# Midterm 1 - Quiz 1

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Naspah
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Quizzes Created: 7 | Total Attempts: 828
Questions: 12 | Attempts: 83  Settings  This quiz was designed to simply go over every quiz question contained in quiz 1.

• 1.

### The distance from the Sun to each of the planets is often reported in AU where 1 AU is:

• A.

• B.

• C.

The radius of the Earth's orbit.

• D.

The radius of the solar system.

• E.

The distance to the nearest star(excluding the Sun).

C. The radius of the Earth's orbit.
Explanation
The correct answer is the radius of the Earth's orbit. AU stands for Astronomical Unit and is a unit of measurement used to represent the average distance between the Earth and the Sun. It is defined as the radius of the Earth's orbit around the Sun, which is approximately 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers. Using AU as a standard unit allows for easier comparison and understanding of distances within our solar system.

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• 2.

### The orbits of the planets are NOT:

• A.

Almost perfect circles.

• B.

With the Sun at their centers.

• C.

Are almost parallel to one another(like sheets of paper on top of each other).

• D.

• E.

Suggestive of a common initial "origin"(or starting point) in the distant past.

Explanation
The orbits of the planets are not all about the same radius, 1AU. This means that the distance between each planet and the Sun is not the same. The concept of 1AU (astronomical unit) refers to the average distance between the Earth and the Sun, which is approximately 93 million miles. However, the distances between the other planets and the Sun vary significantly. This is because each planet has a different orbital path and distance from the Sun. Therefore, the statement that the orbits are all about the same radius, 1AU, is incorrect.

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• 3.

### The planets orbit the Sun because:

• A.

The Sun is by far the most massive object in the solar system.

• B.

The force of gravity attracts the planets towards the Sun.

• C.

Planets are moving quickly(like NASA satellites that circle the Earth).

• D.

All of the above.

• E.

None of the above.

D. All of the above.
Explanation
The correct answer is "all of the above." The explanation for this answer is that the planets orbit the Sun due to a combination of factors. Firstly, the Sun's massive size and gravitational pull play a significant role in keeping the planets in their orbits. Secondly, the force of gravity attracts the planets towards the Sun, causing them to continuously orbit around it. Lastly, the planets' movement and velocity, similar to NASA satellites orbiting the Earth, contribute to their orbit around the Sun. Therefore, all of these factors together explain why the planets orbit the Sun.

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• 4.

### Because the planets move in elliptical(slightly squashed circular) orbits the distance to the Sun is reported as:

• A.

The orbit semi-major axis (in AU)

• B.

The orbit major axis (in AU)

• C.

The orbit semi-minor (in AU)

• D.

The orbit minor axis (in AU)

A. The orbit semi-major axis (in AU)
Explanation
The distance to the Sun is reported as the orbit semi-major axis (in AU) because the planets move in elliptical orbits, which means their paths are slightly squashed circles. The semi-major axis is the longest distance from the center of the ellipse to its edge, and it represents the average distance from the planet to the Sun. This measurement is commonly used because it provides a convenient and meaningful way to describe the distance of a planet from the Sun.

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• 5.

### The (orbital) period of a planet is:

• A.

The time for one complete rotation of the planet(on its axis).

• B.

The time for one complete revolution of the planet around the Sun.

• C.

The ratio of the time for one complete rotation of the planet(on its axis) to the time for one complete rotation of the Earth on its axis.

• D.

The ratio of the time for one complete revolution of the planet around the Sun to the time for one complete revolution of the Earth around the Sun.

• E.

None of the above.

B. The time for one complete revolution of the planet around the Sun.
D. The ratio of the time for one complete revolution of the planet around the Sun to the time for one complete revolution of the Earth around the Sun.
Explanation
The correct answer is "the time for one complete revolution of the planet around the Sun" and "the ratio of the time for one complete revolution of the planet around the Sun to the time for one complete revolution of the Earth around the Sun." This is because the orbital period of a planet refers to the time it takes for the planet to complete one full revolution around the Sun. This is different from the time it takes for the planet to rotate on its axis, which is referred to as the rotational period. The orbital period of a planet can vary depending on its distance from the Sun and its orbital speed.

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• 6.

### The mass of a planet is determined using:

• A.

The size of the planet and an average density based on the expected composition(of the planet).

• B.

The size of the planet and the (universal) density of water.

• C.

Newton's laws of motion and gravity, combined ith the (orbital) period of the planet.

