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Astronomy 101 Chapters 4-9

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Asteroids were recently formed by the collision and breakup of an object orbiting in the asteroid belt. (T/F)
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False
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Most comets have short periods and orbit close to the ecliptic plane. (T/F)
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False
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The largest planets also have the largest densities. (T/F)
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False
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The total mass of all the planets is much less than the mass of the Sun. (T/F)
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True
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The solar system is of largely uniform composition. (T/F)
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False
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Asteroids, meteoroids, and comets are remnants of the early solar system. (T/F)
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True
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Astronomers have no theoretical explanation for the “hot Jupiters” observed orbiting some other stars. (T/F)
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False
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If we were to construct an accurate scale model of the solar system on a football field with the Sun at one end and Pluto at the other, the planet closest to the center of the field would be: a) Earth b) Jupiter c) Saturn d) Uranus
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Uranus
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In the leading theory of solar system formation, the planets a) were ejected from the Sun following a close encounter with another star b) formed from the same flattened, swirling gas cloud that formed the Sun c) are much younger than the Sun d) are much older than the Sun
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formed from the same flattened, swirling gas cloud that formed the Sun
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The solar system is differentiated because a) the heavy elements in the outer solar system sank to the center b) the light elements in the inner solar system fell into the Sun c) the light elements in the inner solar system were carried off as comets d) only rocky and metallic particles could form close to the Sun
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only rocky and metallic particles could form close to the Sun
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Water on Earth was a) transported here by comets b) accreted from the solar nebula c) produced by volcanoes in the form of steam d) created by chemical reactions involving hydrogen and oxygen shortly after Earth formed
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transported here by comets
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The number of confirmed exoplanets is a) less than 10 b) roughly 50 c) more than 500 d) more than 5000
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more than 500
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Astronomers have not yet reported any Earth-like planets orbiting other stars because a) there are none b) they are not detectable with current technology c) no nearby stars are the type expected to have Earth-like planets d) the government is preventing us from reporting their discovery
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they are not detectable with current technology
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In Habitable Zones, the habitable zone of a star twice as massive as the Sun a) is centered roughly 3 AU from the star b) is more than 10 AU wide c) lies entirely within 1 AU of the star d) is the same size as the Sun’s habitable zone
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is centered roughly 3 AU from the star
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According to Temperature in the Early Solar Nebula, the temperature in the solar nebula at the location now at the center of the asteroid belt is a) 2000 K b) 900 K c) 400 K d) 100 K
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400 K
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Because of tidal forces, the Moon is in a synchronous orbit around the Earth. (T/F)
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True
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Lunar maria are extensive lava-flow regions (T/F)
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True
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Except for the layer of air closest to Earth’s surface, the ozone layer is the warmest part of the atmosphere. (T/F)
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True
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Earth’s magnetic field is the result of our planet’s large, permanently magnetized iron core. (T/F)
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False
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Motion of the crustal plates is driven by convection in Earth’s upper mantle. (T/F)
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True
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Volcanic activity continues today on the surface of the Moon. (T/F)
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False
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Like Earth, the Moon has a molten metal core. (T/F)
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False
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If you were making a scale model of Earth, representing our planet by a 12-inch basketball, the inner core would be about the size of a a) half-inch ball bearing b) 2-inch golf ball c) 4-inch tangerine d) 7-inch grapefruit
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2 inch golf ball
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Earth’s average density is about the same as that of a(n) a) glass of water b) heavy iron meteorite c) ice cube d) chunk of black volcanic rock
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chunk of black volcanic rock
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Sunlight absorbed by Earth’s surface is remitted in the form of a) microwave b) infrared c) visible d) ultraviolet radiation
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infrared
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The deepest that geologists have drilled into Earth is about the same as a) the height of the statue of liberty b) the altitude of most commercial jet airplanes fly c) the distance between the US and China
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the altitude of most commercial jet airplanes fly
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If Earth had no moon, then the tides would a) not occur b) occur more often and with more intensity c) still occur, but not really be measurable d) occur with the same frequency, but would not be as strong
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occur with the same frequency but would not be as strong
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The most likely theory of the formation of the Moon is that it a) was formed by the gravitational capture of a large asteroid b) formed simultaneously with Earth’s formation c) was created from a collision scooping out the Pacific Ocean d) formed from a collision of Earth with a Mars-sized object
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formed from a collision of Earth with a Mars sized object
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According to Earth’s Atmosphere, commercial jet airplanes flying at 10 km are in a) the troposphere b) the stratosphere c) the ozone d) the mesosphere
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troposphere
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Mercury’s solar day is longer than its solar year. (T/F)
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True
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Numerous surface features on Venus can be seen in Earth-based images made in the ultraviolet part of the spectrum. (T/F)
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False
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Evidence of lava flows is common on the surface of Venus. (T/F)
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True
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There is strong circumstantial evidence that active volcanism continues on Venus. (T/F)
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True
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Mars has the largest volcanoes in the solar system. (T/F)
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True
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There are many indications of past plate tectonics on Mars. (T/F)
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False
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Valles Marineris is comparable in size to Earth’s Grand Canyon. (T/F)
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False
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Mercury’s large overall density suggests that the planet a) has an interior structure similar to that of Earth’s moon b) has a dense metal core c) has a weaker magnetic field than the Moon d) is younger than the Moon
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has a dense metal core
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Venus’s surface is permanently obscured by clouds. As a result, the surface has been studied primarily by a) robotic landers b) orbiting satellites using radar c) spectroscopy d) radar signals from Earth
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orbiting satellites using radar
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Compared with Earth, Venus has a level of plate tectonic activity that is a) much more rapid b) somewhat less rapid c) about the same d) virtually nonexistent
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virtually nonexistent
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Venus’s atmospheric temperature is a) about the same as Earth’s b) cooler than temperatures on Mercury c) hotter than temperatures on Mercury d) high due to the presence of sulfuric acid
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hotter than temperatures on Mercury
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In terms of area, the extinct Martian volcano Olympus Mons is about the size of a) Mt. Everest b) Colorado c) North America d) Earth’s Moon
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Colorado
