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Flashcards in Test 2 Mastering Astronomy Deck (50):
1

Standing on the surface of the Earth you drop a rock down a well and it falls for 5 seconds before hitting the bottom. How fast is it moving when it hits the bottom of the well? Neglect air resistance.

10 m/s
It depends on what shape it is.
50 m/s
It depends on how heavy it is.
15 m/s

50 m/s

2

As long as an object is not gaining or losing mass, a net force on the object will cause a change in

velocity.
acceleration.
weight.
direction.
speed.

velocity.

3

Newton's second law of motion tells us that the net force applied to an object equals its

energy times acceleration.
mass times acceleration.
momentum times velocity.
mass times energy.
mass times velocity.

mass times acceleration.

4

How does the Space Shuttle take off?

Its rocket engines push against the launch pad propelling the shuttle upwards.
Hot gas shoots out from the rocket and, by conservation of momentum, the shuttle moves in the opposite direction.
It converts mass-energy to kinetic energy.
It achieves lift from its wings in the same way that airplanes do.
The hot rocket exhaust expands the air beneath the shuttle, propelling it forward.

Hot gas shoots out from the rocket and, by conservation of momentum, the shuttle moves in the opposite direction.

5

The force of gravity is an inverse square law. This means that, if you double the distance between two large masses, the gravitational force between them

weakens by a factor of 2.
strengthens by a factor of 4.
also doubles.
is unaffected.
weakens by a factor of 4.

weakens by a factor of 4.

6

The allowed shapes for orbits under the force of gravity are

ellipses and spirals.
ellipses, spirals, and parabolas.
ellipses only.
spirals, circles, and squares.
ellipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas.

ellipses, parabolas, and hyperbolas.

7

The tides on Earth are an example of

Newton's third law of motion.
Newton's second law of motion.
Newton's first law of motion.
the universal law of gravitation.
none of the above

the universal law of gravitation.

8

Suppose a lone asteroid happens to be passing relatively near Jupiter (but not near any of its moons), following a hyperbolic orbit as it approaches Jupiter. Which of the following statements would be true?

Jupiter would probably expel the asteroid far out into the solar system.
Jupiter's gravity would capture the asteroid, making it a new moon of Jupiter.
The asteroid would slowly spiral into Jupiter until it crashed into the atmosphere.
The asteroid's orbit around Jupiter would not change, and it would go out on the same hyperbolic orbit that it came in on.
Any of these scenarios is possible.

The asteroid's orbit around Jupiter would not change, and it would go out on the same hyperbolic orbit that it came in on.

9

Where does nuclear fusion occur in the Sun?

just above the visible surface
on the surface
in its core
anywhere below the surface
all of the above

in its core

10

The most metal-rich terrestrial planet is

Venus.
Earth.
the Moon.
Mars.
Mercury.

Mercury.

11

Which planet, other than Earth, has visible water ice on it?

Venus
Mars
Mercury
Jupiter
the Moon

Mars

12

Which of the following is not an advantage of spacecraft flybys over ground-based telescope observations?

Spacecraft can sample the gravitational field of a planet.
Spacecraft can monitor changes in a planet's atmosphere over long times.
Spacecraft can make highly detailed images of the planet and its moons.
Spacecraft can view "backlit" views of planetary rings.
Spacecraft can measure local magnetic fields.

Spacecraft can monitor changes in a planet's atmosphere over long times.

13

Which of the following is not an exception to the general patterns in the solar system?

the counterclockwise rotation of Venus
the extreme axis tilt of Uranus
the retrograde rotation of Triton around Neptune
the large size of Earth's Moon
the rings of Saturn

the rings of Saturn

14

The planet closest in size to Earth is

Pluto.
Mars.
the Moon.
Mercury.
Venus.

Venus.

15

How do asteroids differ from comets?

Asteroids are made of icy material and are less dense than the comets, which are rockier.
Asteroids are rocky bodies and are less dense than the comets, which are made of icy material.
Asteroids are made of icy material and are denser than the comets, which are more rocky.
Asteroids are rocky bodies and are denser than the comets, which are made of icy material.
Asteroids and comets are both made of rocky and icy material, but asteroids are smaller in size than comets.

Asteroids are rocky bodies and are denser than the comets, which are made of icy material.

16

What percentage of the mass of the solar nebula consisted of elements other than hydrogen and helium?

