Astronomy Exam 2

Lizzy Compton
Quiz by Lizzy Compton, updated more than 1 year ago
Lizzy Compton
Created by Lizzy Compton over 5 years ago


Quiz on Astronomy Exam 2, created by Lizzy Compton on 11/04/2015.

Resource summary

Question 1

The standard model of solar system formation offers what explanation for the different compositions of the terrestrial and Jovian planets?
  • a) During condensation, the heavier elements tended to sink nearer the Sun and, being rare, only provided enough material to build the relatively small terrestrial planets.
  • b) During the collapse of the gaseous nebula, most of the material tended to collect far from the Sun because of the large centrifugal forces, which provided the necessary material to build the large Jovian planets.
  • c) The large gravitational forces of Jupiter tended to prevent planet formation in the inner solar system and eventually attracted most of the material into the region of the Jovian planets.
  • d) The terrestrial planets were formed near the Sun where, because of the high temperatures, only heavier elements were able to condense.

Question 2

Astronomers have discovered massive gas giant planets like Jupiter orbiting companion stars at closer than 0.7 AU (about the distance of Venus’s orbit). Why don’t astronomers believe that these gas giant planets originally formed at these locations?
  • a) The planets’ gravity would have been too large to form that close to the star.
  • b) The temperature in the early solar nebula was too high at these distances.
  • c) Their orbital periods are too long for them to be located that close to their companion stars.
  • d) A young star’s solar wind would have blown the planets farther away.

Question 3

When a fire engine approaches you, the
  • A) speed of its sound increases.
  • B) frequency of sound increases.
  • C) wavelength of its sound increases.
  • D) All increase.

Question 4

The Doppler effect occurs for
  • A) sound.
  • B) light.
  • C) Both A and B.
  • D) Neither A nor B.

Question 5

How much material in an accretion disk goes into forming the planets, moons, and smaller objects?
  • a small amount of it
  • none; these objects were not formed in the accretion disk
  • roughly half of it
  • most of it

Question 6

The difference in composition between the giant planets and the terrestrial planets is most likely caused by the fact that:
  • that giant planets are much larger
  • only small differences in chemical composition existed in the solar nebula
  • the giant planets are made mostly of carbon
  • the terrestrial planets are closer to the Sun
  • only the terrestrial planets have iron cores

Question 7

The moon probably formed
  • when the Earth's gravity captured a planetesimal
  • out of a collision between the Earth and a Mars-sized object
  • when a piece of Earth broke off and entered orbit
  • when the accretion disk around the Earth fragmented
  • when massive planetesimals collided to form a more massive object

Question 8

When you push your palms together and rub them back and forth you are demonstrating one way of converting _______energy into ______ energy
  • kinetic into thermal
  • potential into thermal
  • potential into total
  • kinetic into potential
  • thermal into kinetic

Question 9

Approximately how much mass was there in the protoplanetary disk out of which the planets were formed, compared to the mass of the sun
  • 25 percent
  • 10 percent
  • 50 percent
  • < 1 percent
  • 5 percent

Question 10

What is the age of our Solar System?
  • 13.7 billion years old
  • 4.6 billion years old
  • 4.6 million years old
  • 13.7 trillion years old
  • 13.7 million years old

Question 11

Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the early Solar System, based on current observations?
  • the material from which the planets formed was swirling about the Sun in the same average rotational direction
  • the initial composition of the solar nebula varied between its inner and outer regions
  • the first objects to form started out small and grew in size
  • the early solar nebula must have been flattened
  • temperatures decreased with increasing distance from the Sun

Question 12

Why do the terrestrial planets have a much higher fraction of their mass in heavy chemical elements (as opposed to lighter chemical elements) than the giant planets?
  • the giant planets were more massive than the terrestrial planets, and the giant planets preferentially pulled the lighter elements from the inner to the outer Solar System
  • Terrestrial planets are low in mass and high in temperature, thus their lighter chemical elements eventually escaped to the outer reaches of the Solar System
  • Terrestrial planets are colder and thus more massive chemical elements condensed on them than the giant planets
  • terrestrial planets formed much earlier then giant planets before the hydrogen and helium had a chance to cool and condense onto them
  • the heavier elements in the forming of the Solar nebula sunk to the center of the Solar System thus the inner terrestrial planets formed mostly from heavy chemical elements

