Astronomy (13)

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The first planets around other Sun-like stars were discovered
A) by Huygens, following his realization that other stars are Suns.
B) by Galileo following the invention of the telescope.
C) at the turn of last century.
D) about a decade ago.
E) at the turn of this century.

D

Approximately how many other planetary systems have been discovered to date?
A) ten
B) a hundred
C) a thousand
D) ten thousand
E) a million

C

Which of the following methods has led to the most discoveries of massive planets orbiting near their parent stars?
A) detecting the starlight reflected off the planet
B) detecting the infrared light emitted by the planet
C) detecting the gravitational effect of an orbiting planet by looking for the Doppler shifts in the star’s spectrum
D) detecting the shift of the star’s position against the sky due to the planet’s gravitational pull
E) detecting a planet ejected from a binary star system

C

Which of the following methods has not yet detected planets around other stars?
A) detection of reflected light by the planet
B) detecting periodic Doppler shifts in a star’s spectrum
C) detecting periodic shifts in the position of a star on the sky
D) detecting the decrease in light as a planet transits a star
E) All of the above have succeeded.

A

Most of the planets discovered around other stars
A) are more massive than Earth and orbit very far from the star.
B) are more massive than Earth and orbit very close to the star.
C) are less massive than Earth and orbit very far from the star.
D) are less massive than Earth and orbit very close to the star.
E) are found around neutron stars.

B

How much brighter is a Sun-like star than the reflected light from a planet orbiting around it?
A) a hundred times brighter
B) a thousand times brighter
C) ten thousand times brighter
D) a million times brighter
E) a billion times brighter

E

What is astrometry?
A) measuring distances to stars
B) searching for planets around stars
C) measuring the positions of stars on the sky
D) measuring the velocities of stars via the Doppler effect
E) using metric units for distance (e.g. meters rather than light years)

C

By itself, the Doppler technique provides a measure of a planet’s
A) minimum mass.
B) orbital radius.
C) orbital eccentricity.
D) all of the above

D

Planets detected via the Doppler technique have been mostly
A) Earth-mass, in Earth-like orbits.
B) Jupiter-mass, in Jupiter-like orbits.
C) Jupiter-mass, in very close orbits.
D) Earth-mass, in very close orbits.
E) a wide range of masses, in edge-on orbits.

C

Current techniques can measure stellar motion to less than
A) walking speed.
B) running speed.
C) freeway speed.
D) cruising speed of an airplane.
E) orbital speed of Jupiter.

A

A planet’s density can be measured by combining
A) Doppler and astrometric observations.
B) Doppler and transit observations.
C) spectral observations of the planet’s atmosphere.
D) any method that measures the gravitational tug of the planet on the star.
E) direct imaging from the new generation of space telescopes.

B

The composition of a planet can be determined by
A) the Doppler technique.
B) astrometric measurements.
C) transit observations.
D) spectra.
E) all of the above

D

The size and shape of a planet’s orbit can be determined by
A) the Doppler technique.
B) transit observations.
C) spectral measurements.
D) knowing the planet’s mass by any technique and applying Newton’s version of Kepler’s third law.
E) gravitational microlensing.

A

The astrometric technique of planet detection works best for
A) large planets around nearby stars.
B) massive planets around nearby stars.
C) large planets around distant stars.
D) massive planets around distant stars.
E) planets in edge-on orbits.

B

The transit method of planet detection works best for
A) big planets in edge-on orbits around small stars.
B) big planets in face-on orbits around small stars.
C) small planets in edge-on orbits around big stars.
D) small planets in face-on orbits around big stars.
E) Earth-like planets in any orbit.

A

The reason that most extrasolar planets are found close to their parent stars is
A) the planets reflect more light the closer they are to the star.
B) more of the starlight is blocked by the planet when it transits the star.
C) the amount and frequency of the star’s motion are both higher.
D) the closer to a star, the hotter and therefore brighter the planet is.
E) planets that are close to a star are heated up and therefore larger.

C

The Doppler technique only provides a measure of the minimum mass of a planet because
A) only a small part of the planet’s motion is measured.
B) without a transit observation, the size and therefore density of the planet is unknown.
C) we do not know the exact composition of the planet.
D) only the motion of star toward the observer is measured, not the full motion.
E) we do not have the technology to make a direct image of a planet yet.

