2 Our Planet, Earth Key Ideas

Term Definition
orbit path one object makes as it circles around another
axis imaginary line running through Earth between the North and South Poles
solstice point at which days are longest in one hemisphere and shortest in another
revolution circular journey around the sun
equinox point at which, everywhere on Earth, days and nights are nearly equal in length
rotation complete turn
time zones areas sharing the same time
core sphere of very hot metal at the center of Earth
atmosphere thick layer of gases or air
landform shapes and types of land
crust thin layer of rocks and minerals that surrounds Earth's mantle
weathering process that breaks rocks down into tiny pieces
valley stretch of low land between mountains or hills
erosion process in which water, ice, or wind remove small pieces of rock
deposition process of depositing material eroded and carried by water, ice, or wind
plateau large, mostly flat area that rises above the surrounding land
plain large area of flat or gently rolling land
delta a flat plain formed on the seabed where a river deposits material over many years
plate tectonics theory that explains how huge blocks of Earth's crust called "plates" move
magma stream of soft, nearly molten rock
plate block of rock and soil that makes up Earth's crust
fault seam in Earth's crust
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