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10) A planet's density can be measured by combining

A) Doppler and astrometric observations.

B) Doppler and transit observations.

C) spectral observations of the planet's atmosphere.

D) any method that measures the gravitational tug of the planet on the star.

E) direct imaging from the new generation of space telescopes.

Answer: B

11) The composition of a planet can be determined by

A) the Doppler technique.

B) astrometric measurements.

C) transit observations.

D) spectra.

E) all of the above

Answer: D

12) The size and shape of a planet's orbit can be determined by

A) the Doppler technique.

B) transit observations.

C) spectral measurements.

D) knowing the planet's mass by any technique and applying Newton's version of Kepler's third law.

E) gravitational microlensing.

Answer: A

13) The astrometric technique of planet detection works best for

A) large planets around nearby stars.

B) massive planets around nearby stars.

C) large planets around distant stars.

D) massive planets around distant stars.

E) planets in edge-on orbits.

Answer: B

14) The transit method of planet detection works best for

A) big planets in edge-on orbits around small stars.

B) big planets in face-on orbits around small stars.

C) small planets in edge-on orbits around big stars.

D) small planets in face-on orbits around big stars.

E) Earth-like planets in any orbit.

Answer: A

15) The reason that most extrasolar planets are found close to their parent stars is

A) the planets reflect more light the closer they are to the star.

B) more of the starlight is blocked by the planet when it transits the star.

C) the amount and frequency of the star's motion are both higher.

D) the closer to a star, the hotter and therefore brighter the planet is.

E) planets that are close to a star are heated up and therefore larger.

Answer: C

16) The Doppler technique only provides a measure of the minimum mass of a planet because

A) only a small part of the planet's motion is measured.

B) without a transit observation, the size and therefore density of the planet is unknown.

C) we do not know the exact composition of the planet.

D) only the motion of star toward the observer is measured, not the full motion.

E) we do not have the technology to make a direct image of a planet yet.

Answer: D

17) Which planet can we see occasionally transit across the face of the Sun?

A) Mercury

B) Mars

C) Jupiter

D) Uranus

E) all of the above

Answer: A

18) Which planet search technique is currently best suited to finding Earth-like planets?

A) Doppler

B) astrometric

C) transit

D) gravitational lensing

E) combining all the above

Answer: C

19) What are the two main differences between extrasolar planetary systems discovered to date and our Solar System?

A) extrasolar planets tend to be more massive and dense than Jupiter

B) extrasolar planet orbits tend to be more eccentric and inclined than in our Solar System

C) extrasolar planet orbits tend to be closer and more eccentric than in our Solar System

D) extrasolar planet orbits tend to be closer and more circular than in our Solar System

E) extrasolar planets tend to be bigger and denser than Jupiter

Answer: C

20) A planet is detected via the Doppler technique. The velocity change of the star is a measure of

A) the planet's size and density.

B) the planet's mass and orbital distance.

C) the planet's mass and composition.

D) the planet's orbital period and eccentricity.

E) the planet's size and orbital distance.

Answer: B

21) A planet is detected via the Doppler technique. The repeating pattern of the stellar motion tells us

A) the planet's size.

B) the planet's mass.

C) the planet's density.

D) the orbital period of the planet.

E) the orbital eccentricity of the planet.

Answer: D

22) A planet is detected via the Doppler technique. The shape of the periodic velocity pattern tells us

A) the planet's size.

B) the planet's mass.

C) the planet's density.

D) the orbital period of the planet.

E) the orbital eccentricity of the planet.

Answer: E

23) The depth of the dip in a star's brightness due to the transit of a planet depends most directly on

A) the planet's mass.

B) the planet's density.

C) the planet's size.

D) the size of the planet's orbit.

E) the eccentricity of the planet's orbit.

Answer: C

24) Why are many of the newly detected extrasolar planets called "hot Jupiters"?

A) Their masses and composition are similar to what we would expect if Jupiter were hotter.

B) The planets tend to be detected around more massive, hotter stars than our Sun.

C) Their masses are similar to Jupiter but they are very close to the central star and therefore hot.

D) Their masses are similar to Jupiter but their composition is similar to Mercury.

E) The discovery of other planets is very exciting.

