding remnants that interact powerfully with the surrounding gas. These outbursts trigger a chain reaction of star building that spreads throughout the gaseous region. Only when the available gas is nearly consumed or dispersed does the starburst activity come to an end.

Formation Current cosmological models of the early Universe are based on the Big Bang theory. About 300,000 years after this event, atoms of hydrogen and helium began to form, in an event called recombination. Nearly all the hydrogen was neutral (non-ionized) and readily absorbed light, and no stars had yet formed. As a result this period has been called the "Dark Ages". It was from density fluctuations (or anisotropic irregularities) in this primordial matter that larger structures began to appear. As a result, masses of baryonic matter started to condense within cold dark matter halos. These primordial structures would eventually become the galaxies we see today.

Evidence for the early appearance of galaxies was found in 2006, when it was discovered that the galaxy IOK-1 has an unusually Starbursts are often associated with merging or interacting high redshift of 6.96, corresponding to just 750 million years after galaxies. The prototype example of such a starburst-forming the Big Bang and making it the most distant and primordial galaxy interaction is M82, which experienced a close encounter with the yet seen. While some scientists have claimed other objects (such larger M81. Irregular galaxies often exhibit spaced knots of as Abell 1835 IR1916) have higher redshifts (and therefore are seen in an earlier stage of the Universe's evolution), IOK-1's age starburst activity. and composition have been more reliably established. The existence of such early protogalaxies suggests that they must Active nucleus have grown in the so-called "Dark Ages". A portion of the galaxies we can observe are classified as active. That is, a significant portion of the total energy output from the galaxy is emitted by a source other than the stars, dust and interstellar medium. The standard model for an active galactic nucleus is based upon an accretion disc that forms around a supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the core region. The radiation from an active galactic nucleus results from the gravitational energy of matter as it falls toward the black hole from the disc. In about 10% of these objects, a diametrically opposed pair of energetic jets ejects particles from the core at velocities close to the speed of light. The mechanism for producing these jets is still not well understood. Active galaxies that emit high-energy radiation in the form of x-rays are classified as Seyfert galaxies or quasars, depending on the luminosity. Blazars are believed to be an active galaxy with a relativistic jet that is pointed in the direction of the Earth. A radio galaxy emits radio frequencies from relativistic jets. A unified model of these types of active galaxies explains their differences based on the viewing angle of the observer. Possibly related to active galactic nuclei (as well as starburst regions) are low-ionization nuclear emission-line regions (LINERs). The emission from LINER-type galaxies is dominated by weakly ionized elements. Approximately one-third of nearby galaxies are classified as containing LINER nuclei.

Artist's impression of a young galaxy accreting material. Credit ESO/L. Calada The detailed process by which such early galaxy formation occurred is a major open question in astronomy. Theories could be divided into two categories: top-down and bottom-up. In top-down theories (such as the EggenLyndenBellSandage [ELS] model), protogalaxies form in a large-scale simultaneous collapse lasting about one hundred million years. In bottom-up theories (such as the Searle-Zinn [SZ] model), small structures such as globular clusters form first, and then a number of such bodies accrete to form a larger galaxy. Once protogalaxies began to form and contract, the first halo stars (called Population III stars) appeared within them. These were composed almost entirely of hydrogen and helium, and may have been massive. If so, these huge stars would have quickly consumed their supply of fuel and became supernovae, releasing heavy elements into the interstellar medium. This first generation of stars re-ionized the surrounding neutral hydrogen, creating expanding bubbles of space through which light could readily travel. Evolution

Within a billion years of a galaxy's formation, key structures begin to appear. Globular clusters, the central supermassive black hole, and a galactic bulge of metal-poor Population II stars form. The creation of a supermassive black hole appears to play a key role in actively regulating the growth of galaxies by limiting the total amount of additional matter added. During this early epoch, galaxies undergo a major burst of star formation. During the following two billion years, the accumulated matter settles into a galactic disc. A galaxy will continue to absorb infalling material from high-velocity clouds and dwarf galaxies throughout its life. This matter is mostly hydrogen and helium. The cycle of stellar birth and death slowly increases the abundance of heavy elements, eventually allowing the formation of planets.

The current era of star formation is expected to continue for up to one hundred billion years, and then the "stellar age" will wind down after about ten trillion to one hundred trillion years (10131014 years), as the smallest, longest-lived stars in our astrosphere, tiny red dwarfs, begin to fade. At the end of the stellar age, galaxies will be composed of compact objects: brown dwarfs, white dwarfs that are cooling or cold ("black dwarfs"), neutron stars, and black holes. Eventually, as a result of gravitational relaxation, all stars will either fall into central supermassive black holes or be flung into intergalactic space as a result of collisions. Larger-scale structures Seyfert's Sextet is an example of a compact galaxy group.

Deep sky surveys show that galaxies are often found in relatively close association with other galaxies. Solitary galaxies that have Hubble eXtreme Deep Field (XDF) not significantly interacted with another galaxy of comparable mass during the past billion years are relatively scarce. Only about The evolution of galaxies can be significantly affected by 5% of the galaxies surveyed have been found to be truly isolated; interactions and collisions. Mergers of galaxies were common however, these isolated formations may have interacted and even during the early epoch, and the majority of galaxies were peculiar merged with other galaxies in the past, and may still be orbited by in morphology. Given the distances between the stars, the great smaller, satellite galaxies. Isolated galaxies can produce stars at a majority of stellar systems in colliding galaxies will be unaffected. higher rate than normal, as their gas is not being stripped by However, gravitational stripping of the interstellar gas and dust other nearby galaxies. that makes up the spiral arms produces a long train of stars known as tidal tails. Examples of these formations can be seen in On the largest scale, the universe is continually NGC 4676 or the Antennae Galaxies. expanding, resulting in an average increase in the separation between individual galaxies (see Hubble's law). Associations of As an example of such an interaction, the Milky Way galaxy and galaxies can overcome this expansion on a local scale through the nearby Andromeda Galaxy are moving toward each other at their mutual gravitational attraction. These associations formed about 130 km/s, anddepending upon the lateral movements early in the universe, as clumps of dark matter pulled their the two may collide in about five to six billion years. Although the respective galaxies together. Nearby groups later merged to form Milky Way has never collided with a galaxy as large as Andromeda larger-scale clusters. This on-going merger process (as well as an before, evidence of past influx of infalling gas) heats the inter-galactic gas within a cluster collisions of the Milky Way to very high temperatures, reaching 30100 megakelvins. About with smaller dwarf 7080% of the mass in a cluster is in the form of dark matter, with 1030% consisting of this heated gas and the remaining few galaxies is increasing. percent of the matter in the form of galaxies. Such large-scale interactions are rare. As time passes, mergers of two systems of equal size become less common. Most bright galaxies have remained fundamentally unchanged for the last few billion years, and the net rate of star formation probably also peaked approximately ten billion years ago. Future trends At present, most star formation occurs in smaller galaxies where cool gas is not so depleted. Spiral galaxies, like the Milky Way, only produce new generations of stars as long as they have dense molecular clouds of interstellar hydrogen in their spiral arms. Elliptical galaxies are already largely devoid of this gas, and so form no new stars. The supply of star-forming material is finite; once stars have converted the available supply of hydrogen into heavier elements, new star formation will come to an end. Most galaxies in the universe are gravitationally bound to a number of other galaxies. These form a fractal-like hierarchy of clustered structures, with the smallest such associations being termed groups. A group of galaxies is the most common type of galactic cluster, and these formations contain a majority of the galaxies (as well as most of the baryonic mass) in the universe. To remain gravitationally bound to such a group, each member galaxy must have a sufficiently low velocity to prevent it from escaping (see Virial theorem). If there is insufficient kinetic energy, however, the group may evolve into a smaller number of galaxies through mergers. Larger structures containing many thousands of galaxies packed into an area a few megaparsecs across are called clusters. Clusters of galaxies are often dominated by a single giant elliptical galaxy, known as the brightest cluster galaxy, which, over time, tidally destroys its satellite galaxies and adds their mass to its own. Superclusters contain tens of thousands of galaxies, which are found in clusters, groups and sometimes individually. At the supercluster scale, galaxies are arranged into sheets and

filaments surrounding vast empty voids. Above this scale, the M82 universe appears to be isotropic and homogeneous. The Milky Way galaxy is a member of an association M87 named the Local Group, a relatively small group of galaxies that has a diameter of approximately one megaparsec. The Milky Way and the Andromeda Galaxy are the two brightest galaxies within the group; many of the other member galaxies are dwarf M102 companions of these two galaxies. The Local Group itself is a part of a cloud-like structure within the Virgo Supercluster, a large, extended structure of groups and clusters of galaxies centered on NGC 2770 the Virgo Cluster. Multi-wavelength observation A visual light image of Andromeda Galaxy shows the emission of ordinary stars and the light reflected by dust. After galaxies external to the Milky Way were found to exist, initial observations were made mostly using visible light. The peak radiation of most stars lies here, so the observation of the stars that form galaxies has been a major component of optical astronomy. It is also a favorable portion of the spectrum for observing ionized H II regions, and for examining the distribution of dusty arms.
NGC 3314

Ursa Major Virgo

Also called the Cigar Galaxy. This is the prototype starburst galaxy. This is the central galaxy of the Virgo Cluster, the central cluster of the Local Supercluster[1] (Ursa This galaxy cannot be definitively identified, with the most likely candidate being NGC 5866, and a good chance of it being a misidentification of M101. Other candidates have also been suggested. NGC 2770 is referred to as the Supernova Factory due to three recent supernovae occurring within it. This is a pair of spiral galaxies, superimposed on another, at separate and distinct ranges, unrelated to each other. It is a chance visual alignment. one two and rare

Draco Major)


NGC 3314a Hydra NGC 3314b

ESO 137-001

Triangulum Australe

The dust present in the interstellar medium is opaque to visual light. It is more transparent to far-infrared, which can be used to observe the interior regions of giant molecular clouds and galactic cores in great detail. Infrared is also used to observe distant, red-shifted galaxies that were formed much earlier in the history of the universe. Water vapor and carbon dioxide absorb a number of useful portions of the infrared spectrum, so high- Comet Galaxy altitude or space-based telescopes are used for infrared astronomy. The first non-visual study of galaxies, particularly active galaxies, was made using radio frequencies. The atmosphere is nearly transparent to radio between 5 MHz and 30 GHz. (The ionosphere blocks signals below this range.) Large radio interferometers have been used to map the active jets emitted from active nuclei. Radio telescopes can also be used to observe neutral hydrogen (via 21 cm radiation), including, potentially, the non-ionized matter in the early universe that later collapsed to form galaxies.

Lying in the galaxy cluster Abell 3627, this galaxy is being stripped of its gas by the pressure of the intracluster medium (ICM), due to its high speed traversal through the cluster, and is leaving a high density tail with large amounts of star formation. The tail features the largest amount of star formation outside of a galaxy seen so far. The galaxy has the appearance of a comet, with the head being the galaxy, and a tail of gas and stars. Lying in galaxy cluster Abell 2667, this spiral galaxy is being tidally stripped of stars and gas through its high speed traversal through the cluster, having the appearance of a comet.


List of named galaxies This is a list of galaxies that are well known by something other than an entry in a catalog or list, or a set of coordinates, or a systematic designation.
Galaxy Constellation Origin of name This is the galaxy that contains Earth, it is named after the nebulosity in the night sky that marks the densest concentration of stars of our galaxy in the sky, which appears to blur together into a faint glow, called the Milky Way. Commonly just Andromeda, this, called the Andromeda Galaxy, Andromeda Nebula, Great Andromeda Nebula, Andromeda Spiral Nebula, and such, has been traditionally called Andromeda, after the constellation in Notes

Ultraviolet and X-ray telescopes can observe highly energetic galactic phenomena. An ultraviolet flare was observed when a star in a distant galaxy was torn apart from the tidal Milky Way Sagittarius (centre) forces of a black hole. The distribution of hot gas in galactic Galaxy clusters can be mapped by X-rays. The existence of super-massive black holes at the cores of galaxies was confirmed through X-ray astronomy. This ultraviolet image of Andromeda shows blue regions Andromeda Andromeda containing young, massive stars.

List of galaxies
Galaxy Constellation Notes

which it lies. Bode's Galaxy Cartwheel Galaxy Ursa Major Named for Johann Elert Bode who discovered this galaxy in 1774. Its visual appearance is similar to that of a spoked cartwheel. Appears similar in shape to a cigar.

environment that is high in altitude, during clear and stable weather.

Naked-eye Galaxies Galaxy Apparent Magnitude Distance Constellation Notes This is our galaxy, most things visible to the naked-eye in the sky are part of it, including the Milky Way composing the Zone of Avoidance.


Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major Comet Galaxy


Milky Way -26.74 This galaxy is named The comet effect is Galaxy Sun) after its unusual caused by tidal appearance, looking like stripping by its galaxy a comet. cluster, Abell 2667.


Sagittarius (centre)

Hoag's Object

Large Magellanic Cloud

It is of the subtype Hoag-type galaxy, Large This is named after Art and may in fact be a Magellanic 0.9 Serpens Caput Hoag, who discovered polar-ring galaxy with Cloud this ring galaxy. the ring in the plane of rotation of the central object. Small Magellanic This is the fourth 2.7 largest galaxy in the Cloud (NGC292) Local Group, and forms a pair with the Named after Ferdinand Andromeda Dorado/Mensa SMC, and from recent Magellan Galaxy research, may not be 3.4 (M31, part of the Milky Way NGC224) system of satellites at all. This forms a pair with the LMC, and from Named after Ferdinand recent research, may Magellan not be part of the Omega Milky Way system of Centauri satellites at all. (NGC5139)

160 kly (50 kpc)

Visible only from the southern hemisphere. It is also Dorado/Mensa the brightest patch of nebulosity in the sky.