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In comparison to the atmosphere of Venus, the vastly different atmospheric character of Mars is likely due to a(n) a) ineffective greenhouse effect b) reverse greenhouse effect c) absence of greenhouse gases in the Martian atmosphere d) greater distance from the Sun
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reverse greenhouse effect
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The solid surface of Jupiter lies just below the cloud layers that are visible from Earth. (T/F)
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False
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Storms in the jovian planets’ atmospheres are generally much longer lived than storms on Earth. (T/F)
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True
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The element helium plays an important role in producing Saturn’s atmospheric colors. (T/F)
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False
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Jupiter emits more energy than it receives from the Sun. (T/F)
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True
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Although often referred to as a gaseous planet, Jupiter is mostly liquid in its interior. (T/F)
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True
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Neptune probably does not have a rocky core. (T/F)
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False
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Around northern midsummer on Uranus, an observer near the north pole would observe the Sun high and almost stationary in the sky. (T/F)
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True
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The magnetic fields of Uranus and Neptune are highly tilted relative to their rotational axes and offset from the planets’ center. (T/F)
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True
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The main constituent of Jupiter’s atmosphere is a) hydrogen b) helium c) ammonia d) carbon dioxide
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hydrogen
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Saturn’s cloud layers are much thicker than those of Jupiter because Saturn has a) more mass b) lower density c) weaker magnetic field d) weaker gravity
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weaker gravity
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Compared to Earth, Saturn’s core is roughly a) half the mass b) the same mass c) twice as massive d) 10 times more massive
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10 times more massive
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Uranus was discovered about the same time as a) Columbus reached North America b) the US declaration of independence c) American civil war d) the depression
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the US declaration of independence
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Compared with Uranus, the planet Neptune is a) much smaller b) much larger c) roughly the same size d) closer to the Sun
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roughly the same size
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According to Jupiter’s Atmosphere, if ammonia and ammonium hydrosulfide ice were transparent to visible light, Jupiter would appear a) bluish b) red c) tawny brown d) exactly as it does now
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bluish
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Jupiter’s magnetosphere extends about _______ beyond the planet. a) 1 AU b) 5 AU c) 10 AU d) 20 AU
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5 AU
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Scientists speculate that Europa may have liquid water below its frozen surface. (T/F)
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True
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Saturn’s ring particles are made up of mainly water ice. (T/F)
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True
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Saturn’s rings lie withing the planet’s Roche limit. (T/F)
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True
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Two small shepard satellites are responsible for the unusually complex form of Saturn’s F ring. (T/F)
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True
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Titan’s surface is obscured by thick clouds of ammonia ice. (T/F)
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False
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Uranus has no moons. (T/F)
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True
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Triton’s orbit is unusual because it is retrograde. (T/F)
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True
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Pluto was discovered via its gravitational effect on Neptune. (T/F)
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False
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Io’s surface appears very smooth because it a) is continually resurfaced by volcanic activity b) is covered with ice c) has been shielded by Jupiter from meteorite impacts d) is liquid
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is continually resurfaced by volcanic activity
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The Galilean moons of Jupiter are sometimes described as a miniature inner solar system because a) there are the same number of Galilean moons as there are terrestrial planets b) the moons have generally “terrestrial” composition c) the moons’ densities decrease with increasing distance from Jupiter d) the moons all move on circular, synchronous orbits
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the moons’ densities decrease with increasing distance from Jupiter
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Compared to Earth’s surface, the pressure at the surface of Titan is _________ that of Earth a) less than b) about the same as c) about 1.5 times greater than
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about 1.5 times greater than
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The rings of Uranus are a) broad and bright b) narrow and dark c) narrow and bright d) undetectable from Earth
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narrow and dark
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The solar system object most similar to Pluto is a) Mercury b) the Moon c) Titan d) Triton
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Triton
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The most abundant element in the Sun is hydrogen. (T/F)
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True
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There are as many absorption lines in the solar spectrum as there are elements present in the Sun. (T/F)
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False
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The density and temperature in the solar corona are much higher than in the photosphere. (T/F)
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False
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Sunspots appear dark because they are hotter than the surrounding gas of the photosphere. (T/F)
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False
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Flares are caused by magnetic disturbances in the lower atmosphere of the Sun. (T/F)
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True
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The proton-proton chain releases energy because mass is created in the process. (T/F)
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False
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Neutrinos have never been detected experimentally. (T/F)
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False
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The Sun is roughly ________ larger than Earth. a) the same size b) 10 times larger c) 100 times larger d) 1 million times larger
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1 million times larger
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The Sun spins on its axis roughly once each a) hour b) day c) month d) year
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month
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Astronomers on Venus would measure a solar constant ______ Earth. a) larger than b) smaller than c) the same size as on
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larger than
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A typical solar granule is about the size of (a) a) US city b) large US state c) the moon d) Earth
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large US state
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The time between successive sunspot maxima is about a a) month b) year c) decade d) century
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decade
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Solar energy is produced by a) fusion of light nuclei into heavier ones b) fission of heavy nuclei into lighter ones c) the release of heat left over from the Sun’s formation d) solar magnetism
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fusion of light nuclei into heavier ones
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In the standard solar model (solar interior,) as the distance from the center increases a) the density and temperature decrease at about the same rate b) the density decreases faster than the temperature c) the density decreases more slowly than the temperature d) the density decreases but the temperature increases
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the density decreases faster than the temperature
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Comparing the Solar Interior and Solar Atmospheric Temperature, the temperature in the solar corona is about the same as in a) the core b) the bottom of the radiation zone c) the bottom of the convection zone d) the photosphere
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the bottom of the convection zone
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Which of the following are terrestrial planets? a) only Earth b) Earth, Moon, and Venus c) Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars d) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, and Pluto e) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, Mars, and Ceres
answer

Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars
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What causes a meteor shower? a) A comet and an asteroid collide. b) Earth runs into a stray swarm of asteroids. c) Earth runs into the debris of an old comet littering its orbit. d) Meteorites are ejected from the Moon. e) Debris from a supernova enters Earth’s atmosphere
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Earth runs into the debris of an old comet littering its orbit
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The terrestrial (inner) planets are characterized by a) low density b) rapid rotation c) large size d) rocky composition
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rocky composition
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Most asteroids are found a) beyond the orbit of Neptune. b) between Earth and the Sun. c) between Mars and Jupiter. d) in the orbit of Jupiter, but 60 degrees ahead or behind it. e) orbiting the Jovian planets in captured,retrograde orbits.
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between Mars and Jupiter
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The condensation sequence theory explains why a) our planet Earth has water and rain. b) stars are more likely to form large planets orbiting very near. c) terrestrial planets are different from jovian planets. d) the Moon formed near to Earth. e) Pluto has such a circular orbit.
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terrestrial planets are different from jovian planets
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So few extrasolar planets the size of Earth have been seen with current techniques because a) small planets probably don’t exist. b) the large planets nearby have swept them up. c) Earth-like planets take time to form. d) large planets orbiting near to their stars are more easily detected. e) small planets can only be seen if they cross in front of their star.
answer

