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Geology of the Solar System II: Beyond the Earth-Moon System


Module description

The main objective of this module is to introduce you to the geological histories, and geological processes, of other planets and to illustrate how this knowledge has led to our current understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System.

The course is designed to give you a basic introduction to planetary geology, with particular emphasis on the Solar System beyond the Earth-Moon system.

You will have the opportunity to examine hand specimens and petrographic thin-sections of various kinds of meteorite, and perform analyses of planetary remote-sensing data.

Indicative module content

  • Geology of Mars
  • Geology of Venus
  • Geology of Mercury
  • Geology of outer Solar System Moons
  • Introduction to Planetary Atmospheres

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will:

  • have knowledge and understanding of the basic geology and geophysics of the other planets
  • understand the various techniques used to acquire geological knowledge of other planets
  • understand how a comparison of the geologies of the different planets informs our understanding of the origin and evolution of the Solar System as a whole
  • understand scientific hypothesis development and testing
  • be able to analyse and interpret planetary remote sensing data, interpret images, interpret and create maps
  • be able to transfer geological knowledge gained in the context of the Earth to wide range of different planetary environments.