200 kly (60 kpc)


Visible only from the southern hemisphere. Once called the Great Andromeda Nebula, it is situated in the Andromeda constellation. Once thought to be a star and later a globular cluster, Omega Centauri was confirmed as having a black hole at its center and thus its status has been changed to being a dwarf galaxy as of April 2010. Being a diffuse object, its visibility is strongly affected by even small amounts of light pollution, ranging from easily visible in direct vision in truly dark skies to a difficult averted vision object in rural/suburban skies. Centaurus A has been spotted with the naked eye by Stephen James O'Meara Highly experienced amateur astronomers may be able to see Messier 81 under exceptional observing conditions. According to Brian A. Skiff, the naked-eye visibility of this galaxy is discussed in an old Sky & Telescope letter or note from the late

2.5 Mly Andromeda (780 kpc)

Small Magellanic Cloud



18 kly (5.5 kpc)


Mayall's Object

Ursa Major

Pinwheel Galaxy Sombrero Galaxy Sunflower Galaxy Tadpole Galaxy

Ursa Major Virgo Canes Venatici

Also called VV 32 and Arp 148, this is a very peculiar looking object, and is likely to This is named after be not one galaxy, Nicholas U. Mayall, of but two galaxies the Lick Observatory, undergoing a [6][7][8] who discovered it. collision. Event in Triangulum images is a spindle Galaxy shape and a ring 5.7 (M33, shape. NGC598) Similar in appearance to a pinwheel (toy). Similar in appearance to a sombrero. Centaurus A 7.8 (NGC 5128)

2.9 Mly Triangulum (900 kpc)

Whirlpool Galaxy

This shape resulted The name comes from from tidal interaction Draco the resemblance of the that drew out a long galaxy to a tadpole. tidal tail. Bode's Galaxy From the whirlpool (M81, appearance this Canes Venatici NGC3031) gravitationally disturbed galaxy exhibits.

13.7 0.9 Mly Centaurus (4.2 0.3 Mpc)


12 Mly Ursa Major (3.6 Mpc)

List of naked-eye galaxies This is a list of galaxies that are visible to the naked-eye, for at the very least, keen-eyed observers in a very dark-sky

Sculptor 8.0 Galaxy (NGC 253)

11.4 Sculptor 0.7 Mly (3.5 0.2 Mpc)

1960s or early 1970s. Messier 83 8.2 (NGC 5236) 14.7 Mly Hydra (4.5 Mpc) M83 has reportedly First been seen with the superluminal naked eye. galactic jet 3C279 Virgo 1971

a globular cluster. The jet is emitted by a quasar


First superluminal Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical Galaxy is not listed, because it jet from a III Zw 2 is not discernible as being a separate galaxy in the sky. Seyfert First galaxy Galaxy Constellation Date Notes Edwin Hubble determined the distance to the Andromeda Nebula, and found that it could not be part of the Milky Way, so defining that Milky Way was not the entire & 1923 universe, and making the two separate objects, and two galaxies. However, the first galaxies seen would be all of the naked-eye galaxies, but they were not identified as such until the 20th century. Of several items, then called radio stars, Cygnus A was identified 1952 with a distant galaxy, being the first of many radio stars to become a radio galaxy. 3C273 was the first quasar with its redshift determined, and by some considered the 1962 first quasar. 3C48 was 1960 the first "radio-star" with an unreadable spectrum, and by others considered the first quasar. The characteristics of Seyfert galaxies were first observed in M77 in 1908 1908, however, Seyferts were defined as a class in 1943. Malin 1 was the first verified LSB galaxy. LSB galaxies had been first theorized in 1976. spiral Whirlpool Galaxy



Galactic Firsts First

Lord William Parsons, Earl of Rosse discovered Canes Venatici 1845 the first spiral nebula from observing the M51 white nebula.[28]

Prototypes This is a list of galaxies that became prototypes for a class of galaxies.
Prototype Galaxies Class BL object Galaxy BL Lac Lacertae (BL Lac) Hoag's Object Malin 1 Constellation Date Notes This AGN was originally catalogued as a variable star, and "stars" of its type are considered BL Lac objects. This is the prototype Hoagtype Ring Galaxy

First galaxy

Milky Way Sagittarius Galaxy & (centre) Andromeda Andromeda Galaxy


Hoag-type Galaxy Giant galaxy LSB

Serpens Caput Coma Berenices 1986

First galaxy


Cygnus A


FR II radio galaxy (doubleCygnus A lobed radio galaxy)



First quasar

3C273 3C48

Virgo Triangulum

First Seyfert NGC 1068 Cetus galaxy (M77)

First low surface Malin 1 brightness galaxy First galaxy radio Cygnus A

Coma Berenices 1986


Cygnus Centaurus

1951 Omega Centauri is Title Galaxy Data Constellation considered the core of a disrupted dwarf Least separation spheroidal galaxy between binary 4C 24 ly Perseus cannibalized by the central black 37.11 (7.3 pc) Milky Way, and was holes originally catalogued in 1677 as a nebula. It is currently catalogued as Notes OJ 287 has an inferred pair with a 12 year orbital period, and thus would be much closer than 4C 37.11's pair.

First Omega discovered Centauri object, later identified to be a cannibalized galaxy

Title Galaxy Major Constellation Distance Notes starburst galaxy

(M82, Arp 337/APG 337, 3C 231, Ursa Major A) z=

Closest Canis neighbouring Dwarf galaxy

Canis Major

Discovered in Most distant 2003, a satellite of starburst 0.025 Mly the Milky Way, galaxy slowly being cannibalized by it. With an estimated [edit] Brightness and power distance of about 13.2 billion lightGalaxy Data years (comoving Title distance), it is Apparently Baby Boom announced as the brightest galaxy Galaxy oldest and farthest Apparently Apparent astronomical faintest galaxy magnitude object known. First identified Intrinsically quasar, this is the brightest galaxy most commonly accepted nearest Botes Intrinsically Galaxy quasar. faintest galaxy dSph) Discovered in Highest surface 2007. brightness galaxy Absolute magnitude Dwarf Absolute (Boo magnitude -6.75

Most distant UDFj-39546284 Fornax galaxy

Notes Starburst galaxy located in the very distant universe.


Closest quasar 3C 273



Markarian 231 is the most luminous nearby galaxy (~590 Mly; apmag 13.8). This does not include dark galaxies.

Most distant CFHQS J2329Pisces quasar 0301 Closest galaxy radio Centaurus A (NGC 5128, Centaurus PKS 1322-427)

z=6.43 13.7 Mly z=5.2

Most distant TN J0924-2201 Hydra radio galaxy

Lowest surface brightness Andromeda IX galaxy This is closest galaxy. closest galaxy 4151. This galaxy has high also the Visually brightest Large Magellanic Apparent surface brightness Seyfert 2 galaxy Cloud magnitude 0.6 combined with high The apparent brightness. Seyfert 1 This galaxy has low surface is NGC Visually faintest brightness combined with galaxy low apparent brightness.

Closest Circinus Galaxy Circinus Seyfert galaxy

13 Mly

Most distant Seyfert galaxy Markarian 421 (Mrk 421, Mkn Closest blazar 421, PKS Ursa Major 1101+384, LEDA 33452) Most distant Q0906+6930 blazar Ursa Major



This is a BL Lac object. This is a flat spectrum radioloud quasar type blazar.


Markarian 421 (Mkn 421, Mrk Closest BL Lac 421, PKS Ursa Major object 1101+384, LEDA 33452) Most distant BL Lac object Closest LINER Most distant LINER Closest LIRG Most LIRG distant

z=0.030 Title z= Least galaxy massive Galaxy Willman 1 Mass ~500,000 MSun Notes

Most massive galaxy z=

Messier 87 (M87, 61012 MSun NGC 4486, Virgo A) 1.041012 MSun The preceding most massive spiral was UGC 12591

Most massive spiral ISOHDFS 27 galaxy Least massive galaxy with globular Andromeda I cluster(s)

z= IC 1127 (Arp Serpens Caput z=0.018 220, APG 220) z= Cigar Galaxy Ursa Major 3.2 Mpc

Closest ULIRG Most distant ULIRG Closest

Title Galaxy Size Notes

Most expansive galaxy Least expansive galaxy

IC 1101

5-6 million lightyears

Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical 1994 2003 Galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud The LMC takes up more of the sky than Small any other galaxy, due to its nearness to Magellanic us. Cloud

0.081 Mly

This is the upper bound, as it is antiquity 1994 0.163 Mly nearest galaxy observable with the naked-eye. This was the first intergalactic distance measured. In 1913, Ejnar Hertzsprung measures the distance to SMC using Cepheid variables. In 1914, he did it for LMC.


Visually largest galaxy

Large Magellanic Cloud

650 550 This was the first galaxy NOTE: The Milky Way Galaxy, our Andromeda arcmin 1923 determined to be not part of galaxy, cannot be measured, as we Galaxy the Milky Way. reside inside it. However, if only counting the Milky Way, that bright Mly represents millions of light-years, a measure of distance. path in the sky, it would be by far the largest.

Visually smallest galaxy

Many distant galaxies are unresolvable, and cannot have their angular size determined.

Distances are measured from Earth, with Earth being at zero.

Closest galaxies

Omega Centauri does not appear on this list because is not currently considered a galaxy, per se, it is considered a former galaxy, and all that remains of one that was cannibalized by the Milky Way.

Farthest galaxies
5 Closest Galaxies Rank Galaxy 1 2 3 4 5 6 Milky Way Galaxy Omega Centauri Canis Major Dwarf Virgo Stellar Stream Distance 0 0.0183 Mly 0.025 Mly 0.030 Mly Notes This is our galaxy, we are Most Remote Galaxies by Type part of it. Title Galaxy Most remote galaxy Most remote normal galaxy UDFj-39546284 Date Distance Notes 2011 z=10.3

Sagittarius Dwarf Elliptical 0.081 Mly Galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud 0.163 Mly


2010 z=8.55 This is the undisputed most remote quasar of any type, and the first with a redshift beyond 7. Further information: List of quasars

Mly represents millions of light-years, a measure of distance.

Distances are measured from Earth, with Earth being at zero. Most remote quasar

ULAS J1120+0641

2011 z=7.085

Nearest Galaxies by Type Title Nearest galaxy Galaxy Milky Way Major Major Date Distance Notes This is our galaxy always 0 2003 2003 0.025 Mly 0.025 Mly First identified as a separate galaxy in 1923

Nearest galaxy to Canis our own Dwarf Nearest galaxy dwarf Canis Dwarf

Most distant nonquasar SMG granddesign spiral galaxy

Baby Boom Galaxy (EQ 2008 z=4.547 J100054+023435)


2012 z=2.18

Nearest large Andromeda galaxy to our Galaxy own Nearest galaxy Galaxy Canis Dwarf Major giant Centaurus A

always 2.54 Mly 12 Mly

z represents redshift, a measure of recessional velocity and inferred distance due to cosmological expansion Date 2011 2010 2011 Distance z=10.3 z=8.55 Notes This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. This was the

Most Remote Galaxy Record-holders Galaxy UDFj-39546284 UDFy-38135539

Nearest Neighbouring Galaxy Title-holder Date 2003 Distance Notes 0.025 Mly

remotest object known at time of discovery. It exceeded the distance of IOK-1 and GRB 090423 This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. In 2009, gamma ray burst GRB 090423 was discovered at z=8.2, CL 1358+62 G1 taking the title of CL 1358+62 G2 most distant object. The next galaxy to hold the title also succeeded GRB 090423, that being UDFy-38135539.

discovery. This was the first object found beyond redshift 5. These were the remotest objects known at the time of discovery. The pair of galaxies were found lensed by galaxy cluster CL1358+62 (z=0.33). This was the first time since 1964 that something other than a quasar held the record for being the most distant object in the universe. It exceeded the mark set by quasar PC 1247-3406 at z=4.897


2006 2010



1997 1998


SDF J132522.3+273 2005 2006 520


SDF J132418.3+271 2003 2005 455



2002 2003



1999 2002


HDF 4-473.0 RD1 (0140+326 RD1)

1998 1999 1998

z=5.60 z=5.34

This was the remotest object known at time of discovery. From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe were held by a succession of quasars.[66] That list is available at list of quasars. This was the remotest object This is a radio known at time of galaxy. At the time discovery. of its discovery, quasar PC 1247This was the 3406 at z=4.73, remotest object discovered in 1991 known at time of was the most discovery. The remote object galaxy is lensed by 8C 1435+63 1994 1997 z=4.25 known. This was the galaxy cluster Abell last radio galaxy to 370. This was the hold the title of most first galaxy, as distant galaxy. This opposed to quasar, was the first galaxy, found to exceed as opposed to redshift 6. It quasar, that was exceeded the found beyond redshift of quasar redshift 4. SDSSp J103027.10+052455 This is a radio .0 of z=6.28 galaxy. At the time of its discovery, This was the quasar PC remotest object 1158+4635, known at time of discovered in 1989, discovery. In 2000, was the most the quasar SDSSp 4C 41.17 1990 1994 z=3.792 remote object J104433.04known, at z=4.73 In 012502.2 was 1991, quasar PC discovered at 1247-3406, became z=5.82, becoming the most remote the most remote object known, at object in the z=4.897 universe known. This was followed by 1 Jy 0902+343 (GB6 1988 1990 z=3.395 This is a radio another quasar, B0902+3419, B2 galaxy. At the time SDSSp 0902+34) of discovery, quasar J103027.10+052455 Q0051-279 at .0 in 2001, the first z=4.43, discovered object exceeding in 1987, was the redshift 6, at z=6.28 most remote object known. In 1989, This was the quasar PC remotest object 1158+4635 was known at the time of discovered at discovery. z=4.73, making it This was the the most remote remotest object object known. This known at time of was the first galaxy

discovered above redshift 3. It was also the first galaxy found above redshift 2. This is a radio galaxy. At the time, 3C 295 the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982. 1960 z=0.461

3C 256

1984 1988


3C 241



3C 324

1983 1984


This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in LEDA 25177 1982. 1951 1960 (MCG+01-23-008) This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar PKS 2000-330, at z=3.78, found in 1982. This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote LEDA 51975 1936 object was quasar (MCG+05-34-069) OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. In 1982, quasar PKS 2000-330 at z=3.78 became the most remote object. This is a radio 20221 galaxy. At the time, LEDA 1932 the most remote (MCG+06-16-021) object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, 1931 1932 found in 1974. BCG of WMH This is a radio Christie's Leo Cluster galaxy. At the time, 1930 1931 the most remote BCG of Baede's Ursa object was quasar Major Cluster OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. NGC 4860 1929 1930 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974. NGC 7619 This is a radio galaxy. At the time, the most remote object was quasar OQ172, at z=3.53, found in 1974.

