Dr. Pinsky

Fall 2004





There may be more than one correct answer to each question or there may be NO correct answers.  Mark all correct answers on the answer sheet.  You will be graded RIGHT MINUS WRONG, answer by answer, not question by question!  (i.e., You will receive one point for each correct answer marked and have one subtracted from your score for each incorrect answer marked.  You will receive neither penalty nor bonus for any answer left blank.)  DO NOT GUESS!!!!!



 1.       Sunspots, Flares, and Prominences:


a.     usually occur more often in summer months than during the winter..

b.    increase to a maximum number and decrease to a relative minimum number once over an approximately 11 year cycle.

c.     are associated with the winding up of the Sun's magnetic field.

d.    are related to the effects ultimately caused by the Sun's differentiated composition

e.     tend to occur farther from the Sun's equator during the early portion of each new sunspot cycle with respect to later in that same cycle.


 2.       The evidence for prior massive impacts with the Earth includes:


a.     the sudden mass extinctions of species during the evolution of life on earth.

b.    the definite discovery of a companion star to the Sun named "Nemesis."

c.     the periodicity of the Ice Ages.

d.    the evidence for a massive impact near the Yucatan about 65 Million years ago.

e.     the periodicity of Halley's comet.


 3.       Which of the following are required for the release of energy in the SunÕs core to occur?


a.     high temperatures      b.  high densities             c.  available hydrogen

d.    available helium         e.  the emission of neutrinos



4.         Saturn's rings:


a.     lie exactly in Saturn's orbital plane about the Sun.

b.    are thought to be composed of water ice or ice-covered rocky particles.

c.     are possibly, at least in part, a remnant of the material present at SaturnÕs original formation.

d.    are on the order of only about a few hundred kilometers thick in the region of significant density.

e.     are ALL composed of individual particles which are never larger than grains of sand.

 5.       Asteroids:


a.     are mostly found beyond the orbit of Neptune in the so-called Kuiper Belt.

b.    are most likely rocky materials that have never been part of a major planet.

c.     probably were the primary source of material for the formation of the EarthÕs moon.

d.    probably were the source of both of Mars' moons.

e.     are unlikely to ever pose any threat of earth's impact because they generally always remain beyond the orbit of Mars.


6.         Concerning meteoritic material hitting the Earth:


a.     most is known to be cometary as opposed to asteroidal in origin.

b.    most meteors can easily be detected in space before they begin their entry into EarthÕs atmosphere..

c.     Antarctica is a good place to search for meteoroids.

d.    most of the observed "shooting stars" are due to grain-of-sand-sized objects.

e.     it spans the range of original parent bodies from those that were undifferentiated to those that came from the cores of very differentiated planetesimals.


 7.       During the time of the dinosaurs in the late Cretaceous (about 65 Million Yrs ago):


a.     plate tectonics were not very active.

b.    the largest dinosaurs were only about the size of goats.

c.     the mammals were mostly underground dwellers.

d.    There was a giant asteroidal impact near Italy.

e.     a mass dying occurred causing a majority of the large animals then in existence to become extinct..


8.         Concerning Jupiter's Galilean moons:


a.     Ganymede and Calisto are substantially icy objects.

b.    Io and Europa are substantially rocky objects.

c.     all have icy materials covering their entire surface.

d.    all have very similar (almost identical) compositions.

e.     Include the largest major (spherical) moon in the Solar System..


 9.       Comets:


a.     typically lose ~10% of their mass during a each single perihelion passage.

b.    when viewed at dusk low in the sky near the western horizon will always be generally head-up with the gas (plasma) tail downwards toward the horizon.

c.     are all very regular and their "return" can be predicted accurately many passages in advance.

d.    have some rocky material mixed in but are dominantly icy in nature.

e.     have their icy materials sublimate (melt from  solid directly to gas) as they approach the Sun..

10.      Short period comets:


a.     Each individually may have been here since the formation of the solar system

b.    Never have retrograde orbits (i.e. opposite to the direction of the earthÕs).

c.     are the major source of material  for meteor showers like the Leonids.

d.    could never conceivably strike the earth.

e.     all tend to have orbits that lie in or close to the Ecliptic plane..


