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11) All of the following have occurred over long periods of time on Earth. Which one is not thought to have played a major role in long-term changes in Earth's climate?

A) changes in the Earth's axis tilt

B) changes in the Earth's overall reflectivity

C) a gradual rise in the atmospheric content of oxygen

D) changes in the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases

Answer: C

12) Why do we think that Venus has so much more atmospheric gas than Earth?

A) Venus has gained much more gas through outgassing than has Earth.

B) Because of its lack of magnetic field, Venus has been able to gain gas through the impacts of solar wind particles, while Earth has not gained gas in this way.

C) Earth has lost much more gas to thermal escape than has Venus.

D) Most of the gases that have been released from volcanoes on Earth later returned to the surface.

Answer: D

13) Why is thermal escape of atmospheric gas much easier from the Moon than from Earth?

A) The Moon's average surface temperature is lower than Earth's.

B) The Moon lacks a global magnetic field, while Earth has one.

C) Outgassing on the Moon releases gases with lower masses than does outgassing on Earth.

D) The Moon's gravity is so much weaker than Earth's.

Answer: D

14) How is it possible that the Moon might have some water ice today?

A) Ice brought by comet impacts may be frozen in craters near the Moon's poles.

B) Ice is continually supplied to the Moon by impacts, and some of this ice will therefore be found almost anywhere on the Moon at all times.

C) Some cold regions of the Moon may still have ice that originally formed from the condensation of water released by outgassing.

D) The Moon has significant amounts of water bonded in its surface rock, so some of this water is frozen as ice.

Answer: A

15) All the following statements about Mars are true. Which one might have led to a significant loss of atmospheric gas to space?

A) The axis tilt of Mars is thought to change significantly with time.

B) Mars lost any global magnetic field that it may once have had.

C) Outgassed water molecules are split apart, and the oxygen then reacts chemically with surface rock on Mars.

D) Mars probably once had a much higher density of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere than it does today.

Answer: B

16) What makes us think that Mars must once have had an atmosphere that was warmer and had higher surface pressure?

A) We think it for purely theoretical reasons, based on calculations showing that the Sun has brightened with time.

B) The atmosphere is too cold and thin for abundant liquid water today, yet we see evidence of large areas of flowing water in the past.

C) The presence of inactive volcanoes on Mars tells us that there must once have been a lot of outgassing, and hence a thicker atmosphere.

D) The fact that parts of Mars have a lot of craters tells us that Mars must once have been much warmer.

Answer: B

17) Which of the following best explain what we think happened to outgassed water vapor on Venus?

A) Ultraviolet light split the water molecules, and the hydrogen then escaped to space.

B) Water was removed from the atmosphere by chemical reactions with surface rock.

C) It is frozen as water ice in craters near the poles.

D) It turned into carbon dioxide by reacting with nitrogen in Venus's atmosphere.

Answer: A

18) What would happen to Earth if we somehow moved our planet to the orbit of Venus?

A) Temperatures would rise only slightly, but enough to melt the polar caps.

B) The fact that we have oceans would moderate the temperature change due to moving our planet, so temperature would hardly change at all.

C) Being so much closer to the Sun would almost immediately cause the surface of Earth to melt, and all our cities would then be destroyed by the hot lava.

D) Earth would suffer a runaway greenhouse effect and become as hot or hotter than Venus.

Answer: D

19) Deuterium is much more abundant on Venus than Earth. What do we think this fact tells us about Venus?

A) that it once had a much stronger magnetic field than it does today

B) that the greenhouse effect on Venus must have been much weaker in the distant past

C) that it has lost a tremendous amount of water as a result of molecules being split by ultraviolet light and the hydrogen escaping to space

D) that volcanoes on Venus did not outgas as much water as volcanoes on Earth

Answer: C

20) Why does Earth have so little carbon dioxide in its atmosphere compared to Venus?

A) Earth has just as much carbon dioxide as Venus, but most of it is locked up in carbonate rocks rather than being free in the atmosphere.

B) Earth's volcanoes outgassed far less carbon dioxide than those on Venus.