0 percent
0.1 percent
20 percent
2 percent
80 percent

2 percent

17

Which of the following lists the ingredients of the solar nebula from highest to lowest percentage of mass of the nebula?

hydrogen compounds (H2O, CH4, NH3), rocks, metals, light gases (H, He)
hydrogen compounds (H2O, CH4, NH3), light gases (H, He), metals, rocks
light gases (H, He), hydrogen compounds (H2O, CH4, NH3), metals, rocks
hydrogen compounds (H2O, CH4, NH3), light gases (H, He), rocks, metals
light gases (H, He), hydrogen compounds (H2O, CH4, NH3), rocks, metals

light gases (H, He), hydrogen compounds (H2O, CH4, NH3), rocks, metals

18

What percentage of the solar nebula's mass consisted of hydrogen and helium gases?

5 percent
0.5 percent
98 percent
100 percent
50 percent

98 percent

19

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?

silicon-based minerals
hydrogen compounds
metals
molecules such as methane and ammonia
rocks

metals

20

What was the frost line of the solar system?

the distance from the Sun where temperatures were low enough for rocks to condense, between the present-day orbits of Mercury and Venus
the distance from the Sun where temperatures were low enough for hydrogen and helium to condense, between the present-day orbits of Jupiter and Saturn
the distance from the Sun where temperatures were low enough for hydrogen compounds to condense into ices, between the present-day orbits of Mars and Jupiter
the distance from the Sun where temperatures were low enough for asteroids to form, between the present-day orbits of Venus and Earth
the distance from the Sun where temperatures were low enough for metals to condense, between the Sun and the present-day orbit of Mercury

the distance from the Sun where temperatures were low enough for hydrogen compounds to condense into ices, between the present-day orbits of Mars and Jupiter

21

According to our theory of solar system formation, why does the Sun rotate slowly today?

The Sun once rotated much faster, but it transferred angular momentum to planets and other objects during close encounters.
The Sun once rotated much faster, but it lost angular momentum because everything slows down with time.
The Sun once rotated much faster, but it lost angular momentum due to internal friction.
The Sun was born rotating slowly because the solar nebula had very little angular momentum.
The Sun once rotated much faster, but it transferred angular momentum to charged particles caught in its magnetic field and then blew the particles away with its strong solar wind.

The Sun once rotated much faster, but it transferred angular momentum to charged particles caught in its magnetic field and then blew the particles away with its strong solar wind.

22

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

chemical reactions that occurred in Earth's core after Earth formed.
ice that condensed in the solar nebula in the region where Earth formed.
comets that impacted Earth.
chemical reactions that occurred in Earth's crust after Earth formed.
material left behind during the giant impact that formed the Moon.

comets that impacted Earth.

23

The age of our solar system is approximately

4.6 billion years.
4.6 million years.
10,000 years.
3.8 million years.
14 billion years.

4.6 billion years.

24

The age of the solar system can be established by radioactive dating of

the oldest meteorites.
the oldest Earth rocks.
It hasn't been done yet, but the age of the solar system could be obtained from a sample of Io's surface.
the atmosphere of Mars.
the oldest rocks on the Moon.

the oldest meteorites.

25

Which of the following correctly describes the meaning of albedo?

The higher the albedo, the more light the atmosphere absorbs.
The lower the albedo, the more light the surface reflects, and the less it absorbs.
The higher the albedo, the more light the surface reflects, and the less it absorbs.
The higher the albedo, the more light the surface emits.
The higher the albedo, the more light the surface absorbs.

The higher the albedo, the more light the surface reflects, and the less it absorbs.

26

Which planet experiences the greatest change between its actual day temperature and actual night temperature?

Earth
Mars
Venus
Mercury

Mercury

27

How does the greenhouse effect work?

The higher pressure of the thick atmosphere at lower altitudes traps heat in more effectively.
Greenhouse gases absorb infrared light from the Sun, which then heats the atmosphere and the surface.
Greenhouse gases transmit visible light, allowing it to heat the surface, but then absorb infrared light from Earth, trapping the heat near the surface.
Greenhouse gases absorb X rays and ultraviolet light from the Sun, which then heat the atmosphere and the surface.
Ozone transmits visible light, allowing it to heat the surface, but then absorbs most of the infrared heat, trapping the heat near the surface.