Answer: C

25) The composition of a planet's atmosphere be measured during a transit by analyzing

A) the excess absorption of starlight at specific wavelengths.

B) the excess emission of starlight at specific wavelengths.

C) the length and depth of the dip in light during the transit.

D) the amplitude and period of the star's motion.

E) the wobble in a star's position on the sky.

Answer: A

26) What do models suggest make up the clouds on "hot Jupiters"?

A) ammonia

B) methane

C) water

D) rock dust

E) sodium

Answer: D

27) How do we think the "hot Jupiters" around other stars were formed?

A) They formed as gas giants close to the star in the same orbits that they are seen today.

B) They formed as dense, rocky planets close to the star in the same orbits that they are seen today.

C) They formed as gas giants beyond the frost line and then migrated inwards.

D) Many planets were formed around the star but coalesced into a single planet close in.

E) They spun off from the young star when it was rapidly rotating.

Answer: C

28) What would happen to the planets in a solar system where the central star did not have a strong wind?

A) One planet would grow to dominate all the others and gravitationally eject them out of the system.

B) All planets would continue to grow to large sizes but their orbits would be unchanged.

C) The gas in the solar nebula would create a drag on the planets and their orbits would migrate inwards.

D) The gas in the solar nebula would create a drag on the planets and their orbits would migrate outwards.

E) Nothing, the star does not affect the process of planet formation.

Answer: C

29) Which of the following is a consequence of the discovery of hot Jupiters for the nebular theory of solar system formation?

A) It has been discarded.

B) It has been modified to allow for the formation of gas giants within the frost line.

C) It has been modified to allow for planets to migrate inwards or outwards due to gravitational interactions.

D) Its status is unclear and awaits further observations that will determine whether hot Jupiters are dense Earth like planets or gas giants.

E) It remains unchanged as it only needs to explain our Solar System.

Answer: C

30) Which of the following is a consequence of the discovery of hot Jupiters for understanding our own Solar System?

A) It shows that our Solar System is very unusual.

B) It shows that our Solar System is very typical.

C) It shows that we do not fully understand the formation of our Solar System.

D) It shows that life in the Universe is rare.

E) It shows that Jupiter is unusually cold.

Answer: C

31) Viewed from afar, the transit of Earth would cause the Sun's brightness to dim by approximately one part in

A) 100.

B) 1,000.

C) 10,000.

D) 100,000.

E) a million.

Answer: C

32) If every star had an Earth-like planet in an Earth-like orbit, how many could be detected by a transit?

A) 1 in 2

B) 1 in 20

C) 1 in 200

D) 1 in 2,000

E) 1 in 20,000

Answer: C

33) The GAIA mission obtains astrometric data of stars with accuracy in some cases better than 10 microarcseconds. In terms of angular width, what is this equal to?

A) A human hair viewed from a distance of 20 miles

B) A human hair viewed from a distance of 200 miles

C) A human hair viewed from a distance of 2000 miles

D) A human hair viewed from a distance of 20000 miles

Answer: C

34) The Kepler mission has been able to measure dimmings of less than 0.01% in a star's brightness. This has allowed us to detect what size planets?

A) planets smaller than Earth

B) planets Earth-size only

C) only planets larger than Earth

D) any size planet, as long as they are in binary star systems

Answer: A

13.2 True/False Questions

1) Astronomers have discovered more planets around other stars than in our Solar System.

Answer: TRUE

2) Most of the planets discovered around other stars are more massive than Jupiter.

Answer: TRUE

3) The Doppler technique for planet detection has found Earth-like planets around nearby Sun-like stars.

Answer: FALSE

4) Planetary orbits that are face-on to our line of sight produce no Doppler shift in the stellar spectrum.

Answer: TRUE

5) The density of a planet can be determined by combining Doppler and astrometric measurements.

Answer: FALSE

6) A planet's size can be determined by observing its transit across a star.

Answer: TRUE

7) Transits of multiple planet systems can be analyzed to infer planetary masses.

Answer: TRUE

8) Multiple-planet systems have been identified around other stars via the Doppler technique.

Answer: TRUE

9) Because we have not found another planetary system like our own, we can conclude that our Solar System must be quite unusual.

Answer: FALSE

10) Once a planet forms in a disk-like nebula around a star, its orbit is fixed and will never change.