This is a radio galaxy. This was the remotest object known at time of discovery of its redshift. This was the last non-quasar to hold the title of most distant object known until 1997. In 1964, quasar 3C 147 became the most distant object in the universe known.

This galaxy lies in the Hydra Supercluster. It is located at B1950.0 z=0.2 08h 55m 4s +03 21 (V=61000 km/ and is the BCG of s) the fainter Hydra Cluster Cl 0855+0321 (ACO 732). The brightest cluster galaxy of the Bootes cluster (ACO 1930), an elliptical galaxy at B1950.0 14h 30m 6s z=0.13 +31 46 apparent (V=39000 km/ magnitude 17.8, was s) found by Milton L. Humason in 1936 to have a 40,000 km/s recessional redshift velocity. z=0.075 This is the BCG of (V=23000 km/ the Gemini Cluster s) (ACO 568) and was located at B1950.0 07h 05m 0s +35 04 z= (V=19700 km/ s) z= (V=11700 km/ s) z=0.026 (V=7800 km/s ) Using redshift measurements, NGC 7619 was the highest at the time of measurement. At the time of announcement, it was not yet accepted as a z=0.012 general guide to (V=3779 km/s distance, however, ) later in the year, Edwin Hubble described redshift in relation to distance, leading to a seachange, and having this being accepted as an inferred distance.

3C 65

1982 1983


3C 368



3C 252

1981 1982


3C 6.1

1979 -


3C 318

1976 -



3C 411

1975 -


From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the universe were held by a succession of quasars. That list is available at list of quasars.

NGC 584 (Dreyer 1921 1929 nebula 584)

At the time, nebula had yet to be accepted as independent Cloud z=0.006 galaxies. However, (V=1800 km/s in 1923, galaxies ) were generally recognized as external to the Milky Way. This was the second galaxy whose redshift was determined; the first being Andromeda which is approaching us and thus cannot have its redshift used to infer distance. Both were z=0.004 measured by Vesto (V=1180 km/s Melvin Slipher. At ) this time, nebula had yet to be accepted as independent galaxies. NGC 4594 was originally measured as 1000 km/s, then refined to 1100, and then to 1180 in 1916.

intergalactic distance measured. In 1913, Ejnar Hertzsprung measures the distance to SMC using Cepheid variables. z represents redshift, a measure of recessional velocity and inferred distance due to cosmological expansion quasars and other AGN are not included on this list, since they are only galactic cores, unless the host galaxy was observed when it was most distant

M104 (NGC 4594)

1913 1921

A1689-zD1, discovered in 2008, with z=7.6, does not appear on this list because it has not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift. Abell 68 c1 and Abell 2219 c1, discovered in 2007, with z=9, do not appear on this list because they have not been confirmed. IOK4 and IOK5, discovered in 2007, with z=7, do not appear on this list because they have not been confirmed with a spectroscopic redshift. Abell 1835 IR1916, discovered in 2004, with z=10.0, does not appear on this list because its claimed redshift is disputed. Some follow-up observations have failed to find the object at all. STIS 123627+621755, discovered in 1999, with z=6.68, does not appear on this list because its redshift was based on an erroneous interpretation of an oxygen emission line as a hydrogen emission line. BR1202-0725 LAE, discovered in 1998 at z=5.64 does not appear on the list because it was not definitively pinned. BR1202-0725 (QSO 1202-07) refers to a quasar that the Lyman alpha emitting galaxy is near. The quasar itself lies at z=4.6947 BR2237-0607 LA1 and BR2237-0607 LA2 were found at z=4.55 while investigating around the quasar BR22370607 in 1996. Neither of these appear on the list because they were not definitively pinned down at the time. The quasar itself lies at z=4.558 Two absorption dropouts in the spectrum of quasar BR 1202-07 (QSO 1202-0725, BRI 1202-0725, BRI1202-07) were found, one in early 1996, another later in 1996. Neither of these appear on the list because they were not definitively pinned down at the time. The early one was at z=4.38, the later one at z=4.687, the quasar itself lies at z=4.695 In 1986, a gravitationally lensed galaxy forming a blue arc was found lensed by galaxy cluster CL 2224-02 (C12224 in some references). However, its redshift was

antiquity - 20th century This is the lower antiquit bound, as it is y remotest galaxy 1913 observable with the (based naked-eye. It is 12 on million light-years redshift 11.8 Mly (z=away. Redshift ) 0.10) cannot be used to infer distance, antiquit because it's moving y toward us faster 1930 than cosmological (based expansion. on Cephei ds) Using the pre-1950s Cepheid measurements, M101 was one of the most distant so measured. In 1924, Edwin Hubble announced the distance to M33 Triangulum. In 1923, Edwin Hubble measured the distance to Andromeda, and settled the question whether there were galaxies, or was everything in the Milky Way. This was the first


Messier 101

1930 -

Triangulum Galaxy


Andromeda Galaxy



Magellanic 19131923

only determined in 1991, at z=2.237, by which time, it would no longer be the most distant galaxy.

these galaxies is known as Arp's Loop. NGC 6872 is a barred spiral galaxy with a grand design spiral nucleus, and distinct well-formed outer barred-spiral architecture, caused by tidal interaction with satellite galaxy IC 4970. The Tadpole Galaxy tidally interacted with another galaxy in a close encounter, and remains slightly disrupted, with a long tidal tail.

An absorption drop was discovered in 1985 in the light spectrum of quasar PKS 1614+051 at z=3.21 This does not appear on the list because it was not definitively fixed down. At the time, it was claimed to be the first non-QSO galaxy found beyond redshift 3. The quasar itself is at z=3.197 In 1975, 3C 123 was incorrectly determined to lie at z=0.637 (actually z=0.218)

NGC 6872 and IC 4970 o NGC 6872

IC 4970

From 1964 to 1997, the title of most distant object in the Tadpole Galaxy universe were held by a succession of quasars.[66] That list is available at list of quasars.

In 1958, cluster Cl 0024+1654 and Cl 1447+2619 were List of galaxies in non-merger significant collision estimated to have redshifts of z=0.29 and z=0.35 Galaxies Data Notes respectively. However, no galaxy was spectroscopically These two galaxies have recently collided Arp 299 (NGC determined. and are now both barred irregular 3690 & IC 694) galaxies. Field galaxies List of galaxies disrupted post significant non-merger collisions

Galaxy NGC 4555 SDSS J1021+1312 Data Notes

Data Notes This is a pair of galaxies, one which punched through the other, resulting in a ring galaxy.

Mayall's Object Galaxy mergers

List of galaxies undergoing near-equal merger Galaxies Data Notes Antennae Galaxies Two spiral galaxies currently starting a (Ringtail Galaxy, NGC 2 collision, tidally interacting, and in the 4038 & NGC 4039, Arp galaxies process of merger. 244) Data Notes Butterfly Galaxies (Siamese Twins 2 The Magellanic Clouds Galaxies, NGC 4567 & galaxies are being tidally NGC 4568) disrupted by the Milky Mice Galaxies (NGC Way Galaxy, resulting 4676, NGC 4676A & 2 in the Magellanic NGC 4676B, IC 819 & galaxies Stream drawing a tidal IC 820, Arp 242) tail away from the 2 LMC and SMC, and NGC 520 galaxies the Magellanic Bridge drawing material from NGC 2207 and IC 2163 2 the clouds to our (NGC 2207 & IC 2163) galaxies galaxy. NGC 5090 and NGC 2 The smaller galaxy 5091 (NGC 5090 & galaxies NGC 5195 is tidally NGC 5091) interacting with the NGC 7318 (Arp 319, larger Whirlpool 2 NGC 7318A & NGC galaxies Galaxy, creating its 7318B) grand design spiral galaxy architecture. Four galaxies in 4 These three galaxies CL0958+4702 galaxies interact with each protocluster z=3.03 other and draw out Galaxy tidal tails, which are LBG-2377 dense enough to form star clusters. The bridge of gas between Two spiral galaxies in the process of starting to merge.

Interacting galaxies
List of galaxies in tidal interaction Galaxies

Milky Way Galaxy Large Magellanic Cloud Small Magellanic Cloud

Two spiral galaxies currently tidally interacting and in the process of merger. Two spiral galaxies undergoing collision, in the process of merger. These are two spiral galaxies starting to collide, in the process of merger. These two galaxies are in the process of colliding and merging. These are two starting to collide These four near-equals at the core of galaxy cluster CL 0958+4702 are in the process of merging. This was announced as the most distant galaxy merger ever discovered. It is expected that this proto-cluster of galaxies will merge to form a brightest cluster galaxy, and become the core of a larger

Messier 51 (Arp 85) o Whirlpool Galaxy 5194, M51a)


M81 M82 NGC 3077

NGC 5195 (M51b)

are more predictable. If the long-term effects of global warming are disregarded, Milankovitch theory predicts that the List of recently merged galaxies of near-equals planet will continue to undergo glacial periods at least until Galaxy Data Notes the quaternary glaciation comes to an end. These periods are Starfish Galaxy (NGC This recently coalesced galaxy still has two caused by eccentricity, axial tilt, and precession of the Earth's 6240, IC 4625) prominent nuclei. orbit. As part of the ongoing supercontinent cycle, plate tectonics will probably result in a supercontinent in 250 List of galaxies undergoing disintegration by cannibalization 350 million years. Sometime in the next 1.54.5 billion years, the Consuming Disintegrating Galaxy Notes axial tilt of the Earth may begin to undergo chaotic variations, Galaxy with changes in the axial tilt of up to 90.
galaxy cluster.[122][123] Canis Major Galaxy Dwarf Milky Galaxy Milky Galaxy Way The Monoceros Ring is thought to be the tidal tail of the disrupted CMa dg.

During the next four billion years, the luminosity of of weathering of silicate minerals, which will cause a decrease in

Virgo Stellar Stream

Way This is thought to be a completely the Sun will steadily increase, resulting in a rise in the solar radiation reaching the Earth. This will cause a higher rate disrupted dwarf galaxy. Way M54 is thought to the be core of the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In about 600 million this dwarf galaxy.

Sagittarius Dwarf Milky Elliptical Galaxy Galaxy Defunct Galaxy Omega Centauri

List of objects considered destroyed galaxies Galaxy Milky Galaxy

years, the level of CO2 will fall below the level needed to sustain the C3 method of photosynthesis used by trees. Some plants use the C4 method, allowing them to persist at CO2 concentrations as Notes low as 10 parts per million. However, the long term trend is for This is now categorized a globular cluster of the plant life to die off altogether. The resulting loss of oxygen Way Milky Way. However, it is considered the core of replenishment will cause the extinction of animal life a few million a dwarf galaxy that the Milky Way cannibalized. years later.

Mayall II

Andromeda Galaxy

This is now categorized a globular cluster of In about 1.1 billion years, the solar luminosity will be Andromeda. However, it is considered the core of 10% higher than at present. This will cause the atmosphere to a dwarf galaxy that Andromeda cannibalized.

List of objects mistakenly identified as galaxies

"Galaxy" Object Data Notes Due to its unusual shape, it was originally misidentified as a galaxy.

Supernova G350.1-0.3 remnant

become a "moist greenhouse", resulting in a runaway evaporation of the oceans. As a likely consequence, plate tectonics will come to an end. Following this event, the planet's magnetic dynamo may come to an end, causing the magnetosphere to decay and leading to an accelerated loss of volatiles from the outer atmosphere. Four billion years from now, the increase in the Earth's surface temperature will cause a runaway greenhouse effect. By that point, most if not all the life on the surface will be extinct.The most probable fate of the planet is absorption by the Sun in about 7.5 billion years, after the star has entered the red giant phase and expanded to cross the planet's current orbit.

