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The programme examines the geological evolution of the terrestrial planets from data obtained by manned and unmanned space probes. It is extensively illustrated with NASA animations and satellite pictures.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: S237, "The Earth, structure, composition and evolution"
Item code: S237; 08; 1981
First transmission date: 04-07-1981
Published: 1981
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:00
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Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Planets; Solar system; Space exploration; Surface geology
Footage description: Over shots of the models of the terrestrial planets in the studio and of a NASA animation showing the formation of a planet, Richard Thorpe introduces the programme. Film shots of Iceland and of earth scientists setting up equipment which will measure the extent of sea floor spreading at this point. Commentary explains what such, data does for the understanding of plate tectonics. With the aid of NASA animations, Richard Thorpe explains how satellite monitoring of plate movements is carried out. A cut-away animated diagram of the earth shows core, mantle and crust. A heat flux profile is superimposed over this which correlates areas of major heat loss with particular geological features such as mid-ocean ridges. Convective motion in the upper and lower mantle is also shown. Richard Thorpe explains what can be inferred about interior processes in the terrestrial planets from observation of their surface features. Several NASA photographs of the surface of the moon. Film shots of Apollo astronauts landing on the moon and carrying out geological experiments. Shots of astronauts driving the moon buggy. Commentary explains what was learned about the geology of the moon from these space probes. Shots of a moon model in cross section showing its interior features. The programme goes on to examine the geology of Mercury. NASA photographs from the Mariner 10 mission show the surface features of the planet. Commentary explains what can be inferred about the planet's interior from this data. Shots of a model of Mercury in cross section showing interior features NASA photographs of Venus from space and photographs of the surface taken by a Russian space probe. Shots of a radar map of the planet and of artist impressions of the radar map. Commentary discusses these surface features and explains what they tell about the interior of the planet. Shots of a model of Venus in cross section. NASA photographs of Mars from space, artist impressions of the surface, and photographs taken by the Viking lander. Again commentary discusses the surface features and what these tell about the interior structure of the planet. Shots of a model of Mars in cross section. Richard Thorpe summarises the programme. Credits follow over shots of an Apollo lunar lander taking off, and meeting the lunar orbiter.
Production number: FOUS160Y
Videofinder number: 1595
Available to public: no