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
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.
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.
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.
The Doppler effect occurs for
C) Both A and B.
D) Neither A nor B.
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
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
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
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
Approximately how much mass was there in the protoplanetary disk out of which the planets were formed, compared to the mass of the sun
< 1 percent
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
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
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
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
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
the solid form of a volatile material is generally referred to as:
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
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:
maintain a constant rate of spin
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
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
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
Which force is responsible for holding the protons and neutrons int he nucleus of an atom together?
strong nuclear force
electrons push them together
the majority of the sun;s energy comes from
nuclear fission of uranium
burning material as in a fire
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
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
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:
convection and radiation
radiation and conduction
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
Approximately how long does it take the photons released in the nuclear reactions in the core of the sun to exit the photosphere
4.6 billion years
Which of these can travel directly from the center of the sun to the earth in about 8 minutes
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
By studying how the surface of the sun vibrates like a struck bell we can determine its
Which of the layers of the sun is located the furthest from the center of the sun
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
Sunspots appear dark because they have _____________ than the surrounding gas
the darkest part of the sunspot is called the
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
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
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
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
the largest volcanic mountains in the solar system are found on
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
Plate tectonics is NOT responsible for
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
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
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 and mars
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
We have direct evidence fro the current existence of water on the surface of which terrestrial object?
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
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
Which of the following is NOT a requirement for a planetary magnetic dynamo
solid iron core
charged particles in the interior
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
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
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
Definitely not find the planet
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
The sunspot is much, much larger than
The sunspot is much, much smaller
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)
The Sun's luminosity comes primarily from
the mechanical energy of turbulence.
all of the above are comparable in importance.
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
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.
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.
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
large opaque structures that block light from the
glowing solar surface.
causing retinal damage
The 11 year solar cycle is NOT followed by
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
Earthquakes are an important tool for scientists because their
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.
The reason that the Earth's surface has so few meteor craters
compared to other nearby bodies in the Solar System is
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.
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
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