Future of the Earth The biological and geological future of the Earth can be extrapolated based upon the estimated effects of several longterm influences. These include the chemistry at the Earth's surface, the rate of cooling of the planet's interior, the gravitational interactions with other objects in the Solar System, and a steady increase in the Sun's luminosity. An uncertain factor in this extrapolation is the ongoing influence of technology introduced by humans, such as geo-engineering which could cause significant changes to the planet. The current biotic crisis is being caused by technology and the effects may last for up to five million years. In turn, technology may result in the extinction of humanity, leaving the planet to gradually return to a slow evolution pace only resulting from long term natural processes.

Human influence

Humans now play a key role in the biosphere, with the large human population Conjectured illustration of the scorched dominating many Earth after the Sun has entered the red giant phase, seven billion years from now of Earth's ecosyste ms. This has resulted in a widespread, ongoing extinction of Over time intervals of hundreds of millions of years, other species during the present geological epoch, now known as random celestial events pose a global risk to the biosphere, which the Holocene extinction. The large scale loss of species caused by can result in mass extinctions. These include impacts human influence since the 1950s has been called a biotic crisis, by comets or asteroids with diameters of 510 km or more, and with an estimated 10% of the total species lost as of 2007. At the possibility of a massive stellar explosion, called a supernova, current rates, about 30% of species are at risk of extinction in the within a 100 light year radius. Other large-scale geological events

next hundred years. The Holocene extinction event is the result of habitat destruction, the widespread distribution of invasive species, hunting, and climate change. In the present day, human activity has had a significant impact on the surface of the planet. More than a third of the land surface has been modified by human actions, and humans use about 20% of global primary production. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by close to 30% since the start of the Industrial Revolution. The consequences of a persistent biotic crisis have been predicted to last for at least five million years. It could result in a decline in biodiversity and homogenization of biota, accompanied by a proliferation of species that are opportunistic, such as pests and weeds . Novel species may also emerge; in particular taxa that prosper in humandominated ecosystems may rapidly diversify into many new species. Microbes are likely to benefit from the increase in nutrient-enriched environmental niches. However, no new species of existing large vertebrates are likely to arise and food chains will probably be shortened. There are multiple scenarios for known risks that can have a global impact on the planet. From the perspective of humanity, these can be subdivided into survivable risks and terminal risks. Risks that humanity pose to itself include the misuse of nanotechnology, a nuclear holocaust, warfare with a programmed super intelligence, a genetically engineered disease, or perhaps a disaster caused by a physics experiment. Similarly, several natural events may pose a doomsday threat, including a highly virulent disease, the impact of an asteroid or comet, runaway greenhouse effect, and resource depletion. There may also be the possibility of an infestation by an extraterrestrial life form. The actual odds of these scenarios are difficult if not impossible to deduce. Should the human race become extinct, then the various features assembled by humanity will begin to decay. The largest structures have an estimated decay half-life of about 1,000 years. The last surviving structures would most likely be open pit mines, large landfills, major highways, wide canal cuts, and earth-fill flank dams. A few massive stone monuments like the pyramids at the Giza Necropolis or the sculptures at Mount Rushmore may still survive in some form after a million years.

every 45 million years. The mean time for the Sun to collide with another star in the solar neighborhood is approximately 3 1013 years, which is much longer than the estimated age of the Milky Way galaxy, at 12 1010 years. This can be taken as an indication of the low likelihood of such an event occurring during the lifetime of the Earth.

The energy release from the impact of an asteroid or comet with a diameter of 510 km or larger is sufficient to create a global environmental disaster and cause a statistically significant increase in The Barringer Meteorite Crater in the number of species extinctions. Flagstaff, Arizona, showing evidence Among the of the impact of celestial objects deleterious effects upon the Earth resulting from a major impact event is a cloud of fine dust eject a blanketing the planet, which lowers land temperatures by about 15C within a week and halts photosynthesis for several months. The mean time between major impacts is estimated to be at least 100 million years. During the last 540 million years, simulations demonstrated that such an impact rate is sufficient to cause 56 mass extinctions and 2030 lower severity events. This matches the geologic record of significant extinctions during the Phanerozoic era. Such events can be expected to continue into the future.
A supernova is a cataclysmic explosion of a star. Within the Milky Way galaxy, supernova explosions occur on average once every 30 years. During the history of the Earth, multiple such events have likely occurred within a distance of 100 light years. Explosions inside this distance can contaminate the planet with radioisotopes and possibly impact the biosphere. Gamma rays emitted by a supernova react with nitrogen in the atmosphere, producing nitrous oxides. These molecules cause a depletion of the ozone layer that protects the surface from ultraviolet radiation from the Sun. An increase in UVB radiation of only 1030% is sufficient to cause a significant impact to life; particularly to the phytoplankton that form the base of the oceanic food chain. A supernova explosion at a distance of 26 light years will reduce the ozone column density by half. On average, a supernova explosion occurs within 32 light years once every few hundred million years, resulting in a depletion of the ozone layer lasting several centuries. Over the next two billion years, there will be about 20 supernova explosions and one gamma ray burst that will have a significant impact on the planet's biosphere.

Random events
As the Sun orbits the Milky Way, randomly-moving stars may approach close enough to have a disruptive influence on the Solar System. A close stellar encounter may cause a significant reduction in the perihelion distances of comets in the Ort clouda spherical region of icy bodies orbiting within half a light year of the Sun. Such an encounter can trigger a 40-fold increase in the number of comets reaching the inner Solar System. Impacts from these comets can trigger a mass extinction of life on Earth. These disruptive encounters occur at an average of once

The incremental effect of gravitational perturbations between the planets causes the inner Solar System as a whole to behave chaotically over long time periods. This does not significantly affect the stability of the Solar System over intervals of a few millions years or less, but over billions of years the orbits of the planets become unpredictable. Computer simulations of the Solar System's evolution over the next five billion years suggest that there is a small (less than 1%) chance that a collision could occur between Earth and either Mercury, Venus, or Mars. During the same interval, the odds that the Earth

will be scattered out of the Solar System by a passing star are on the order of one part in 105. In such a scenario, the oceans would freeze solid within a several million years, leaving only a few pockets of liquid water about 14 km underground. There is a remote chance that the Earth will instead be captured by a passing binary star system, allowing the planet's biosphere to remain intact. The odds of this happening are about one chance in three million.

The distance to the Moon will increase by about 1.5 Earth radii during the same period. Based on computer models, the presence of the Moon appears to stabilize the obliquity of the Earth, which may help the planet to avoid dramatic climate changes. This stability is achieved because the Moon increases the precession rate of the Earth's spin axis, thereby avoiding resonances between the precession of the spin and precession frequencies of the ascending node of the planet's orbit. (That is, the precession motion of the ecliptic.) However, as the semi major axis of the Moon's orbit continues to increase in the future, this stabilizing effect will diminish. At some point perturbation effects will probably cause chaotic variations in the obliquity of the Earth, and the axial tilt may change by angles as high as 90 from the plane of the orbit . This is expected The rotational offset of the tidal bulge to occur within exerts a net torque on the Moon, boosting about 1.54.5 it while slowing the Earth's rotation. This billion years, image is not to scale. although the exact time is unknown.

Orbit and rotation

The gravitational perturbations of the other planets in the Solar System combine to modify the orbit of the Earth and the orientation of its spin axis. These changes can influence the planetary climate. Glaciation Historically, there have been cyclical ice ages in which glacial sheets periodically covered the higher latitudes of the continents. Ice ages may occur because of changes in ocean circulation and continentality induced by plate tectonics. The Milankovitch theory predicts that glacial periods occur during ice ages because of astronomical factors in combination with climate feedback mechanisms. The primary astronomical drivers are a higher than normal orbital eccentricity, a low axial tilt (or obliquity), and the alignment of summer solstice with the aphelion. Each of these effects occur cyclically. For example, the eccentricity changes over time cycles of about 100,000 and 400,000 years, with the value ranging from less than 0.01 up to 0.05. This is equivalent to a change of the semi minor axis of the planet's orbit from 99.95% of the semi major axis to 99.88%, respectively.

A high obliquity would probably result in dramatic changes in the climate and may destroy the planet's habitability. When the axial tilt of the Earth reaches 54, The Earth is passing through an ice age known as the equator will receive less radiation from the Sun than the poles. the quaternary glaciation, and is presently in The planet could remain at an obliquity of 60 to 90 for periods the Holocene interglacial period. This period would normally be as long as 10 million years. expected to end in about 25,000 years. However, the increased rate of carbon dioxide release into the atmosphere by humans may delay the onset of the next glacial period until at least Geodynamics 50,000130,000 years from now. However, a global warming period of finite duration (based on the assumption Tectonicsthat fossil fuel use will cease by the year 2200) will probably only based events impact the glacial period for about 5,000 years. Thus, a brief will continue to period of global warming induced through a few centuries worth occur well into of greenhouse gas emission would only have a limited impact in the future and the long term. the surface will be steadily reshaped by tectonic uplift, Obliquity extrusions, and erosion. M The tidal acceleration of the Moon slows the rotation rate of ount Vesuvius the Earth and increases the Earth-Moon distance. Friction can be expected effectsbetween the core and mantle and between the to erupt about atmosphere and surfacecan dissipate the Earth's rotational 40 times over energy. These combined effects are expected to increase the next 1,000 the length of the day by more than 1.5 hours over the next 250 years. During million years and to increase the obliquity by about a half degree. the same period, about five to Pangaea was the last supercontinent to form before the present.

part of the Paleo map Project . In their scenario, 50 million years from now the Mediterranean Sea may vanish and the collision between Europe and Africa will create a long mountain range extending to the current location of the Persian Gulf. Australia will merge with Indonesia, and Baja California will slide northward along the coast. New subduction zones may appear off the eastern coast of North and South America, and mountain chains will form along those coastlines. To the south, the migration of In 10,000 years, the post-glacial rebound of the Baltic Antarctica to the north will cause all of its ice sheets to melt. This, Sea will have reduced the depth by about 90 m. The Hudson along with the melting of the Greenland ice sheets, will raise the Bay will decrease in depth by 100 m over the same period. After average ocean level by 90 meters (300 ft). The inland flooding of 100,000 years, the island of Hawaii will have shifted about 9 km the continents will result in climate changes. to the northwest. The planet may be entering another glacial period by this time. As this scenario continues, by 100 million years from the present the continental spreading will have reached its maximum extent and the continents will then begin to coalesce. In 250 million years, North America will collide with Africa while South America will wrap around the southern tip of Africa. The result will Continental drift be the formation of a new supercontinent (sometimes called Pangaea Ultima), with the Pacific Ocean stretching across The theory of plate tectonics demonstrates that the continents of half the planet. The continent of Antarctica will reverse direction the Earth are moving across the surface at the rate of a few and return to the South Pole, building up a new ice cap. centimeters per year. This is expected to continue, causing the plates to relocate and collide . Continental drift is facilitated by two factors: the energy generation within the planet and the presence of a hydrosphere. With the loss of either of these, continental drift will come to a halt. The production of heat Extroversion through radiogenic processes is sufficient to maintain mantle convection and plate subduction for at least the next 1.1 billion The first scientist to extrapolate the current motions of the years. continents was Canadian geologist Paul F. Hoffman of Harvard University. In 1992, Hoffman predicted that the continents of At present, the continents of North and South North and South America would continue to advance across the America are moving westward from Africa and Europe. Pacific Ocean, pivoting about Siberia until they begin to merge Researchers have produced several scenarios about how this will with Asia. He dubbed the resulting supercontinent, Amasia. Later, continue in the future. These geodynamic models can be in the 1990s, Roy Livermore calculated a similar scenario. He distinguished by the subduction flux, whereby the oceanic crust predicted that Antarctica would start to migrate northward, and moves under a continent. In the introversion model, the younger, east Africa and Madagascar would move across the Indian Ocean interior, Atlantic ocean becomes preferentially subducted and the to collide with Asia. seven earthquakes of magnitude 8 or greater should occur along the San Andreas Fault, while about 50 magnitude 9 events may be expected worldwide. Mauna Loa should experience about 200 eruptions over the next 1,000 years, and the Old Faithful Geyser will likely cease to operate. The Niagara Falls will continue to retreat upstream, reaching Buffalo in about 30,00050,000 years. current migration of North and South America is reversed. In the extroversion model, the older, exterior, Pacific ocean remains In an extroversion model, the closure of the Pacific preferentially subducted and North and South America migrate Ocean would be complete in about 350 million years. This marks toward eastern Asia. the completion of the current supercontinent cycle, wherein the continents split apart and then rejoin each other about every 400 As the understanding of geodynamics improves, these 500 million years. Once the supercontinent is built, plate tectonics models will be subject to revision. In 2008, for example, a may enter a period of inactivity as the rate of subduction drops by computer simulation was used to predict that a reorganization of an order of magnitude. This period of stability could cause an the mantle convection will occur, causing a supercontinent to form increase in the mantle temperature at the rate of 30100 K every 100 million years, which is the minimum lifetime of past around Antarctica. supercontinents. As a consequence, volcanic activity may increase.

Regardless of the outcome of the continental migration, the continued subduction process causes water to be transported to the mantle. After a billion years from the present, a geophysical model gives an estimate that 27% of the current ocean mass will have been subducted. If this process were to continue unmodified into the future, the subduction and release would reach a point of stability after 65% of the current ocean mass has been subducted.