C) Earth once had a lot of carbon dioxide, but it was lost to space during the heavy bombardment early in our solar system's history.

D) Chemical reactions turned Earth's carbon dioxide into nitrogen.

Answer: A

21) Which characteristic of Earth explains why we have an ultraviolet-absorbing stratosphere?

A) the existence of photosynthetic life

B) the existence of plate tectonics

C) the moderate surface temperature

D) the existence of oceans

Answer: A

22) Which two factors are critical to the existence of the carbon dioxide (CO2) cycle on Earth?

A) life and atmospheric oxygen

B) life and active volcanism

C) plate tectonics and liquid water oceans

D) active volcanism and active tectonics

Answer: C

23) Suppose Earth were to cool down a little. How would the carbon dioxide cycle tend to restore temperatures to normal?

A) Cooler temperatures cause volcanoes to become more active, so they release more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than they do when temperatures are warmer.

B) Cooler temperatures allow carbon dioxide to form rain and rain out of the atmosphere.

C) Cooler temperatures mean more ice and more erosion, which somehow makes the planet warm up.

D) Cooler temperatures lead to slower formation of carbonate minerals in the ocean, so carbon dioxide released by volcanism builds up in the atmosphere and strengthens the greenhouse effect.

Answer: D

24) According to current science, why didn't oxygen begin to accumulate in the atmosphere for more than a billion years after life appeared on Earth?

A) Oxygen released by life was removed from the atmosphere by chemical reactions with surface rocks until the surface rock could absorb no more.

B) Early forms of animal life consumed the oxygen released by plants during the first billion years of life on Earth.

C) Early life did not release oxygen, and oxygen releasing organisms didn't evolve for a billion years after the earliest life.

D) Oxygen released by life was removed from the atmosphere by dissolving in the ocean until the oceans could dissolve no more.

Answer: A

25) Earth has been gradually warming over the past few decades. Based on a great deal of evidence, scientists believe that this warming is caused by

A) the increase in forest fires during recent years.

B) human activities that are increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere.

C) the human release of chemicals called CFCs into the stratosphere.

D) the fact that our politicians spout a lot of hot air.

Answer: B

26) Suppose Venus were moved to Earth's orbit. Would it still have a runaway greenhouse effect?

A) Yes, because its water molecules dissociated and hydrogen was blown away by the solar wind, so there is no way to re-make its water.

B) Yes, because the Earth's orbit isn't that much farther, and we are experiencing global warming.

C) No, it is much cooler where the Earth is, so Venus would also cool down and eventually regain its riverbeds.

D) There is no way to know.

Answer: A

The Cosmic Perspective, 8e (Bennett)

Chapter 11 Jovian Planet Systems

11.1 Multiple-Choice Questions

1) Why do jovian planets bulge around the equator, that is, have a "squashed" appearance?

A) They are much more massive than the terrestrial planets.

B) Their large systems of moons and rings gravitationally attract the mass around the equator more.

C) Their rapid rotation flings the mass near the equator outward.

D) Their internal heat sources exert a pressure against the sides of the planets.

E) all of the above

Answer: C

2) How much energy does Jupiter emit compared with how much it receives from the Sun?

A) It emits 10 times as much.

B) It emits twice as much.

C) It emits half as much.

D) It emits 10 percent as much.

E) It emits 1 percent as much.

Answer: B

3) How many more times is the atmospheric pressure in Jupiter's core greater than the atmospheric pressure at Earth's surface?

A) 10 thousand

B) 100 thousand

C) 1 million

D) 10 million

E) 100 million

Answer: E

4) Which of the following does not yield information on jovian planet interiors?

A) Earth-based observations of the mass and size of the planets

B) spacecraft measurements of magnetic and gravitational fields

C) laboratory studies and theoretical models

D) spectroscopy of the cloud layers

E) detailed observations of planetary shapes

Answer: D

5) How do astronomers think Jupiter generates its internal heat?

A) radioactive decay

B) internal friction due to its high rotation rate

C) chemical processes

D) nuclear fusion in the core

E) by contracting, changing gravitational potential energy into thermal energy

Answer: E

6) How does Jupiter's core compare to Earth?

