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Astronomy Final exam

QuestionAnswer
The Jovian planets are made out of what two elements? What does this mean about their densities? Two main elements are Hydrogen and Helium. This means that their densities are low.
Why did the ancients not know of the existence of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto? The ancients did not know about the existence of Uranus , Neptune and Pluto because they did not have a telescope.
Why do Uranus and Neptune both appear somewhat blue-green ? Methane gas in their atmosphere. Methane absorbs colors at the red end of the spectrum and reflects back light at the end of the blue-green spectrum.
Uranus and Neptune may have a compressed liquid water ocean beneath their atmospheres. What three pieces of evidence support this conclusion?
How was Uranus discovered ? Discovered by William Herschel in 1781
What is notable about the rotation of Uranus? Does this planet undergo retrograde rotation? Why or why not? Has a short rotation . Uranus does not under go retrograde rotation just like Saturn.
What would seasons be like if you lived on Uranus? Why would you say this? Uranus seasons are 21 years long, really cold. Due to its tilt the sun never sets or never rises during the summer/winter.
Is there any difference in the look of Uranus recently compared to ts look back during the Voyager 2 flyby in 1986?
What is notable about Uranus’ moon Miranda?
How was Neptune discovered ?
Do the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune look identical? If not, what differences are there between them, and what does this imply is different between their interiors?
What is unique about Neptune’s moon Triton? What will happen to Triton in the future?
How was Pluto discovered? Discovered in 1930 during a search for a large planet orbiting beyond Neptune and disturbing Neptune's Orbital Motion
What two things are strange about Pluto’s orbit around the Sun? Pluto's orbit is quite elongated and inclined out of ecliptic . 248 orbital period . Has a 3:2 orbital resonance with Neptune ( close enough to it to be affected by its gravity, overlaps orbit)
Is Pluto always farther from the Sun than Neptune? Why or why not? If not, will they ever collide in the future? Because of its substantial orbital eccentricity Pluto's distance from the Sun varies considerably.
Does Pluto undergo retrograde rotation? Yes
What is notable about Pluto’s rotation and Charon’s orbit? What is this situation called? They move in circular , tidally locked orbit with a period of 6.4 days.
What observations of Pluto and its Charon gave us much information about the nature of these worlds?
What is meant by the phrase “dwarf planet”? Why do many call Pluto dwarf planet? Do all astronomers agree with this classification A body that orbits the sun and is massive enough that its own gravity has caused its shape to be approximately spherical, but which is insufficiently massive to have cleared other bodies from the " the neighborhood " of its orbit.
What are KBOs? Where are they found in the solar system? Small icy body orbiting in the Kuiper Object. Found beyond Neptune's orbit some 30 to 50 AU from the sun.
What does Bode’s Law attempt to predict? Is it truly a scientific law? is rough rule that predicts the spacing of the planets in the Solar System.
What is the name of the largest asteroid? Why do many today call it a dwarf planet? Ceres, because A dwarf planet orbits the sun and has enough mass to assume a nearly round shape. It's not a moon but it has not cleared the neighborhood around its orbit
Where in the solar system are most asteroids found? What do we call these asteroids? Asteroid belt , between Mars and Jupiter. Classified by their spectroscopic Properties. C-type ( Carbonaceous) S-type ( siliceous ) and M-Type ( miscellaneous) .
What causes the Kirkwood Gaps? The gravitational interaction between Jupiter and asteroids
What observation did the Galileo spacecraft make about asteroids on its way to Jupiter?
Where are the Trojan asteroids located? What may they imply about Jupiter’s status?
Why do many astronomers search nightly to discover Apollo asteroids?
Why were comets long ago associated with bad events occurring on the Earth? Has that view of comets totally gone away today (given our much better knowledge about them)?
Based on their compositions, what appears to be the best description of a comet?
In what region of the solar system are most of the comets found? What causes some of these to occasionally head toward the Sun?
Do we see comets in only in the zodiac constellations? Why or why not?
What is a long-period comet? What is a short-period comet?
What is the nucleus of a comet? What is the coma of a comet?
What happened to Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1994? Why was this event so important?
In active comets, two tails can form. What are they, and what produces each? Do the tails of a comet always point roughly toward the Sun or roughly away from the Sun?
What is a meteoroid? What is a meteor? What is a meteorite?
What are the three main types of meteorites, and from where does each type originate?
What happens on the night of a meteor shower? How are meteor showers named?
True or false: The object that created the impact crater in Northern Arizona was at least one half mile across
What event is believed to have wiped out the dinosaurs about 65 million years ago?
Will the Earth be struck by a large comet or asteroid in the future? If one should be heading our way, should we try to blow it up (as seen in several popular movies)?
Evidence suggests the solar system formed from the Solar Nebula. What did this nebula consist of, and what nearby event most likely triggered the solar system’s formation?
What caused the planets of the solar system to have roughly the same orbital plane
Why are the terrestrials near the Sun, and why are they much smaller than the jovians?
What are exosolar (extrasolar) planets? How do astronomers find them?
What mechanism produces the energy that is released in the process?
What is the name of the energy production process within the Sun? In which region of the Sun does it occur? What is a summary of the change that occurs in each process?
Can the Sun do this process forever? Why or why not? If not, how long will the Sun live?
What is the structure of the Sun, from the center outward?
What is the solar neutrino problem? What appears to be the solution to this problem?
What are the layers of the Sun’s atmosphere? How do we observe each of these layers?
Why is the chromosphere noticeably reddish? Why is the corona not visually bright?
For each of the following features, what are they and in what atmospheric layer are they located: Granules, supergranules, spicules, coronal holes, sunspots, prominences, filaments, plages, flares
How does the appearance of sunspots change with time? Has this ever been different?
why is it highly unlikely that aliens are traveling here to Earth? For people who strongly believe that alien UFOs are here, what two types of distances are they confusing
What are star spectral types, and what do they represent? Which spectral type is the Sun? What does this classification tell us about our star?
a very red star will be of type ______. A very blue star will be of type ______.
The lifetime of a star is determined by its __________.
When stars die they will eventually become three things. What are these, and which one will our Sun become? Will our Sun ever explode (supernova)?
What did ancient societies know about the band of light in the sky called the Milky Way?
About how many stars appear to comprise our Milky Way galaxy?
What is the best season(s) to view star clusters and other galaxies?
Galaxies tend to reside in gravitationally bound systems called ___________________
(the one the Milky Way belongs to is called the _______________________________). These tend to reside in _______________________ (the one the Milky Way belongs to is called the ________________________), which are separated by vast _______________.
What is cosmology? Does cosmology say there cannot be a creator of the universe?
What is Olbers’ Paradox, and what does it imply about Newton’s ideas of the universe?
What does the Hubble Law say about the nature of our Universe?
Later, cosmologists went on to compose two theories about the nature of the universe. What are they, and what do they say?
What are the three big pieces of evidence supporting the big bang theory? Why do almost all astronomers no longer support its competing theory?
What devices do we use to test the nature of particles and forces at very high energies?
What is the cosmological principle? If this principle is true, can there be a unique center or edge of the universe?
Cosmologists call time 0 in the universe the instant the big bang occurs. Currently, how close back to time 0 can physics describe the workings of the universe?
What is meant by “critical density”? Does our Universe have the critical density? If not, what will be the future of the Universe?
Do most astronomers believe life exists elsewhere in the Universe? Why or why not?
What is the best choice for communication with other civilizations? What is the only true “interstellar” language?
What were the results of the Miller-Urey experiment
What is the Drake Equation attempting to determine?
Created by: Cortez21