• D.

Newton's laws of motion and gravity, combined with the rotational period of the planet.

• E.

Newton's laws of motion and gravity, combined with the motion of the planet's moons (that orbit the planet).

E. Newton's laws of motion and gravity, combined with the motion of the planet's moons (that orbit the planet).
Explanation
The mass of a planet is determined by using Newton's laws of motion and gravity, combined with the motion of the planet's moons that orbit the planet. By observing the gravitational effects of the planet on its moons, scientists can calculate the mass of the planet. This method is more accurate than using the size of the planet or the density of water, as it takes into account the gravitational interactions between the planet and its moons. The other options mentioned do not provide sufficient information to accurately determine the mass of a planet.

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• 7.

### Which ordering of planets by INcreasing distance frm the Sun is NOT correct:

• A.

Mercury, Earth, Mars, Jupiter

• B.

Venus, Mars, Neptune, Uranus

• C.

Earth, Mars, Saturn, Neptune

• D.

Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn

• E.

Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune

B. Venus, Mars, Neptune, Uranus
Explanation
The ordering of planets by increasing distance from the Sun that is not correct is Venus, Mars, Neptune, Uranus. The correct order of these planets from the Sun is Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter.

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• 8.

### What are the bodies between Mars and Jupiter (sometimes called the "failed planet"):

• A.

Kuiper belt objects

• B.

Ort cloud (objects)

• C.

The asteroids

• D.

The meteorites

• E.

The comet cloud (objects)

C. The asteroids
Explanation
The correct answer is the asteroids. The bodies between Mars and Jupiter are known as asteroids. These are rocky objects that orbit the Sun and are smaller than planets but larger than meteoroids. They are sometimes referred to as the "failed planet" because it is believed that they were unable to form into a cohesive planet due to the strong gravitational influence of Jupiter.

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• 9.

### Of all the planets, the Earth is UNIQUE in having:

• A.

An average density greater than water.

• B.

An atmosphere.

• C.

Substantial oxygen in its atmosphere and liquid water on its surface.

• D.

No rings.

• E.

A changing visual appearence as seen from space.

C. Substantial oxygen in its atmosphere and liquid water on its surface.
Explanation
The Earth is unique among all the planets because it has substantial oxygen in its atmosphere and liquid water on its surface. This combination of oxygen and water is essential for supporting life as we know it. While other planets may have some of these characteristics individually, only Earth has both in significant quantities. The presence of oxygen allows for the existence of complex organisms, while liquid water provides a habitat for a wide range of life forms. This unique combination sets Earth apart from all other planets in our solar system.

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• 10.

### The Earth has:

• A.

Fewer moons than Mercury.

• B.

Fewer moons than Venus.

• C.

Fewer moons than Jupiter.

• D.

More moons than Saturn.

• E.

More moons than Uranus.

C. Fewer moons than Jupiter.
Explanation
Jupiter has the most moons in our solar system, with a total of 79 known moons. This is more than any other planet, including Earth. Therefore, the Earth has fewer moons than Jupiter.

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• 11.

### Viewed from the side (and at a great distance from the Sun) the planet orbits are:

• A.

Randomly oriented.

• B.

Lie almost in one plane.

• C.

Lie very close to the "ecliptic".

• D.

A and C

• E.

B and C

E. B and C
Explanation
The explanation for the correct answer is that when viewed from the side and at a great distance from the Sun, the planet orbits are observed to lie almost in one plane, known as the "ecliptic". This is because the planets in our solar system formed from a rotating disk of gas and dust around the young Sun, and as they coalesced, they settled into a relatively flat plane of orbit. Additionally, the orbits of the planets are not randomly oriented, as they follow a general pattern and are influenced by the gravitational forces exerted by the Sun. Therefore, the correct answer is B and C.

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• 12.

### Evidence that the planet orbits lie "almost in one plane" can be seen:

• A.

Only from an observer in the distant fringes of the solar system.

• B.

Never...as the planet orbits are randomly oriented.

• C.

Even from Earth...as a near linear alignment of the planets in the sky.

• D.

Even from Earth...but only using sophisticated mathematical models.

C. Even from Earth...as a near linear alignment of the planets in the sky.
Explanation
The correct answer is "even from Earth...as a near linear alignment of the planets in the sky." This means that even from Earth, we can observe that the planets appear to be aligned in a nearly straight line in the sky. This alignment suggests that the planet orbits are "almost in one plane."

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