Astonomy Chapter 7

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Approximating Earth’s atmosphere as a layer of gas 8.3 km thick, with uniform density 1.2 kg/m3 , calculate the total mass of the atmosphere. Compare results with earths mass

matmosphere = 5.1×10^18 kg matmosphere/mEarth = 8.5×10^−7 Assignment 6 7.1 solutions

Which of the following layers of the earth is unique among the terrestrial planets?


Compared to the density of water, our Earth averages:

About 5x denser, like 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 center outward, 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:

ozone layer

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 vapor 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 infrared light.

The greenhouse effect raises Earth’s surface temperature (from what it would be otherwise) because the infrared light radiated by Earth’s surface __________.

is temporarily absorbed by greenhouse gases and then reemitted in random directions

The oldest rocks on our crust are radioactively dated at about:

four billion years old

When strong solar winds are displaced 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?

Conducting liquid core Rapidly rotating core

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.

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