A) It is the same size and mass.

B) It is about 10 times larger both in size and mass.

C) It is about 10 times larger in size and the same mass.

D) It is about the same size but is 10 times more massive.

E) Jupiter doesn't have a core—it is made entirely from hydrogen and helium.

Answer: D

7) Why is Jupiter denser than Saturn?

A) It is made of a different composition than Saturn, including a higher proportion of hydrogen compounds and rocks.

B) The extra mass of Jupiter compresses its interior to a greater extent than that of Saturn.

C) Its core is much larger than Saturn's.

D) It has a greater proportion of helium to hydrogen compared to Saturn.

E) It is unknown why this is so.

Answer: B

8) Why is Neptune denser than Saturn?

A) It has a different composition than Saturn, including a higher proportion of hydrogen compounds and rocks.

B) It has a greater proportion of hydrogen than Saturn.

C) The extra mass of Neptune compresses its interior to a greater extent than that of Saturn.

D) Its hydrogen is molecular, whereas Saturn's hydrogen is atomic.

E) It is not denser than Saturn.

Answer: A

9) Why is Saturn almost as big as Jupiter, despite its smaller mass?

A) Jupiter's greater mass compresses it more, thus increasing its density.

B) Saturn's rings make the planet look bigger.

C) Saturn is further from the Sun, thus cooler, and therefore less compact.

D) Saturn has a larger proportion of hydrogen and helium than Jupiter, and is therefore less dense.

E) Jupiter's strong magnetic field constrains its size.

Answer: A

10) How do astronomers think Saturn generates its internal heat?

A) radioactive decay

B) internal friction due to its high rotation rate

C) chemical processes

D) by raining dense helium droplets from higher to lower altitudes, resembling the process of differentiation

E) nuclear fusion in the core

Answer: D

11) How do the jovian planet interiors differ?

A) All have cores of about the same mass, but differ in the amount of surrounding hydrogen and helium.

B) The core mass decreases with the mass of the planet.

C) The composition changes from mostly ammonia in Jupiter and Saturn to mostly methane in Uranus and Neptune.

D) The composition changes from mostly hydrogen in Jupiter and Saturn to mostly helium in Uranus and Neptune.

E) All have about the same amount of hydrogen and helium but the proportion of rocks is greater in those planets closer to the Sun.

Answer: A

12) Why do the jovian planet interiors differ?

A) The more distant planets formed in a cooler region of the solar nebula and therefore contain a greater proportion of ices than the closer jovian planets.

B) They differ due to giant impacts at the late stages of planet formation.

C) Accretion took longer further from the Sun, so the more distant planets formed their cores later and captured less gas from the solar nebula than the closer jovian planets.

D) The solar heating is less for the more distant planets than the closer planets.

E) The more distant planets had longer to form than the closer planets, since the solar nebula lasted longer at greater distances from the Sun.

Answer: C

13) Why does Jupiter have several distinct cloud layers?

A) Different layers represent clouds made of gases that condense at different temperatures.

B) Different layers represent the various regions where the temperature is cool enough for liquid water to condense.

C) Different gases are present at different altitudes in Jupiter's atmosphere.

D) Winds prevent clouds from forming at some altitudes, so we see clouds only at the other altitudes.

E) Clouds form randomly, so on average there are always several layers.

Answer: A

14) The belts and zones of Jupiter are

A) alternating bands of rising and falling air at different latitudes.

B) cyclonic and anticyclonic storms.

C) names for different cloud layers on Jupiter.

D) alternating regions of charged particles in Jupiter's magnetic field.

E) the thermosphere and stratosphere respectively.

Answer: A

15) What is Jupiter's Great Red Spot?

A) the place where reddish particles from Io impact Jupiter's surface

B) a hurricane that comes and goes on Jupiter

C) a large mountain peak poking up above the clouds

D) a long-lived, high-pressure storm

E) the place where Jupiter's aurora is most visible

Answer: D

16) Why do Uranus and Neptune have blue methane clouds but Jupiter and Saturn do not?

