Quiz For Astronomy And The Solar System Related

22 Questions | Total Attempts: 158  Settings  If you are into astronomy and the solar system you understand that the planets are always in motion, right? In addition, explaining these motions is the Kepler's laws, right? Take up Practice Exam #2 and ascertain all these.

• 1.
Kepler’s third law states that the relationship between the orbital period and semi-major axis of a planet’s orbit is P2 = a3. To use this equation for planets orbiting the Sun, P must be expressed in and a must be expressed in:
• A.

(a) perihelions; aphelions.

• B.

(b) days; kilometers.

• C.

(c) years; kilometers.

• D.

(d) days; astronomical units.

• E.

(e) years; astronomical units.

• 2.
Imagine that you throw a ball directly upward. Which of the following statements best describes how Newton’s Second Law accounts for the motion of the ball when it reaches its maximum height?
• A.

(a) The ball has a net force that is downward and a velocity that is downward.

• B.

(b) The ball has a velocity that is upward and an acceleration that is downward.

• C.

(c) The ball has a net force that is downward and an acceleration that is downward.

• D.

(d) The ball has a velocity that is zero and an acceleration that is zero.

• E.

(e) The ball has a net force that is downward and an acceleration of zero.

• 3.
Communications satellites are often placed in orbits 36,000 km from the Earth. These satellites are geosynchronous since they remain fixed above the same position on the Earth. These satellites have an orbital period of...
• A.

(a) 12 hours

• B.

(b) 1 day

• C.

(c) 1 month

• D.

(d) 6 months

• E.

(e) 1 year

• 4.
Does your observation of Venus in this phase provide evidence that refutes the Ptolemaic (Ancient Greek) model of the Solar System?
• A.

(a) Yes

• B.

(b) No.

• 5.
The table below shows the orbital distances, orbital periods, and masses for the six planets closest to the Sun. Jupiter is the most massive of these planets at 318 times the mass of the Earth and Mercury is the least massive of these planets at 0.06 times the mass of the Earth. The asteroid Atira has an orbital period of P = 0.64 years. Using the data from the table in the previous question, the Asteroid Atira has a semi-major axis of:
• A.

(a) 2.55 A.U.

• B.

(b) 1.05 A.U.

• C.

(c) 0.74 A.U.

• D.

(d) 13.7 A.U.

• E.

(e) 1.41 A.U.

• 6.
Which of the following lettered locations corresponds to the phase of Venus shown below (as viewed from the location of the Earth marked on the diagram)?
• A.

A

• B.

B

• C.

C

• D.

D

• E.

E

• 7.
You observe two stars over the course of a year (or more) and find that: Star A has a parallax angle of 1 arcsecond Star B has a parallax angle of 1/2 arcseconds How do the distances to the stars compare?
• A.

(a) Star A is further away than star B.

• B.

(b) Star B is further away than star A.

• C.

(c) Both the stars are at the same distance.

• D.

(d) It is impossible to tell without making more observations.

• 8.
The concept of the epicycle was used to explain:
• A.

(a) retrograde motion of the planets using the geocentric theory.

• B.

(b) retrograde motion of the planets using the heliocentric theory.

• C.

(c) why the Earth’s north pole points towards Polaris.

• D.

(d) the changing of the seasons.

• E.

(e) none of the above.

• 9.
Which of the following best describes the normal (prograde) motion of the planets?
• A.

(a) Planets rise in the west and set in the east. Over the course of several months, they appear to drift from east to west with respect to the distant stars.

• B.

(b) Planets rise in the east and set in the west. Over the course of several months, they appear to drift from east to west with respect to the distant stars.

• C.

(c) Planets rise in the west and set in the east. Over the course of several months, they appear to drift from west to east with respect to the distant stars.

• D.

(d) Planets rise in the east and set in the west. Over the course of several months, they appear to drift from west to east with respect to the distant stars.

• 10.
Mars rises tonight at the exact same time as a particular star. If Mars is in retrograde motion, then tomorrow night Mars will:
• A.

(a) rise earlier than this star.

• B.

(b) rise at the same time as this star.

• C.

(c) rise later than this star.

• 11.
If a small weather satellite and the large International Space Station are orbiting Earth at the same altitude above Earths surface, which object takes longer to orbit once around Earth?
• A.

