The Cosmic Perspective, e (Bennett et al.) Chapter Our Planetary System



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The Cosmic Perspective, 7e (Bennett et al.)

Chapter 7 Our Planetary System
7.1 Multiple-Choice Questions
1) How does the Sun's mass compare with that of the planets?

A) It is a hundred times more massive than Earth.

B) It is a thousand times more massive than Earth.

C) It is a hundred times more massive than all the planets combined.

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

E) It is about as massive as all the planets combined.

Answer: D
2) Where does nuclear fusion occur in the Sun?

A) on the surface

B) anywhere below the surface

C) in its core

D) just above the visible surface

E) all of the above

Answer: C
3) Which planet has the highest average surface temperature, and why?

A) Mercury, because it is closest to the Sun

B) Mercury, because of its dense carbon dioxide atmosphere

C) Venus, because of its dense carbon dioxide atmosphere

D) Mars, because of its red color

E) Jupiter, because it is so big

Answer: C
4) The most metal-rich terrestrial planet is

A) Mercury.

B) Venus.

C) Earth.

D) the Moon.

E) Mars.

Answer: A
5) Which planet, other than Earth, has visible water ice on it?

A) Mercury

B) Venus

C) the Moon

D) Mars

E) Jupiter

Answer: D
6) Pluto is different from the outer planets in all of the following ways except which one?

A) Its surface temperature is very cold.

B) It is made mostly of ices.

C) Its orbit is not very close to being circular.

D) It has few moons.

E) It doesn't have rings.

Answer: A

7) Which of the following is farthest from the Sun?

A) Pluto

B) Neptune

C) an asteroid in the asteroid belt

D) a comet in the Kuiper belt

E) a comet in the Oort cloud

Answer: E


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

A) There are very large extinct volcanoes on Mars.

B) There is a very deep and long canyon that extends across Mars.

C) There are dried-up riverbeds on Mars.

D) Mars has polar caps made of "dry ice."

E) Mars has two small moons.

Answer: C
9) Which planet has a ring system?

A) Jupiter

B) Saturn

C) Uranus

D) Neptune

E) all of the above

Answer: E
10) What is the primary reason why a Pluto flyby mission would be cheaper than a Pluto orbiter?

A) The flyby can use less expensive cameras than the orbiter.

B) The flyby is easier to design than the orbiter.

C) The fuel needed for an orbiter to slow down when it reaches Pluto is very expensive in and of itself.

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

E) The question is incorrect; in general, orbiters are cheaper than flybys.

Answer: D
11) What is aerobraking?

A) the technique of using a planetary atmosphere to change the orbit of a spacecraft

B) the use of a planetary atmosphere to redirect a spacecraft to another planet

C) the controlled landing of a spacecraft on a planetary surface

D) the gradual decrease of speed as a spacecraft leaves the solar system

E) the destruction of a spacecraft by the intense pressure as it descends into the atmosphere

Answer: A
12) Which of the following is not an advantage of spacecraft flybys over ground-based telescope observations?

A) Spacecraft can sample the gravitational field of a planet.

B) Spacecraft can view "backlit" views of planetary rings.

C) Spacecraft can measure local magnetic fields.

D) Spacecraft can monitor changes in a planet's atmosphere over long times.

E) Spacecraft can make highly detailed images of the planet and its moons.

Answer: D

13) Which of the following statements is not an observed pattern of motion in our solar system?

A) Most planets orbit at the same speed.

B) All planets orbit the Sun in the same direction.

C) Most planetary orbits lie nearly in the same plane.

D) Most planets rotate in the same direction in which they orbit.

E) Almost all moons orbit their planet in the same direction as the planet's rotation.

Answer: A


14) Which of the following is not an exception to the general patterns in the solar system?

A) the counterclockwise rotation of Venus

B) the large size of Earth's Moon

C) the rings of Saturn

D) the extreme axis tilt of Uranus

E) the retrograde rotation of Triton around Neptune

Answer: C
15) Which is the densest planet in the solar system?

A) Mercury

B) Venus

C) Earth

D) Mars

E) Jupiter

Answer: C
16) The planet closest in size to Earth is

A) Mercury.