large planets orbiting near to their stars are more easily detected
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What is the most abundant gas in Earth’s atmosphere? a) oxygen b) hydrogen c) nitrogen d) carbon dioxide e) argon
answer

nitrogen
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Place the statements concerning lunar formation below in chronological order from the time of formation. I. coalesced from orbiting debris II. cooling of interior III. mare formed IV. surface melting by heavy bombardment a) IV, III, II, I b) III, II, IV, I c) I, IV, III, II d) II, III, IV, I
answer

I, IV, III, II
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Without the greenhouse effect in our atmosphere a) we would not have to worry about ecological problems. b) the Earth’s oceans would be frozen. c) the amount of nitrogen & oxygen would be much less. d) the icecaps would have melted. e) global warming would still occur.
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the Earth’s oceans would be frozen
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The principal greenhouse gasses in our present atmosphere are a) hydrogen and helium. b) oxygen and nitrogen. c) water vapor and carbon dioxide. d) methane and ammonia. e) sulfuric acid vapor and CO2.
answer

water vapor and carbon dioxide
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The region around Earth where the magnetic field traps charged particles is the a) ozone layer. b) exosphere. c) Van Allen radiation belts. d) corona. e) aurora borealis and australis.
answer

Van Allen radiation belts
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Mercury is very hard to observe from Earth because a) it always appears only half lit. b) it is never more than 28° from the Sun. c) its elliptical orbit causes it to change speed unpredictably. d) its surface reflects too little sunlight. e) its surface does not allow radar to bounce back to Earth.
answer

it is never more than 28 degrees from the Sun
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Which statement about the rotations of Mercury and the Moon is FALSE? a) Our Moon keeps the same side toward us. b) The rotation period of Mercury is 59 EARTH days. c) Like our Moon, Mercury keeps the same side facing the Sun. d) On Mercury, three rotations (“sidereal days”) equals two Mercurial “years” e) On the Moon, sunlight lasts for about 15 EARTH days in a row.
answer

like our Moon, Mercury keeps the same side facing the Sun
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Venus’ surface shows all of the following EXCEPT a) many impact craters of all sizes. b) shield volcanoes. c) a continent-sized plateau. d) huge circular volcanic coronae. e) lava domes.
answer

many impact craters of all sizes
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The Jovian planets have retained most of their atmospheres because a) they are further from the Sun’s gravitational pull than the terrestrial planets b) they are very warm and massive c) they are very cold and massive d) the planet’s rings “fence in” the planetary atmosphere
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they are very cold and massive
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The Jovian planets are characterized by their a) high density. b) slow rotation. c) small size. d) composition – mainly hydrogen and helium.
answer

composition mainly hydrogen and helium
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What is the source of Jupiter’s large magnetic field? a) charged particles moving in the atmosphere b) thermonuclear fusion in Jupiter’s core c) the gravitational attraction of Jupiter’s many large moons d) the Great Red Spot e) metallic hydrogen swirling in its interior
answer

metallic hydrogen swirling in its interior
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Saturn radiates even more excess energy than Jupiter because a) Saturn is still radiating heat left over from its formation. b) Saturn’s thick cloud layer contributes to a larger greenhouse effect. c) helium rain gives off heat as it falls toward Saturn’s center. d) Saturn’s atmosphere contains methane. e) Saturn can fuse hydrogen into helium in its core, like the Sun.
answer

helium rain gives off heat as it falls toward Saturn’s center
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How much bigger is the Sun’s radius compared to Earth’s radius? a) 100 b) 1000 c) 100,000 d) 1,000,000
answer

