The Solar System

Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences,University of Wisconsin - Green Bay
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Heaven and Hell

  1. The role of impact in Solar System history:
    1. was most important early on.
    2. has been increasing over time.
    3. has been constant.
    4. has been gradually decreasing.
  2. The greenhouse effect on Venus is due to:
    1. water vapor.
    2. sulfuric acid droplets.
    3. methane.
    4. carbon dioxide.
  3. The principal clue that the surface of a planet is geologically young
    1. Atmosphere
    2. Heavy cratering
    3. Volcanoes
    4. Lack of craters
  4. The 1908 Tunguska Event is now (2000) believed to have been caused by what?
    1. A rocky asteroid or meteor
    2. A comet
    3. A piece of anti-matter
    4. A mini-black hole
  5. When a meteor hits, the resulting crater is ______ the size of the meteor:
    1. less than
    2. about equal to
    3. five times
    4. 20-30 times
  6. The energy of a moving body is related to its:
    1. Diameter
    2. Mass and Speed
    3. Speed
    4. Diameter and Composition
  7. Comets are mostly made of:
    1. Frozen gases
    2. Rock
    3. Dust
    4. Rock and metal
  8. Comets’ Orbits:
    1. Are usually pretty circular
    2. Do not obey Kepler’s Laws
    3. Always get smaller with time
    4. Are usually very elongated ellipses
  9. Venus’ atmosphere is mostly:
    1. Water Vapor
    2. Nitrogen
    3. Oxygen
    4. Carbon Dioxide
  10. Who landed the first (and only) spacecraft on Venus to send back pictures?
    1. The U.S.
    2. European Space Agency
    3. Japan
    4. Russia
    5. China
  11. Why is Venus So Hot?
    1. Volcanism
    2. Meteor Impacts
    3. Runaway Greenhouse Effect
    4. Plate Tectonics
  12. What is mostly responsible for Earth’s Greenhouse Effect?
    1. Water Vapor
    2. Carbon Dioxide
    3. Methane
    4. Sulfur Dioxide
    5. Nitrogen
  13. What are Venus’ clouds made of?
    1. Water droplets
    2. Carbon Dioxide
    3. Windblown Dust
    4. Sulfuric Acid droplets
    5. Nitrogen
  14. In what respect is Venus most similar to Earth?
    1. size
    2. topography
    3. atmospheric composition
    4. surface temperature
  15. Comets exhibit a tail because:
    1. friction wears them away.
    2. they begin to evaporate when they get close to the Sun.
    3. The tail is always there but sunlight makes the tail visible.
    4. centrifugal force flings material off the comet.
  16. The favored theory for the formation of the Moon is:
    1. Formation along with the Earth
    2. Formation somewhere else and capture by the Earth
    3. The proto-earth became unstable and split in two (fission)
    4. Formation somewhere else and a collision with the Earth

    Blues for the Red Planet

  17. The "canals" on Mars are now regarded as:
    1. Chains of Craters
    2. Imaginary
    3. Tectonic cracks in the crust
    4. Streaks of windblown debris
  18. Mars is earthlike in many ways. In which ways is Mars earthlike? More than one answer is correct.
    1. Length of day
    2. Composition of atmosphere
    3. Surface temperature
    4. Presence of ice caps
    5. Seasonal changes on the surface
    6. Presence of liquid water
    7. Tilt of Axis

    Just for Fun: What do Tarzan and Mars have in common?

  19. This biologist was a harsh and accurate critic of the idea of canals on Mars:
    1. Charles Darwin
    2. Alfred Russell Wallace
    3. Carl Linnaeus
    4. Jean Lamarcke
    5. Charles Lyell
  20. Which are examples of liquid water on Mars? More than one answer may be correct
    1. Periodic brief but large ancient floods
    2. Small ponds and streams spotted by recent space missions
    3. Subsurface liquid water found by the Viking lander
    4. Possible evidence for water-deposited rocks early in Mars' history
  21. Mars' atmosphere is mostly:
    1. Oxygen
    2. Nitrogen
    3. Carbon Dioxide
    4. Methane
    5. Ammonia
  22. His novel,War of the Worlds, was the first to depict truly alien extraterrestrials:
    1. H. G. Wells
    2. Edgar Rice Burroughs
    3. Giovanni Schiaparelli
    4. Percival Lowell
  23. Believed that Mars was covered by a network of intelligently-designed canals
    1. H. G. Wells
    2. Edgar Rice Burroughs
    3. Giovanni Schiaparelli
    4. Percival Lowell
  24. The results of the Viking search for life are generally interpreted as due to:
    1. terrestrial microorganisms carried on the lander.
    2. definite signs of Martian life.
    3. errors in the instrumental readings.
    4. chemical reactions with the Martian soil