The formation of a supercontinent can dramatically affect the environment. The collision of plates will result in mountain building, thereby shifting weather patterns. Sea levels may fall because of increased glaciation. The rate of surface weathering can rise, resulting in an increase in the rate that organic material is buried. Supercontinents can cause a drop in global temperatures and an increase in atmospheric oxygen. These Introversion changes can result in more rapid biological evolution as new niches emerge. This, in turn, can affect the climate, further Christopher Scotese and his colleagues have mapped out the lowering temperatures . predicted motions several hundred million years into the future as

The formation of a supercontinent insulates the mantle . The flow of heat will be concentrated, resulting in volcanism and the flooding of large areas with basalt. Rifts will form and the supercontinent will split up once more. The planet may then experience a warming period , as occurred during the Cretaceous period.

temperature bring the core pressure in to equilibrium with the layers above. The higher temperature causes the remaining hydrogen to undergo fusion at a more rapid rate, thereby generating the energy needed to maintain the equilibrium.

Solidification of the outer core The iron-rich core region of the Earth is divided into a 1,220 km radius solid inner core and a 3,480 km radius liquid outer core. The rotation of the Earth creates convective eddies in the outer core region that cause it to function as a dynamo. This generates a magnetosphere about the Earth that deflects particles from the solar wind, which prevents significant erosion of the atmosphere from sputtering. As heat from the core is transferred outward toward the mantle, the net trend is for the inner boundary of the liquid outer core region to freeze, thereby releasing thermal energy and causing the solid inner core to grow. This iron crystallization process has been ongoing for about a Evolution of the Sun's luminosity, radius and effective billion years. In the modern era, the radius of the inner core is temperature compared to the present Sun. After Ribas expanding at an average rate of roughly 0.5 mm per year, at the (2010) expense of the outer core. Nearly all of the energy needed to The result of this process has been a steady increase in power the dynamo is being supplied by this process of inner core the energy output of the Sun. When the Sun first became a main formation. sequence star, it radiated only 70% of the current luminosity. The The growth of the inner core may be expected to luminosity has increased in a nearly linear fashion to the present, [68] consume most of the outer core by some 34 billion years from rising by 1% every 110 million years. Likewise, in three billion years the Sun is expected to be 33% more luminous. The now, resulting in a nearly solid core composed of iron and other heavy elements. The surviving liquid envelope will mainly consist hydrogen fuel at the core will finally be exhausted in 4.8 billion of lighter elements that will undergo less mixing. Alternatively, if years, when the Sun will be 67% more luminous than at present. at some point plate tectonics comes to an end, the interior will Thereafter the Sun will continue to burn hydrogen in a shell cool less efficiently, which may end the growth of the inner core. surrounding its core, until the increase in luminosity reaches In either case, this can result in the loss of the magnetic 121% of the present value. This marks the end of the Sun's main dynamo . Without a functioning dynamo, the magnetic field of the sequence lifetime, and thereafter it will pass through the subEarth will decay in a geologically short time period of roughly giant stage and evolve into a red giant.

10,000 years. The loss of the magnetosphere will cause an increase in erosion of light elements, particularly hydrogen, from the Earth's outer atmosphere into space, resulting in less favorable conditions for life.

Climate impact

Solar evolution The energy generation of the Sun is based upon thermonuclear fusion of hydrogen into helium. This occurs in the core region of the star using the protonproton chain reaction process. Because there is no convection in the solar core, the helium concentration builds up in that region without being distributed throughout the star. The temperature at the core of the Sun is too low for nuclear fusion of helium atoms through the triple-alpha process, so these atoms do not contribute to the net energy generation that is needed to maintain hydrostatic equilibrium of the Sun.
At present, nearly half the hydrogen at the core has been consumed, with the remainder of the atoms consisting primarily of helium. As the number of hydrogen atoms per unit mass decrease, their energy output provided through nuclear fusion also decreases. This results in a decrease in pressure support, which causes the core to contract until the increased density and

With the increased surface area of the sun, the amount of energy emitted will increase. The global temperature of the Earth will climb because of the rising luminosity of the Sun, the rate of weathering of silicate minerals will increase. This in turn will decrease the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere . Within the next 600 million years from the present, the concentration of CO2 will fall below the critical threshold needed to sustain C3 photosynthesis: about 50 parts per million. At this point, trees and forests in their current forms will no longer be able to survive. However, C4 carbon fixation can continue at much lower concentrations, down to above 10 parts per million. Thus plants using C4 photosynthesis may be able to survive for at least 0.8 billion years and possibly as long as 1.2 billion years from now, after which rising temperatures will make the biosphere unsustainable. Currently, C4 plants represent about 5% of Earth's plant biomass and 1% of its known plant species. For example, about 50% of all grass species Poaceae) use the C4 photosynthetic pathway, as do many species in the herbaceous family Amaranthaceae.

When the levels of carbon dioxide fall to the limit where photosynthesis is barely sustainable, the proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is expected to oscillate up and down. This will allow land vegetation to flourish each time the level of carbon dioxide rises due to tectonic activity and animal life. However, the long term trend is for the plant life on land to die off altogether as most of the remaining carbon in the atmosphere becomes sequestered in the Earth. Some microbes are capable of photosynthesis at concentrations of CO2 of a few parts per million, so these life forms would probably disappear only because of rising temperatures and the loss of the biosphere. The loss of plant life will also result in the eventual loss of oxygen .

planet Venus. But without surface water, plate tectonics would probably come to a halt and most of the carbonates would remain securely buried.

The loss of the oceans could be delayed until two billion years in the future if the total atmospheric pressure were to decline. A lower atmospheric pressure would reduce the greenhouse effect, thereby lowering the surface temperature. This could occur if natural processes were to remove the nitrogen from the atmosphere. Studies of organic sediments has shown that at least 100 kilopascals (1 bar) of nitrogen has been removed from the atmosphere over the past four billion years; enough to effectively double the current atmospheric pressure if it were to be In their work The Life and Death of Planet Earth, released. This rate of removal would be sufficient to counter the authors Peter D. Ward and Donald Brownlee have argued that effects of increasing solar luminosity for the next two billion years. some form of animal life may continue even after most of the However, beyond that point, the amount of water in the lower Earth's plant life has disappeared. Initially, they expect that some atmosphere will have insects, lizards, birds and small mammals may persist, along with risen to 40% and the sea life. Without oxygen replenishment by plant life, however, runaway moist they believe that the animals would probably die off from greenhouse will asphyxiation within a few million years . Even if sufficient oxygen commence. were to remain in the atmosphere through the persistence of some form of photosynthesis, the steady rise in global If it has not temperature would result in a gradual loss of biodiversity. As already, a runaway temperatures continue to rise, the last animal life will inevitably be greenhouse effect will driven back toward the poles, terrestrial food chains will become take place when the fungus-based, and many of these animals will become simpler but luminosity from the Sun tougher in body structure. Much of the surface would become a reaches 3540% more barren desert and life would primarily be found in the oceans. As than its current value, a result of these processes, multi-cellular life forms may be extinct 34 billion years from in about 800 million years, and eukaryotes in 1.3 billion years now. The atmosphere The size of the current Sun (now in from now, leaving only the prokaryotes. the main sequence) compared to its will heat up and the estimated size during its red giant surface temperature phase will rise sufficiently to melt surface rock. However, most of the atmosphere will be retained until the Ocean-free era Sun has entered the red giant stage.

By one billion years from now, about 27% of the modern ocean will have been subducted into the mantle. If this process were allowed to continue uninterrupted, it would reach an equilibrium state where 65% of the current surface reservoir would remain at the surface. Once the solar luminosity is 10% higher than its current value, the average global surface temperature will rise to 320 K (47 C). The atmosphere will become a "moist greenhouse" leading to a runaway evaporation of the oceans. At this point, models of the Earth's future environment demonstrate that the stratosphere would contain increasing levels of water. These water molecules will be broken down through photo dissociation by solar ultraviolet radiation, allowing hydrogen to escape the atmosphere. The net result would be a loss of the world's sea water by about 1.1 billion years from the present. In this ocean-free era, there will continue to be reservoirs at the surface as water is steadily released from the deep crust and mantle. Some water may be retained at the poles and there may be occasional rainstorms, but for the most part the planet would be a dry desert. Even in these arid conditions, the planet may retain some microbial and possibly even multi-cellular life. Most of these microbes will be halophiles. However, the increasingly extreme conditions will likely lead to the extinction of the procaryotes some 1.6 billion years from now. What happens next depends on the level of tectonic activity. A steady release of carbon dioxide by volcanic eruption could eventually cause the atmosphere to enter a "super greenhouse" state like that of the

Red giant stage

Once the Sun changes from burning hydrogen at its core to burning hydrogen around its shell, the core will start to contract and the outer envelope will expand. The total luminosity will steadily increase over the following billion years until it reaches 2,730 times the Sun's current luminosity at the age of 12.167 billion years. During this phase the Sun will experience more rapid mass loss, with about 33% of its total mass shed with the solar wind. The loss of mass will mean that the orbits of the planets will expand. The orbital distance of the Earth will increase to at most 150% of its current value.
The most rapid part of the Sun's expansion into a red giant will occur during the final stages, when the Sun will be about 12 billion years old. It is likely to expand to swallow both Mercury and Venus, reaching a maximum radius of 1.2 astronomical units(180,000,000 km). The Earth will interact tidally with The atmosphere of Venus is in a "super greenhouse" state.

the Sun's outer atmosphere, which would serve to decrease Earth's orbital radius. Drag from the chromosphere of the Sun would also reduce the Earth's orbit. These effects will act to counterbalance the effect of mass loss by the Sun, and the Earth will most likely be engulfed by the Sun. Theablation and vaporization caused by its fall on a spiral trajectory towards the Sun will remove Earth's crust and mantle, then finally destroy it after at most 200 years. Earth's sole legacy will be a very slight increase (0.01%) of the solar metallicity. The drag from the solar atmosphere may cause the orbit of the Moon to decay. Once the orbit of the Moon closes to a distance of 18,470 km, it will cross the Earth's Roche limit. Tidal interaction with the Earth would then break apart the Moon, turning it into a ring system. Most of the orbiting ring will then begin to decay, and the debris will impact the Earth. Hence, even if the Earth is not swallowed up by the Sun, the planet may be left moonless.

days, or one sidereal year. The Earth's axis of rotation is tilted23.4 away from the perpendicular of its orbital plane, producing seasonal variations on the planet's surface with a period of one tropical year (365.24 solar days). The Moon is Earth's only natural satellite. It began orbit about 4.53 billion years ago. The Moon's gravitational interaction with Earth stimulates ocean tides, stabilizes the axial tilt, and gradually slows the planet's rotation. Between approximately 3.8 billion and 4.1 billion years ago, numerous asteroid impacts during the Late Heavy Bombardment caused significant changes to the Moon's greater surface environment. Both the mineral resources of the planet and the products of the biosphere contribute resources that are used to support a global human population. These inhabitants are grouped into about 200 independent sovereign states, which interact through diplomacy, travel, trade, and military action. Human cultures have developed many views of the planet, including its personification as a planetary deity, its shape as flat, its position as the center of the universe, and in the modern Gaia Principle, as a single, self-regulating organism in its own right. Name and etymology


Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets. It is sometimes referred to as the world, the Blue Planet, or by its Latin name, Terra.

The modern English noun earth developed from Middle English erthe (recorded in 1137), itself from Old English eorthe (dating from before 725), ultimately deriving from ProtoGermanic *erth. Earth has cognates in all other Germanic languages, including Dutch aarde, German Erde, and Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish jord. The Earth is personified as a goddess in Germanic paganism (appearing as Jr in Norse mythology, mother of the god Thor). In general English usage, the name earth can be capitalized or spelled in lowercase interchangeably, either when used absolutely or prefixed with "the" (i.e. "Earth", "the Earth", "earth", or "the earth"). Many deliberately spell the name of the planet with a capital, both as "Earth" or "the Earth". This is to distinguish it as a proper noun, distinct from the senses of the term as a count noun or verb (e.g. referring to soil, the ground, earthing in the electrical sense, etc.). Oxford spelling recognizes the lowercase form as the most common, with the capitalized form as a variant of it. Another convention that is very common is to spell the name with a capital when occurring absolutely (e.g. Earth's atmosphere) and lowercase when preceded by "the" (e.g. the atmosphere of the earth).

