Chapter 6 Review Questions


1.  Why is the Earth round?  Is it perfectly spherical?

2.  What are some of the most common elements composing EarthÕs crust, mantle and core?

3.  How do we know that the Earth has a liquid core?  Why is the inner core solid even though it is hotter than the outer core?

4.  What are two explanations that scientists offer for why the interior of the Earth is hot?  How hot is it?

5.  How can scientists determine the age of the Earth?

6.  What is convection?  What are some other examples of convection besides hot soup?

7.  What is the relation between rising and sinking material in the EarthÕs interior and subduction and rifting?

8.  On what plate of the crust are you located?  Which way is it taking you?

9.  What is happening where one tectonic plate is smashing into another?

10.  What factors are thought to be responsible for the EarthÕs magnetic field?

11.  How is the aurora related to the EarthÕs magnetic field?

12.  How does the fact that the Earth has a magnetic field help provide evidence for the theory of plate tectonics.

13.  What were the main components of the atmosphere when the Earth formed, and what are the main components today?  How and why did they change?

14.  Explain how the greenhouse effect works and how it relates to global warming.

15.  What is ozone?  Why is it important?

16.  What is the Coriolis effect?  How does it affect life on Earth?

17.  What is precession?  What are some of its possible consequences?



Chapter 7 Review Questions


1.  Describe a crater and how it is formed.  Why do some craters contain maria?

2.  How do the maria differ from the highlands?

3.  What are lunar rilles?  What are rays?

4.  What formed the maria?  Why are they smooth?

5.  What is regolith?  How does it form?

6.  List the structure and composition of the Moon form the surface to the core.  How is it different form EarthÕs?

7.  Why does the Moon lack an atmosphere?

8.  List two ways to measure the distance to the Moon.

9.  How do astronomers think the Moon formed?  What supports this theory?  How does the theory explain why the Earth and Moon have such different densities?

10.  Why is the MoonÕs surface heavily cratered but the EarthÕs is not?

11.  How are tides formed on the Earth?

12.  Why does the Moon form two tidal bulges on the Earth?

13.  Describe the MoonÕs rotation.  How has it been affected by tidal interaction with the Earth?


Chapter 8 Review Questions


1.  Name the eight planets in order of increasing distance from the Sun.  Which are the inner and outer planets?

2.  What is Pluto, and why isnÕt it a planet?

3.  Where are the asteroid belt, the Kuiper belt, and the Oort cloud?  What kind of objects are in or come from them?

4.  Make a sketch of the Solar System showing top and side views?

5.  What is BodeÕs rule?

6.  How do we know the composition of Jupiter?

7.  What properties, apart from position, distinguish the terrestrial and Jovian planets?

8.  How old is the Solar System?  How do we know?

9.  What is an interstellar cloud?  What does it have to do with the Solar System?

10.  What is the solar nebula?  What is its shape and why?

11.  Why are there two main types of planets?

12.  What is the difference between condensation and accretion?

13.  Describe the planetesimal theory of planet formation.

14.  How does the panetesimal theory of planet formation explain the asteroids?

15.  How did the moons form around outer planets?

16.  How did the craters we see on many of the planets form?

17.  Describe a theory of how planets may have formed their atmospheres.

18.  How would you describe the formation of the Solar System to a little brother or sister?

19.  What observations of other solar systems have been made that support the solar nebula hypothesis?

20.  What methods are used to find exoplanets?

21.  How do some exoplanets differ from what we might expect?  Does this prove he nebula theory wrong?



Chapter 9 Review Questions


1.  How do Mercury, Venus and Mars each compare with the Earth in mass and radius?

2.  How do the interior structures of Mercury, Venus and Mars compare with EarthÕs?

3.  What is the surface of Mercury like?

4.  Does Mercury have an atmosphere?  Why or why not?

5.  What is peculiar about MercuryÕs rotation?  What causes this oddity?

6.  What is the dominant gas in VenusÕs atmosphere?  How do astronomers know this?

7.  What are the clouds of Venus made of?

8.  Why is Venus so hot?

9.  Can we see the surface of Venus?  Why or why not?  How do astronomers know what the surface of Venus is like?

10.  What sort of features are seen on VenusÕs surface?  Is the surface young or old?  Some of the youngest surfaces on Earth are from plate ridges––is the same true on Venus?

11.  Describe some of the surface features seen on Mars.

12.  What are the Martian polar caps composed of?

13.  What is the Martian atmosphere like?

14.  What is the evidence that Mars once had running water on its surface?

15.  What is the likely origin of MarsÕs two moons?  What evidence supports this?

16.  What is the evidence that leads some scientist to believe life may have existed on Mars?

17.  What explanations have been offered for why the atmospheres of the terrestrial planets are so different?

18.  How do astronomers explain why the EarthÕs atmosphere ended up with so little CO2, compared with that of Mars and Venus?



Chapter 10 Review Questions


1.  How do JupiterÕs mass and radius compare with the EarthÕs?  How do they compare with those of the other outer planets?

2.  What does Jupiter look like?

3.  How do astronomers know what lies inside the outer planets?

4.  What are the major gaseous substances that make up Jupiter and Saturn?

5.  What is the interior structure of Jupiter and Saturn thought to be?

6.  Do Jupiter and Saturn have solid surfaces?

7.  What are JupiterÕs internal heat sources?

8.  What sorts of atmospheric motion and activity are observed in Jupiter?  What is the Great Red Spot?

9.  What sort of activity has been seen on Io?  What is IoÕs heat source thought to be?

10.  What are the rings of Saturn made of?  How do astronomers know this?

11.  What creates the gaps between the rings?

12.  How might the rings have formed?

13.  What is the Roche limit?  Why does such a limit exist?

14.  What is unusual about UranusÕs rotation axis?  What might explain this peculiarity?

15.  How do Uranus and Neptune differ from Jupiter in their interiors?

16.  Why are Uranus and Neptune so blue?

17.  Why are the outer planets so large?

18.  What are the satellites of the outer planets thought to be composed of?  Which have atmosphere?  What might be special about Europa?



Chapter 11 Review Questions


1.  What makes a Ōshooting starĶ?

2.  What is the difference between a meteor, a meteoroid and a meteorite?

3.  How is a meteor heated?

4.  What kinds of meteorites are there?

5.  Where are most asteroids found?

6.  What shape are typical asteroids and how do we know?  Why does Ceres not have this shape?

7.  How do we know that asteroids have a composition similar to that of some meteorites?

8.  What do asteroids tell us about the formation of the Solar System?

9.  What are near-Earth objects?

10.  What evidence makes astronomers believe that Pluto is strongly influenced by Neptune?

11.  How did the discovery of a moon orbiting Pluto help astronomers better understand this object?

12.  Where did Pluto and other TNOs form?  How did they get to where they are today?

13.  What parts make up a comet?  What are the made of?  How do we know?

14.  Why are there two tails to some comets?  What are they made of?

15.  What is the Oort cloud?  What is the Kuiper belt?

16.  What is the life history of a comet from the Oort cloud that has become an object that we see?

17.  What creates meteor showers?  When do some occur?

18.  What evidence is there that the Earth had been hit by asteroids or comets?

19.  What was the Tunguska Event?

20.  Why do some scientists believe that asteroids and comets play a role in mass extinctions?