B) Venus.

C) the Moon.

D) Mars.

E) Pluto.

Answer: B
17) Which of the following is not a characteristic of the inner planets?

A) They are relatively smaller than the outer planets.

B) They all have solid, rocky surfaces.

C) Their orbits are relatively closely spaced.

D) They all have substantial atmospheres.

E) They have very few, if any, satellites.

Answer: D
18) Which of the following is not a characteristic of the outer planets?

A) They have very few, if any, satellites.

B) They are all large balls of gas.

C) They are primarily made of hydrogen and helium.

D) Their orbits are separated by relatively large distances.

E) They all have rings.

Answer: A

19) What are the main constituents of the jovian planets?

A) rocky minerals and water, as on Earth

B) hydrogen and helium

C) ammonia and methane

D) ammonia and water

E) nitrogen and methane

Answer: B


20) Where are most of the known asteroids found?

A) between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter

B) in the Kuiper belt

C) in the Oort cloud

D) between the orbits of the jovian planets

E) between the orbits of the terrestrial planets

Answer: A
21) How do asteroids differ from comets?

A) Asteroids are rocky bodies and are denser than the comets, which are made of icy material.

B) Asteroids are rocky bodies and are less dense than the comets, which are made of icy material.

C) Asteroids are made of icy material and are denser than the comets, which are more rocky.

D) Asteroids are made of icy material and are less dense than the comets, which are rockier.

E) Asteroids and comets are both made of rocky and icy material, but asteroids are smaller in size than comets.

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

A) 100 million.

B) 1 billion.

C) 10 billion.

D) 100 billion.

E) 1 trillion.

Answer: E
23) Which of the following best describes Pluto in terms of the general characteristics of terrestrial and jovian planets?

A) size and density similar to terrestrial planets; distance and composition similar to jovian planets

B) size and solid surface similar to terrestrial planets; distance similar to jovian planets

C) size and distance similar to terrestrial planets; gaseous surface and composition similar to jovian planets

D) solid surface and density similar to terrestrial planets; temperature and composition similar to jovian planets

E) solid surface and temperature similar to terrestrial planets; distance and density similar to jovian planets

Answer: B

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

A) the asteroid belt.

B) the Kuiper belt.

C) the Oort cloud.

D) the moon system around Neptune.

E) an extrasolar planetary system.

Answer: B


25) Which of the following is not a pattern of motion in our solar system?

A) Planets all orbit in the same direction.

B) Planets all rotate in the same direction.

C) Planets all orbit the same direction as the Sun's spin.

D) Large planets all have many moons orbiting them.

Answer: B


7.2 True/False Questions
1) Oceans cover more of Earth's surface than land.

Answer: TRUE


2) All four of the giant outer planets–Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune–have rings.

Answer: TRUE


3) The jovian planets have no solid surface.

Answer: TRUE


4) The planet Uranus held a special place in the mythology of the ancient Romans.

Answer: FALSE


5) All planets orbit the Sun in the same direction (counterclockwise as viewed from above Earth's North Pole).

Answer: TRUE


6) All the planets in the solar system have at least one moon.

Answer: FALSE


7) All comets orbit the Sun in the same direction as the planets.

Answer: FALSE


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

Answer: TRUE


7.3 Short Answer Questions
1) What is comparative planetology, and what is its basic premise?

Answer: Comparative planetology is the approach we use to study and understand our solar system. It involves comparing the worlds of our system, including planets, moons, asteroids, and comets, to one another. Its basic premise is that the similarities and differences among the worlds can be traced to common physical processes.

2) In the 1800s, many people assumed that Venus would have tropical temperatures, but instead it is very hot. Explain why tropical temperatures would have made sense given what was known in the 1800s, and why Venus instead turns out to be very hot.

Answer: If Venus had an atmosphere similar to ours–a reasonable assumption in the 1800s–it would have tropical temperatures. But instead it has a thick carbon dioxide atmosphere that causes a very strong greenhouse effect, thus explaining its very hot surface.


3) What are some of the things that make Earth unique in the solar system?

