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Multiple Choice Quiz
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Which of the following is not true about comets?
A)They follow nearly circular orbits around the earth.
B)They are believed to be composed of ice and dust, and may have a solid nucleus.
C)Comets that pass near earth may have periods ranging from decades to millions of years.
D)In 1577 Tycho Brahe established that a comet was truly a heavenly body rather than simply a phenomenon in the upper atmosphere.
A group of objects, all relatively small (less than 1000 km in diameter) orbiting the sun between Mars and Jupiter are known as the
A)lesser planets.
B)inner planets.
In order of average distance from the sun, the planets of our solar system are:
A)Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune.
B)Mercury, Mars, Venus, Earth, Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Neptune.
C)Mercury, Venus, Mars, Earth, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune.
D)Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune.
The inner planets
A)include Mercury, Venus, Mars, and Saturn.
B)are all small and composed largely of rocky material.
C)tend to be less dense than the earth.
D)have a combined mass equal to that of the sun.
A planet that rotates in the opposite direction from most of the other planets and satellites is
The largest of the following planets is
The amount of dustlike micrometeorites reaching the earth each day is approximately
A)20 kg.
B)zero since they burn up in the atmosphere.
C)a thousand tons.
D)a thousand kg.
Which planet has the following characteristics? Second brightest planet in the sky; has only 11% the mass of Earth; has two satellites; may once have had active large-scale tectonic movements.
Which planet has the following characteristics? Shows phases similar to the moon, is always difficult to observe with the naked eye, has very long days (each equivalent to 176 earth days), has almost no atmosphere.
The concept that there could be, or perhaps once was, life on Mars
A)is an absurd and irrational notion that has never been seriously studied by scientists.
B)is generally dismissed because there is no evidence that there is or ever was any form of water on the Martian surface.
C)is excluded by the high carbon dioxide content of the Martian atmosphere.
D)is not an absolute impossibility given that at one time in the past long ago conditions on Mars may have been comparable to those of the early earth which we know was able to sustain life.
The planet Venus
A)never shows phases as viewed from the earth.
B)is known as the "evening" star while Mars is known as the "morning star."
C)has a size and mass closer to the earth than any other planet in our solar system.
D)is pockmarked by tens of thousands of impact craters.
Jupiter's satellites
A)number in the thousands, but all were too small to see from the earth until the invention of good telescopes in the twentieth century.
B)are all heated by the sun and the surfaces are so hot that any water boils off.
C)were first discovered by Kepler in 1598.
D)includes Io, which has active volcanoes, and Europa, covered in ice.
The planet Jupiter
A)is believed to have a core of rock and iron that is 300 times denser than the earth.
B)was unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
C)is believed to contain liquid hydrogen under such enormous pressure that it behaves as a metal.
D)has fusion reactions taking place in its interior and therefore is technically a small star shining with its own light.
The planet Saturn
A)is well known for its rings, but lacks any large satellites.
B)has a satellite, Titan, which has its own atmosphere.
C)has rings that are believed to be composed of layers of very fine dust and mostly gas that are several kilometers thick.
D)is similar to Jupiter in many respects, but much hotter than Jupiter since it generates its own heat.
Concerning the asteroids between Mars and Jupiter,
A)most orbit in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the planets' orbits.
B)the largest known asteroid is about the size of Mercury.
C)at least one asteroid, Ida, has its own satellite.
D)almost all are perfect spheres of rock and metal.
When William Herschel first discovered Uranus in 1781
A)he at first mistook it for the planet Neptune.
B)he initially suspected that Uranus might be a comet.
C)it was the result of very meticulous and accurate observations over many years, amazingly made without a telescope.
D)he immediately calculated that this odd planet orbits around the sun in the opposite direction of all the other planets.
Approximately how long does it take our moon to go through the complete cycle of its phases?
A)21 1/3 days
B)27 1/3 days
C)29 1/2 days
D)31 1/3 days
A lunar eclipse
A)occurs when the earth's shadow falls on and obscures the moon.
B)can only occur during the first or last quarter phase of the moon.
C)occurs when the moon is positioned between the sun and the earth.
D)is another name for a solar eclipse.
An annular eclipse of the sun
A)occurs on average once a year.
B)can only occur when there is a full moon.
C)is the situation were a ring of sunlight appears around the rim of the moon.
D)often produces sunspots, solar flares, and satellite disruptions.
The lunar highlands
A)do not contain rilles as the moon's maria often do.
B)are composed exclusively of volcanoes whose lava flows have obliterated all meteoritic craters.
C)are scarred by impact craters, some with rays extended outward.
D)were formed from water-borne sediments.
Which of the following has not been found on the moon?
A)Highly-weathered and eroded rocks.
B)Particles of pure iron.
C)Rocks that are much older than the most ancient rocks known on the earth.
D)Meterorites and their craters.
The first manned flight to the moon
A)was part of the Mercury spacecraft project.
B)included a joint Soviet-American crew of five men and two women.
C)was the brain-child of Ronald Reagan.
D)took place in 1969.
Which of the following hypotheses for the origin of the moon is most widely accepted today?
A)The moon split off from the earth.
B)The moon was gravitationally captured by the earth.
C)The moon and earth were initially a double-planet system.
D)A planet crashed into the proto-earth, giving rise to the earth and moon.

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