A) Methane does not condense into ice in the warmer atmospheric temperatures of Jupiter and Saturn.

B) Methane did not exist in the solar nebula at the radii of Jupiter and Saturn when the planets formed.

C) The greater gravitational force of Jupiter and Saturn prevents the methane from rising to the upper edges of the atmosphere.

D) Methane reacts with the abundant ammonia clouds in Jupiter and Saturn.

E) The relatively slow rotation of Uranus and Neptune allows methane to migrate to higher levels in the atmosphere and condense into clouds.

Answer: A

17) The four Galilean moons around Jupiter are

A) all made of rock.

B) all made of ice.

C) a mixture of rock and ice.

D) very similar to asteroids.

E) hydrogen and helium gas.

Answer: C

18) Why are there no impact craters on the surface of Io?

A) It is too small to have been bombarded by planetesimals in the early solar system.

B) Jupiter's strong gravity attracted the planetesimals more strongly than Io and thus none landed on its surface.

C) Io did have impact craters but they have all been buried in lava flows.

D) Any craters that existed have been eroded through the strong winds on Io's surface.

E) Io's thick atmosphere obscures the view of the craters.

Answer: C

19) The fact that most moons always show the same face to their planet is

A) very surprising and a great mystery.

B) a natural consequence of the fact that the entire solar nebula rotated in the same direction.

C) explained by the law of conservation of angular momentum.

D) a natural consequence of tidal forces acting on the moons.

E) a result of the fact that the moons once had atmospheres.

Answer: D

20) What causes synchronous rotation?

A) Most jovian moons were formed out of their planet's nebula with the same rotational period as their parent planet.

B) Most jovian moons were formed out of their planet's nebula with the same orbital period.

C) A massive planet exerts a tidal force on a moon that causes the moon to obtain the same rotational period as its parent planet.

D) A massive planet exerts a tidal force on a moon that causes the moon to align itself such that its tidal bulges always point toward and away from the planet.

E) orbital resonances with other moons

Answer: D

21) What is the most important reason why an icy moon is more likely to be geologically active than a rocky moon of the same size?

A) Ice has a lower melting point than rock.

B) Ice is less rigid than rock.

C) Ice contains more radioactive elements than rock.

D) Ice is affected by tidal forces to a greater extent than rock.

E) Ice is less dense than rock.

Answer: A

22) What mechanism is most responsible for generating the internal heat of Io that drives the volcanic activity?

A) accretion

B) radioactive decay

C) differentiation

D) tidal heating

E) bombardment

Answer: D

23) Which of the following is not due to tidal forces?

A) the synchronous rotation of the Moon around Earth

B) the volcanos on Io (a moon of Jupiter)

C) the rings of Saturn

D) the grooved terrain of Enceladus (a moon of Saturn)

E) the backward orbit of Triton (a moon of Neptune)

Answer: E

24) Which moon has the most substantial atmosphere?

A) Titan

B) Ganymede

C) Io

D) Europa

E) Mimas

Answer: A

25) What is the most abundant gas in Titan's atmosphere?

A) methane

B) nitrogen

C) hydrogen compounds

D) oxygen

E) argon

Answer: B

26) Which of the following statements about Titan is not true?

A) It may have an ocean of liquid ethane.

B) Its atmosphere is mostly nitrogen.

C) Its temperature is too cold for liquid water to exist.

D) Its surface is hidden from view by its thick atmosphere.

E) It is the coldest moon in the solar system.

Answer: E

27) Why does Titan have such a nitrogen-rich atmosphere?

A) It was formed that way in the solar nebula.

B) The nitrogen comes from the breakup of ammonia (NH3) by solar radiation and subsequent thermal escape of the hydrogen.

C) The nitrogen was formed from the chemical reaction of sulphuric acid with surface rocks.

D) Through the impact of nitrogen rich comets during the early solar system.

E) The nitrogen was created through a chain of fusion reactions in Titan's core.

Answer: B

28) Why do astronomers think Miranda has such an unusual surface?

A) It underwent an episode of tidal heating in the past.

B) It was squashed by a giant impact.