100
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The density of the Sun is most similar to that of a) a comet. b) Jupiter. c) Earth. d) interstellar gas. e) an asteroid.
answer

Jupiter
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The light from the East limb (edge) of the Sun is blue shifted and the light from the West limb is redshifted. This is because a) different kinds of atoms emit light at the opposite edges. b) the Sun is rotating. c) the distance from the Sun to Earth changes. d) the two sides of the Sun are at different temperatures.
answer

the Sun is rotating
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The photosphere (the visible surface) of the Sun is like a) the surface of Earth; you could stand on it, if you could survive the heat. b) the surface of the ocean; you couldn’t stand on it, but you would clearly be able to detect differences above and below it. c) an apparent surface; you would notice very little change as you go through it, as when you fly through a cloud. d) the surface of a trampoline; you could land on it, but the intense pressure would push you away again.
answer

an apparent surface; you would notice very little change as you go through it, as when you fly through a cloud
question

Sunspots appear dark because the are a) holes in the photosphere through which you can see deeply into the solar interior. b) a bit cooler, thus dimmer than the rest of the photosphere. c) large opaque structures that block light from the glowing solar surface. d) causing retinal damage.
answer

a bit cooler, thus dimmer than the rest of the photosphere
question

Tremendous pressure is created at the Sun’s center due to its own gravity. The Sun is kept from collapsing by a) neutrinos and other particles generated by nuclear fusion. b) a hard inner core. c) gas pressure created by the heat of nuclear fusion. d) gas pressure created from left over heat from the formation of the Sun.
answer

gas pressure created by the heat of nuclear fusion
question

The proton-proton cycle involves what kind of fusion process? a) carbon (C) into oxygen (O) b) helium (He) into carbon (C) c) hydrogen (H) into helium (He) d) neon (Ne) into silicon (Si) e) oxygen (O) into iron (Fe)
answer

hydrogen into helium
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Which theory of lunar origin lost support when the Apollo landing results showed similar abundances of isotopes of oxygen on both Earth and Moon? a) the fission theory b) the capture theory c) formation together form the same gas cloud
answer

the capture theory
question

Your latest discovery, Planet Eris, never had volcanoes. The processes of erosion on Eris have unequal but constant rates in different surface regions. A reasonable way to estimate which region has the least erosion is simply by choosing the region with a) the fewest craters. b) the largest craters. c) the most craters. d) maria.
answer

the most craters
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Lunar maria are found a) uniformly all over the Moon. b) mostly on the side facing Earth. c) mostly on the far side of the Moon. d) only in the dark areas, out of sunlight. e) in the highlands, among mountains.
answer

mostly on the side facing Earth
question

The atmosphere of Jupiter has few heavy elements due to a) evaporation. b) the lack of heavy elements in the outer solar system. c) the vacuum-like power of the great red spot. d) gravitational settling toward the planet’s center. e) none of the above.
answer

gravitational settling toward the planet’s center
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Synchrotron radiation – as seen in the figure – implies that the planet has a) powerful electrical storms. b) many moons. c) a magnetic field. d) excess thermal radiation. e) all of the above.
answer

a magnetic field
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The two outer jovian planets appear bluish in color because a) gaseous ammonia in their atmospheres absorbs blue light. b) methane absorbs red light. c) cold hydrogen reflects blue light. d) dust in their atmospheres scatters blue light, similar to Earth.
answer

methane absorbs red light
question

Inside a star the mass of our Sun, energy is transported from the deep interior outward by a process most like the process that a) makes a blacktop hot in the summertime. b) heats the coil of an electric stove. c) makes hot water boil. d) makes your hand feel heat when you put it near a candle flame.
answer

makes your hand feel heat when you put it near a candle flame
question

What is probably responsible for the increase in temperature of the corona far from the Sun’s surface? a) the higher rate of fusion b) the Sun’s magnetism c) higher radiation pressures d) absorption of X rays e) convection currents
answer

the Sun’s magnetism
question

Solar energy is produced by a) the release of heat leftover from the Sun’s formation. b) solar magnetism. c) fission of heavier nuclei into lighter ones. d) fusion of light nuclei into heavier ones.
answer

fusion of light nuclei into heavier ones