(a) The large space station

• B.

(b) The small satellite

• C.

(c) They would take the same amount of time

• 12.
In each figure below three rocky asteroids are shown with masses (m), expressed in arbitrary units, separated by a distance (d), also expressed in arbitrary units. The asteroids are identified with the letters A, B, and C. Which asteroid exerts a stronger gravitational force on the asteroid labeled C?
• A.

(a) Asteroid A

• B.

(b) Asteroid B

• C.

(c) The force exerted by Asteroids A and B is equal.

• D.

(d) It is not possible to tell from the diagram.

• 13.
Compared to its angular momentum when it is farthest from the Sun, Pluto’s angular momentum when it is nearest to the Sun is
• A.

(a) greater

• B.

(b) less

• C.

(c) the same

• 14.
Which of the following represents a case in which you are not accelerating?
• A.

(a) Driving in a straight line at 60 miles per hour

• B.

(b) Slamming on the brakes to come to a stop at a stop sign

• C.

(c) Going from 0 to 60 miles per hour in 10 seconds

• D.

(d) Driving 60 miles per hour around a curve

• 15.
Which of the following best compares your mass and weight if you are standing on the Earth versus standing on Mars?
• A.

(a) Your mass will be greater on Earth and your weight will be the same.

• B.

(b) Your mass will be greater on Mars and your weight will be the same.

• C.

(c) Your weight will be greater on Earth and your mass will be the same.

• D.

(d) Your weight will be greater on Mars and your mass will be the same.

• 16.
Use the drawing below to answer the next three questions. In this picture the Earth-Moon system is shown (not to scale) along with three possible positions A–C for a spacecraft traveling from the Earth to the Moon. Note that position B is exactly half way between the Earth and the Moon. When the spacecraft is at the half-way point between the Earth and the Moon (point B) which object exerts the largest gravitational force on the spacecraft?
• A.

(a) The gravitational force exerted by the Earth equals the gravitational force exerted by the moon.

• B.

(b) The Earth.

• C.

(c) The Moon.

• D.

(d) Neither the Earth nor the Moon are exerting a gravitational force on the spacecraft when it is at point B.

• 17.
Use the drawing below to answer the next three questions. In this picture the Earth-Moon system is shown (not to scale) along with three possible positions A–C for a spacecraft traveling from the Earth to the Moon. Note that position B is exactly half way between the Earth and the Moon. At which location (A, B or C) would the spacecraft be when the gravitational force exerted by the Earth on the spacecraft is the weakest?
• A.

A

• B.

B

• C.

C

• D.

Option 4

• 18.
During which part of the planets orbit (A, B or C) is the planet moving slowest. Answer D if you think that the planet is traveling at the same speed through all the portions of the motion (A, B and C).
• A.

A

• B.

B

• C.

C

• D.

D

• 19.
A star is 50 parsecs away. What maximum separation between the end points of the star’s apparent motion over the course of a year?
• A.

(a) 1/25 arcseconds

• B.

(b) 1/50 arcseconds

• C.

(c) 1/100 arcseconds

• D.

(d) 50 arcseconds

• E.

(e) 100 arcseconds

• 20.
Kepler’s third law states that a planet’s orbital period, P, is related to its semi-major axis, a, according to the mathematical relationship P2 = a3. Which of the following statements describe a characteristic of the solar system that is explained by Kepler’s third law?
• A.

(a) Inner planets orbit the Sun at higher speed than outer planets.

• B.

(b) The Sun is located slightly off-center from the middle of each planet’s orbit.

• C.

(c) Earth is slightly closer to the Sun on one side of its orbit than on the other side.

• D.

(d) All the planets orbit the Sun in nearly the same plane.

• E.

(e) Pluto moves faster when it is closer to the Sun than when it is farther from the Sun.

• 21.
During how many portions of the planets orbit (A, B or C) would the planet experience an increase in speed for at least one moment.
• A.

(a) During only one of the portions shown.

• B.

(b) During two of the the portions shown.

• C.

(c) During all three portions shown.

• D.

(d) None of the above.

• 22.
Which of the orbits below obeys Kepler’s 1st law of planetary motion?
• A.

A

• B.

B

• C.

C

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