Earth formed approximately 4.54 billion years ago by accretion from the solar nebula, and life appeared on its surface within one billion years. The planet is home to millions of species, including humans. Earth's biosphere has significantly altered the atmosphere and other abiotic conditions on the planet, enabling the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer, which together with Earth's magnetic field blocks harmful solar radiation, thus permitting formerly ocean-confined life to move safely to land. The physical properties of the Earth, as well as its geological history and orbit, have allowed life to persist. Estimates on how much longer the planet will to be able to continue to support life range from 500 million years, to as long as 2.3 billion years. Chronology Earth's crust is divided into several rigid segments, or tectonic plates, that migrate across the surface over periods of many millions of years. About 71% of the surface is covered by salt water oceans, with the remainder consisting of continents and islands which together have many lakes and other sources of water that contribute to the hydrosphere. Earth's poles are mostly covered with ice that is the solid ice of the Antarctic ice sheet and the sea ice that is the Polar ice packs. The planet's interior remains active, with a thick layer of relatively solid mantle, a liquid outer core that generates a magnetic field, and a solid iron inner core. Earth interacts with other objects in space, especially the Sun and the Moon. During one orbit around the sun, the Earth rotates about its own axis 366.26 times, creating 365.26 solar Formation

The earliest material found in the Solar System is dated to 4.5666-4.5678 bya (billion years ago); therefore, it is inferred that the Earth, must have formed around this time. By 4.504.58 bya, the primordial Earth had formed. The formation and evolution of the Solar System bodies occurred in tandem with the Sun. In theory a solar nebula partitions a volume out of a molecular cloud by gravitational collapse, which begins to spin and flatten into a circumstellar disk, and then the planets grow out of that in tandem with the star. A nebula contains gas, ice grains and dust (including primordial nuclides). In nebular theory, planetesimal commence forming as particulate accrues by cohesive clumping and then by gravity. The assembly of the

primordial Earth proceeded for 1020 myr (million years). The extinction of the (non-avian) dinosaurs and other large reptiles, Moon formed shortly thereafter, 4.53 bya. but spared some small animals such as mammals, which then resembled shrews. Over the past 65 million years, mammalian life The Moon's formation remains a mystery. The working has diversified, and several million years ago an African ape-like hypothesis is that it formed by accretion from material loosed animal such as Orrorin tugenensis gained the ability to stand from the Earth after a Mars-sized object, dubbed Theia, had a upright. This enabled tool use and encouraged communication giant impact with Earth, but the model is not self-consistent. In that provided the nutrition and stimulation needed for a larger this scenario the mass of Theia is 10% of the Earth's mass, it brain, which allowed the evolution of the human race. The impacts with the Earth in a glancing blow, and some of its mass development of agriculture, and then civilization, allowed humans to influence the Earth in a short time span as no other life form merges with the Earth. had, affecting both the nature and quantity of other life forms. Earth's atmosphere and oceans formed by volcanic activity and outgassing that included water vapor. The origin of the world's oceans was condensation augmented by water and ice delivered by asteroids, proto-planets, and comets. In this model, atmospheric "greenhouse gases" kept the oceans from freezing while the newly forming Sun was only at 70% luminosity. By3.5 bya, the Earth's magnetic field was established, which helped prevent the atmosphere from being stripped away by the solar wind. A crust formed when the molten outer layer of the planet Earth cooled to form a solid as the accumulated water vapor began to act in the atmosphere. The two models that explain land mass propose either a steady growth to the present-day forms or, more likely, a rapid growth early in Earth history followed by a long-term steady continental area. Continents formed by plate tectonics, a process ultimately driven by the continuous loss of heat from the earth's interior. On time scales lasting hundreds of millions of years, the supercontinents have formed and broken up three times. Roughly 750 mya(million years ago), one of the earliest known supercontinents, Rodinia, began to break apart. The continents later recombined to form Pannotia, 600540 mya, then finally Pangaea, which also broke apart 180 mya. The present pattern of ice ages began about 40 mya and then intensified during the Pleistocene about 3 mya. High-latitude regions have since undergone repeated cycles of glaciation and thaw, repeating every 40100,000 years. The last continental glaciation ended 10,000 years ago. Composition and structure Earth is a terrestrial planet, meaning that it is a rocky body, rather than a gas giant like Jupiter. It is the largest of the four solar terrestrial planets in size and mass. Of these four planets, Earth also has the highest density, the highest surface gravity, the strongest magnetic field, and fastest rotation, and is probably the only one with active plate tectonics. Shape The shape of the Earth approximates an oblate spheroid, a sphere flattened along the axis from pole to pole such that there is a bulge around the equator. This bulge results from the rotation of the Earth, and causes the diameter at the equator to be43 km (kilometer) larger than the pole-to-pole diameter. For this reason the furthest point on the surface from the Earth's center of mass is the Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador. The average diameter of the reference spheroid is about 12,742 km, which is approximately 40,000 km/, as the meter was originally defined as 1/10,000,000 of the distance from the equator to the North Pole through Paris, France. Local topography deviates from this idealized spheroid, although on a global scale, these deviations are small: Earth has a tolerance of about one part in about 584, or 0.17%, from the reference spheroid, which is less than the 0.22% tolerance allowed in billiard balls. The largest local deviations in the rocky surface of the Earth are Mount Everest (8848 m above local sea level) and the Mariana Trench (10,911 m below local sea level). Because of the equatorial bulge, the surface locations farthest from the center of the Earth are the summits of Mount Chimborazo in Ecuador and Huascarn in Peru. Chemical composition

Evolution of life Highly energetic chemistry is believed to have produced a self-replicating molecule around 4 bya (billion years ago) and half a billion years later the last common ancestor of all life existed. The development of photosynthesis allowed the Sun's energy to be harvested directly by life forms; the resultant oxygen accumulated in the atmosphere and formed a layer of ozone (a form of molecular oxygen [O3]) in the upper atmosphere. The incorporation of smaller cells within larger ones resulted in the development of complex cells called eukaryotes. True multicellular organisms formed as cells within colonies became increasingly specialized. Aided by the absorption of harmful ultraviolet radiation by the ozone layer, life colonized the surface of Earth. Since the 1960s, it has been hypothesized that severe glacial action between 750 and 580 mya (million years ago), during theNeoproterozoic, covered much of the planet in a sheet of ice. This hypothesis has been termed "Snowball Earth", and is of particular interest because it preceded the Cambrian explosion, when multicellular life forms began to proliferate.

The mass of the Earth is approximately 5.981024 kg. It is composed mostly of iron (32.1%), oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%),magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nick el (1.8%), calcium (1.5%), and aluminum (1.4%); with the remaining 1.2% consisting of trace amounts of other elements. Due to mass segregation, the core region is believed to be Following the Cambrian explosion, about 535 mya, there primarily composed of iron (88.8%), with smaller amounts of have been five major mass extinctions. The most recent such nickel (5.8%), sulfur (4.5%), and less than 1% trace elements. event was 65 mya, when an asteroid impact triggered the

The geochemist F. W. Clarke calculated that a than 47% of the Earth's crust consists of oxygen. common rock constituents of the Earth's crust are oxides; chlorine, sulfur and fluorine are the only Chemical composition of the crust Compound Formula

little more The more nearly all important

before isotopes with short half-lives had been depleted, Earth's heat production would have been much higher. This extra heat production, twice present-day at approximately 3 byr (billion years

Composition Continental Oceanic silica SiO2 60.2% 48.6% alumina Al2O3 15.2% 16.5% lime CaO 5.5% 12.3% magnesia MgO 3.1% 6.8% iron(II) oxide FeO 3.8% 6.2% sodium oxide Na2O 3.0% 2.6% potassium oxide K2 O 2.8% 0.4% iron(III) oxide Fe2O3 2.5% 2.3% water H2 O 1.4% 1.1% carbon dioxide CO2 1.2% 1.4% titanium dioxide TiO2 0.7% 1.4% phosphorus pentoxide P2O5 0.2% 0.3% Total 99.6% 99.9% exceptions to this and their total amount in any rock is usually much less than 1%. The principal oxides are silica, alumina, iron oxides, lime, magnesia, potash and soda. The silica functions principally as an acid, forming silicates, and all the commonest minerals of igneous rocks are of this nature. From a computation based on 1,672 analyses of all kinds of rocks, Clarke deduced that 99.22% were composed of 11 oxides (see the table at right), with the other constituents occurring in minute quantities. Internal structure

The interior of the Earth, like that of the other terrestrial planets, is divided into layers by their chemical or physical (rheological) properties, but unlike the other terrestrial planets, it has a distinct outer and inner core. The outer layer of the Earth is a chemically distinct silicate solid crust, which is underlain by a The mean heat loss from the Earth is 87 mW m2, for a highly viscous solid mantle. The crust is separated from the global heat loss of 4.42 1013 W. A portion of the core's thermal mantle by the Mohorovii discontinuity, and the thickness of the energy is transported toward the crust by mantle plumes; a form crust of convection consisting of upwelling of higher-temperature rock. These plumes can produce hotspots and flood basalts. More of the varies: averaging 6 km (kilometers) under the oceans and 30- heat in the Earth is lost through plate tectonics, by mantle 50 km on the continents. The crust and the cold, rigid, top of upwelling associated with mid-ocean ridges. The final major mode the upper mantle are collectively known as the lithosphere, and it of heat loss is through conduction through the lithosphere, the is of the lithosphere that the tectonic plates are comprised. majority of which occurs in the oceans because the crust there is Beneath the lithosphere is the asthenosphere, a relatively low- much thinner than that of the continents. viscosity layer on which the lithosphere rides. Important changes in crystal structure within the mantle occur at 410 and 660 km Tectonic plates below the surface, spanning a transition zone that separates the upper and lower mantle. Beneath the mantle, an extremely low The mechanically rigid outer layer of the Earth, the viscosity liquid outer core lies above a solid inner core. The inner lithosphere, is broken into pieces called tectonic plates. These core may rotate at a slightly higher angular velocity than the plates are rigid segments that move in relation to one another at remainder of the planet, advancing by 0.10.5 per year. one of three types of plate boundaries: Convergent boundaries, at which two plates come together, Divergent boundaries, at which Heat two plates are pulled apart, and Transform boundaries, in which two plates slide past one another laterally. Earthquakes, volcanic Earth's internal heat comes from a combination activity, mountain-building, and oceanic trench formation can of residual heat from planetary accretion (about 20%) and heat occur along these plate boundaries. The tectonic plates ride on produced through radioactive decay (80%).The major heat- top of the asthenosphere, the solid but less-viscous part of the producing isotopes in the Earth are potassium-40, uranium- upper mantle that can flow and move along with the plates, and 238, uranium-235, and thorium-232. At the center of the planet, their motion is strongly coupled with convection patterns inside the temperature may be up to 7,000 K and the pressure could the Earth's mantle. reach 360 GPa. Because much of the heat is provided by radioactive decay, scientists believe that early in Earth history,

Geologic layers of the Earth Depth Component Layer Density km g/cm 3 060 Lithosphere 035 Crust 2.22.9 3560 Upper mantle 3.44.4 352890 Mantle 3.45.6 100700 Asthenosphere 28905100 Outer core 9.912.2 51006378 Inner core 12.813.1 ago), would have increased temperature gradients within the Earth, increasing the rates of mantle convection and plate tectonics, and allowing the production of igneous rocks such as komatiites that are not formed today.

Earth's main plates The continental crust consists of lower density material such as the igneous rocks granite and andesite. Less common is basalt, a denser volcanic rock that is the primary constituent of the ocean floors. Sedimentary rock is formed from the accumulation of sediment that becomes compacted together. Nearly 75% of the continental surfaces are covered by sedimentary rocks, although they form only about 5% of the crust. The third form of rock material found on Earth is metamorphic rock, which is created from the transformation of pre-existing rock types through high pressures, high temperatures, or both. The most abundant silicate minerals on the Earth's surface include quartz, the feldspars, amphibole, mica, pyroxene and olivine. Common carbonate minerals include calcite (found in limestone) and dolomite.. The pedosphere is the outermost layer of the Earth that is composed of soil and subject to soil formation processes. It exists at the interface of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Currently the total arable land is 13.31% of the land surface, with only 4.71% supporting permanent crops. Close to 40% of the Earth's land surface is presently used for cropland and pasture, or an estimated 1.3107 km2 of cropland and 3.4107 km2 of

Plate name

Area 10 6 km 2 Pacific Plate 103.3 African Plate 78.0 North American Plate 75.9 Eurasian Plate 67.8 Antarctic Plate 60.9 Indo-Australian Plate 47.2 South American Plate 43.6 As the tectonic plates migrate across the planet, the ocean floor is subducted under the leading edges of the plates at convergent boundaries. At the same time, the upwelling of mantle material at divergent boundaries creates mid-ocean ridges. The combination of these processes continually recycles the oceanic crust back into the mantle. Because of this recycling, most of the ocean floor is less than100 myr (million years old) in age. The oldest oceanic crust is located in the Western Pacific, and has an estimated age of about 200 myr. By comparison, the oldest dated continental crust is 4,030 myr. The seven major plates are the Pacific, North, American, Eurasian, African, Antarctic, Indo-Australian, and South American. Other notable plates include the Arabian Plate, the Caribbean Plate, the Nazca Plate off the west coast of South America and the Scotia Plate in the southern Atlantic Ocean. The Australian Plate fused with the Indian Plate between 50 and 55 million years ago. The fastest-moving plates are the oceanic plates, with the Cocos Plate advancing at a rate of 75 mm/year and the Pacific Plate moving 5269 mm/year. At the other extreme, the slowestmoving plate is the Eurasian Plate, progressing at a typical rate of about 21 mm/year. Surface The Earth's terrain varies greatly from place to place. About 70.8%of the surface is covered by water, with much of the continental shelf below sea level. This equates to 148.94 million km2 (57.51 million sq mi). The submerged surface has mountainous features, including a globe-spanning mid-ocean ridge system, as well as undersea volcanoes, oceanic trenches, submarine canyons, oceanic plateaus and abyssal plains. The remaining 29.2% not covered by water consists of mountains, deserts, plains, plateaus, and other geomorphologies.

pastureland. The elevation of the land surface of the Earth varies from the low point of 418 m at the Dead Sea, to a 2005-estimated maximum altitude of 8,848 m at the top of Mount Everest. The mean height of land above sea level is 840 m. Hydrosphere

The abundance of water on Earth's surface is a unique feature that distinguishes the "Blue Planet" from others in the Solar System. The Earth's hydrosphere consists chiefly of the The planetary surface undergoes reshaping over oceans, but technically includes all water surfaces in the world, geological time periods because of tectonics and erosion. The including inland seas, lakes, rivers, and underground waters down surface features built up or deformed through plate tectonics are to a depth of 2,000 m. The deepest underwater location subject to steady weathering from precipitation, thermal cycles, is Challenger Deep of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean with and chemical effects. Glaciation, coastal erosion, the build-up a depth of 10,911.4 m. of coral reefs, and large meteorite impacts also act to reshape the landscape.