Answer: FALSE

11) Multiple planets have been identified around other stars via the transit technique.

Answer: TRUE

12) The signature of a planet is largest in radial velocity measurements when the planet and star are lined up along the line of sight to the telescope.

Answer: TRUE

13) The signature of a planet is largest in transit measurements when the planet and star are lined up along the line of sight to the telescope.

Answer: TRUE

14) The total amount of light from a star-planet system drops when the planet goes behind the star.

Answer: TRUE

15) Amateur astronomers are able to detect extrasolar planets with backyard telescopes using the transit method.

Answer: TRUE

16) Drag within the solar nebula is responsible for hot Jupiters.

Answer: FALSE

13.3 Short Answer Questions

1) Why is it so difficult to make a direct image of a planet around another star?

Answer: Compared to how far stars are from us, their planets orbits are very small. Further, planets only reflect light (or weakly emit infrared radiation) and are therefore much (billions) of times fainter than the star. It is very difficult to make an image of such a faint object so close to such a bright object.

2) Briefly describe the three most commonly used methods of indirect planet detection.

Answer: The Doppler technique measures the periodic change in velocity of a star due to the motion of a planet around it. The astrometric technique measures the periodic change in the position of a star on the sky as it responds to the motion of a planet around it. The transit technique measures the dip in star brightness as the planet moves in front of the stellar disk.

3) The star 55 Cancri has a triple planetary system. From, we find that the orbital period of the of the third, outermost planet (55 Cancri d) is 5360 days = 14.7 years. It produces a velocity offset in the star of 49.3 m/s. The star itself is spectral type G8V with mass 0.95 MSun. Calculate the orbital distance and mass of 55 Cancri d.

Answer: Using the equations in mathematical insight 13.1, the orbital distance a is

a = P2planet

From the information in the question, Mstar = 0.95MSun = 1.9 × 1030 kg, Pplanet = 5360 days = 4.63 × 108 s and therefore

a = (4.63 × 108 s)2 = 8.8 × 1011 m

Convert this to astronomical units, a = 8.8 x 1011/1.50 x 1011 = 5.9 AU, so 55 Cancri d orbits at about the same distance as Jupiter in our Solar System.

Now using the equations and methods in mathematical insight 13.1, we find the mass from

Mplanet = =

= 7.8 × 1027 kg

Convert this to Jupiter masses, Mplanet = = 4.1 MJupiter. Note that this is a minimum mass because the inclination of the orbit is unknown, so even though this planet orbits at about the same distance as Jupiter in our Solar System, is much more massive. You can find more information about this planetary system and others at

4) Calculate how much (as a percentage) an Earth transit would reduce the light from the Sun as viewed from a distant planetary system.

Answer: A planet of radius R blocks an area πR2 of the star. If the star has radius R*, then its area is πR*2 and the fraction of light that is blocked is (πR2)/(πR*2) = (R/R*)2. For an Earth transit of the Sun, we use R = 6,378 km and R* = 695,000 km from Appendix E to determine that the blocked fraction = (6,378/695,000)2 = 8.4 × 10-5 = 0.008%.

5) HD 209458b was the first extrasolar planet whose size was measured. It has a radius of 1.43 Jupiter radii and mass of 0.63 Jupiter masses. Calculate its average density in grams per cubic centimeter. How does this compare with Jupiter?

Answer: The volume of a sphere with radius R is V = πR3 and the density is M/V.

We are asked for the density in grams per cubic centimeter so must convert the radius to centimeters and the mass to grams. We find the radius and mass of Jupiter in these units from Appendix E so find, for HD 209458b,

R=1.43 × 71,492 km = 102,230 km = 1.02 × 1010 cm

and therefore V = πR3 = 4.48 × 1030 cubic centimeters

M=0.63 × 1.90 × 1027 kg = 1.20 × 1030 g

so the density is M/V = 0.27 grams per cubic centimeter.

The average density of Jupiter is 1.33 grams per cubic centimeter, so HD 209458b is five times less dense. This is due to it being "puffed up" from the high temperatures in such a close orbit around its host star.

6) The star Rho Cancri B has about the same mass as our Sun, and the planet discovered around it orbits somewhat closer than Mercury orbits our Sun. The mass of the planet is estimated to be 1.1 times the mass of Jupiter. Why, according to our theory of solar system formation, is it surprising to find a planet the size of Rho Cancri B's planet orbiting at this distance?