D

Which planet can we see occasionally transit across the face of the Sun?
A) Mercury
B) Mars
C) Jupiter
D) Uranus
E) all of the above

A

Which planet search technique is currently best suited to finding Earth-like planets?
A) Doppler
B) astrometric
C) transit
D) gravitational lensing
E) combining all the above

C

What are the two main differences between extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date and our Solar System?
A) extrasolar planets tend to be more massive and dense than Jupiter
B) extrasolar planet orbits tend to be more eccentric and inclined than in our Solar System
C) extrasolar planet orbits tend to be closer and more eccentric than in our Solar System
D) extrasolar planet orbits tend to be closer and more circular than in our Solar System
E) extrasolar planets tend to be bigger and denser than Jupiter

C

A planet is detected via the Doppler technique. The velocity change of the star is a measure of
A) the planet’s size and density.
B) the planet’s mass and orbital distance.
C) the planet’s mass and composition.
D) the planet’s orbital period and eccentricity.
E) the planet’s size and orbital distance.

B

A planet is detected via the Doppler technique. The repeating pattern of the stellar motion tells us
A) the planet’s size.
B) the planet’s mass.
C) the planet’s density.
D) the orbital period of the planet.
E) the orbital eccentricity of the planet.

D

A planet is detected via the Doppler technique. The shape of the periodic velocity pattern tells us
A) the planet’s size.
B) the planet’s mass.
C) the planet’s density.
D) the orbital period of the planet.
E) the orbital eccentricity of the planet.

E

The depth of the dip in a star’s brightness due to the transit of a planet depends most directly on
A) the planet’s mass.
B) the planet’s density.
C) the planet’s size.
D) the size of the planet’s orbit.
E) the eccentricity of the planet’s orbit.

C

Why are many of the newly detected extrasolar planets called "hot Jupiters"?
A) Their masses and composition are similar to what we would expect if Jupiter were hotter.
B) The planets tend to be detected around more massive, hotter stars than our Sun.
C) Their masses are similar to Jupiter but they are very close to the central star and therefore hot.
D) Their masses are similar to Jupiter but their composition is similar to Mercury.
E) The discovery of other planets is very exciting.

C

The composition of a planet’s atmosphere be measured during a transit by analyzing
A) the excess absorption of starlight at specific wavelengths.
B) the excess emission of starlight at specific wavelengths.
C) the length and depth of the dip in light during the transit.
D) the amplitude and period of the star’s motion.
E) the wobble in a star’s position on the sky.

A

What do models suggest make up the clouds on "hot Jupiters"?
A) ammonia
B) methane
C) water
D) rock dust
E) sodium

D

How do we think the "hot Jupiters" around other stars were formed?
A) They formed as gas giants close to the star in the same orbits that they are seen today.
B) They formed as dense, rocky planets close to the star in the same orbits that they are seen today.
C) They formed as gas giants beyond the frost line and then migrated inwards.
D) Many planets were formed around the star but coalesced into a single planet close in.
E) They spun off from the young star when it was rapidly rotating.

C

What would happen to the planets in a solar system where the central star did not have a strong wind?
A) One planet would grow to dominate all the others and gravitationally eject them out of the system.
B) All planets would continue to grow to large sizes but their orbits would be unchanged.
C) The gas in the solar nebula would create a drag on the planets and their orbits would migrate inwards.
D) The gas in the solar nebula would create a drag on the planets and their orbits would migrate outwards.
E) Nothing, the star does not affect the process of planet formation.

C

Which of the following is a consequence of the discovery of hot Jupiters for the nebular theory of solar system formation?
A) It has been discarded.
B) It has been modified to allow for the formation of gas giants within the frost line.
C) It has been modified to allow for planets to migrate inwards or outwards due to gravitational interactions.
D) Its status is unclear and awaits further observations that will determine whether hot Jupiters are dense Earth like planets or gas giants.
E) It remains unchanged as it only needs to explain our Solar System.

C

Which of the following is a consequence of the discovery of hot Jupiters for understanding our own Solar System?
A) It shows that our Solar System is very unusual.
B) It shows that our Solar System is very typical.
C) It shows that we do not fully understand the formation of our Solar System.
D) It shows that life in the Universe is rare.
E) It shows that Jupiter is unusually cold.

C

Viewed from afar, the transit of Earth would cause the Sun’s brightness to dim by approximately one part in
A) 100.
B) 1,000.
C) 10,000.
D) 100,000.
E) a million.

C

If every star had an Earth-like planet in an Earth-like orbit, how many could be detected by a transit?
A) 1 in 2
B) 1 in 20
C) 1 in 200
D) 1 in 2,000
E) 1 in 20,000

C

Astronomers have discovered more planets around other stars than in our Solar System

True

Most of the planets discovered around other stars are more massive than Jupiter.

True

The Doppler technique for planet detection has found Earth-like planets around nearby Sun-like stars.

False

Planetary orbits that are face-on to our line of sight produce no Doppler shift in the stellar spectrum.