C) It formed from the remains of a giant impact relatively recently.

D) Its surface is covered with a powdery dust from micrometeorite impacts.

E) Its low temperature affects the colors of its surface ice.

Answer: A

29) Why do astronomers believe Triton may have been a planet that was captured by Neptune?

A) It orbits Neptune in the opposite direction of Neptune's rotation.

B) It is too large to have been formed in the jovian nebula that formed Neptune.

C) It has an atmosphere and a measurable greenhouse effect.

D) It undergoes seasonal changes.

E) It is colder than any other moon or planet.

Answer: A

30) How thick are Saturn's rings from top to bottom?

A) a few million kilometers

B) a few tens of thousands of kilometers

C) a few hundred kilometers

D) a few kilometers

E) a few tens of meters

Answer: E

31) Why are Saturn's rings so thin?

A) Saturn's gravity prevents particles from migrating upwards out of the rings.

B) The "gap" moons shepherd the particles and maintain its thin profile.

C) Any particle in the ring with an orbital tilt would collide with other ring particles, flattening its orbit.

D) Solar radiation pressure keeps particles pressed into the rings.

E) The current thinness is a short-lived phenomenon that is special to this time.

Answer: C

32) Planetary rings are

A) nearer to their planet than any of the planet's large moons.

B) orbiting in the equatorial plane of their planet.

C) composed of a large number of individual particles that orbit their planet in accord with Kepler's third law.

D) known to exist for all of the jovian planets.

E) all of the above

Answer: E

33) What is the Cassini division of Saturn's rings?

A) a dark ring, visible from Earth, composed of dark, dusty particles

B) a large gap, visible from Earth

C) the imaginary circle marking the halfway point of Saturn's rings

D) the widest ring of Saturn, located between two large ring gaps

E) the most opaque ring of Saturn, made of highly reflective ice particles

Answer: B

34) Which of the following statements about the rings of the four jovian planets is not true?

A) All rings lie within their planet's Roche zone.

B) All the particle orbits are fairly circular, near their planet's equatorial plane.

C) All have gaps and ringlets, probably due to gap moons, shepherd moons, and orbital resonances.

D) All probably look much like they did when the solar system first formed.

E) All are made of individual particles of rock or ice that orbit in accord with Kepler's laws: inner ring particles orbiting faster, and outer ring particles orbiting slower.

Answer: D

35) Which of the jovian planets have rings?

A) Jupiter

B) Saturn

C) Uranus

D) Neptune

E) all of the above

Answer: E

36) Which of the following planets cannot be seen with the naked eye?

A) Venus

B) Mars

C) Jupiter

D) Saturn

E) Neptune

Answer: E

37) Which previously unknown planet's location was predicted from mathematical calculations of orbital motions?

A) Mercury

B) Uranus

C) Neptune

D) Pluto

E) all of the above

Answer: C

38) Given the differences in size and composition of the jovian planets in our solar system, how many groups is it appropriate to sort them into?

A) one

B) two

C) three

D) four

Answer: B

39) Of the four jovian planets, which likely formed first?

A) Jupiter

B) Saturn

C) Uranus

D) Neptune

Answer: A

11.2 True/False Questions

1) If Jupiter were 10 times more massive, it would actually have a smaller radius.

Answer: TRUE

2) Hydrogen exists as a gas, liquid, and solid within Jupiter.

Answer: TRUE

3) If Jupiter were 10 times more massive, it would generate nuclear fusion in its core and be a star instead of a planet.

Answer: FALSE

4) Jupiter's Great Red Spot is a low-pressure storm like a hurricane on Earth.

Answer: FALSE

5) Jupiter does not have seasons because it has no appreciable axis tilt.

Answer: TRUE

6) Jupiter is slowly shrinking through gravitational contraction today.

Answer: TRUE

7) Uranus continues to generate internal heat through gravitational contraction.

Answer: FALSE

8) Synchronous rotation is when a moon's rotation period and orbital period are the same.

Answer: TRUE

9) Some of the moons of the jovian planets have significant atmospheres.

Answer: TRUE

10) Both the existence and the location of Neptune were predicted mathematically before the planet actually was detected by telescope.