Answer: It is the only planet with an oxygen-rich atmosphere and liquid water on its surface (although there are hints that there may be liquid water on some of the moons around the jovian planets). Its surface temperature is such that water can exist in three phases: solid, liquid, and gaseous. Compared to its size, Earth also has by far the largest moon in the solar system, so much so that some astronomers consider it a double planet. Finally, Earth is the only planet we know of that harbors life.


4) Briefly summarize the differences between terrestrial and jovian planets.

Answer: Terrestrial planets are metallic or rocky in composition, close to the Sun, have higher average density, have a solid surface, are warmer at the surface, and have few if any moons. jovian planets are gaseous in composition, lower in density, have no solid surface, are farther from the Sun, and have rings and moons.


For the following questions, classify the spacecraft in one of these categories:
A. Earth orbiter B. flyby C. planetary orbiter D. lander
5) Hubble Space Telescope

Answer: A


6) the main part of the Galileo spacecraft (i.e., not its atmospheric probe)

Answer: C


7) Curiosity

Answer: D


8) Voyager 2

Answer: B


Choose from these spacecraft in the following questions.
A. Magellan B. Voyager 2 C. Apollo 11 D. Galileo E. Viking 1, 2
9) visited all four giant planets between 1979 and 1989

Answer: B


10) mapped most of the surface of Venus with radar observations from Venusian orbit

Answer: A


11) carried the first humans to the Moon on July 20, 1969

Answer: C


12) dropped a probe into Jupiter on December 7, 1995

Answer: D

13) landed on Mars in 1976

Answer: E


Choose from the spacecraft below for the following questions:
A. Curiosity B. New Horizon C. Cassini D. Hubble Space Telescope E. Galileo orbiter
14) used a sky crane to lower itself to the surface of Mars

Answer: A


15) carried a probe that landed on Titan

Answer: C


16) is soon to become the first spacecraft to fly by Pluto

Answer: B


17) has been collecting high-resolution images of Jupiter and its moons since 1995

Answer: E


18) is currently in orbit around Saturn

Answer: C


19) the only spacecraft listed that remains in Earth's orbit

Answer: D


20) Process of Science: In order for us to understand how the solar system got to be that way it is, we must identify the major solar system patterns that our formation theory must explain. Name 3 patterns of motion or planetary arrangement/location that our theory should be able to explain.

Answer:


1. Planets orbit in the same direction.

2. Orbital direction is the same direction as the Sun's spin.

3. Most planets spin the same direction that they orbit.

4. Bigger planets are in the outer solar system.

5. Large planets have many moons.

6. Planets lie in approximately the same plane.


21) Process of Science: Pluto is no longer considered a planet. Explain the new discoveries that led to this change.

Answer: In recent years, astronomers have found numerous other bodies that orbit beyond the orbit of Neptune. These so-called Kuiper Belt objects share similar properties in being round, icy bodies and one is known to be larger than Pluto. We now recognize that Pluto is just one of a large collection of objects in the Solar System, rather the unique, individual bodies that are the planets.


22) Process of Science: Explain the varied ways in which we continue to explore the Solar System.

Answer: We learned about the nature of planets through observations of their motions with our eye and telescopes. We continue to study the planets and other Solar System objects with ground-based telescopes but also use space telescopes and spacecraft. Humans have landed on the Moon and returned with lunar samples. Robotic spacecraft have visited all the planets and provided our most detailed images of them, as well as in some cases sent probes to their surfaces or to into their atmospheres.

7.4 Mastering Astronomy Reading Quiz
1) Suppose you view the solar system from high above Earth's North Pole. Which of the following statements about planetary orbits will be true?

A) All the planets orbit counterclockwise around the Sun.

B) The inner planets orbit the Sun counterclockwise while the outer planets orbit the Sun clockwise.

C) All the planets except Uranus orbit the Sun counterclockwise; Uranus orbits in the opposite direction.

D) The inner planets orbit the Sun clockwise while the outer planets orbit the Sun counterclockwise.

Answer: A


2) The terrestrial planets in our solar system are

A) Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

B) Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

C) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and Pluto.

D) Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris.

Answer: A


3) The jovian planets in our solar system are

A) Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars.

B) Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, and Eris.

C) Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

D) Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.

