Planetary geology is a lecture from the school of geology and the department of radiation astronomy of the school of physics and astronomy. It is about the geological effects on large rocky objects due, or apparently due, to being in orbits around a star or stellar system within a few light years.

This is Mercury in real colors, processed from clear and blue filtered Mariner 10 images. Credit: Images processed by Ricardo Nunes.

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1 Which of the following are major geological effects on planetary-size rocky objects due to being in elliptical orbits around stars or stellar systems?

fault systems due to differential tidal forces
the solar wind
melting and freezing of ices due to closeness or distantness respectively.
increases in asteroid collisions
seasons on objects such as Earth

2 True or False, The gravitational force at the surface of a spheroidal object made of silicates the approximate diameter of the Earth is insufficient to melt any portion from the surface to the center.


3 With respect to protoplanetary disks what green mineral has been found?

4 A natural rocky source of chemicals from the sky to the ground may originate from what astronomical source?

the solar wind
the diffuse X-ray background
Mount Redoubt in Alaska
the asteroid belt
the International Space Station

5 True or False, Optical reflectance studies of Mercury provide evidence for Mg silicates.


6 Complete the text:

Match up the type of silicate with the name:
cyclosilicate - A
inosilicate - B
orthosilicate - C
sorosilicate - D
phyllosilicate - E
tectosilicate - F
structurally isolated double tetrahedra

single chain of tetrahedra

a continuous framework of tetrahedra

a ring of linked tetrahedra

a two-dimensional sheet of tetrahedra

isolated tetrahedra


7 Radiation phenomena associated with craters include?

secondary craters
checking equations about complex systems
deformed strata
electric arcs

8 A terrestrial planet is composed primarily of?

9 True or False, The XRS aboard the MESSENGER spacecraft maps mineral composition.


10 Which geological phenomena are associated with Earth?

lava-spewing volcanoes
sulfur volcanoes
plate tectonics
water oceans
liquid methane oceans
silicate minerals

11 True or False, From the parts of the definition of a planet, the Earth is a planet.


12 Which geochemical phenomena are associated with Earth?

calcium carbonate deposition in the oceans
uranium ions in its oceans
liquid methane oceans
silicate minerals


  1. The effects on large rocky objects of having orbits around stars or stellar systems can be muted by rotation.

See also


{{Geology resources}}