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Planetary science: Track 1

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Our planet is at the centre of a cosmic shooting gallery. This album examines the evidence for and effect of asteroid impacts and meteor explosions on Earth. The 6 video tracks ------ the environmental effects caused by bolides of different sizes and trajectories. How do scientists detect that a crater on Earth is the result of an asteroid impact? Ian Gilmour visits an unusual circular feature at Nordingen in Southern Germany and Peter Schultz describes the oblique impact at Rio Quarto in Argentina. When comets collide with planets, the consequences can be catastrophic. What kind of impact could cause mass extinction on earth?

This material forms part of The Open University course S283 Planetary science and the search for life.

By: The OpenLearn team (The Open University,)

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Track 1: Planetary science

A short introduction to this album.


© The Open University 2008


Tracks in this podcast:

Track   Title Description
1 Planetary science    A short introduction to this album. Play now Planetary science
2 The Nature of Impacts    What happens when an asteroid crashes into a planet? Geologists investigate the causes of the Reis crater in Germany. Play now The Nature of Impacts
3 The Formation of Craters    When an asteroid penetrates the Earth's surface, it incredible temperatures and shockwaves transform the landscape. Play now The Formation of Craters
4 Reconstructing the Impact    The devastation caused in just 5 minutes when an asteroid smashes into the Earth. Play now Reconstructing the Impact
5 Low Angle Impacts    Comparing the size and shape of craters on Earth and other planets. Special focus on the Rio Quarto crater in Argentina. Play now Low Angle Impacts
6 The Consequences on Earth    Impacts can have massive environmental effects, for example, the meteor explosion above Tunguska, Siberia. Play now The Consequences on Earth
7 The Pacific Ocean Explosion    Japanese fishermen witness a 20 kiloton event. But what size impact could cause mass extinction on Earth? Play now The Pacific Ocean Explosion

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