Astronomy Chapter Nine

20 Questions

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Astronomy Quizzes & Trivia

Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    Which of the following statements about comets and asteroids is true?
    • A. 

      Only asteroids collide with Earth.

    • B. 

      Comets are balls of ice and dust.

    • C. 

      Most of the trillions of comets in our solar system have tails.

    • D. 

      All asteroids lie in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

    • E. 

      There are about 1 million known asteroids in the solar system.

  • 2. 
    • A. 

      Asteroids are made of rocky material. Comets are made of icy material.

    • B. 

      Asteroids are made of icy material. Comets are made of rocky material.

    • C. 

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

    • D. 

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

  • 3. 
    A rocky leftover planetesimal orbiting the Sun is
    • A. 

      A comet.

    • B. 

      A meteor.

    • C. 

      An asteroid.

    • D. 

      A meteorite.

    • E. 

      Possibly any of the above

  • 4. 
    • A. 

      Asteroids formed inside the frost line, while comets formed outside.

    • B. 

      Asteroids and comets formed at different times.

    • C. 

      Comets formed from the jovian nebula, while asteroids did not.

    • D. 

      Comets are much larger than asteroids.

    • E. 

      Asteroids are much larger than comets.

  • 5. 
    Which is closest to the average distance between asteroids in the asteroid belt?
    • A. 

      1 hundred km

    • B. 

      1 thousand km

    • C. 

      10 thousand km

    • D. 

      1 million km

    • E. 

      10 million km

  • 6. 
    • A. 

      The strength of gravity on small asteroids is less than the strength of the rock.

    • B. 

      Small asteroids have odd shapes because they were all chipped off larger objects.

    • C. 

      Large asteroids were once molten and therefore became spherical, but small asteroids were never molten.

    • D. 

      Large asteroids became spherical because many small collisions chipped off pieces until only a sphere was left; this did not occur with small asteroids.

  • 7. 
    • A. 

      A streak of light caused by a star moving across the sky

    • B. 

      A streak of light caused by a small particle from space burning up in Earth's atmosphere

    • C. 

      A fragment of an asteroid from the solar system that has fallen to Earth's surface

    • D. 

      A small moon that orbits one of the giant planets

    • E. 

      A comet that burns up in Earth's atmosphere

  • 8. 
    Processed meteorites with high metal content probably are
    • A. 

      Leftover chunks of rock from the earliest period in the formation of the solar system.

    • B. 

      Pieces of comets rather than of asteroids.

    • C. 

      Chunks of a larger asteroid that was shattered by a collision.

    • D. 

      Chunks of rock chipped off the planet Mercury.

    • E. 

      Chunks of rock chipped off the planet Mars.

  • 9. 
    • A. 

      The solar wind blows the ions directly away from the Sun.

    • B. 

      Radiation pressure from the Sun's light pushes the ions away.

    • C. 

      The conservation of the angular momentum of the tail keeps it always pointing away from the Sun.

    • D. 

      Gases from the comet, heated by the Sun, push the tail away from the Sun.

    • E. 

      It is allergic to sunlight.

  • 10. 
    Comets with extremely elliptical orbits, like comets Hyakutake and Hale-Bopp,
    • A. 

      Come from the asteroid belt.

    • B. 

      Come from the Kuiper belt.

    • C. 

      Come from the Oort cloud.

    • D. 

      Are Trojan comets.

    • E. 

      Are captured by Jupiter.

  • 11. 
    According to the nebular theory, how did the Kuiper belt form?
    • A. 

      It is material left over from the interstellar cloud that never contracted with the rest of the gases to form the solar nebula.

    • B. 

      It is made of planetesimals that formed beyond Neptune's orbit and never accreted to form a planet.

    • C. 

      It consists of objects that fragmented from the protosun during a catastrophic collision early in the formation of the solar system.

    • D. 

      It is made of planetesimals between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter that never formed into a planet.

    • E. 

      It is made of planetesimals formed in the outer solar system that were flung into distant orbits by encounters with the jovian planets.

  • 12. 
    According to the nebular theory, how did the Oort cloud form?
    • A. 

      It is material left over from the interstellar cloud that never contracted with the rest of the gases to form the solar nebula.

    • B. 

      It is made of planetesimals that formed beyond Neptune's orbit and never accreted to form a planet.

    • C. 

      It consists of objects that fragmented from the protosun during a catastrophic collision early in the formation of the solar system.

    • D. 

      It is made of planetesimals between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter that never formed into a planet.

    • E. 

      It is made of planetesimals formed in the outer solar system that were flung into distant orbits by encounters with the jovian planets.

  • 13. 
    • A. 

      About 25 years ago

    • B. 

      About 75 years ago

    • C. 

      About 200 years ago

    • D. 

      About 2000 years ago

    • E. 

      In ancient history

  • 14. 
    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.

  • 15. 
    Which of the following is furthest 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

  • 16. 
    • A. 

      Pluto's orbit is completely outside Neptune's orbit.

    • B. 

      Pluto's orbit is completely inside Neptune's orbit.

    • C. 

      Pluto's orbit never comes anywhere close to Neptune's orbit.

    • D. 

      The two planets have an orbital resonance that prevents them from colliding.

    • E. 

      It could!

  • 17. 
    • A. 

      Pluto's largest moon

    • B. 

      The largest known asteroid

    • C. 

      The largest known comet

    • D. 

      One of the Galilean moons of Jupiter

    • E. 

      A moon of Neptune

  • 18. 
    • A. 

      Pluto

    • B. 

      Charon

    • C. 

      Sedna

    • D. 

      Quaoar

    • E. 

      Xena

  • 19. 
    • A. 

      It dredged up material that gave us our first direct look at Jupiter's interior composition.

    • B. 

      It wiped out the dinosaurs.

    • C. 

      It was the first direct proof that impacts really occur.

    • D. 

      It confirmed our theory of solar system formation.

    • E. 

      It was the first event in modern history that was brighter than the full moon in the sky.

  • 20. 
    On average, how often do impactors about 10 km in size, large enough to produce mass extinction, hit Earth?
    • A. 

      Once every century

    • B. 

      Once every thousand years

    • C. 

      Once every million years

    • D. 

      Once every hundred million years

    • E. 

      Once in Earth's history