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What is differentiation in planetary geology?

he process by which gravity separates materials according to density

Under what circumstances can differentiation occur in a planet?

The planet must have a molten interior.

The core, mantle, and crust of a planet are defined by differences in their

composition & density.

The lithosphere of a planet is the layer that consists of

the rigid rocky material of the crust and uppermost portion of the mantle.

The terrestrial planet cores contain mostly metal because

metals sank to the center during a time when the interiors were molten throughout.

Which internal energy source is the most important in continuing to heat the terrestrial planets today?


Which of the following best describes convection?

It is the process in which warm material expands and rises while cool material contracts and falls

The three principal sources of the internal heat of terrestrial planets are

accretion, differentiation, and radioactivity.

Which of the terrestrial worlds has the strongest magnetic field?


Which of the following most likely explains why Venus does not have a strong magnetic field?

Its rotation is too slow

What are the conditions necessary for a terrestrial planet to have a strong magnetic field?

both a molten metallic core and reasonably fast rotation

Which of the following does not have a major effect in shaping planetary surfaces?


The relatively few craters that we see within the lunar maria

were formed by impacts that occurred after those that formed most of the craters in the lunar highlands.

When we see a region of a planet that is not as heavily cratered as other regions, we conclude that

the surface in the region is younger than the surface in more heavily cratered regions.

The geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park result from

plumes of hot mantle rising in a hot spot within a plate.

Ridges in the middle of the ocean are places where

hot mantle material rises upward and spreads sideways, pushing the plates apart.

Deep trenches in the ocean mark places where

one plate slides under another, returning older crust to the mantle.

The polar caps on Mars are composed o

mostly solid carbon dioxide and some water ice.

Which of the following does not provide evidence that Mars once had flowing water?

the presence of vast canals discovered in the late 1800s by Giovanni Schiaparelli and mapped by Percival Lowell

Valles Marineris is a(n)

large canyon on Mars.

How did the lunar maria form?

Large impacts fractured the Moon's lithosphere, allowing lava to fill the impact basins.

Which two properties are most important in determining the surface temperature of a planet?

distance from the Sun and atmosphere

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