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If a star has a declination of +41'30", then from here in St. Cloud, we would expect the star to transit out meridian at what elevation angle above the local horizon?
About 86 degrees above the southern horizon
The first quarter moon rises about noon today; what will its phase be, and when will it rise tomorrow?
waxing gibbous, 1pm
If one complete hemisphere of the moon is always lit by the sun, why do we see different phases of the moon?
The Moon shines by reflected light
When the sun is "in Gemini," the most prominent constellation of the zodiak at midnight is
Sirius has a parallax of 0.38", while Alpha Centauri's is 0.77". Alpha Centauri is about __________ as Sirius.
The vernal equinos is just now entering Aquarius. In what constellation will it lie in the year C.E. 5000?
A planet whose distance from the sun is 3 AU would have an orbital period of how many Earth-years?
If we see a bright point of light in the sky that changes its position bit by bit over several nights with respect to the constellations, it is probably
According to Copernicus, retrograde motion for Venus must occur around
inferior conjunction, when it passes between us and the Sun
In what regions of the EM spectrum is the atmosphere transparent enough to allow observations from the ground?
FM, near infrared, visible
Astronomers use spectroscopic information to determine which of the following?
relative motion, chemical content of the surface, temperature
As white light passes through a prism, the red (longer) wavelengths bend less than the blue (shorter) wavelengths, forming the rainbow of colors.
The two forms of EM radiation that experience the least atmospheric opacity are
light and radio waves
In a hydrogen atom, the transition from the 2nd to the 1st excited state will produce
the bright red Balmer alpha emission line
The observed spectral lines of a star are all shifted towards the red end of the spectrum. This is an example of
the Doppler effect
If the rest wavelength of a certain line is 600nm, but we observe it at 594nm, then
the source is approaching us at 1% the speed of light
Order the planets according to mass from smallest to largest
Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, Jupiter
Order the planets according to orbital distance from the sun from closest to farthest
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Comets typically form bright tails when close to the sun, while asteroids do not. This is because
comets have more ice in them, which boils off to form the tail
Most astronomers now believe the demise of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago was caused by a large asteroid impacting the Yucatan peninsula area
We would expect other planets beyond our own solar system to orbit the equators of their home stars
Our understanding of the structure of the Earth's mantle and core comes mostly from the study of
If the Earth kept its current atmospheric pressure but did not experience a greenhouse effect
the oceans would mostly freeze over
If the surface temperature of the Earth rises substantially, the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere would
According to the theory of plate tectonics, early dinosaurs were able to walk to almost any part of the Earth's landmass
Methane could contribute to global warming if a significant amount more is released into the atmosphere
The critical part of the atmosphere for protecting life on the ground from excessive UV radiation is the
In noting that the Earth is "differentiated," we mean that
the density increases as you descend downward toward the core
Name three principal divisions of the structure of the Earth's interior
mantle, outer core, inner core
Saying that Venus rotates "upside down" or has a retrograde motion is pretty much the same statement
The consistency of the surface features of Venus can be explained by
massive planet-wide volcanism at some time in its "recent" past
We base our estimates for the rotation rate of the Jovian planets on what property?
magnetic field rotation
In keeping with its Greek god, Neptune probably contains a lot of water, in a slushy mantle ocean
Uranus' rotation axis is tipped over 98 degrees, so its magnetosphere is tipped over the same amount
The Galileo mission put a spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter. How did it do this?
Used a gravity assist from Venus and Earth
The two outer Jovians appear bluish in color because
methane gas in their atmospheres absorbs red light well
The oblateness of the Jovian disks refers to their __________ equatorial diameters, compared to the polar diameters
The moon Triton is expected to be destroyed within 100 million years because
it has a retrograde orbit
In terms of composition and density, the atmosphere of Titan is closer to our own than any other place we have found in the solar system
The haphazard terrain of Miranda suggests it was broken up by impact after it had differentiated, then fell back together randomly
The surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus is the most reflective of any in the solar system, suggesting very fresh ice is exposed
If Saturn takes about 30 years to orbit the Sun, and its rings were seen edge-on in 1995, when will they appear most open at solstice?
The shape of the 1st quarter phase of the moon is caused by the
direction from which the sunlight strikes the moon
If we see a first quarter moon today, what will people on the other side of the Earth see later today?
first quarter moon
When does the moon rise throughout various phases?
New - 6am
1st quater - noon
Full - 6pm
3rd quarter - midnight
Is the temperature difference on Mars between + and - 45 degrees larger/smaller than on Earth?
larger on Mars
There is a lag time between when the sun is highest in the sky and when the average temperature is hottest. What causes this?
water takes time to heat up/cool down
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