True

The density of a planet can be determined by combining Doppler and astrometric measurements.

False

A planet’s size can be determined by observing its transit across a star.

True

Transits of multiple planet systems can be analyzed to infer planetary masses.

True

Multiple-planet systems have been identified around other stars via the Doppler technique.

True

Because we have not found another planetary system like our own, we can conclude that our Solar System must be quite unusual.

False

Once a planet forms in a disk-like nebula around a star, its orbit is fixed and will never change.

False

Multiple planets have been identified around other stars via the transit technique.

True

The signature of a planet is largest in radial velocity measurements when the planet and star are lined up along the line of sight to the telescope.

True

The signature of a planet is largest in transit measurements when the planet and star are lined up along the line of sight to the telescope.

True

The total amount of light from a star-planet system drops when the planet goes behind the star

true

What is an extrasolar planet?
A) a planet that orbits a star that is not our own Sun
B) a planet that is larger than the Sun
C) a planet that is extra large compared to what we’d expect
D) a planet that is considered an "extra," in that it was not needed for the formation of its solar system

A

About how many extrasolar planets have been discovered (as of 2008)?
A) fewer than 10
B) between 10 and 100
C) between 100 and 1,000
D) more than 1,000

C

As of 2008, most known extrasolar planets have been discovered by
A) the astrometric technique.
B) the Doppler technique.
C) the transit technique.
D) the Hubble Space Telescope.

B

What information does the Doppler technique give about an extrasolar planet?
A) the planet’s radius
B) the planet’s density
C) the planet’s minimum mass
D) all of the above

C

Why do we say that the Doppler technique gives the planet’s "minimum mass"?
A) The size of the Doppler shift that we detect depends on whether the planet’s orbit is tilted.
B) The size of the Doppler shift that we detect depends on knowing the star’s mass, which can be very uncertain.
C) Extrasolar planets are always increasing in mass.
D) Doppler measurements are very difficult, producing noisy data that often cause astronomers to underestimate a planet’s mass.

A

Which detection techniques can find the planet’s orbital distance (assuming we know the mass of the star)?
A) only the Doppler technique
B) only the transit technique
C) only the astrometric technique
D) all of these techniques

D

Which of the following statements is not true about the planets so far discovered around other stars?
A) Most of them are much more massive than Earth.
B) Photographs reveal that most of them have atmospheres much like that of Jupiter.
C) Many of them orbit closer to their star than Jupiter orbits the Sun.
D) Many of them have been discovered by observing Doppler shifts in the spectra of the stars they orbit.

B

What is the closest that extrasolar planets have been found to their stars?
A) nearer to their stars than Earth to the Sun
B) nearer to their stars than Saturn to the Sun
C) nearer to their stars than Mercury to our Sun
D) unknown: we do not know the distance with enough accuracy to say

C

Based on available data, what kind of objects in our solar system do most of the known extrasolar planets resemble?
A) jovian planets
B) terrestrial planets
C) Kuiper belt objects
D) None of the above: most extrasolar planets apparently belong to some new category of object.

A

How are the orbits of extrasolar planets different from the orbits of planets in our solar system?
A) Many extrasolar planets orbit their stars backward.
B) Many extrasolar planets are on very tilted orbits compared to what we’d expect.
C) Many extrasolar planets do not travel on elliptical orbits.
D) Many extrasolar planets travel on very eccentric orbits.

D

Which new idea has been added into our theory of solar system formation as a result of the discoveries of extrasolar planets?
A) In addition to the categories of terrestrial and jovian, there must be an "in-between" category of planet that has the mass of a jovian planet but the composition of a terrestrial planet.
B) Jovian planets can migrate from the orbits in which they are born.
C) In some star systems, it is possible for jovian planets to form in the inner solar system and terrestrial planets to form in the outer solar system.
D) Some of the "exceptions to the rules" in our own solar system are likely to have been the result of giant impacts.

B

How will the Kepler mission (scheduled for 2008 launch) look for planets around other stars?
A) It will look for Doppler shifts in stellar spectra.
B) It will be sufficiently powerful to take low-resolution photographs of planets orbiting nearby stars.
C) It will look for slight back and forth shifts in a star’s position in our sky.
D) It will look for slight changes in a star’s brightness that repeat at regular intervals.

D

How do we expect that the first Earth-sized extrasolar planets will be discovered (if they exist)?
A) by the transit technique from an observatory in space
B) with photographs from a new generation of large, ground-based observatories
C) by NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder mission
D) by the Doppler technique

A

In essence, most of the extrasolar planets discovered to date have been found by
A) closely examining very high-resolution photographs of other star systems.
B) observing a star carefully enough to notice that it is experiencing a gravitational tug caused by an unseen planet.
C) identifying spectral lines that look like what we expect to see from a planet rather than a star.
D) observing mini-eclipses of a star as an unseen planet passes in front of it.