Question 13

Why have astronomers using the radial velocity method found more Jupiter sized planets at a distance of 1 AU around other stars than Earth-size planets ?
  • A Jupiter sized planet shines brighter than an Earth-sized planet
  • Earth-sized planets are much rarer than Jupiter-sized planets
  • A Jupiter-sized planet exerts a larger gravitational force on the star than an Earth-sized planet, and the Doppler shift of the star is larger
  • Actually the planets found at these distances have all been earth sized
  • A Jupiter sized planet occults a larger area than an Earth sized planet

Question 14

What happens to the kinetic energy of gas as it falls toward and eventually hits the accretion disk surrounding a protostar?
  • it is converted into thermal energy, heating the disk
  • it is immediately converted into photons, giving off a flash of light upon impact
  • it becomes the kinetic energy of the orbit of the gas in the accretion disk around the protostar
  • it disappears into interstellar space
  • it is converted into potential energy as the gas plows through the disk and comes out the other side

Question 15

the solid form of a volatile material is generally referred to as:
  • ice
  • refractory material
  • metal
  • silicate
  • rock

Question 16

Which of the following is NOT considered evidence of cataclysmic impacts in the history of our Solar System?
  • Mercury has crust that has buckled on the opposite side of an impact crater
  • Mercury, Earth's moon and many other small bodies are covered with many impact craters
  • Valles Marineris on Mars is a huge scar, many times deeper than the grand Canyon which spans one-fourth the circumference of the planet
  • Mimas has a crater whose diameter is roughly one-third of the moons size
  • Uranus is "tipped over" so that it revolves on its side

Question 17

According to the conservation of angular momentum, if an ice skater stars spinning with her arms out wide, then slowly pulls them closer to her body, this will cause her to:
  • spin slower
  • maintain a constant rate of spin
  • fall down
  • spin faster

Question 18

The sun has a mass of:
  • 2 x 10>10 kg
  • 2 x 10>25 kg
  • 2 x 10>30 kg
  • 2 x 10>35 kg
  • 2 x 10>45 kg

Question 19

Hydrostatic equilibrium is a balance between:
  • heat and centrifugal force
  • core temperature and surface temperature
  • pressure and gravity
  • radiation and heat
  • centrifugal force and gravity

Question 20

The balance of energy in the solar interior means that:
  • energy production rate in the core equals the rate of radiation escaping the sun's surface
  • the source of energy in the core is stable and will sustain the sun for millions of years
  • the outer layer of the sun absorb and re-emit the radiation from the core at increasingly longer wavelengths
  • radiation pressure balances the weight of the overlaying solar layers
  • the core of the sun has higher pressure than the outer layers

Question 21

Which force is responsible for holding the protons and neutrons int he nucleus of an atom together?
  • gravity
  • strong nuclear force
  • electric force
  • magnetic force
  • electrons push them together

Question 22

the majority of the sun;s energy comes from
  • gravitational contraction
  • nuclear fission of uranium
  • hydrogen fusion
  • helium burning
  • burning material as in a fire

Question 23

If the core of the sun were hotter than it is now, how would the sun's energy production change?
  • it would produce less energy per second than it does now
  • it would produce more energy per second than it does now
  • its energy production would vary more than it does now
  • its energy production would be more stable than it is now
  • the sun's energy production would not change

Question 24

The net effect of the proton proton chain is that four hydrogen nuclei are converted to one helium nucleus and ______ are released
  • visible wavelength photons
  • gamma ray photons, positrons and neutrinos
  • ultraviolet photons and neutrinos
  • x-ray photons, electrons, and neutrinos
  • infrared photons and positrons

Question 25

If you were to hold on to one end of a metal spoon while placing the other end in a pot of boiling water, you will burn your hand. This is an example of energy being transferred by:
  • radiation
  • convection
  • conduction
  • convection and radiation
  • radiation and conduction

Question 26

the interior zones of the sun are distinguished by
  • jumps in density between zones
  • their temperature profiles
  • pressure differences inside each zone
  • their modes of energy transport
  • all of the above

Question 27

Approximately how long does it take the photons released in the nuclear reactions in the core of the sun to exit the photosphere
  • 8 minutes
  • 16 hours
  • 1,000 years
  • 100,000 years
  • 4.6 billion years

Question 28

Which of these can travel directly from the center of the sun to the earth in about 8 minutes
  • photons
  • electrons
  • protons
  • neutrons
  • neutrinos

Question 29

The solar neutrino problem was solved by
  • adjusting the rate of hydrogen burning in solar models
  • improving detector efficiency so more neutrinos were observed
  • postulating that neutrinos had mass and oscillated between three different types
  • Lowering the percentage of helium in models of solar composition
  • correctly measuring the density of the sun's interior