The mass of the oceans is approximately 1.351018 metric tons, or about 1/4400 of the total mass of the Earth. The oceans cover an area of 3.618108 km2 with a mean depth of 3,682 m, resulting in an estimated volume of 1.332109 km3. If all the land on Earth were spread evenly, water would rise to an altitude of more than 2.7 km. About 97.5% of the water is saline, while the remaining 2.5% is fresh water. Most fresh water, about 68.7%, is currently ice.

particularly the thermohaline circulation that distributes energy from the equatorial oceans to the Polar Regions.


Water vapor generated through surface evaporation is transported by circulatory patterns in the atmosphere. When atmospheric conditions permit an uplift of warm, humid air, this water condenses and settles to the surface as precipitation. Most of the water is then transported to lower elevations by river systems and usually returned to the oceans or deposited into The average salinity of the Earth's oceans is about lakes. This water cycle is a vital mechanism for supporting life on 35 grams of salt per kilogram of sea water (35%). Most of this land, and is a primary factor in the erosion of surface features salt was released from volcanic activity or extracted from cool, over geological periods. Precipitation patterns vary widely, ranging igneous rocks. The oceans are also a reservoir of dissolved from atmospheric gases, which are essential for the survival of many several aquatic life forms. Sea water has an important influence on the meters of world's climate, with the oceans acting as a large heat reservoir. water per Shifts in the oceanic temperature distribution can cause significant year to less weather shifts, such as the El Nio-Southern Oscillation. than a millimeter. Atmospheri Atmosphere c circulation, The atmospheric pressure on the surface of the Earth topological averages 101.325 kPa, with a scale height of about 8.5 km. It is features 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen, with trace amounts of water and vapor, carbon dioxide and other gaseous molecules. The height of the troposphere varies with latitude, ranging between 8 km at the poles to 17 km at the equator, with some variation resulting from weather and seasonal factors. Earth's biosphere has significantly altered its atmosphere. Oxygenic photosynthesis evolved 2.7 bya (billion years ago), forming the primarily nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere of today. This change enabled the proliferation of aerobic organisms as well as the formation of the ozone layer which blocks ultraviolet solar radiation, permitting life on land. Other atmospheric functions important to life on Earth include transporting water vapor, providing useful gases, causing small meteors to burn up before they strike the surface, and moderating temperature. This last phenomenon is known as the greenhouse effect: trace molecules within the atmosphere serve to capture thermal energy emitted from the ground, thereby raising the average temperature. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane and ozone are the primary greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere. Without this heat-retention effect, the average surface would be 18 C, in contrast to the current +15 C, and life would likely not exist. Weather and climate The Earth's atmosphere has no definite boundary, slowly becoming thinner and fading into outer space. Three-quarters of the atmosphere's mass is contained within the first 11 km of the planet's surface. This lowest layer is called the troposphere. Energy from the Sun heats this layer, and the surface below, causing expansion of the air. This lower density air then rises, and is replaced by cooler, higher density air. The result is atmospheric circulation that drives the weather and climate through redistribution of heat energy. The primary atmospheric circulation bands consist of the trade winds in the equatorial region below 30 latitude and the western lies in the mid-latitudes between 30 and 60. Ocean currents are also important factors in determining climate, temperature differences determine the average precipitation that falls in each region. The amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's decreases with increasing latitude. At higher latitudes the sunlight reaches the surface at a lower angles and it must pass through thicker columns of the atmosphere. As a result, the mean annual air temperature at sea level decreases by about 0.4 C per per degree of latitude away from the equator.[120] The Earth can be sub-divided into specific latitudinal belts of approximately homogeneous climate. Ranging from the equator to the Polar Regions, these are the tropical (or equatorial), subtropical, temperate and polar climates. Climate can also be classified based on the temperature and precipitation, with the climate regions characterized by fairly uniform air masses. The commonly used Kppen climate classification system (as modified by Wladimir Kppen's student Rudolph Geiger) has five broad groups (humid tropics, arid, humid middle latitudes, continental and cold polar), which are further divided into more specific subtypes. Upper atmosphere Above the troposphere, the atmosphere is usually divided into the stratosphere, mesosphere, and thermosphere. Each layer has a different lapse rate, defining the rate of change in temperature with height. Beyond these, the exosphere thins out into the magnetosphere, where the Earth's magnetic fields interact with the solar wind. Within the stratosphere is the ozone layer, a component that partially shields the surface from ultraviolet light and thus is important for life on Earth. The Krmn line, defined as 100 km above the Earth's surface, is a working definition for the boundary between atmosphere and space.

Thermal energy causes some of the molecules at the outer edge of the Earth's atmosphere have their velocity increased to the point where they can escape from the planet's gravity. This results in a slow but steady leakage of the atmosphere into space. Because unfixed hydrogen has a low molecular weight, it can achieve escape velocity more readily and it leaks into outer space at a greater rate than other gasses. The leakage of hydrogen into space contributes to the pushing of the Earth from an initially reducing state to its current oxidizing one. Photosynthesis provided a source of free oxygen, but the loss of reducing agents such as hydrogen is believed to have been a necessary precondition for the widespread accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere. Hence, the ability of hydrogen to escape from the Earth's atmosphere may have influenced the nature of life that developed on the planet. In the current, oxygen-rich atmosphere most hydrogen is converted into water before it has an opportunity to escape. Instead, most of the hydrogen loss comes from the destruction of methane in the upper atmosphere.

Earth's rotation period relative to the Sunits mean solar dayis 86,400 seconds of mean solar time (86,400.0025 SI seconds). As the Earth's solar day is now slightly longer than it was during the 19th century because of tidal acceleration, each day varies between 0 and 2 SI ms longer. Earth's rotation period relative to the fixed stars, called its stellar bythe International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS), is 86164.098903691 seconds of mean solar time (UT1), or 23h 56m 4.098903691s. Earth's rotation period relative to the precessing or moving mean vernal equinox, misnamed its sidereal day, is86164.09053083288 seconds of mean solar time (UT1) (23h 56m 4.09053083288s). Thus the sidereal day is shorter than the stellar day by about 8.4 ms. [135] The length of the mean solar day in SI seconds is available from the IERS for the periods 16232005 and 19622005.

Apart from meteors within the atmosphere and loworbiting satellites, the main apparent motion of celestial bodies in Magnetic Field the Earth's sky is to the west at a rate of 15/h = 15'/min. For bodies near the celestial equator, this is equivalent to an apparent The Earth's magnetic field is shaped roughly as diameter of the Sun or Moon every two minutes; from the planet's a magnetic dipole, with the poles currently located proximate to surface, the apparent sizes of the Sun and the Moon are the planet's geographic poles. At the equator of the magnetic approximately the same. field, the magnetic field strength at the planet's surface is 3.05 105 T, with global magnetic dipole moment of 7.91 1015 T m3. According to dynamo theory, the field is generated within the molten outer core region where heat creates convection motions of conducting materials, generating electric currents. These in turn Orbit produce the Earth's magnetic field. The convection movements in Earth orbits the Sun at an average distance of about the core are chaotic; the magnetic poles drift and periodically 150 million kilometers every 365.2564 mean solar days, or change alignment. This results in field reversals at irregular intervals averaging a few times every million years. The most one sidereal year. From Earth, this gives an apparent movement of the Sun eastward with respect to the stars at a rate of about recent reversal occurred approximately 700,000 years ago. 1/day, or a Sun or Moon diameter, every 12 hours. Because of this motion, on average it takes 24 hoursa solar dayfor Earth Schematic of Earth's magnetosphere. to complete a full rotation about its axis so that the Sun returns to the meridian. The orbital speed of the Earth averages about The field forms the magnetosphere, which deflects 29.8 km/s (107,000 km/h), which is fast enough to cover the particles in the solar wind. The sunward edge of the bow shock is planet's diameter (about 12,600 km) in seven minutes, and the located at about 13 times the radius of the Earth. The collision distance to the Moon (384,000 km) in four hours. between the magnetic field and the solar wind forms the Van Allen radiation belts, a pair of concentric, torus-shaped regions of The Moon revolves with the Earth around a energetic charged particles. When the plasma enters the Earth's common barycenter every 27.32 days relative to the background atmosphere at the magnetic poles, it forms the aurora. stars. When combined with the EarthMoon system's common Orbit and rotation Rotation

revolution around the Sun, the period of the synodic month, from new moon to new moon, is 29.53 days. Viewed from the celestial North Pole, the motion of Earth, the Moon and their axial rotations are all counter-clockwise. Viewed from a vantage point above the north poles of both the Sun and the Earth, the Earth appears to revolve in a counterclockwise direction about the Sun. The orbital and axial planes are not precisely aligned: Earth's axis is tilted some 23.4 degrees from the perpendicular to the EarthSun plane, and the EarthMoon plane is tilted about 5 degrees against the Earth-Sun plane. Without this tilt, there would be an eclipse every two weeks, alternating between lunar eclipses and solar eclipses. The Hill sphere, or gravitational sphere of influence, of the Earth is about 1.5 Gm (or 1,500,000 kilometers) in radius. This is maximum distance at which the Earth's gravitational influence is stronger than the more distant Sun and planets. Objects must orbit the Earth within this radius, or they can become unbound by the gravitational perturbation of the Sun.

Earth, along with the Solar System, is situated in the Milky Way galaxy, orbiting about 28,000 light years from the center of the galaxy. It is currently about 20 light years above the galaxy's equatorial plane in the Orion spiral arm. Axial tilt and seasons Because of the axial tilt of the Earth, the amount of sunlight reaching any given point on the surface varies over the course of the year. This results in seasonal change in climate, with summer in the northern hemisphere occurring when the North Pole is pointing toward the Sun, and winter taking place when the pole is pointed away. During the summer, the day lasts longer and the Sun climbs higher in the sky. In winter, the climate becomes generally cooler and the days shorter. Above the Arctic Circle, an extreme case is Earth's axial tilt (or obliquity) and its relation to the rotation axis and plane of orbit reached where there is no daylight at all for part of the yeara polar night. In the southern hemisphere the situation is exactly reversed, with the South Pole oriented opposite the direction of the North Pole. By astronomical convention, the four seasons are determined by the solsticesthe point in the orbit of maximum axial tilt toward or away from the Sunand the equinoxes, when the direction of the tilt and the direction to the Sun are perpendicular. In the northern hemisphere, Winter Solstice occurs on about December 21, Summer Solstice is near June 21, Spring Equinox is around March 20 and Autumnal Equinox is about September 23. In the Southern hemisphere, the situation is reversed, with the Summer and Winter Solstices exchanged and the Spring and Autumnal Equinox dates switched.

Habitability A planet that can sustain life is termed habitable, even if life did not originate there. The Earth provides liquid wateran environment where complex organic molecules can assemble and interact, and sufficient energy to sustain metabolism. The distance of the Earth from the Sun, as well as its orbital eccentricity, rate of rotation, axial tilt, geological history, sustaining atmosphere and protective magnetic field all contribute to the current climatic conditions at the surface.[158] Biosphere The planet's life forms are sometimes said to form a "biosphere". This biosphere is generally believed to have begun evolving about 3.5 bya (billion years ago). The biosphere is divided into a number of biomes, inhabited by broadly similar plants and animals. On land, biomes are separated primarily by differences in latitude, height above sea level and humidity. Terrestrial biomes lying within the Arctic or Antarctic Circles, at high altitudes or in extremely arid areas are relatively barren of plant and animal life; species diversity reaches a peak in humid lowlands at equatorial latitudes. Natural resources and land use The Earth provides resources that are exploitable by humans for useful purposes. Some of these are non-renewable resources, such as mineral fuels, that are difficult to replenish on a short time scale.

