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PHYS 1305 Exam 2 Study Guide

by: Belle

PHYS 1305 Exam 2 Study Guide PHYS 1305

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Review covering the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars. Reviews concepts about the properties and formations of the planets, Kepler's laws, and basic facts about each planet. Formatted as thirty op...
Introduction to Astronomy - Solar System
Liming Li
Study Guide
intro to astronomy, review, Mars, mercury, Venus, EARTH, planets
50 ?




Popular in Introduction to Astronomy - Solar System

Popular in Education, Physics

This 6 page Study Guide was uploaded by Belle on Thursday October 6, 2016. The Study Guide belongs to PHYS 1305 at University of Houston taught by Liming Li in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 80 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Astronomy - Solar System in Education, Physics at University of Houston.


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Date Created: 10/06/16
1 PHYS1305 Exam 2 Study Guide This guide has several questions intended to help you review the material for Exam 2.   These questions are open­answer, but the test itself will be multiple­choice.  The answers for  these study questions are included on the last page to check your work, or in case you’d like to  make flashcards. 1. Order the following planets by their distance from the sun (smallest to largest): Mercury,  Mars, Earth, Venus. 2. What is the difference between eccentricity and obliquity?  How do each affect a planet’s seasons? 3. Which planet is denser: Mercury or Mars?  Why? 4. What is orbital resonance? 5. How does a planet’s gravity affect its atmosphere?  What does this mean for the pressure  and temperature? 6. Why does Mercury’s surface temperature vary so widely? 2 PHYS1305 Exam 2 Study Guide 7. How many Earth­days does it take for each of these planets to complete an orbit? Mercury:              Venus:                 Earth:                Mars: 8. Name the angle of obliquity for each of these planets: Mercury:              Venus:                 Earth:                Mars: 9. Do the planets complete their orbits at a constant velocity?  Explain. 10. Which of the terrestrial planets have a magnetic field?  Why do they have them? 11. Why does Venus have sulfuric acid in its clouds? 12. What is atmospheric super­rotation, and on which planet does it occur? 13. What is the Caloris Basin, and which planet is it on? 14. What is the Hellas Planitia, and which planet is it on? 15. What is Olympus Mons, and which planet is it on? 16. What are coronae, and on which planet do they occur? 3 PHYS1305 Exam 2 Study Guide 17. What is the Maxwell Montes, and which planet is it on? 18. Describe the difference between Mars’s northern and southern hemispheres. 19. On which terrestrial planets can liquid water be found?  Ice water? 20. Why is Mars’s atmosphere thicker during its summer? 21. What planet do Phobos and Deimos orbit? 22. What are the clouds on Mars composed of?  What precipitation do they drop? 23. Which planet may become a base for further astronomy studies? 24. Name three sources of a planet’s atmosphere. 25. Identify which planets each mission visited: Mariner 10: Twin Rovers (Spirit and Opportunity): MESSENGER: Curiosity Rover: Cassini: 4 PHYS1305 Exam 2 Study Guide 26. How is windspeed measured using clouds? 27.  Kepler’s Third Law of Planetary Motion states T^2/R^3 = constant for all planets.  What do the T and R stand for? 28. Mars sometimes have global _________.  Do they have a pattern? 29. Which planet sports a canyon 10x bigger than Earth’s Grand Canyon?  How was each  canyon formed? 30. Name each planet’s albedo: Mercury:              Venus:                 Earth:                Mars: ANSWERS: 1) Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars 2) Eccentricity (a number between 0 and 1) is a measure of how circular a planet’s elliptical orbit is, with 0 being a perfect circle.  A very elliptical orbit will take a planet far from the sun, which  will lower its temperature.  Obliquity is the tilt of a planet’s axis of rotation, meaning at different  parts of its orbit, different parts of the planet face the sun, raising that side’s temperature while  the other side cools, creating real seasons. 3) Mercury is denser, because it has a proportionately larger core, whereas Mars has a  proportionately smaller core. 4) Orbital resonance is the ratio between a planet’s number of rotations per orbit.  Mercury has  an orbital resonance of 3:2; for every two orbits, the planet rotates three times.  A planet with a  1:1 orbital resonance (such as Earth’s satellite, Moon) will constantly expose just one side to the  focus of its orbit. 5) A higher gravity will hold more of the atmosphere to the planet.  More atmosphere means a  higher atmospheric pressure, and more gasses to create a greenhouse effect.  A large atmosphere  also helps to break down comets and prevent impact craters. 6) Mercury’s 3:2 orbital radiance means it takes over a whole Mercury­year to expose both sides  of the planet to the sun.  This makes its days and nights very long, meaning near­constant  daylight for one side, and near­constant shade for the other. 7) 88; 225; 365; 687 8) 0; 177 (Venus is almost upside­down, possibly due to an impact); 23; 25 9) No; Kepler’s Second Law of Planetary Motion implies that planets move faster when they are  closer to the sun.  You can find a visual of this in the Lecture 9 .ppt/notes. 5 PHYS1305 Exam 2 Study Guide 10) Mercury and Earth have magnetic fields due to their liquid outer cores.  Venus has an  extremely weak field, often negligible, from the solar winds. 11) Volcanic activity, most certainly in the past and possibly even currently. 12) This is when the entire atmosphere rotates around the planet.  It occurs on Venus, and the  atmosphere rotates at 100 m/s (relative to the surface), circling the entire planet every four days. 13) The largest impact basin on Mercury, which also has concentric rings from the shockwaves  of that impact. 14) The largest impact basin on Mars. 15) The largest volcanic system in the solar system, now inactive and located on Mars. 16) Coronae are concentric rings/ripples on Venus’s surface from where lava failed to break  through. 17) The largest mountain on Venus. 18) Mars’s northern hemisphere is composed of smooth lowlands, whereas it southern  hemisphere is rough, and full of mountains (and the Hellas). 19) Liquid water is only found on earth, but ice water has been found on Mercury and Mars  (which also has carbon dioxide ice), and theorized to be on Earth’s Moon.  All four planets are  thought to have had ancient oceans. 20) Its polar icecaps melt in the summer, releasing water vapor and carbon dioxide into the  atmosphere. 21) Mars.  Take note that both Phobos and Deimos are likely from the asteroid belt. 22) Water ice, carbon dioxide, and dust.  All precipitation on Mars is solid. 23) Mars. 24) Outgassing (from volcanoes and/or planetary formation), surface interaction (evaporation of  water and other substances), and collisions (from high­energy particles, or comets carrying  water). 25) Mercury; Mars; Mercury; Mars; Venus 26) The basic formula for velocity is v=x/t, where v stands for velocity, x stands for distance  traveled, and t stands for the time taken to travel that distance.  Observing the clouds will provide x and t, which are then used to find velocity. 27) T stands for the period of orbit (how long the orbit takes), and R stands for the radius, or  distance of the planet from its sun.  When using this formula, be sure that your units are  consistent; do not measure period in days for one planet, and years for another. 28) dust storms; there is not yet any discernible pattern to these, but they are usually preceded by a drop in average surface temperature. 29) Mars; the canyon on Earth was carved out by a river, and the canyon on Mars was created as  the planet formed. 30) 0.07; 0.9; 0.1; 0.25. Albedo is the reflectivity of a planet (Venus’s is high because of its thick clouds). 6 PHYS1305 Exam 2 Study Guide These are just some things I thought to be important!  Remember to study the notes – recall that  the “basic facts” (measurements on all the planets) were labeled “very important” in the review  lecture!!


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