|Topics||Atomic Mass, Comets, Genetic Type, Terrestrial Planets, Types of Rock|
The atomic mass of an element listed in the Periodic Table represents the average mass of a single atom of that element and is measured in atomic mass units (amu). This number is an average as some elements have isotopes with atoms that vary in their number of neturons and, therefore, differ in weight.
A comet is a loose collection of ice, dust, and small rocky particles that, in contrast to an asteroid, has an extended atmosphere surrounding the center. When passing close to the Sun, this atmosphere warms and begins to release gases forming a visible coma or tail.
A person's genotype is their genetic makeup and includes both dominant and recessive alleles. Phenotype is how the genes express themselves in physical characteristics.
The four planets closest to the Sun (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are called terrestrial (Earth-like) planets because, like the Earth, they're solid with inner metal cores covered by rocky surfaces.
The Earth's rocks fall into three categories based on how they're formed. Igneous rock (granite, basalt, obsidian) is formed from the hardening of molten rock (lava), sedimentary rock (shale, sandstone, coal) is formed by the gradual despositing and cementing of rock and other debris, and metamorphic rock (marble, slate, quartzite) which is formed when existing rock is altered though pressure, temperature, or chemical processes.