Answer: C


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

A) water.

B) carbon dioxide.

C) ammonia.

D) methane.

Answer: B


5) Which of the following statements about the asteroid belt is not true?

A) The combined mass of all the asteroids is roughly the same as the mass of Earth.

B) It is located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.

C) Asteroids in the asteroid belt orbit the Sun in the same direction that planets orbit the Sun.

D) Asteroids in the asteroid belt are made mostly of rock.

Answer: A


6) What is the Kuiper belt?

A) a region of the solar system that extends almost a fourth of the way to the nearest stars and contains a trillion comets with orbits going in all directions around the Sun

B) a technical name for the asteroid belt

C) the most prominent ring of Saturn that is visible in photographs

D) a region of the solar system beginning just beyond the orbit of Neptune that contains many icy comets

Answer: D

7) What is the Oort cloud?

A) 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.

B) It is another name for the cloud of gas from which our solar system was born.

C) It is a great cloud of gas that resides far beyond the orbit of Pluto.

D) It is a giant storm in the atmosphere of Saturn.

Answer: A


8) Which of the following statements about our Sun is not true?

A) The Sun is a star.

B) The Sun's diameter is about 5 times that of Earth.

C) The Sun contains more than 99% of all the mass in our solar system.

D) The Sun is made mostly of hydrogen and helium.

Answer: B


9) Which of the following is not true of Mercury?

A) It has been studied closely by several NASA spacecraft.

B) At any given time, about half the planet is colder than Antarctica.

C) Its surface is heavily cratered.

D) Mercury has essentially no atmosphere.

Answer: A


10) Which of the following statements about Mars is not true?

A) We have landed spacecraft on its surface.

B) It is considered part of our inner solar system.

C) We could survive on Mars without spacesuits, as long as we brought oxygen in scuba tanks.

D) It is frozen today, but once had flowing water.

Answer: C


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

A) Venus.

B) Mercury.

C) Earth.

D) Neptune.

Answer: A


12) Which jovian planet does not have rings?

A) Jupiter

B) Neptune

C) Uranus

D) Mars

E) All the jovian planets have rings.

Answer: E
13) Which moons are sometimes called the Galilean moons?

A) the four largest moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto

B) the two largest moons in the solar system: Ganymede and Titan

C) the moons that orbit their planet "backward" compared to their planet's rotation, such as Neptune's moon Triton

D) the moons orbiting Uranus, which was once named "planet Galileo"

Answer: A

14) Which of the following statements about Pluto is not true?

A) It has more in common with comets in the Kuiper belt than it does with the jovian planets.

B) It is orbited by at least three moons.

C) Its mass is less than 1% of Earth's mass.

D) It is the largest known object that is considered to be a dwarf planet.

Answer: D


15) The Cassini mission to Saturn consists of

A) an orbiter that orbits Saturn and a probe that descended to the surface of Titan.

B) a large spacecraft that flew by Saturn on its way to other planets.

C) an orbiter that orbits Saturn and a probe that descended into Saturn's atmosphere.

D) a spacecraft that orbits Saturn and a sample return mission that landed on Titan, scooped up a surface sample, and will return it to Earth.

Answer: A


16) Which planet (besides Earth) has been visited by the largest number of robotic spacecraft?

A) Jupiter

B) Venus

C) Mars


D) Saturn

Answer: C


7.5 Mastering Astronomy Concept Quiz
1) Which of the following is not a major pattern of motion in the solar system?

A) Nearly all comets orbit the Sun in same direction and roughly the same plane.

B) Most of the solar system's large moons orbit in their planet's equatorial plane.

C) The Sun and most of the planets rotate in the same direction in which the planets orbit the Sun.

D) All of the planets orbit the Sun in the same direction—counterclockwise as viewed from above Earth's north pole.

Answer: A


2) Which of the following is not a major difference between the terrestrial and jovian planets in our solar system?

A) Terrestrial planets contain large quantities of ice and jovian planets do not.

B) Terrestrial planets orbit much closer to the Sun than jovian planets.

C) Terrestrial planets are higher in average density than jovian planets.

D) Jovian planets have rings and terrestrial planets do not.

