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Our Planetary System - Chapter 7

Review questions for Chapter 7 - Our Planetary System from the Cosmic Perspective
1. What do we mean by "comparative planetology"? Does it apply only to planets?
Answer: We can learn more about an individual world, including Earth, by studying it in the context of other objects in our solar system. (like learning more about a person by getting to know his or her family, friends, and culture.
Part B - No it can also help me as a student learn about processes rather than on a collection of facts.
What would the solar system look like to your naked eye if you could view it from beyond the orbit of Neptune?
Answer: It would not look like much. The Sun and planets are all quite small compared to the distances between them. They would only be pinpoints of light, and even the Sun would be just a small bright dot in the sky.
Briefly describe the overall layout of the solar system as it is shown in Figure 7.1
Answer: Netune, Uranus,Saturn,Jupiter,Mars, Earth, Venus and Mercury
For the Sun and each of the planets in our solar system, describe at least two features that you find interesting.
What are the four major features of our solar system that provide clues to how it formed? Describe each one briefly.
1. Large bodies in the solar system have an orderly motion.
2. Planets fall into two major categories
3. Swarms of asteroids and comets populate the solar system.
4. Several notable exceptions to these trends.
What are the basic differences between the "terrestrial and jovian" planets? Which planets fall into each group?
Answer: Terrestrial - four planets of the inner solar system: Mercury Venus Earth and Mars They are small, dense with rocky surfaces and an abundance of metals in their cores. They also have few moons, if any and no rings. closer to the Sun
Jovian - Four large planets of the outer solar system: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune They are much larger in size and average density than the terrestrial planets. They have rings and numerous moons. they are made mostly of hydrogen, helium hydrogen compounds.
What do we mean by hydrogen compounds? In what kinds of planets or small bodies are they major ingredients?
Answer:Compounds containing hydrogen, such as water (H2O), ammonia (NH3) and methane (CH4) they are found in the Jovian (gas giants) planets.
What kind of object is Pluto? Explain.
Answer: Pluto is a dwarf planet. It is essentially a large comet, in the Kuiper Belt. It is mostly ice and rock. It is smaller than all the other planets. There are other objects that are larger than Pluto, like Eris. it's moon, Charon is locked in synchronous rotation.
What are asteroids? Where do we find most asteroids in our solar system?
Answer: they are rocky bodies that orbit the Sun and are found within the asteroid belt.
What are comets? How do they differ from asteroids?
Answer: Comets are also small objects that Orbit the Sun but they are made largely of ices (such as water ice, ammonia ice and methane ice) mixed with rock. In the Kuiper Belt and Oort cloud
What is the Kuiper belt? What is the Oort cloud? How do the orbits of comets differ in the two regions?
Answer: a region beyond the orbit of Neptune. It contains probably at least ,100,000 icy objects of which Pluto and Eris are the largest known. They orbit the Sun in the same direction of the planets.

Oort cloud is much farther from the Sun, its most distant comets may sometimes reside nearly one-quarter of the distance to the nearest stars.
Describe at least two "exceptions to the rules" that we find in our solar system?
Answer: Uranus rotates nearly on it's side and Venus rotates backwards. Also, while the terrestrial planets have no moons or very small moons, ours is the largest Moon in the solar system.
Describe and Distinguish between space missions that are flybys, orbiters, landers or probes, and sample return missions. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type?
Answer: Flyby: Spacecraft on a flyby goes past a work just once and then continues on it's way.
Orbiter: An orbiter is a spacecraft that orbits the world it is studying, allowing longer-term study.
Lander/Probes: designed to land on a planet's surface or probe a planet's atmosphere by flying through it. Some carry rovers.
Sample return mission: requires spacecraft designed to return to earth carrying a sample of the world it has studied.
Scientific objectives and cost "more bang for your buck"
For a few of the most important past, present, or future robotic missions to the planets, describe their targets, types, and mission highlights.
Answer: Messenger - study Mercury surface, atmosphere
Magellan orbiter - mapped surface focuses on atmosphere studies of Venus
Spirit and Opportunity - learn about water on ancient Mars