Final (Exam 3) Study Guide
Final (Exam 3) Study Guide ASTR-1010-01
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This 7 page Study Guide was uploaded by Raven Hamilton on Tuesday April 26, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to ASTR-1010-01 at Clayton State University taught by Bram Boroson in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 87 views. For similar materials see Solar System Astronomy in Art at Clayton State University.
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Date Created: 04/26/16
Astronomy 1010 – Review for Exam 3 – in-class April 28 Chapters Covered 10: Terrestrial Planetary Atmospheres, 11: Jovian Planetary Systems, 12: Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets, 13: Extrasolar planets Format: multiple choice with some extra-credit essays. Closed-book. Planetary Atmospheres How and why does air pressure depend on height in the atmosphere? Pressure decreases with altitude because the weight of overlying layers is less What is the greenhouse effect? The process through which atmospheres absorb infrared light from the surface and traps heat, warming planetary surfaces. How does the natural greenhouse effect along with the reflectivity of the planets and their distances from the Sun result in the temperatures on each planet? Reflectivity (also called albedo) is the fraction of incoming sunlight a planet reflects, and a planet’s distance from the Sun determines the total amount of incoming sunlight. These along with the natural greenhouse effect, contribute to a planet’s overall temperature. Why is the sky blue and how is that related to why the sunset is red? The sky is blue because air molecules scatter blue light more than red light. Sunsets are red because red light scatters less. What is the Coriolis effect and what does it have to do with weather patterns? Planetary rotation affects global wind patterns through the Coriolis effect. The Coriolis effect was named for a French physicist and can be likened to the effect of rolling a ball on a spinning merry-go-round. Conservation of angular momentum causes the ball’s apparent path on the merry-go-round to change direction. The Coriolis effect on Earth alters the path of air in the same way. Wind in equatorial regions move around Earth’s axis faster than wind in polar regions. This also cause large storms to form and results in opposite wind circulation in the Northern and Southern hemispheres. What can cause climate change? Solar brightening, changes in axis tilt, changes in reflectivity, and changes in greenhouse gas abundance can cause climate change. What affects how much of an atmosphere a planet has? The amount of gases present affects how much of an atmosphere a planet has. How does a planet gain an atmosphere and how does it lose gas? Planets gain atmospheres through outgassing, evaporation/sublimation, or surface ejection, and loses gases through condensation, chemical reactions, solar wind stripping, and thermal escape. Outgassing comes from volcanic activity and has been the primary source for the atmospheres of Venus, Earth, and Mars. Evaporation/sublimation occurs when atmospheric gases condense to become surface liquids or ices, and the subsequent evaporation or sublimation of these liquids and ices is a second source for atmospheric gas. Surface ejection describes the occurrence of tiny impacts from particles and photons and is not a major source for planets that already have substantial atmospheres. Condensation is the opposite of evaporation in that gases, in the form of liquids or solids, absorb into the surface of the planet. Chemical reactions incorporate gas into the surface metal or rock. Solar wind stripping strips away gas particles into space through solar wind particles. Thermal escape occurs when gas molecules reach escape velocity and escape a planet’s atmosphere. Mercury, Moon: why so little atmosphere? Mercury and the Moon have so little atmosphere because they essentially do not have a troposphere, stratosphere, or thermosphere due to lack of absorption. What happened to cause a runaway greenhouse effect on Venus? Venus is 30 percent closer to the Sun than the Earth, which is small difference but large enough to makes it so that temperatures were hot enough to cause a runaway greenhouse effect. How do we think Mars lost its atmosphere? We believe that solar winds may have stripped Mars of its atmosphere after its magnetic field decreased due to interior cooling. What naturally removes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere on the Earth? The oceans on Earth dissolve atmospheric carbon dioxide, enabling it to be trapped in rocks. Jovian Planetary Systems Which are the Jovian planets? Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune What are their main features (which is most massive, which has rings, their order from the Sun, etc.)? Features can be found on pg. 310 in txtbk and on PowerPoint. Is there a sharp division between atmosphere and surface as there are for the terrestrial planets? No, Jovian planets lack a solid surface. What are the Jovian planets made of? Hydrogen, Helium, and Hydrogen compounds What are their insides like? They have no solid surface, their layers are under high pressure and temperatures, their cores are made of hydrogen compounds, metal, and rock, and they all have different layer compositions. What do we think is the source of heat inside the Jovian planets? Internal heating in the Jovian planets is thought to come from the slow contraction of the interior which releases potential energy. Why does Jupiter have such a strong magnetic field? Jupiter has a large amount of metallic hydrogen circulating inside of it which makes a strong magnetic field. What is the Great Red Spot? The Great Red Spot is a large storm, larger than two full Earth’s, on Jupiter that has been going on for more than three centuries. What causes the bands and zones in Jupiter’s atmosphere? The bands and zones on Jupiter are caused by convection. Convection is when interior heat circulates gases in the atmosphere causing warm air to rise and cool before sinking back down. This causes the different colored bands as certain molecules in the gases reflect certain colors. What are the Jovian moons like? The small moons have no geological activity, medium sized moons have had past geological activity, and large moons have ongoing geological activity. The medium and large moons have enough self- gravity to be spherical, have substantial amounts of ice, formed in orbit around the Jovian planets, and have circular orbits in the same direction as the planet’s rotation. The smaller moons are more numerous and are essentially captured asteroids. Why does Io have active volcanoes? Io’s volcanic activity is due to it’s relatively young age and tectonic activity which goes hand and hand with volcanism. What keeps the inside of Io hot? Tidal heating keeps the inside of Io hot. Tidal heating refers to the the tidal force exerted by Jupiter on Io. This force is far greater than Earth’s force on the moon. In