    Travelers' Tales

      This moon of Jupiter is the largest satellite in the Solar System:
    1. Io
    2. Europa
    3. Ganymede
    4. Callisto
  25. This chemical element is believed to power the volcanoes on one of Jupiter’s moons and also account for its strange surface colors:
    1. iron
    2. copper
    3. hydrogen
    4. sulfur
  26. Jupiter is about ___ times as large in diameter as the Earth, but the Sun is as many times bigger than Jupiter:
    1. two
    2. ten
    3. 50
    4. 100
  27. Sagan argues for the benefits of open-mindedness and exploration by describing this society:
    1. The British Empire
    2. The American Frontier
    3. 17th century Holland
    4. France under Louis XIV
    5. Spain under Charles V
  28. Two important instruments invented in this society were:
    1. Compass and Barometer
    2. Microscope and Telescope
    3. Speedometer and Sextant
    4. Clinometer and Surveyor's Transit
    5. Spectroscope and Radio
  29. Perhaps the leading scientist of this culture was:
    1. Galileo
    2. Tycho Brahe
    3. Christian Huyghens
    4. Isaac Newton
    5. Johannes Kepler
    6. Percival Lowell
  30. Which were discoveries by this scientist? There is more than one answer.
    1. The telescope
    2. First person to see a surface feature on Mars
    3. First person to understand Saturn's rings correctly
    4. The planet Uranus
    5. That comets periodically return to the inner Solar System
    6. The pendulum clock
    7. The microscope
    8. Bacteria
    9. Saturn's moon Titan

    For the following five questions, pick the attributes that match. More than one answer may be correct.

  31. Io
    1. Thin icy crust, possible subsurface ocean
    2. Dark, cratered, with a huge impact basin
    3. Not a moon of Jupiter
    4. Volcanoes and a sulfur covered surface
    5. Thick brownish atmosphere
    6. Largest moon in the solar system
    7. Not discovered by Galileo
  32. Europa
    1. Thin icy crust, possible subsurface ocean
    2. Dark, cratered, with a huge impact basin
    3. Not a moon of Jupiter
    4. Volcanoes and a sulfur covered surface
    5. Thick brownish atmosphere
    6. Largest moon in the solar system
    7. Not discovered by Galileo
  33. Ganymede
    1. Thin icy crust, possible subsurface ocean
    2. Dark, cratered, with a huge impact basin
    3. Not a moon of Jupiter
    4. Volcanoes and a sulfur covered surface
    5. Thick brownish atmosphere
    6. Largest moon in the solar system
    7. Not discovered by Galileo
  34. Callisto
    1. Thin icy crust, possible subsurface ocean
    2. Dark, cratered, with a huge impact basin
    3. Not a moon of Jupiter
    4. Volcanoes and a sulfur covered surface
    5. Thick brownish atmosphere
    6. Largest moon in the solar system
    7. Not discovered by Galileo
  35. Titan
    1. Thin icy crust, possible subsurface ocean
    2. Dark, cratered, with a huge impact basin
    3. Not a moon of Jupiter
    4. Volcanoes and a sulfur covered surface
    5. Thick brownish atmosphere
    6. Largest moon in the solar system
    7. Not discovered by Galileo

  36. The volcanism on one of Jupiter's moons is powered by
    1. Decay of radioactive materials
    2. Heat from meteorite impacts
    3. Electrical forces created by Jupiter's magnetic field
    4. Friction generated by tidal forces

    Voyager and the Outer Solar System

  37. How do Uranus and Neptune compare to Earth in diameter?
    1. about the same
    2. twice as big
    3. four times as big
    4. eight times as big
  38. Which planet has not yet been visited by a spacecraft?
    1. Uranus
    2. Neptune
    3. Pluto
    4. Saturn
  39. Planetary Rings must be:
    1. Circular and in the planet's equatorial plane
    2. No particular shape or orientation
    3. At least halfway to the nearest satellite
    4. Less than halfway to the nearest satellite
    5. Circular but any orientation
  40. The sharp edges of rings are maintained by
    1. Collisions between ring particles
    2. Erosion by solar particles
    3. Centrifugal force
    4. Shepherd moons

    Other Solar Systems

  41. What size planets can we detect around other stars?
    1. all of them
    2. anything bigger than Earth
    3. only objects bigger than Jupiter
    4. anything bigger than Mars
  42. What's the primary method used in detecting other planets?
    1. Doppler shifts of the parent star's light
    2. Detecting spectral signs of their atmospheres
    3. Viewing them directly
    4. Detecting their radio emissions
  43. Why do we think Jupiter is important for life on earth?
    1. It absorbs cosmic rayss
    2. It was the source of early organic chemicals
    3. It stabilizes the earth's axis tilt
    4. It helps stabilize the orbits of all the other planets

 


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Created 13 January 1998, Last Update 14 December 2009

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