Question 30

By studying how the surface of the sun vibrates like a struck bell we can determine its
  • age
  • interior density
  • total mass
  • size
  • temperature

Question 31

Which of the layers of the sun is located the furthest from the center of the sun
  • chromosphere
  • photoshpere
  • radiative zone
  • convective zone
  • corona

Question 32

Which of the following is NOT a result of an increase in solar activity
  • the altitudes of orbiting satellites decrease
  • airplanes have trouble navigating
  • stronger auroras are seen
  • power grids can be damaged
  • all of the above can be caused by increased solar activity

Question 33

Sunspots appear dark because they have _____________ than the surrounding gas
  • higher densities
  • lower densities
  • higher pressures
  • lower temperatures
  • higher temperatures

Question 34

the darkest part of the sunspot is called the
  • penumbra
  • umbra
  • granule
  • photosphere
  • magnetic field

Question 35

the magnetic field of the sun is continuously produced by
  • its differential rotation
  • the solar wind
  • changes in the rate of nuclear fusion in the core
  • a liquid conducting layer in the interior
  • this is a trick question. the solar magnetic filed is primordial

Question 36

Flows of material surrounding Martian craters suggest
  • the presence of ice
  • the presence of water in surface rocks
  • a very thin crust
  • active plate tectonics at the time of impact
  • volcanism in it interior

Question 37

Suppose an earthquake occurs on an imaginary planet. Scientists on the other side of the planet detect primary waves but not secondary waves after the quake occurs. this suggests that
  • the planets interior consists entirely of rocky materials
  • all of the planets interior is solid
  • part of the planets interior is liquid
  • the planet has an iron core
  • the planets mantle is liquid

Question 38

Based on the number of impact craters observed per square meter on their surface, place these terrestrial planets in order of youngest to oldest surface
  • earth, mercury, venus
  • venus, mercury, earth
  • mercury, venus, earth
  • venus, earth, mercury
  • earth, venus, mercury

Question 39

the largest volcanic mountains in the solar system are found on
  • mars
  • the moon
  • venus
  • earth
  • mercury

Question 40

the lithosphere of a planet is
  • the molten layer under the crust
  • the upper layer of its atmosphere
  • the layer of the atmosphere in which clouds form
  • its frozen surface
  • its solid surface

Question 41

Plate tectonics is NOT responsible for
  • continental drifts
  • canyons
  • mountain ranges
  • ocean trenches
  • volcanoes

Question 42

Which is NOT a reason that we suspect that the extinction of the dinosaurs was caused by a large impact by a large object?
  • soot is found in the material in K-T boundary, which probably came from the fires caused by the impact
  • an impact crater has been found near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula
  • the material in the K-T boundary is rich in iridium
  • Many dinosaur fossils are found below the K-T boundary by none above
  • the remaining meteorite has been identified on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico

Question 43

earth's innermost core is solid, not liquid, because
  • all the liquid has moved up into the mantle via convection
  • the core temperature is too low to melt iron
  • the pressure is too high for the material to be in a liquid state
  • differentiation caused all of the heavy, solid material to sink to the bottom while earth was forming
  • iron does not melt

Question 44

Based on the assumption that a liquid, conducting core and rapid rotation are both required for a magnetic dynamo to operate, which terrestrial planets would you expect to have magnetic fields?
  • only earth and mercury
  • earth, venus, mars, and mercury
  • only earth, venus, and mars
  • only earth
  • only earth and mars

Question 45

of the following methods, the age of the solar system can be determined most accurately by
  • measuring the number of craters per square meter on mercury
  • measurements of the magnetic field variations in rocks under the earth's oceans
  • radioactive dating of rocks retrieved from the moon
  • measuring the rate of energy production in the sun
  • carbon dating of rocks from mountains on the earth

Question 46

We have direct evidence fro the current existence of water on the surface of which terrestrial object?
  • mercury
  • callisto
  • venus
  • ganymede
  • mars

Question 47

the fact that earth's interior is differentiated suggests that
  • only the crust is solid; the rest of earth's interior is liquid
  • it formed first from lighter material, then afterward accreted heavier material
  • it has both a liquid and solid core
  • it formed first from denser material and then afterward accreted lighter material
  • it was entirely liquid at some point in the past

Question 48

Studies of the amount of cratering at different locations on the moon indicate that
  • cratering is not linger occurring in the solar system
  • the younger lunar surfaces are hundreds of billions of years younger that the oldest surfaces
  • most of the heavy cratering in the solar system occurred before the earth formed
  • the rate of cratering in the solar system has changed over time
  • the moon has never been geologically active at any point in its history

