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Multiple Choice Quiz


How do we know that the "new" comets are members of the solar system and not just interstellar objects passing near the sun?
A)they are too hot to be interstellar objects
B)they follow elliptical orbits
C)there are no interstellar objects as large as comets
D)they are moving too fast to have come from interstellar space

What is the Oort cloud?
A)a cluster of asteroids
B)a swarm of comets far from the sun
C)the cloud that a meteoroid produces in the atmosphere
D)the same as the coma of a comet

When does a comet have the longest tail and largest coma?
A)when it is nearest the sun
B)when it is moving most slowly
C)when it crosses the ecliptic
D)when it is 1 AU from the sun

Which of the following best describes the material which makes up the nucleus of a comet?
C)dirty ice
D)metallic crystals

Which part of a comet is the only one that exists when the comet is far from the sun?
A)the nucleus
B)the dust tail
C)the ion tail
D)the coma

What motivated 18th century astronomers to search for a planet with an orbit about 2.8 AU from the sun?
A)something was perturbing the orbit of Mars
B)many comets had aphelion distances near 2.8 AU
C)other astronomers had reported seeing the planet
D)there is a large gap between the orbital distances of Mars and Jupiter

Most of the asteroids are located between the orbits of
A)Venus and Earth
B)Earth and Mars
C)Mars and Jupiter
D)Jupiter and Saturn

Why would global temperature drop is the Earth were struck by an asteroid several km in diameter or larger?
A)the impact would move the Earth farther from the sun
B)the resulting dust cloud would block out sunlight
C)the ices in the asteroid would increase the Earth's albedo
D)the low temperature of the asteroid would chill the oceans

Approximately how large must a meteoroid be in order to survive passage through the atmosphere and reach the ground as a meteorite?
A)as big as a fist
B)as big as a penny
C)as big as a automobile
D)as big as a house

The particles which produce meteor showers come from
A)impacts of meteoroids with the moon
B)dead comets
C)collisions of asteroids with each other
D)interstellar space

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