Answer: TRUE

11) Pluto exerts a noticeable gravitational influence on Uranus.

Answer: FALSE

12) Process of Science: A prediction based on Newton's theory of gravity led to the discovery of Neptune.

Answer: TRUE

13) Jupiter likely formed first since it is the largest jovian planet and closest to the Sun.

Answer: TRUE

11.3 Short Answer Questions

1) Why does it make sense that the jovian planets farther from the Sun have less mass?

Answer: The differences in the sizes of the jovian planets are due to their capturing different amounts of gas from the solar nebula, since their cores are all about the same size. Icy planetesimals took longer to accrete in the outer solar system, because they were more spread out there. Thus, more distant jovian planets didn't have as much time as Jupiter to capture gas from the solar nebula before the nebula was cleared by the solar wind.

2) The satellite Amalthea orbits Jupiter at just about the same distance in kilometers at which Mimas orbits Saturn. Yet Mimas takes almost twice as long to orbit. What can you deduce from this difference qualitatively? Since Jupiter and Saturn are not very different in radius, what else can you conclude?

Answer: The gravitational attraction of Saturn on Mimas is less than that of Jupiter on Amalthea; therefore, Saturn's mass must be less than Jupiter's. If Saturn is less massive but almost as large as Jupiter, its density must be lower.

3) Suppose the jovian planet atmospheres were composed 100 percent of hydrogen and helium rather than 98 percent of hydrogen and helium. How would the atmospheres be different in terms of color and weather?

Answer: Without ingredients besides hydrogen and helium, the jovian planets would all be gray in color, and there would be no clouds or precipitation.

4) Describe the possible origins of Jupiter's vibrant colors. Contrast these with the origins of the colors of the other jovian planets.

Answer: The white zones of Jupiter's atmosphere are white because of ammonia clouds. The red and brown colors of the belts must be produced by ingredients such as sulfur compounds or phosphorus compounds that "pollute" the ammonium-hydrosulfide crystals. Saturn's reds and tans probably come from the same compounds that produce these colors on Jupiter. However, they are more muted because these cloud layers lie deeper within Saturn's atmosphere, under a thicker layer of tan "smog." The blue colors of Uranus and Neptune are produced by methane gas, which absorbs red light and transmits blue.

5) Why is there no large temperature variation from the poles to the equator on Jupiter?

Answer: The surface temperature on Jupiter is determined more by internal heat (from gravitational contraction) than by solar radiation. Thus the poles and the equator are at nearly the same temperature.

6) Contrast Jupiter's magnetosphere with that of Earth and of the other jovian planets.

Answer: Jupiter has the strongest magnetic field by far among the planets. It is 20,000 times stronger than Earth's. Its strong field is able to deflect the solar wind about 40 Jupiter radii in front of Jupiter. The magnetosphere around Saturn is smaller because it has a much thinner layer of metallic hydrogen. Although Uranus and Neptune have no metallic hydrogen, and therefore much weaker magnetic fields generated in their cores, the solar wind is also much weaker at their great distances from the Sun. Therefore, their magnetospheres are larger than they would be if the planets were closer to the Sun. Even with the weaker solar wind, however, these planets have very small magnetospheres.

7) Explain how the resonance among Io, Europa, and Ganymede makes their orbits slightly elliptical.

Answer: For every orbit that Ganymede completes around Jupiter, Europa completes exactly two orbits and Io completes exactly four. Therefore, all three planets line up for every orbit of Ganymede, and Io and Europa line up twice each Ganymede orbit. The gravitational tugs from their sister moons add up over time, and these tugs are always in the same direction. Therefore, the moons' orbits become slightly elliptical over time.

8) What is "ice geology"? Give an example illustrating why it is important in the outer solar system.

Answer: Ice geology is the formation of surface features due to ice melting and flowing, similar to lava flows on Earth. Many of the jovian moons are made of water, ammonia, and methane ices, and since these melt at far lower temperatures than rock, even small amounts of heating (from tidal effects for example) can sustain a surprising amount of geologic activity. An example is Enceladus, a small moon of Saturn, in which ice flows have filled in many craters.

