Astronomy Chapter Six

20 Questions  I  By Moonshark13
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Astronomy Quizzes & Trivia

  
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  • 1. 
    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.


  • 2. 
    Which is the densest planet in the solar system?
    • A. 

      Mercury

    • B. 

      Venus

    • C. 

      Earth

    • D. 

      Mars

    • E. 

      Jupiter


  • 3. 
    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


  • 4. 
    Why did the solar nebula heat up as it collapsed?
    • A. 

      Nuclear fusion occurring in the core of the protosun produced energy that heated the nebula.

    • B. 

      As the cloud shrank, its gravitational potential energy was converted to thermal energy.

    • C. 

      Radiation from other nearby stars that had formed earlier heated the nebula.

    • D. 

      The shock wave from a nearby supernova heated the gas.

    • E. 

      Collisions among planetesimals generated friction and heat.


  • 5. 
    Why did the solar nebula flatten into a disk?
    • A. 

      The interstellar cloud from which the solar nebula formed was originally somewhat flat.

    • B. 

      The force of gravity pulled the material downward into a flat disk.

    • C. 

      As the nebula cooled, the gas and dust settled onto a disk.

    • D. 

      It flattened as a natural consequence of collisions between particles in the nebula, changing random motions into more orderly ones.


  • 6. 
    According to our theory of solar system formation, why do all the planets orbit the Sun in the same direction and in nearly the same plane?
    • A. 

      The original solar nebula happened to be disk-shaped by chance.

    • B. 

      Any planets that once orbited in the opposite direction or a different plane were ejected from the solar system.

    • C. 

      The laws of conservation of energy and conservation of angular momentum ensure that any rotating, collapsing cloud will end up as a spinning disk.

    • D. 

      The Sun formed first, and as it grew in size it spread into a disk, rather like the way a ball of dough can be flattened into a pizza by spinning it.

    • E. 

      Luck explains it, as we would expect that most other solar systems would not have all their planets orbiting in such a pattern.


  • 7. 
    What percentage of the solar nebula's mass consisted of hydrogen and helium gases?
    • A. 

      0.5 percent

    • B. 

      5 percent

    • C. 

      50 percent

    • D. 

      98 percent

    • E. 

      100 percent


  • 8. 
    What percentage of the mass of the solar nebula consisted of elements other than hydrogen and helium?
    • A. 

      0 percent

    • B. 

      0.1 percent

    • C. 

      2 percent

    • D. 

      20 percent

    • E. 

      80 percent


  • 9. 
    What kind of material in the solar nebula could remain solid at temperatures as high as 1,500 K, such as existed in the inner regions of the nebula?
    • A. 

      Rocks

    • B. 

      Metals

    • C. 

      Silicon-based minerals

    • D. 

      Hydrogen compounds

    • E. 

      Molecules such as methane and ammonia


  • 10. 
    Which of the following has not been detected around other stars in the Galaxy?
    • A. 

      A collapsing nebula of gas

    • B. 

      Flattened, spinning disks

    • C. 

      Jovian planets

    • D. 

      Terrestrial planets

    • E. 

      Strong stellar winds


  • 11. 
    Which of the following are relatively unchanged fragments from the early period of planet building in the solar system?
    • A. 

      Asteroids

    • B. 

      Kuiper belt comets

    • C. 

      Oort cloud comets

    • D. 

      All of the above


  • 12. 
    According to our theory of solar system formation, why do we find some exceptions to the general rules and patterns of the planets?
    • A. 

      Our theory is not quite correct because it cannot explain these exceptions.

    • B. 

      Most of the exceptions are the result of giant impacts or close gravitational encounters.

    • C. 

      The exceptions probably represent objects that formed recently, rather than early in the history of the solar system.

    • D. 

      The exceptions probably represent objects that were captured by our solar system from interstellar space.

    • E. 

      The exceptions exist because, even though our theory is as correct as possible, nature never follows rules precisely.


  • 13. 
    Based on our current theory of Earth's formation, the water we drink comes from
    • A. 

      Ice that condensed in the solar nebula in the region where Earth formed.

    • B. 

      Chemical reactions that occurred in Earth's crust after Earth formed.

    • C. 

      Chemical reactions that occurred in Earth's core after Earth formed.

    • D. 

      Material left behind during the giant impact that formed the Moon.

    • E. 

      Comets that impacted Earth.


  • 14. 
    The heavy bombardment phase of the solar system lasted
    • A. 

      Several million years.

    • B. 

      Several tens of millions of years.

    • C. 

      Several hundreds of millions of years.

    • D. 

      About a billion years.

    • E. 

      To the present time.


  • 15. 
    The age of the solar system can be established by radioactive dating of
    • A. 

      The oldest rocks on Earth.

    • B. 

      The oldest rocks on the Moon.

    • C. 

      The oldest meteorites.

    • D. 

      The atmosphere of Mars.

    • E. 

      It hasn't been done yet, but the age of the solar system could be obtained from a sample of Io's surface.


  • 16. 
    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.


  • 17. 
    Approximately how many other planetary systems have been discovered to date?
    • A. 

      Ten

    • B. 

      A few hundred

    • C. 

      A few thousand

    • D. 

      Tens of thousands

    • E. 

      Millions


  • 18. 
    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)


  • 19. 
    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


  • 20. 
    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


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