Question 49

Which of the following is NOT a requirement for a planetary magnetic dynamo
  • solid iron core
  • liquid interior
  • charged particles in the interior
  • convective motions
  • rapid rotation

Question 50

What is the main reason that the earth's interior is liquid today?
  • tidal force of the moon on the earth
  • seismic waves that travel through earth's interior
  • pressure on the core from earth's layers
  • decay of radioactive elements
  • convective motions in the mantle

Question 51

Mars, Venus, and Earth are much less heavily cratered than Mercury and the Moon. this is explained by the fact that
  • Mars, Venus, and earth are much larger in size than Mercury and the moon
  • the rate of cratering in the early solar system was strongly dependent on location
  • Mars, Venus, and Earth were geologically active for a longer period of time than Mercury and the Moon
  • Mars, Venus, and the Earth have thicker atmospheres
  • Earth and Venus were shielded from impacts by the moon and Mars was protected by the asteroid belt

Question 52

If a star has a Jupiter sized planet, and we use the transit method to search for planets around that star, we will:
  • Definitely find the planet
  • Depends on the brightness of the planet
  • Depends on the orientation of the planet orbit
  • Definitely not find the planet

Question 53

The image at right shows a picture of the Sun. The dark spots located on this image are sunspots. How does the size of Earth compare to the size of the sunspot that is identified on the right side of the image of Sun?
  • ) Earth and the sunspot are about the same size.
  • The sunspot is much, much larger than Earth.
  • The sunspot is much, much smaller than Earth.

Question 54

If you were constructing a scale model of the solar system that used a Sun that was the size of a basketball (approximately 12 inches in diameter), which of the following lengths would most closely approximate the scaled distance between Earth and the Sun?
  • 3 feet (length of an outstretched arm)
  • 10 feet (height of a basketball goal)
  • 100 feet (height of an 10 story building)
  • 300 feet (length of a football field)

Question 55

The Sun's luminosity comes primarily from
  • chemical burning.
  • the mechanical energy of turbulence.
  • nuclear fusion.
  • gravitational contraction.
  • all of the above are comparable in importance.

Question 56

The photosphere (the visible surface) of the Sun is like
  • the surface of the Earth; you could stand on it, if you could survive the heat.
  • the surface of the ocean; you couldn't stand on it, but you would clearly be able to detect differences above and below it.
  • an apparent surface; you would notice very little change as you go through it, as when you fly through a cloud.
  • the surface of a trampoline; you could land on it, but the intense pressure would push you away again.

Question 57

The temperature in and around the Sun
  • drops continuously as you move outward.
  • rises continuously as you move outward.
  • drops as you move from the center to the photosphere, then rises above the photosphere.
  • rises as you move from the center to the photosphere, then drops above the photosphere.

Question 58

Sunspots appear dark because they are
  • holes in the photosphere through which you can see deeply into the stellar interior
  • a bit cooler and thus dimmer than the rest of the photosphere
  • large opaque structures that block light from the glowing solar surface.
  • causing retinal damage

Question 59

The 11 year solar cycle is NOT followed by the:
  • Number of sunspots on the Sun
  • Typical latitude of sunspots on the Sun
  • Rate of Solar Flares
  • Incidence of strong aurora on the Earth
  • None of the above

Question 60

Earthquakes are an important tool for scientists because their vibrations
  • influence the Earth's orbit about the Sun.
  • allow the study of the Earth's internal structure.
  • inform us of the mass of the Earth.
  • are used to predict the future of plate tectonics.

Question 61

The reason that the Earth's surface has so few meteor craters compared to other nearby bodies in the Solar System is that
  • the Moon blocked almost all of the meteors that otherwise would have hit the Earth.
  • the atmosphere causes all objects entering from space to burn up before they hit the ground.
  • the Earth's surface has been modified by various forces which cover or remove traces of the craters.
  • all meteorite impacts break the crust and release lava from the mantle to fill in the hole.

Question 62

The change in position of the continents over time is primarily caused by
  • continental plates floating on the ocean
  • mantle material circulating inside Earth.
  • Earth’s slowly shrinking as it cools.
  • global wind patterns and sustained ocean currents.

Question 63

Which of the following is evidence that the Earth's interior is not rigid? I. Plate tectonics II. The liquid oceans III. The greenhouse effect IV. The magnetic field
  • I, II.
  • I, IV.
  • II, III.
  • II, IV.
  • III, IV.
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