9) Describe the leading scenarios for the origin of the planetary rings. What makes us think that ring systems must be continually replenished?

Answer: Within two to three radii of any planet, the tidal forces tugging an object apart become comparable to the gravitational forces holding it together. This region is called the Roche zone. One scenario for the origin of the rings is that a wandering moon strayed into the Roche zone and was torn apart. Another scenario is that the material near the planet was prevented from forming a moon in the first place because of the strong tidal forces. Random orbits of the particles would cause collisions between particles that cross orbits, and this has the effect of making the rings very thin. Frequent collisions between particles or between particles and their planet's upper atmosphere cause ring particles to disintegrate within a few million years. Therefore, since the ring particles are rapidly disappearing, they must be continually replenished. Otherwise it would be very unlikely that we would be so lucky to view rings around all of the jovian planets during this short time period that they have rings.

Use these choices for the following questions.

A. the most volcanically active body in the solar system

B. thought to have a deep, subsurface ocean of liquid water

C. probably a captured moon

D. the target of the Huygens probe, which landed on the surface in 2005

E. the largest moon in the solar system

10) Which of the above applies to Io?

Answer: A

11) Which of the above applies to Europa?

Answer: B

12) Which of the above applies to Triton?

Answer: C

13) Which of the above applies to Titan?

Answer: D

14) Which of the above applies to Ganymede?

Answer: E

15) Why is Triton such an unusual satellite?

Answer: Triton's orbit around Neptune is retrograde (opposite to the planet's rotation) and highly inclined. It is a large, round satellite with an apparently active geology. Its large size and round shape suggests it formed from the accretion of large numbers of planetesimals, yet its orbit argues that it did not form in situ around Neptune as the planet condensed from the protosolar nebula. It appears to have formed in the outer regions of the solar system, perhaps in the Kuiper belt like Pluto, and was subsequently captured.

16) Briefly explain how Uranus and Neptune were discovered.

Answer: Uranus was discovered with the aid of a telescope by William Herschel. Neptune was discovered when astronomers realized that Uranus was being influenced by another body as it moved around its orbit. They were thereby able to predict the precise location in the sky in which to look for Neptune, which was subsequently found by telescope.

Lost in Space! Some things are worse than an exam. Just as you thought the exam was about over, you were plucked from Earth by a strange alien being. After performing gruesome experiments on your body and your mind, the alien gave you a "life-support belt" and dumped you somewhere in the solar system. This happened several times. A brief description of each place at which you were left by the alien follows. Identify your location each time. Be as specific as possible, and be sure to include a brief explanation for your answer.

17) It is very cold, but otherwise quite comfortable. You breathe deeply. Although there is no oxygen (not to worry—your life-support belt will take care of that problem), the air pressure is quite tolerable and seems almost Earth-like (because it is mostly nitrogen). Your vista might even include such breathtaking sights as an ocean of liquid methane before you, and snow-capped (methane snow) mountains behind (although the atmosphere is very smoggy and the visibility consequently is limited). Your solar day is about 16 Earth days long. A large, ringed object seems to hang in your sky, never rising or setting; however, it goes through phases from new to full and back to new again with the same 16-day period as the rising and setting of the Sun.

Answer: You are on Titan, a moon of Saturn. Saturn remains stationary in your sky because Titan rotates synchronously with its revolution about Saturn. (You might want to read The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut. Be sure to keep in mind, however, that his description of Titan is 30 years out of date.) Titan was visited by a probe from the Cassini spacecraft to Saturn in 2005.

18) Following a series of experiments in which you are flung against walls to test the resiliency of the human body, you are ejected from the ship and find yourself in a maelstrom. Whipped by winds gusting at 10,000 km/hr, rising and falling in convective currents, you are not having a good time. On the rare occasions when you can assess your surroundings, you notice a horizon that seems to go on "forever" (or, at least, much farther than the horizon on Earth), and no solid surface anywhere. You get a glimpse of several large moons. The Sun races through your sky, requiring only about 5 hours to rise nearly due east, cross the meridian at an altitude of about 55° in the north, and then set due west.