Large deposits of fossil fuels are obtained from the Earth's crust, consisting of coal, petroleum, natural gas and methane clathrate. These deposits are used by humans The angle of the Earth's tilt is relatively stable over long both for energy production and as feedstock for chemical periods of time. The tilt does undergo nutation; a slight, irregular motion with a main period of 18.6 years. The orientation (rather production. Mineral ore bodies have also been formed in Earth's crust through a process of Ore genesis, resulting from actions of than the angle) of the Earth's axis also changes over time, precessing around in a complete circle over each 25,800 year erosion and plate tectonics. These bodies form concentrated sources for many metals and other useful elements. cycle; this precession is the reason for the difference between a sidereal year and a tropical year. Both of these motions are The Earth's biosphere produces many useful biological caused by the varying attraction of the Sun and Moon on the Earth's equatorial bulge. From the perspective of the Earth, the products for humans, including (but far from limited to) food, poles also migrate a few meters across the surface. This polar wood, pharmaceuticals, oxygen, and the recycling of many motion has multiple, cyclical components, which collectively are organic wastes. The land-based ecosystem depends upon topsoil termed quasi-periodic motion. In addition to an annual component and fresh water, and the oceanic ecosystem depends upon to this motion, there is a 14-month cycle called the Chandler dissolved nutrients washed down from the land. Humans also live wobble. The rotational velocity of the Earth also varies in a on the land by using building materials to construct shelters. In 1993, human use of land is approximately: phenomenon known as length of day variation. In modern times, Earth's perihelion occurs around January 3, and the aphelion around July 4. These dates change over time due to precession and other orbital factors, which follow cyclical patterns known as Milankovitch cycles. The changing Earth-Sun distance results in an increase of about 6.9% in solar energy reaching the Earth at perihelion relative to aphelion. Since the southern hemisphere is tilted toward the Sun at about the same time that the Earth reaches the closest approach to the Sun, the southern hemisphere receives slightly more energy from the Sun than does the northern over the course of a year. This effect is much less significant than the total energy change due to the axial tilt, and most of the excess energy is absorbed by the higher proportion of water in the southern hemisphere.
Land use Percentage Arable land 13.13% Permanent crops 4.71% Permanent pastures 26% Forests and woodland 32% Urban areas 1.5% Other 30%

The estimated 2,481,250 km2.








Natural and environmental hazards Large areas of the Earth's surface are subject to extreme weather such as tropical cyclones, hurricanes, or typhoons that dominate life in those areas. From 19802000, these events caused an average of 11,800 deaths per year. Many places are

subject to earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, sinkholes, blizzards, floods, droughts, wildfires, and other calamities and disasters. Many localized areas are subject to humanmade pollution of the air and water, acid rain and toxic substances, loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, species extinction, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion, and introduction of invasive species. According to the United Nations, a scientific consensus exists linking human activities to global warming due to industrial carbon dioxide emissions. This is predicted to produce changes such as the melting of glaciers and ice sheets, more extreme temperature ranges, significant changes in weather and a global rise in average sea levels. Human geography Cartography, the study and practice of map making, and vicariously geography, have historically been the disciplines devoted to depicting the Earth. Surveying, the determination of locations and distances, and to a lesser extent navigation, the determination of position and direction, have developed alongside cartography and geography, providing and suitably quantifying the requisite information. Earth has reached approximately 7,000,000,000 human inhabitants as of October 31, 2011. Projections indicate that the world's human population will reach 9.2 billion in 2050. Most of the growth is expected to take place in developing nations. Human population density varies widely around the world, but a majority live in Asia. By 2020, 60% of the world's population is expected to be living in urban, rather than rural, areas. It is estimated that only one-eighth of the surface of the Earth is suitable for humans to live onthree-quarters is covered by oceans, and half of the land area is either desert (14%),high mountains (27%),or other less suitable terrain. The northernmost permanent settlement in the world is Alert, on Ellesmere Island in Nunavut, Canada. (8228N) The southernmost is the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, in Antarctica, almost exactly at the South Pole (90S). Other Important Facts

Alternative names Orbital characteristics Epoch J2000.0 Aphelion Perihelion Semi-major axis Eccentricity Orbital period Average orbital speed Mean anomaly Inclination Longitude of ascending node Argument of perihelion Satellites Physical characteristics Mean radius Equatorial radius Polar radius Flattening Circumference Surface area

Terra, Gaia

152,098,232 km 1.01671388 AU 147,098,290 km 0.98329134 AU 149,598,261 km 1.00000261 AU 0.01671123 365.256363004 days 1.000017421 yr 29.78 km/s 107,200 km/h 357.51716 7.155to Sun's equator 1.57869[4] to invariable plane 348.73936 114.20783 1 8,300+ artificial (as of 1 March 2001) 6,371.0 km 6,378.1 km 6,356.8 km 0.0033528 40,075.017 km (equatorial) 40,007.86 km (meridional) 510,072,000 km2 148,940,000 km2 land (29.2 %) 361,132,000 km2 water (70.8 %) 1.083211012 km3 5.97361024 kg 5.515 g/cm3 9.780327 m/s2 0.99732 g 11.186 km/s 0.99726968 d 23h 56m 4.100s 1,674.4 km/h (465.1 m/s) 2326'21".4119 0.367 (geometric) 0.306 (Bond)

natural (the Moon)

Volume Mass Mean density Equatorial surface gravity Escape velocity Sidereal rotation period Equatorial rotation velocity Axial tilt Albedo

Surface temp. Kelvin Celsius

Min 184 K 89.2 C

mean 287.2 K 14 C

Max 331 K 57.8 C

Atmosphere Surface pressure Composition

101.325 kPa (MSL) 78.08% nitrogen (N2)(dry 20.95% oxygen (O2) 0.93% argon 0.038% carbon About 1% water vapor (varies with climate)

air) dioxide

Area Name Pacific Ocean Atlantic Ocean Indian Ocean Southern Ocean Arctic Ocean Mediterranean Sea2 Caribbean Sea

Average depth sq. km ft. 13,215 12,880 13,002 13,100 16,400 3,953 4,688 8,685 m 4,028 3,926 3,963 4,000 5,000 1,205 1,429 2,647

Greatest known depth ft. 36,198 30,246 24,460 23,736 18,456 15,197 22,788 m 11,033 9,219 7,455 7,235 5,625 4,632 6,946

sq. mi. 60,060,700 29,637,900 26,469,500 7,848,300 5,427,000 1,144,800 1,049,500

Place of greatest known depth Mariana Trench Puerto Trench Sunda Trench South Sandwich Trench 7745'N; 175W Off Cape Matapan, Greece Off Cayman Rico

155,557,000 76,762,000 68,556,000 20,327,000 14,056,000 2,965,800 2,718,200

Islands South China Sea Bering Sea Gulf of Mexico Okhotsk Sea East China Sea Hudson Bay Japan Sea Andaman Sea North Sea Red Sea Baltic Sea 895,400 884,900 615,000 613,800 482,300 475,800 389,100 308,000 222,100 169,100 163,000 2,319,000 2,291,900 1,592,800 1,589,700 1,249,200 1,232,300 1,007,800 797,700 575,200 438,000 422,200 5,419 5,075 4,874 2,749 617 420 4,429 2,854 308 1,611 180 1,652 1,547 1,486 838 188 128 1,350 870 94 491 55 16,456 15,659 12,425 12,001 9,126 600 12,276 12,392 2,165 7,254 1,380 5,016 4,773 3,787 3,658 2,782 183 3,742 3,777 660 2,211 421 West of Luzon Off Buldir Island Sigsbee Deep 14610'E; 4650'N 2516'N; 125E Near entrance Central Basin Off Car Nicobar Island Skagerrak Off Port Sudan Off Gotland

Mindoro islands and their population is around 282,593. The Mangyan people practice subsistence agriculture and they Philippines, basically an archipelago, has a variety of ethnic cultivate a number of varieties of the sweet potato along with taro groups inhabiting its land. The languages spoken by these ethnic and rice. They follow a religion called Animism. groups are Austronesian in origin. The culture of Philippines has been influenced by many different Maranao: Primarily known for their sophisticated weaving and cultures of the world, including the Spanish and American. Today, artwork, the Maranaos come from the island of Mindanao. They Philippines is roughly divided into upland ethnic groups known as are also known as the 'People of the Lake', since, they inhabited the 'Igorot' and the lowland Filipinos, who embraced the modern the region around the Lake Lanao. Maranaos come under a bigger lifestyle. Quite a large number of indigenous tribes in the group of Filipinos, the 'Moros' who follow the Muslim religion. To Philippines have accepted Islam as their religion. These people put it in a nutshell, all Muslims in Philippines are Moros. An are known as Moros. ancient form of instrumental music, the 'kulintang' holds great importance in Maranao culture. The life of the Maranaos is Different Tribes of Philippines centered on Lake Lanao, the largest in Mindanao, and the second Let's try to understand the culture and traditions of some of largest and deepest lake in the Philippines. This breathtakingly the numerous tribes of the Philippines. beautiful lake is surrounded with myths and legends, it is the main B'laan: One of the many tribes, the B'laan people come source of fisheries, and the main source of a hydroelectric plant from the Saranganai region, the southeastern part of Davao. installed on it; and the Agus River system that generates 70% of People of this tribe are also identified by names such as Bira-an, the electricity used by the people of Mindanao. A commanding Baraan, Vilanes and B'laan. These people are known for the view of the lake is offered by Marawi City, the provincial capital. beadwork, n'talak weave and brasswork. They wear embroidered Negrito: The term Negrito is a Spanish word, a diminutive costumes and jewelry made from brass. of the word Negro. In this case, Negritos refers to a large group of Bontocs: The tribes living in the Mountain province of indigenous tribes in Philippines. It includes the subgroups called Philippines and falling in today's Bontoc municipality are known as the Agta, Aeta, Ati, Ayta, Dumagat and 25 more tribes from the Bontocs. The Bontoc region today, is divided into 16 subdivisions Philippines. Although the Negritos of the Philippines possess some physical similarities with the pygmies of Africa, they are called barangays and its total population is 24,798. Ibaloi: The Ibaloi is an agricultural community, which completely unrelated in terms of genetics. cultivates rice in terraced fields. One of the communities living in Tagbanua: Inhabiting the northern and central region of the mountains of the Cordillera Central, the Ibaloi people are Palawan, Tagbanua is one of the oldest tribes in Philippines. 55,000 in number today. The Ibaloi people practiced Tagbanuas live in tiny villages that are compact with only 45 to mummification in the olden days. The process of mummification 500 people living in a single village. They speak the Palawano involved dehydrating the dead body completely, with the help of language and worship four deities, known as 'Nagabacaban' or smoke. The Ibaloi language they speak comes under the family of 'Mangindusa', 'Polo', 'Sedumunadoc' and 'Tabiacoud'. The family Austronesian languages. structure of Tagbanuas is a 'nuclear' one. They live in houses Lumad: These people come from southern Philippines. In made of bamboo. The Tagbanwa or Tagbanua, one of the oldest the Cebuano language the word Lumad means 'native'. Lumads ethnic groups in the Philippines, can be mainly found in the central and northern Palawan. Research has shown that the Tagbanwa are further subdivided in 18 ethnolinguistic groups. There are 17 Lumad ethnolinguistic groups namely, Atta, Bagobo, are possible descendants of the Tabon Man; thus, making them [1] Banwaon, Blaan, Bukidnon, Dibabawon, Higaonon, Mamanwa, one of the original inhabitants of the Philippines. They are brown[2] Mandaya, Manguwangan, Manobo, Mansaka, Tagakaolo, skinned, slim and straight-haired ethnic group. There are two major classifications based on the geographical Tasaday, Tboli, Teduray, and Ubo. According to the Lumad Development Center Inc., there are about location where they can be found. Central Tagbanwas are found in eighteen Lumad groups in 19 provinces across the country. They the western and eastern coastal areas of central Palawan. They comprise 12 to 13 million or 18% of the Philippine population and are concentrated in the municipalities of Aborlan, Quezon, and can be divided into 110 ethno-linguistic groups. Considered as Puerto Princesa. Calamian Tagbanwa, on the other hand, are "vulnerable groups", they live in hinterlands, forests, lowlands and found in Baras coast, Busuanga Island, Coron Island and in some parts of El Nido.[3] These two Tagbanwa sub-groups speak coastal areas.[1] [1][4] Katawhang Lumad are the un-Islamized and un-Christianized different languages and do not exactly have the same custom. Tagbanwa live in compact villages of 45 to 500 individuals.[5] In Austronesian peoples of Mindanao, namely Erumanen ne [4] Menuvu`, Matidsalug Manobo, Agusanon Manobo, Dulangan 1987, there are 129,691 Tagbanwas living in Palawan. At Manobo, Dabaw Manobo,Ata Manobo, B'laan, Kaulo, Banwaon, present, Tagbanwa tribe has an estimated population of over [1] Teduray, Lambangian, Higaunon, Dibabawon, Mangguwangan, 10,000. 1,800 of these are in the Calamianes. Tausug: One of the indigenous tribes in the Philippines Mansaka, Mandaya, K'lagan, T'boli, Mamanuwa, Talaandig, Tagabawa, and Ubu`, Tinenanen, Kuwemanen, K'lata and falling under a larger ethnic group, Moro, the Tausug community Diyangan. There are about twenty general hilltribes of Mindanao, comes from the Sulu Archipelago. The Sulu Archipelago is a group of islands in the southwestern parts of Philippines. Earlier, all of which are Austronesian. The term Lumad excludes the Butuanons and Surigaonons--even the Tausug people governed a bigger kingdom known as the 'Sulu the said two ethnic groups are native to Mindanao and the word Sultanate', which covered the modern-day provinces of Palawan, tells it sobecause those two are Visayans and Lumad are not Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi. ethnically related to them, which creates a contradiction because The first humans to have inhabited the Philippines were the the word lumad literally means "native" in Visayan. Mangyan: It is a common name used to refer to eight 'Tabon Man'. Negritos who appear similar to the tribals of ethnic tribes in Philippines. The Mangyan people come from the Andaman islands followed later and settled in Philippines. There

Tribes in the Philippines

are a large number of tribes in Philippines. In spite of enduring years of colonization, the descendants of the original inhabitants have been able to preserve the culture of Philippines. The great

diversity in language, arts, music and traditions provide us with an idea about the richness of this archipelago, the Philippi