correlation with Io’s slightly elliptical orbit which causes variation in Io’s tidal bulges, this causes friction that keeps the core heated. What is an orbital resonance? An orbital resonance is an orbital period that falls into a simple mathematic equation. What is interesting about Europa? The surface of Europa is covered by water ice and scientists believe that there may be an ocean beneath this surface. What is interesting about Saturn’s moon Titan? Titan is the only moon with a thick atmosphere that hides the surface from view. This atmosphere consists mostly of nitrogen, argon, methane, and ethane. What are Saturn’s rings made of? Saturn’s rings are made of tiny particles of ice and rock. What about the rings of the other Jovian planets? The other Jovian planets all have rings systems, but their rings are smaller and less visible than Saturn’s. How does the matter in the rings move? The rings move with the planet’s orbit. Why are there gaps in Saturn’s rings? Gaps are caused by particles bunching up at some orbital distances and being forced out at others. Also by some small moons, and orbital resonances with larger moons. What does resonance have to do with the moons of Jupiter, gaps in Saturn's rings, and gaps in the asteroid belt? Orbital resonances cause tidal heating within the moons of Jupiter, create gravitation tugs, waves and ripples that cause gaps in rings, as well as the gaps in the steroid belt. Asteroids, Comets, and Dwarf Planets What is an asteroid? Asteroids are solid rock objects left over from planet formation. What are asteroids made of? Asteroids are made of rock and ice. What are their shapes? Most Asteroids are potato-shaped with many craters How do we know their masses? We know the mass of asteroids by measuring its orbit. Where are most of them in the solar system? Most asteroids are found within the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. How do they orbit the Sun? Asteroids orbit the Sun in the same direction as the planet, but their orbits are elliptical and more highly inclined to the ecliptic plane. Why are there gaps in the asteroid belt? Gaps in the asteroid belt are caused by orbital resonances. The nudges experienced by asteroids in Jupiter’s orbit eventually move asteroids out of resonant orbits leaving gaps in the asteroid belt. Why are some asteroids in orbits near Jupiter's? Jupiter’s gravity pulled them in (?), these asteroids are referred to as Trojan asteroids. What are meteorites? Meteorites are rocks from space that enter into Earth’s atmosphere. What are processed and unprocessed meteorites? Processed meteorites are younger and have experienced volcanism and differentiation. Unprocessed (primitive) meteorites are unchanged since their formation 4.6 billion years ago. What are comets? Comets, like asteroids, are leftover planetesimals from the birth of the solar system that formed beyond the frost line. What are they made of? Comets are composed of hydrogen compounds that condensed into ice. When do they light up? Comets “light up” when their orbits come close to the Sun, causing ice and particles to melt and creating a halo. What are comet tails and why do they point in the directions they do? Comets have two visible tails, a plasma tail and a dust tail. A plasma tail consists of gas escaping from the coma, while a dust tail is made of dust particles escaping from the coma. The plasma tail extends directly away from the Sun at all times because the ultraviolet light from the Sun ionizes the gas and solar winds carry that gas straight outwards from the Sun. How are comets related to meteor showers? Comets carry sand to pebble sized pieces of rocky material that drift away slowly and spread along the orbital path. These particles are responsible for most meteor showers. What is the Oort Cloud and what is the Kuiper Belt, and how did they form? The Oort Cloud is a collection of many individual comets and contains an estimated one trillion comets, and the Kuiper Belt is a ring of comets that orbit the Sun just beyond Neptune’s orbit. The Oort cloud was formed by the planetesimals within the Jovian planets that escaped being swallowed by them and gathered in the far regions of the solar system. The Kuiper Belt formed much farther out and consists of planetesimals that were formed and still lie in the outskirts of the solar system. What are Dwarf Planets like Pluto and Eris? Dwarf planets are smaller sized objects that orbit the Sun but have yet to clear their orbits of debris. What is the evidence that an asteroid collision doomed the dinosaurs? Evidence of a meteorite impact include iridium which is very rare on Earth but often found on meteors. Iridium has been found in lower layers of the Earth above where dinosaur fossils have been uncovered. Extrasolar Planets Stars are other Suns. We now know of hundreds of other solar systems. How did we find them? We discover other solar systems directly through observations of pictures or spectra of the planets, and indirectly through measurements of stellar properties revealing the effects of orbiting planets. What is the effect of the gravity of a planet on its star? The gravitational tugs of a planet’s mass on a star cause that star to change its orbital period. Both the star and the planet orbit around a center of mass. Why can’t we just see planets around other stars (except in a few rare cases)? Direct starlight is billions of times brighter than the starlight reflected from planets and effects our ability to detect the presence of extrasolar planets. How do we find other planets with the Doppler effect? By measuring changes in a star’s velocity (Doppler shift) toward or away from us, and observing the gravitational influence of a planet on a star, the Doppler Effect helps to locate extrasolar planets. How do we find them using transits? A transit occurs when a something moves across the face of a star, indicating the possible presence of a planet. Why might the planets we discover not be the most common type? It’s easier to locate the larger planets than the smaller, therefore these planets might not be the most common within the universe because of their large size. What sort of solar systems have we found and how are they different from our own solar system? Solar systems outside our own fall in line with the nebular theory but present challenges to it as well. One challenge includes the existence of extrasolar planets that fall into the Jovian category yet have hot temperatures. The other challenge is that of the Jovian extrasolar planets’ orbits that are highly elliptical and go against the believed circular orbits these planets should’ve formed if adhering to the nebular theory. What is planetary migration? Planetary migration describes the occurrence where planets encounter other massive objects and their gravitational interaction results in the planet’s migration from it’s original location. Models show that matter in these waves can tug on a planet, causing its orbit to migrate inward.
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