Answer: You are in the Great Red Spot on Jupiter. This immense storm is found at a latitude of about 35°S on Jupiter. To understand the motion of the Sun through the sky, recall that, because Jupiter has only a very slight axis tilt (3°), the celestial equator and the ecliptic are nearly coincident.

19) Process of Science: Scientists have not observed Io's interior nor measured its internal temperature. What evidence do we have of Io's strong tidal heating from Jupiter?

Answer: Io has active volcanoes, as verified through pictures of the surface, pictures of plumes, and a lack of craters. Its proximity to Jupiter means that gravitational tidal heating is likely a strong source of internal friction and heat.

20) Process of Science: What evidence is there of a subsurface ocean on Europa? Do you find it compelling?

Answer: The main evidence comes from trying to find a mechanism to explain Europa's magnetic field variation. It appears to be due to an induced field, possibly from a conducting substance, such as a salty subsurface ocean.

21) Process of Science: Why do we think the source of Jupiter's large internal energy come from gravitational contraction?

Answer: That Jupiter produces more energy than it absorbs from the Sun is an observed fact. We can calculate that any heat from its formation would have been radiated away by now. Furthermore, the amount of energy is too large to explain by radioactive decay (the process that applies on Earth). We conclude that gravitational contraction is the most plausible source of the heat by a process of elimination of other possibilities, even though the rate of contraction is too small to be directly observable.

22) Does it make sense that there are such noticeable differences in the jovian planets? Why or why not?

Answer: All four formed in the outer solar system where it was cold enough for hydrogen ices to form. Because those compounds are so much more abundant than rock and metal, some of the ice-rich planetesimals grew to great size. Once they were big enough, they could draw in the hydrogen and helium gases surrounding them. Their differences stem from having captured different amounts of those gases. Those that formed farther from the Sun originated from particles that were more widely spread out, so it took them longer to form. Since all of them stopped accreting gas at the same time, the more distant ones had less time to capture gas and ended up smaller in size.

11.4 Mastering Astronomy Reading Quiz

1) Which of the following is not a general characteristic of the four jovian planets in our solar system?

A) They lack solid surfaces.

B) They are composed mainly of hydrogen, helium, and hydrogen compounds.

C) They are higher in average density than are the terrestrial planets.

D) They are much more massive then any of the terrestrial planets.

Answer: C

2) Which of the following best describes the internal layering of Jupiter, from the center outward?

A) core of rock, metal, and hydrogen compounds; thick layer of metallic hydrogen; layer of liquid hydrogen; layer of gaseous hydrogen; cloud layer

B) core of rock and metal; mantle of lower density rock; upper layer of gaseous hydrogen; cloud layer

C) solid rock core; layer of solid metallic hydrogen; layer of pure liquid hydrogen; cloud layer

D) liquid core of hydrogen compounds; liquid hydrogen layer; metallic hydrogen layer; gaseous hydrogen layer; cloud layer

Answer: A

3) The energy in the atmospheres of most of the jovian planets comes

A) almost entirely from the Sun.

B) almost entirely from their interiors.

C) both the Sun and their interiors, in roughly equal proportions.

D) tidal heating.

Answer: C

4) Which of the following statements comparing the jovian interiors is not thought to be true?

A) They all have cores of roughly the same mass.

B) They all have the same exact set of internal layers, though these layers differ in size.

C) They all have cores that contain at least some rock and metal.

D) Deep inside them, they all have pressures far higher than that found on the bottom of the ocean on Earth.

Answer: B

5) Overall, Jupiter's composition is most like that of

A) Earth.

B) a comet.

C) an asteroid.

D) the Sun.

Answer: D

6) Jupiter's colors come in part from its three layers of clouds. Which of the following is not the primary constituent of one of Jupiter's cloud layers?

A) clouds of sulfuric acid

B) clouds of water

C) clouds of ammonium hydrosulfide

D) clouds of ammonia

Answer: A

7) How do typical wind speeds in Jupiter's atmosphere compare to typical wind speeds on Earth?