Greenhouse gases transmit visible light, allowing it to heat the surface, but then absorb infrared light from Earth, trapping the heat near the surface.

28

What is the stratosphere?

the lowest layer in the atmosphere
the part of the atmosphere that absorbs optical light
the part of the atmosphere that absorbs ultraviolet
the part of the atmosphere that absorbs X rays
the highest layer in the atmosphere

the part of the atmosphere that absorbs ultraviolet

29

Ultraviolet light is absorbed in the

thermosphere.
stratosphere.
exosphere.
troposphere.
none of the above

stratosphere.

30

Sunsets are red because

sunlight must pass through more atmosphere then, and the atmosphere scatters even more light at bluer wavelengths, transmitting mostly red light.
the Sun emits more red light when it's setting.
sunlight must pass through more atmosphere then, and the atmosphere scatters more light at red wavelengths than bluer wavelengths.
the cooler atmosphere in the evening absorbs more blue light.
none of the above

sunlight must pass through more atmosphere then, and the atmosphere scatters even more light at bluer wavelengths, transmitting mostly red light.

31

Convection occurs in the troposphere but not in the stratosphere because

the troposphere is cooler than the stratosphere.
the troposphere contains fewer greenhouse gases than the stratosphere.
higher altitudes of the troposphere are warmer than lower altitudes, unlike in the stratosphere.
lower altitudes of the troposphere are warmer than higher altitudes, unlike in the stratosphere.
the troposphere is warmer than the stratosphere.

lower altitudes of the troposphere are warmer than higher altitudes, unlike in the stratosphere.

32

What is the difference in meaning between the terms weather and climate?

Weather refers to small storms, and climate refers to large storms.
Weather refers to short-term variations in conditions, and climate refers to long-term variations in conditions.
Weather refers to local conditions, and climate refers to global conditions.
Weather refers to wind and rain, and climate refers to processes like convection.
There is no difference between weather and climate.

Weather refers to short-term variations in conditions, and climate refers to long-term variations in conditions.

33

The strength of the Coriolis effect depends on

the tilt of a planet's axis.
a planet's distance from the Sun.
a planet's size and rotation rate.
a planet's temperature.
the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

a planet's size and rotation rate.

34

Which of the following factors could explain a gradual warming trend in a planet's climate?

a major volcanic eruption that increases the albedo of the planet by making clouds
a decrease in the brightness of the Sun
a decreasing albedo
a decrease in the amount of greenhouse gases
none of the above

a decreasing albedo

35

Why doesn't Venus have seasons like Mars and Earth do?

Its rotation axis is not tilted.
It does not rotate fast enough.
It does not have an ozone layer.
It is too close to the Sun.
all of the above

Its rotation axis is not tilted.

36

Which of the following is not one of the four major factors that can cause a long-term change in a planet's climate?

a change in the amount of dust particles suspended in the planet's atmosphere
a change in the planet's axis tilt
a change in the strength of the planet's magnetic field
a change in the planet's abundance of greenhouse gases
the fact that the Sun has gradually grown brighter over the past 4 billion years

a change in the strength of the planet's magnetic field

37

Which of the following is not a product of outgassing?

oxygen
nitrogen
sulfur dioxide
water
carbon dioxide

oxygen

38

Why would the weather become more severe as the greenhouse effect increased?

Warming would increase the evaporation of the oceans, leading to more water in the atmosphere and more frequent and severe storms.
Warming would dry out the atmosphere and the crust, leading to devastation of Earth through more meteor bombardment and volcanism.
Warming of the planet would lead to terrible droughts and reduce the amount of water on Earth.
The depleted ozone layer would let in more particles from the solar wind.
all of the above

Warming would increase the evaporation of the oceans, leading to more water in the atmosphere and more frequent and severe storms.

39

What are fossil fuels?

mineral-rich deposits from ancient seabeds
carbonate-rich deposits from ancient seabeds
any fuel that is extracted from the interior of Earth
any fuel that releases CO2 into the atmosphere upon burning
the carbon-rich remains of plants that died millions of years ago

the carbon-rich remains of plants that died millions of years ago

40

If Earth were to warm up a bit, what would happen?

