ASTR 103 CH 7 Quizzes

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The most metal-rich terrestrial planet is


Which planet, other than Earth, has visible water ice on it?


Which of the following observations indicates that conditions on Mars may have been suitable for life in the past?

There are dried-up riverbeds on Mars

Which of the following is NOT an exception to the general patterns of motion in the solar system?

The rings of Saturn EXCEPTIONS: -the retrograde rotation of Triton around Neptune -the counterclockwise rotation of Venus -the large size of Earth’s Moon -the extreme axis tilt of Uranus

Which is the densest planet in the solar system?


Which of the following is NOT a characteristic of the inner planets?

They all have substantial atmospheres

What is the primary reason why a Pluto flyby mission would be cheaper than a Pluto orbiter?

The fuel needed for an orbiter to slow down when it reaches Pluto adds a lot of weight to the spacecraft

What is aerobraking?

The technique of using a planetary atmosphere to change the orbit of a spacecraft

Which of the following is NOT an advantage of spacecraft flybys over ground-based telescope observations?

Spacecraft can monitor changes in a planet’s atmosphere over long times

Based on the frequency with which we see comets from Earth, astronomers estimate the total number of comets in the solar system to be

1 trillion

How does the Sun’s mass compare with that of the planets?

It is a thousand times more massive than all the planets combined

Which planet has the highest average surface temperature, and why?

Venus, because of its dense carbon dioxide atmosphere

Which planet has a ring system?

All of the above Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune

Which of the following statements is NOT an observed pattern of motion in our solar system?

Most planets orbit at the same speed OBSERVED PATTERNS: -most planets rotate in the same direction in which they orbit -most planetary orbits le nearly in the same plane -all planets orbit the Sun in the same direction -almost all moons orbit their planet in the same direction as the planet’s rotation

Where does nuclear fission occur on the Sun?

In its core

Pluto is different from the outer planets in all of the following ways except which one?

Its temperature is very cold DIFFERENCES: -its made of mostly ices -its orbit is not very close to being circular -it has few moons -it doesn’t have rings

The planet closest in size to Earth is


Where are most of the known asteroids found?

Between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter

How do asteroids differ from comets?

Asteroids are rocky bodies than the comets Comets are made of icy material

Which of the following best describes Pluto in terms of the general characteristics of terrestrial and jovian planets?

Size and solid surface similar to terrestrial planets; distance similar to jovian planets

Astronomers have decided that, rather than being a planet, Pluto is really just a large member of

The Kuiper belt

The more massive planets in the solar system tend to be less dense than the lower mass planets


The terrestrial planets in our solar system are

Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars

The jovian planets in our solar system are

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune

When we say that jovian planets contain significant amounts of hydrogen compounds, we mean all the following chemicals EXCEPT

Carbon Dioxide chemicals included: -water, ammonia, methane

What is the Kuiper belt?

A region of the solar system beginning just beyond the orbit of Neptune that contains many icy comets

What is the Oort cloud?

It is not really a cloud at all, but rather refers to the trillion or so comets thought to orbit the Sun at great distances

Which of the following statements about our Sun is NOT true?

The Sun’s diameter is about 5 times that of Earth TRUE: -the Sun is a star -the Sun contains more than 99% of all the mass in our solar system -the Sun is made mostly of hydrogen and helium

The planet in our solar system with the highest average surface temperature is


Venus has a higher average surface temperature than Mercury. Why?

Because its surface is heated by an extreme greenhouse effect

In what way is Pluto more like a comet than a planet?

It is made mostly of rock and ice

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