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Astronomy Exam: Chapter 7
Terms in this set (34)
Which of the following layers of the earth is unique among the terrestrial planets?
Compared to the density of water, our earth averages:
about 5 times denser, like the Mercury and Venus
What can we conclude about the structure of Earth's interior knowing that the average density of Earth is higher than the average density of the rock on the continents and seafloor?
that Earth's most dense material must be beneath the surface
From the centre outwards, the correct order is:
solid metallic inner core, molten metal outer core, silicate mantle and crust.
How is the existence of Earth's unique atmosphere explained?
the oxygen in Earth's atmosphere is a result of early life on Earth
What gas is the primary constituent of our atmosphere?
Which major atmospheric component is chiefly a product of life processes?
The critical part of the atmosphere for protecting life on the ground from excessive ultraviolet radiation is the
In what part of our atmosphere do we live?
What is the process that physically transfers heat from a lower (hotter) to a higher (cooler) level?
The principal greenhouse gases in our present atmosphere are:
water vapour and carbon dioxide
Why is the sky blue?
the atmosphere scatters the light from the sun.
On a cloudless day, what happens to most of the visible light headed toward Earth?
It reaches Earth's surface, where some is reflected and some is absorbed.
On a day with complete cloud cover, what happens to the visible light headed toward Earth?
The clouds reflect much of it back to space, though some still reaches the surface
What happens to the energy that the ground absorbs in the form of visible sunlight?
It is returned upward in the form of infared light
The greenhouse effect raises Earth's surface temperature (from what it would be otherwise) because the infrared light radiated by the Earth's surface ___________.
is temporarily absorbed by greenhouse gases and the reemitted in random directions.
The oldest rocks on our crust are radioactively dates at about
four billion years old.
When strong solar winds are displaces poleward by our magnetic fields, we get
intense auroral displays
According to the current understanding of Earth's magnetic field and how magnetic fields are generated, which two components in Earth's internal structure are required in order to generate a magnetic field?
Rapidly rotating core, conducting liquid core
An auroral event occurs due to the interaction between the solar wind, Earth's magnetosphere, and Earth's atmosphere. The following steps describe the process of events leading to the formation of an aurora.
Steps in sequence from first to last: 1. Solar wind encounters Earth's magnetosphere 2. Charged particles become trapped in Van Allen belts 3. Charges particles collide with atoms in Earth's upper atmosphere 4. The collisions transfer energy and excite the atmospheric atoms 5. Excited, atmospheric atoms fall back to their ground state 6. Auroral lights are observed on Earth
The presence of a magnetic field is a good indication that:
we have a liquid metal outer core, spinning rapidly as we rotate
The region around Earth where the magnetic field traps charged particles is the:
Van Allen Radiation Belts
What is true of spring tides?
The difference between low and high tides would be greatest
In size, Mercury is intermediate between:
the Moon and Mars
Which of the following is NOT a factor in determining whether a body in the solar system retains an atmosphere?
The Moon's maria and highlands can be described by the characteristics present in each.
Maria: low elevations, few craters, flat regions
Highlands: high elevations, highly cratered, mountainous regions
Besides creating a tidal bulge on the Moon, Earth's gravitational tidal force also affects the Moon's rotation by exerting a force that keeps one side of the Moon's tidal bulge facing Earth as it orbits. This particular phenomenon is called tidal locking, where the Moon's rotation and orbital periods are synchronized. A similar force is exerted by the Moon on Earth's rotation, but to a much smaller extent.
From longest to shortest period: Earths orbital period, Moon's orbital period and Moon's rotation period, Earth's rotation period
Which statement about the rotation of the Moon and Mercury is FALSE?
Like our Moon, Mercury does not rotate at all, keeping the same side facing the Sun
The average rate of erosion on the Moon is far less than on Earth because
the Moon lacks wind, water and an atmosphere
According to the _____________, Earth and the Moon formed at about the same time out of the same pre-planetary matter
coformation (sister) theory
The ___________ states that the Moon formed far from Earth and later became gravitationally bound by Earth after a close encounter
A glancing collision between a large, Mars-sized object and a youthful, molten Earth led to formation of the Moon according to the _______
To be effective, a scientific theory must be continually tested. If observations and experiments favor it, a theory can be further developed and refined. If they do not, the theory must be reformulated or rejected.
-Earth had a large iron core; the Moon does not
-The mantles of Earth and the Moon have similar compositions
-Computer simulations predict that a collision between Earth and a Mars-sized object would produce a Moon-sized satellite with a stable orbit.
Based on the evidence for the impact theory, what was the most probable order of events for the collision that led to the formation of the Moon? Earliest to latest:
-Iron core of Earth forms
-Mars-sized object collides with Earth
-If the Mars-sized object has an iron core, most or all of it is left behind on Earth and merges with Earths core
-The Moon forms out of rocky debris ejected from Earth during the collision.
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