11.      The Sun's photosphere:


a.     is significantly less dense than the Earth's atmosphere at sea level.

b.    is much cooler at its bottom than at its upper boundary.

c.     gives rise to virtually all of the visible sunlight we see at the Earth.

d.    is at a temperature similar to that of the center of the Earth.

e.     is not actually very bright in visible wavelengths of light.


12.      In releasing energy in its core the Sun:


a.     releases exactly as much each second as is radiated away at the surface.

b.    will completely lose the mass of the core over its lifetime.

c.     releases about as much energy per unit mass as would be released from burning coal.

d.    produces Helium in the process.

e.     the Sun consumes Hydrogen.


13.      Concerning the moons of the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Uranus):


a.     All show very similar evidence of cratering, implying they are all about the same age..

b.    Some are comparable or greater in density to our (earthÕs) moon.

c.     More than one shows evidence of current volcanism.

d.    Several have atmospheres denser that the EarthÕs sea level atmosphere.

e.     At least one is larger than Mercury.


14.      Concerning the Sun's interior:


a.     the sun is a gas or a plasma (an ionized gas) all the way through its center, having no solid core.

b.    the energy flowing outward from the core in the form of light, requires less time to get through the radiative zone than the convective zone.

d.    the energy is generated quite uniformly throughout the entire interior.

e.     the central density is about seven times that of the most dense metal on earth (platinum).




15.      Titan:


a.     has only a very slight atmosphere.

b.    Is a moon of Neptune.

c.     has recently begun to be explored by the Cassini spacecraft.

d.    Has a terrain known as the cantaloupe terrain.

e.     may have liquid lakes or oceans at the surface.


16.      The Solar Neutrino Experiment:


a.     is being done in Geneva, Switzerland.

b.    is looking for neutrinos from when the Sun was first formed.

c.     uses the 37Cl from dry cleaning fluid as a detector.

d.    has found too many neutrinos.

e.     may be explained by the recent evidence suggesting that neutrinos have mass..


17.      The Oort Cloud:


a.     was formed as a direct result of the same process that formed Uranus and Neptune.

b.    is thought to be a major source of the asteroids beyond JupiterÕs orbit we see.

c.     Is another name for the Kuiper Belt.

d.    was actually first proposed by Edmund Halley.

e.     can be seen in the ecliptic plane both 60¡ ahead and 60¡ behind Jupiter in its orbit around the sun.


18.      The Chromosphere:


a.     is the highest lying layer in TritonÕs atmosphere.

b.    reaches higher temperatures than the Photoshphere.

c.     is visible during eclipses of the moon.

d.    has been visited by the voyager 2 spacecraft.

e.     can be seen most clearly after midnight and before dawn.


19.      Which of the following show some evidence of the current venting of internal material (e.g. volcanism)?


a.     Triton                b.   Dione            c.   Europa         d.   Io                     e.   Mimas


20.      Miranda


a.     is a moon of NeptuneÕs.

b.    was originally assigned a low priority as a target of study by the Voyager 2 research team.

c.     looks like it may have been fractured apart and reassembled.

d.    was first discovered by Voyager 2.

e.     is probably the most poorly understood planetary satellites in the solar system.


21.      Uranus:


a.     has very recently (1989) been visited by the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

b.    has a bigger diameter than Neptune.

c.     has a marked dark spot in its deep blue atmosphere.

d.    has only 1 moon of any significant size.

e.     rotates on an axis which lies close to its orbital plane.



Use the following answer set for questions 22 through 26:


a.     Uranus

b.    Jupiter

c.     Saturn

d.    Neptune


22.      Which has large rotating spot-like features clearly in the atmosphere?


23.      Which probably has helium "rain" precipitating internally?


24.      Which has clearly observable zones and belts?


25.      Which has a deep blue color?


26.      Which does not have a magnetic field.


27.      Concerning all of the spacecraft missions to the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, Uranus), including those already completed as well as any still in progress:


a.     Saturn has been a scientific goal of each one.

b.    for all such missions the first planetary encounter was with Jupiter.

c.     all of these planets have been visited at least once.

d.    all have imaging systems (i.e., cameras that send pictures                 back).

e.     all of the previously launched projects have now reached the limit of the planned missions.


28.      Neptune:


a.     has a moon named Triton.

b.    has a definite ring structure lying in its equatorial plane.

c.     has a magnetic field very closely aligned with its rotation axis.

d.    has a marked zone and belt structure easily visible to the naked eye.

e.     has been visited by only Voyager 2.