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Multiple Choice Quiz


Why is the daily temperature variation on Mars so much larger than we experience on Earth?
A)Mars spins slowly, so its nights are very long
B)Mars is much darker than the Earth, so it absorbs more sunlight
C)Mars' atmosphere is too thin to insulate the surface
D)Mars has smaller internal heat sources than the Earth has

In what respect are the atmospheres of Venus and Mars most alike?
D)chemical composition

During some seasons the barometric pressure on Mars drops steadily for months at a time. Why?
A)tides cause the atmosphere to rise and fall
B)the atmospheric gas is solidifying on one of the polar caps
C)gas is escaping rapidly into space
D)enormous storms are forming around low pressure regions

Which of the following is most likely to have been responsible for the formation of Valles Marineris?
A)running water
B)plate tectonics
C)surface cracking when Mars expanded
D)melting of permafrost

How do we know that the volcanoes of Mars are billions of years old?
A)the Viking landers measured their ages using radiogenic techniques
B)there are impact craters on their slopes
C)volcanic eruptions have never been witnessed
D)Mars is too cold for volcanic eruptions to occur at the present time

If there is a lot of water on Mars, where is it most likely to be found?
A)in ice layers beneath the visible surface
B)in the polar caps
C)in the atmosphere
D)in thin frost layers on the Martian surface

In which of the following forms can water NOT exist on Mars today?
C)polar ice caps
D)atmospheric gas

Some of the Martian channels originate in chaotic (jumbled) terrain. How were the chaotic terrain and the channels emerging from them probably produced?
A)melting of underground ice followed by the flow of water
B)small volcanic outbursts followed by the flow of lava
C)grazing impacts by interplanetary debris
D)Mars-quakes followed by landslides

What was the result of the life-detection experiments that were carried out on the Viking missions to Mars?
A)no clear-cut evidence of life was detected
B)microbial life was found
C)no life was found, but numerous organic compounds suggest life in the past
D)the life-detection experiments mysteriously disappeared

Which of the following observations led astronomers in the early 1900's to suspect that there might be life on Mars?
A)seasonal variations in dark surface markings
B)the observation that its atmosphere is largely oxygen
C)the detection of liquid water on the surface of Mars
D)unexplained flashes of light on the night side of the planet

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