B

Why is it so difficult to take pictures of extrasolar planets?
A) Extrasolar planets give off light at different wavelengths than planets in our solar system.
B) No telescope is powerful enough to detect the faint light from a distant planet.
C) Their light is overwhelmed by the light from their star.
D) Telescopes are too busy with other projects.

C

The astrometric technique looks for planets with careful measurements of a star’s
A) brightness.
B) velocity towards or away from us.
C) position in the sky.
D) all of the above

C

Suppose you are using the Doppler technique to look for planets around another star. What must you do?
A) Compare many spectra of an orbiting planet taken over a period of many months or years.
B) Compare the brightness of the star over a period of many months or years.
C) Carefully examine a single spectrum of an orbiting planet.
D) Compare many spectra of the star taken over a period of many months or years.

D

In general, which type of planet would you expect to cause the largest Doppler shift in the spectrum of its star?
A) a massive planet that is close to its star
B) a massive planet that is far from its star
C) a low-mass planet that is close to its star
D) a low-mass planet that is far from its star

A

Suppose a planet is discovered by the Doppler technique and is then discovered to have transits. In that case, we can determine all the following about the planet except
A) its precise mass.
B) its density.
C) its physical size (radius).
D) its rotation period.
E) its orbital period

D

You observe a star very similar to our own Sun in size and mass. This star moves very slightly back and forth in the sky once every four months, and you attribute this motion to the effect of an orbiting planet. What can you conclude about the orbiting planet?
A) The planet must have a mass about the same as the mass of Jupiter.
B) The planet must be closer to the star than Earth is to the Sun.
C) The planet must be farther from the star than Neptune is from the Sun.
D) You do not have enough information to say anything at all about the planet.

B

All the following statements about known extrasolar planets are true. Which one came as a surprise to scientists who expected other solar systems to be like ours?
A) Some of the planets orbit their star more closely than Mercury orbits the Sun.
B) Most of the planets are quite massive—much more like Jupiter than like Earth.
C) Most of the planets orbit stars that are quite nearby compared to the scale of the entire Milky Way Galaxy.
D) In some cases, we’ve found more than one planet orbiting the same star.

A

Which of the following is not expected for a "hot Jupiter" that orbits 0.05 AU from its star?
A) cloudtop temperatures over 1000 K
B) intense volcanism
C) clouds made of rock dust
D) density similar to or lower than Jupiter’s

B

Based on everything you have learned about the formation of our solar system, which of the following statements is probably not true?
A) Only a tiny percentage of stars are surrounded by spinning disks of gas during their formation.
B) Planets always tend to orbit their star in the same direction and approximately the same plane.
C) Other solar systems will also have planets in the two basic categories of terrestrial and jovian.
D) Other planetary systems will have far more numerous asteroids and comets than actual planets.

A

To date, we’ve found very few planets orbiting their stars at distances comparable to the distances of the jovian planets in our solar system. Why do astronomers think this is the case?
A) Planets at such distances are extremely rare.
B) No known technique can detect planets at such large distances.
C) We have not yet been searching for planets at such distances for a long enough time.
D) Planets at such distances are probably very low in mass.

C

Current evidence suggests that many massive jovian planets orbit at very close orbital distances to their stars. How do we think these planets ended up on these close orbits?
A) These planets are jovian in nature and were able to form close to their stars because their solar nebulas were very cold in temperature.
B) These planets migrated inward after being born on orbits much farther from their stars.
C) Despite their large masses, these planets are terrestrial in nature and therefore could form in their inner solar systems.
D) These planets were captured from other solar systems.

B

Assuming that our ideas about how "hot Jupiters" ended up on their current orbits are correct, why didn’t our own solar system end up with any hot Jupiters?
A) Our solar nebula must have been blown into space shortly after the formation of the jovian planets.
B) Our jovian planets must have migrated outward from inside the orbit of Mercury.
C) Our solar nebula must have stuck around for an unusually long time after the formation of jovian planets.
D) The existence of Earth and the other terrestrial planets prevented the jovian planets from migrating inward.

A

When is the soonest we are likely to have images and spectra of Earth-like planets around other stars?
A) in just a few years, through the Kepler mission
B) any day now, thanks to new, large, ground-based telescopes
C) we already have images and spectra of Earthlike planets around other stars
D) in a decade or two, through space missions now in the early planning stages

D

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