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Astronomy Chapter 9
Terms in this set (60)
One distinct difference between Earth and its neighboring planets, Venus and Mars, is the
D) liquid water on its surface and water molecules chemically locked into rocks.
Earth is the only planet whose atmosphere contains a significant amount of
The age of Earth is considered to be
B) about 4.6 billion years
Which of the following is the major power source that drives the dynamics of Earth's
D) solar radiation
The albedo of a planet is the fraction of energy that is
B) reflected by the whole planet, including atmosphere and surface.
The greenhouse effect is the
D) absorption by atmospheric gases of infrared radiation emitted by a planet that has been
heated by solar visible and ultraviolet radiation.
The surface temperature of Earth is actually warmer than expected from the amount of
sunlight received. This is a result of
B) the greenhouse effect.
The greenhouse effect heats a planet because
C) infrared radiation is trapped.
What is the direct source of the energy which warms the lowest layers of our atmosphere?
B) infrared radiation from the ground
Which of the following molecular species plays a major role in the greenhouse effect in
C) carbon dioxide
Earth has an average density of
D) 5.5 times that of water
Terrestrial planets are thought to have dense iron cores because
D) in earlier molten states the heavy elements sank and lighter materials floated to the
surface by chemical differentiation.
Where is the mantle of Earth located?
D) between core and crust
What is the basic structure of Earth's interior?
A) solid iron inner core, molten iron outer core, rocky mantle, lighter rocky crust
Which of the following techniques is used by geologists and geophysicists to probe the
structure of Earth's core and mantle?
C) study of the deflection of seismic waves produced by earthquakes
A "Slinky " toy is made up of a long flexible spring. The analogous wave to the (P) or
primary wave produced in an earthquake would be generated by moving the end of the
D) back and forth in a direction along the spring.
The waves that geologists and geophysicists use to probe the inside of Earth are
A) seismic waves.
You are a geologist detecting S (secondary) seismic waves from a source somewhere else on
Earth. You know that these S waves
B) have not passed through the center of Earth.
Why do transverse seismic S waves not traverse Earth's deep interior?
A) They cannot travel through the liquid part of the core
The point on Earth's surface directly above an earthquake is known as its
The outer core of Earth is molten, but the inner core is solid. The reason for this is that the
A) actual temperature is below the melting point of the core material at the high pressure of
Earth's interior received its heat energy from the impacts of planetesimals and from
radioactivity. This heat energy is gradually radiating into space. As Earth's interior
continues to cool, we can expect that, in the distant future,
B) the outer core will become solid like the inner core
We have found that the upper layers of the mantle are "plastic." Why is this important?
D) The continents are able to float and drift on these layers.
"Continental drift" on Earth is now thought to be caused by
D) circulation currents in the deep interior causing slabs of Earth's crust to move slowly.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge in Earth's crust is a region where
A) two tectonic plates are slowly spreading apart.
The Mid-Atlantic Ridge is being produced by
B) volcanic upflow pushing two tectonic plates apart.
The San Andreas fault in California is an example of
D) two tectonic plates sliding past each other.
The long and high mountain ranges found in the centers of several major oceans on Earth,
such as the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, are caused by
B) lava upflow as the tectonic plates on the seafloor split apart and separate.
Most earthquakes occur
B) where crustal plates are colliding, separating or sliding past each other.
All the boundaries of the major moving tectonic plates on Earth's surface coincide with
D) the positions of maximum earthquake occurrence.
Suppose that an astronaut trained in geology lands on the surface of a distant planet and
finds that most of the rock at the landing site is composed of limestone. The astronaut can
immediately surmise that the location of the landing site
D) was once the bed of an ancient ocean.
Sedimentary rocks commonly form from
B) minerals precipitating out of the oceans and accumulating on the ocean bottom.
Sedimentary rocks are found
D) just about everywhere on Earth's surface
Earth's magnetic field originates in
D) slowly moving currents of molten iron which produce electric currents in the deep
interior of Earth
The magnetic field of Earth
A) is related to its rotation around its axis.
Earth's magnetosphere is the
B) region beyond the atmosphere, where the magnetic field protects us from solar wind.
The Van Allen belts are
D) regions of high-energy charged particles trapped within Earth's magnetosphere.
What protects us from the damaging radiation effects of the high-speed solar wind that
flows through interplanetary space?
D) Earth's magnetic field
Auroras, or northern and southern lights, are caused by
D) charged particles from the magnetosphere, striking atoms in the upper atmosphere and
causing the gases to emit light.
If you were able to measure Earth's magnetic field at some time, say, 100,000 to 200,000
years ago, you would
C) most likely find the field to be quite different in magnitude from what it is today
Which one of the following statements about the solar wind is true?
D) Its particles travel at very high speeds.
The large amount of free oxygen in Earth's present atmosphere is primarily a result of
B) a biological process such as photosynthesis.
One of the major differences between Earth and its neighboring planets, Venus and Mars, is
the lack of large quantities of CO2 in its atmosphere. If all three planets were originally
formed with significant quantities of this gas in their atmospheres, where is the majority of
this CO2 on Earth at the present time?
D) It is locked up in carbonate, and carbon-rich rocks and minerals formed in the sea and on
Photosynthesis is a chemical process which takes place in green plants. What is its effect
on our atmosphere?
B) Photosynthesis consumes carbon dioxide from our atmosphere and produces oxygen.
The planet whose atmosphere is composed primarily of nitrogen is
The major layers of Earth's atmosphere from the surface upward in correct order are
D) troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere
In which layer of Earth's atmosphere does all weather occur?
D) a molecule made of three oxygen atoms.
We need the ozone layer because it
D) shields us from harmful solar ultraviolet radiation.
Suppose Earth was put into orbit around a cool star (cooler than our Sun) at the right
distance for our oceans to remain liquid so that life could still exist but the star emitted no
UV radiation. Each of the following statements gives a consequence of this change, except
one. Which would not be a consequence of this change?
B) Our magnetosphere would disappear.
Which of the following is not a region of Earth's atmosphere?
In which layer of Earth's atmosphere is the ozone layer located?
The lowest temperature in Earth's atmosphere is about
C) -80°C or 193 K.
The hottest part of Earth's atmosphere is
D) the upper thermosphere.
The temperature in the stratosphere increases with increasing altitude because
B) it is heated by the absorption of solar ultraviolet radiation by ozone.
The lowest pressure in Earth's atmosphere occurs where?
D) the upper thermosphere
Which of the following roles played by the massive rain forests of Earth is perhaps the
most important in the maintenance of the entire world's living environment?
D) absorption of CO2 and production of O2, renewing our atmosphere and reducing the
Which of the following areas of human endeavor and development is having the most impact
on Earth at the present moment?
A) rapid increase in human population
Since 1900, how much has the global temperature risen?
Each of the following contributes substantially to changes in the temperature of Earth's
surface, except one. Which is the exception?
D) the size of the hole in the ozone layer
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