Answer: A


3) Consider the following statement: "Rocky asteroids are found primarily in the asteroid belt and Kuiper belt while icy comets are found primarily in the Oort cloud." What's wrong with this statement?

A) Asteroids are not made of rock.

B) Comets are not icy.

C) The Kuiper belt contains icy comets, not rocky asteroids.

D) The Oort cloud has nothing to do with comets.

E) The statement is accurate as written.

Answer: C

4) Which of the following is not a real difference between asteroids and comets?

A) Asteroids orbit the Sun while comets just float randomly around in the Oort cloud.

B) Most asteroids are located much nearer to the Sun than most comets.

C) It is thought that comets are far more numerous than asteroids.

D) Asteroids are made mostly of rock and comets are made mostly of ice.

Answer: A
5) The following statements are all true. Which one counts as an "exception to the rule" in being unusual for our solar system?

A) Venus does not have a moon.

B) Jupiter has a very small axis tilt.

C) Saturn has no solid surface.

D) The diameter of Earth's Moon is about 1/4 that of Earth.

Answer: D


6) Compared to the distance between Earth and Mars, the distance between Jupiter and Saturn is

A) about the same.

B) much larger.

C) much smaller.

D) just slightly less.

Answer: B


7) How is Einstein's famous equation, E= mc2, important in understanding the Sun?

A) It explains the fact that the Sun generates energy to shine by losing some 4 million tons of mass each day.

B) It explains why the Sun's surface temperature is about 6,000°C.

C) It explains why the Sun is so massive.

D) It explains why the Sun has a magnetic field strong enough influence the atmospheres of the planets.

Answer: A


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

A) because it is closer to the Sun

B) because its surface is heated by an extreme greenhouse effect

C) because its surface is covered with hot lava from numerous active volcanoes

D) because its slow rotation gives it more time to heat up in sunlight

Answer: B


9) In what way is Venus most similar to Earth?

A) Both planets are nearly the same size.

B) Both planets have very similar atmospheres.

C) Both planets have similar surface geology.

D) Both planets have warm days and cool nights.

Answer: A


10) Which of the following statements about the recently-discovered object Eris is not true?

A) It is slightly larger than Pluto.

B) It lies well beyond Pluto and Neptune.

C) It is thought to be the first example of a new class of object.

D) It orbits the Sun in the same direction as the other planets.

Answer: C

11) Mars has two moons that are most similar in character to

A) small asteroids.

B) comets.

C) Earth's Moon.

D) particles in the rings of Saturn.

Answer: A


12) Imagine that an alien spaceship crashed onto Earth. Which statement would most likely be true?

A) The aliens' home world is another planet in our own solar system.

B) The crash would create a noticeable crater.

C) All the evidence of the crash would be quickly whisked off by the U.S. military to Area 51 in Nevada.

D) It would crash in the ocean.

Answer: D


13) Which planet listed below has the most extreme seasons?

A) Uranus

B) Mars

C) Earth

D) Jupiter

Answer: A


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

A) It sometimes enters the inner solar system.

B) It has a long tail.

C) It is made mostly of rock and ice.

D) It has a moon.

Answer: C


15) Why was it advantageous for the Voyager mission to consist of flybys rather than orbiters?

A) Spacecraft making flybys can return to Earth more quickly than orbiters.

B) Each individual spacecraft was able to visit more than one planet.

C) It was easier for data to be radioed back to Earth with flybys than orbiters.

D) Flyby spacecraft can get closer to a planet than an orbiting spacecraft.

Answer: B


16) Why has NASA sent recent orbiters to Mars on trajectories that required them to skim through Mars's atmosphere ("aerobraking") before settling into their final orbits?

A) It saved money because the spacecraft used atmospheric drag to slow down rather than needing to carry enough fuel to slow by firing rocket engines.

B) It allowed the orbiters to get higher resolution pictures of the surface as it came close when skimming through the atmosphere.

C) It allowed the spacecraft to collect samples of the atmospheric gas for return to Earth.

D) Each spacecraft also carried a lander, and the lander could only be dropped to the Martian surface when the spacecraft passed through the atmosphere.

Answer: A



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