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astro exam 2
Terms in this set (46)
what is the red spot on jupiter
the deepest canyon in the solar system is on
Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto are called the "Galilean" satellites because
Galileo was the first to identify them as moons of Jupiter.
Which feature of Neptune is most responsible for its blue color?
methane in its atmosphere
Where do mountains like the Himalayas come from?
In some locations, plates of rock on the planet's surface press together and the plates rise together.
Why are Uranus's rings darker in color (gray) than Saturn's or Jupiter's?
they have a lot of carbon/soot-like material in them.
The escape velocity needed for an atom in the atmosphere of a planet to escape the gravitational pull of the planet is larger if: (1)
the mass of the planet is larger
Which of the following moons is most volcanically active?
The planets of the solar system were formed
as individual condensation/accretion centers in a rotating solar nebula
Without greenhouse gases, the Earth's surface temperature would be:
33 degrees Centigrade cooler
Based on current evidence and understanding, what is the composition at the center of Neptune and in fact at the center of all the giant planets in the outer Solar system
a solid, rocky core
A planet is in orbit around the Sun with a period of 5 years. What is the
semimajor axis of its orbit (average distance from the Sun) in AU?
Use P2 = a3 to estimate.
The Oort Cloud is thought to be
A spherical cloud of comets surrounding the solar system.
How many Earth years does it take Uranus to orbit the Sun?
Based on what we see in panoramic images, why do you think Moon is likely NOT to have an atmosphere?
If the Moon had an atmosphere, it would scatter sunlight in all directions and the lunar sky would look bright
A comet's nucleus is composed of
dust, dry ice, and water ice
Planet A has an orbit with a semi-major axis of 1 Astronomical Units.
Planet B has an orbit with a semi-major axis of 4 Astronomical Units.
How does the orbital period compare between the two planets?
Use P2 = a3 to estimate
Planet B has an orbital period 8 times longer than Planet A
The escape velocity needed for an atom in the atmosphere of a planet to escape the gravitational pull of the planet is larger if: (2)
the mass of the atom is larger
Which of the following could be the reason that Mars has only a thin atmosphere?
The gravity on Mars was insufficient to hold a thick atmosphere and hence the gases in the atmosphere escaped over time
How does Pluto's mass compare with that of Earth's Moon?
The Moon is roughly 7 times more massive than Pluto.
Which fact about comets is FALSE?
Comets' tails disappear when they are closest to the Sun.
Why does Mars have seasons?
Its axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane
Which planet is able to retain the largest (by radius and by volume) atmosphere?
Several of the tributary canyons of the Valles Marineris on Mars are thought to be formed:
when ground water, escaping from opening cracks, flowed and cut a channel through the surface beneath.
Which of the following does NOT happen to any of the material in the protoplanetary disk?
it is sucked in to a black hole at the center of our Solar System
Which is smallest?
Saturn's moon Encledus
Which of the following is typical of a Jovian planet?
the presence of many moons
Which characterizes the magnetosphere/strength of magnetic fields on Jupiter?
ten times stronger than Earth so that it has aurora
Saturn is about 10 times as far from the Sun as Earth is (a = 10 AU, roughly). About how many times does Earth orbit the Sun in the time it takes Saturn to orbit just once? Remember P2 is proportional to a3.
Craters on Venus:
are about the same in size and structure to those on Earth, Moon, and Mars.
Which has the lowest average density?
How is Pluto now classified by astronomers?
as a dwarf planet
Which fact about Mars is true?
Mars has a thinner atmosphere than Earth does.
Which of the following has the most significant (densest) atmosphere?
Mercury is visible to us:
only very briefly near sunrise or sunset.
How do most craters on moons form?
impact of asteroids
Mars has a mass that is 1/10th the mass of the Earth and a radius that is 1/2 the radius of Earth. Compare the force of gravity on Mar's surface to that on the surface of Earth using the proportional
relationship F is proportional to M/R2
Gravity on Mars is 4/10ths as strong as on Earth.
How many Earth years does it take Pluto to orbit the Sun?
Which planet has a temperature of 400 degrees Centigrade on the side facing the Sun and -180 degrees Centigrade on the side opposite the Sun?
Which of the following is TRUE about mercury?
Mercury rotates exactly one and a half times for every one revolution around the Sun.
The Sun is at one focus of the elliptical orbit of the Earth around the Sun. What is at the other focus?
Why is Venus's day so long (a day-night cycle on Venus lasts for as long as 243 Earth day and night cycles)?
Venus's rotation time is very long compared to the time it takes to go once around the Sun.
Comparing Mercury to the Earth's Moon:
they both have little atmosphere and a similarly cratered surface.
Which of the following would be an accurate description of the Great Red Spot?
The red spot has formed at the interface between two adjacent bands.
The red spot rotates like a whirlpool.
If not a single solid sheet, then the ring system of Saturn is best described as:
individually orbiting particles that are clustered around certain orbits.
Which of the following are the jovian planets?
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
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