Carbonate materials would form in the oceans more rapidly, the atmospheric CO2 content would decrease, and the greenhouse effect would strengthen slowly over time.
Carbonate materials would form in the oceans more rapidly, the atmospheric CO2 content would decrease, and the greenhouse effect would weaken slowly over time.
Carbonate materials would form in the oceans more slowly, the atmospheric CO2 content would increase, and the greenhouse effect would strengthen slowly over time.
There would be a runaway greenhouse effect, with Earth becoming ever hotter until the oceans evaporated (as may have happened on Venus).
The ice caps would melt and cool Earth back to its normal temperature.

Carbonate materials would form in the oceans more rapidly, the atmospheric CO2 content would decrease, and the greenhouse effect would weaken slowly over time.

41

Geological evidence points to a history of extended ice ages in Earth's history. How did Earth recover from this snowball phase?

As the Sun aged, it grew brighter and increased Earth's temperature, melting the ice.
Life vanished, leading to an increase in CO2, and increased global warming, eventually melting the ice.
The increased ice coverage on Earth's surface absorbed more sunlight than water and rocks, thus gradually heating Earth until the ice melted.
Volcanoes continued to inject CO2 into Earth's atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect to the point where ice melted.
Plate tectonics gradually subducted all the ice below Earth's surface.

Volcanoes continued to inject CO2 into Earth's atmosphere, increasing the greenhouse effect to the point where ice melted.

42

From where did the molecular oxygen in Earth's atmosphere originate?

photosynthesis from single-celled organisms
atmospheric bombardment
outgassing from volcanoes
photosynthesis from plant life
oxidation of surface rocks

photosynthesis from single-celled organisms

43

Why do jovian planets bulge around the equator, that is, have a "squashed" appearance?

Their rapid rotation flings the mass near the equator outward.
Their large systems of moons and rings gravitationally attract the mass around the equator more.
They are much more massive than the terrestrial planets.
Their internal heat sources exert a pressure against the sides of the planets.
all of the above

Their rapid rotation flings the mass near the equator outward.

44

How many more times is the atmospheric pressure in Jupiter's core greater than the atmospheric pressure at Earth's surface?

100 thousand
10 thousand
10 million
1 million
100 million

100 million

45

Why is Jupiter denser than Saturn?

It is unknown why this is so.
It is made of a different composition than Saturn, including a higher proportion of hydrogen compounds and rocks.
Its core is much larger than Saturn's.
It has a greater proportion of helium to hydrogen compared to Saturn.
The extra mass of Jupiter compresses its interior to a greater extent than that of Saturn.

The extra mass of Jupiter compresses its interior to a greater extent than that of Saturn.

46

How do astronomers think Saturn generates its internal heat?

nuclear fusion in the core
by raining dense helium droplets from higher to lower altitudes, resembling the process of differentiation
radioactive decay
chemical processes
internal friction due to its high rotation rate

by raining dense helium droplets from higher to lower altitudes, resembling the process of differentiation

47

Why do the jovian planet interiors differ?

The more distant planets formed in a cooler region of the solar nebula and therefore contain a greater proportion of ices than the closer jovian planets.
The solar heating is less for the more distant planets than the closer planets.
They differ due to giant impacts at the late stages of planet formation.
The more distant planets had longer to form than the closer planets, since the solar nebula lasted longer at greater distances from the Sun.
Accretion took longer further from the Sun, so the more distant planets formed their cores later and captured less gas from the solar nebula than the closer jovian planets.

Accretion took longer further from the Sun, so the more distant planets formed their cores later and captured less gas from the solar nebula than the closer jovian planets.

48

Which of the following statements about Titan is not true?

Its temperature is too cold for liquid water to exist.
Its surface is hidden from view by its thick atmosphere.
It is the coldest moon in the solar system.
Its atmosphere is mostly nitrogen.
It may have an ocean of liquid ethane.

It is the coldest moon in the solar system.

49

Planetary rings are

orbiting in the equatorial plane of their planet.
composed of a large number of individual particles that orbit their planet in accord with Kepler's third law.
nearer to their planet than any of the planet's large moons.
known to exist for all of the jovian planets.
all of the above

all of the above

50

What is the Cassini division of Saturn's rings?

the widest ring of Saturn, located between two large ring gaps
a large gap, visible from Earth
the most opaque ring of Saturn, made of highly reflective ice particles
the imaginary circle marking the halfway point of Saturn's rings
a dark ring, visible from Earth, composed of dark, dusty particles

a large gap, visible from Earth