Answer: In the nebular theory, jovian planets form beyond the frost line. In our solar system, this was beyond the orbit of Mars, so it is surprising to find a jovian planet orbiting so close to its star.

7) What do astronomers mean by a "selection effect". Explain why the detection of giant planets in close orbits does not necessarily mean our Solar System is unusual.

Answer: A selection effect is a bias in a detection technique. The technique is most sensitive to a certain class of objects and these kinds of objects therefore tend to be "selected." In the case of extrasolar planet detection, the indirect methods of detection rely on the gravity of the planet (Doppler and astrometric methods) or its size (transit method) and therefore massive, large planets tend to be found. Further, because observations have only been going on for a relatively short time, only short periods can be measured, corresponding to planets in close-in orbits around their stars. The planet search methods are currently unable to detect planets with similar sizes, masses, and orbits as in our Solar System and we are therefore unable to say, at this point, whether our Solar System is unusual.

8) Describe the impact the discovery of extrasolar planets h as had for understanding the origin of our own Solar System.

Answer: The discovery of extrasolar planets shows, first and foremost, that other planets and planetary systems exist. Indeed, the statistics show that planet formation appears to be rather common. The fact that we find giant Jupiter-like planets very close to the stars demonstrates, however, that planets can move considerable distances from their birthplaces as they interact with the protostellar disk and other planets. The nebular theory of planet formation is therefore being adjusted to allow for planetary migration.

9) Describe the impact the discovery of extrasolar planets h as had on the question of life on other worlds.

Answer: We do not yet know how common small, rocky Earth-like planets are around other stars, or what are the characteristics of their orbits. This is the primary motivation for new space-based missions. We can speculate, however, on the possibility of life on moons around the Jupiter-like planets in close-in orbits around other stars, much as we speculate on life on, e.g. Europa or Titan. These discoveries have led to the study of life in extreme environments on Earth.

10) Describe one of the future planned space missions to search for extrasolar planets. How will it improve on current observations?

Answer: There are several possibilities here, described in Section 13.4. E.g., GAIA will use space-based interferometry to measure the miniscule movements of stars as they are tugged by planets orbiting around them. TESS will use the same strategy as Kepler but cover the whole sky. CHEOPS will measure the properties of known extrasolar planets.

11) Process of Science: Name a testable hypothesis from nebular theory that was proven true in observations of extrasolar planets. Does this mean the theory is complete?

Answer: One consequence of nebular theory is that it might not be unusual to have planets form around stars. The many discovered planets have borne this out. The theory cannot be complete without many more observations.

12) Process of Science:

Name a testable hypothesis of nebular theory that was shown to be false in observations of extrasolar planets. Must we throw out the theory and start from scratch, i.e., is the observation completely inconsistent with a nebular formation?

Answer: At face value, the nebular theory predicts that massive, gas rich planets should form far from the star beyond the snowline. However, astronomers have discovered a large number of large planets that orbit close to their stars ("hot Jupiters"). This is partially because they are easiest to find, but still their existence was surprising and requires that the nebular theory be discarded or modified. Because it explains so many other facts, astronomers have preferred to modify the theory and have invoked planetary migration as a means to move massive planets that formed far from the star to much closer in.

13) Process of Science: Why did some astronomers think that we would not be able to detect planetary systems around other stars so quickly as we did?

Answer: If we simply extrapolated from our own Solar System, the effects of the planets (dominated by Jupiter) on the motion of the Sun were so small that they would be undetectable with current technology or even projections of future technology. However the hypothesis that other planetary systems would be like our own was not correct: there are many planetary systems with planets that are more massive than Jupiter at very small distances from their star. Their gravity produces relatively large motions of the star that we could more readily detect.

14) Why is our Jupiter not a "hot Jupiter"?

Answer: In our solar system, it is likely that the nebular gas cleared out before it could have much of a migratory effect on the planet. However, in other systems, planets may have formed earlier or the nebular gas may have cleared out later. Migration may occur also as long as small planetesimals are abundant. It must have occurred somewhat in our own solar system, though not enough to make Jupiter "hot". Ejection of comets into the Oort cloud would mean that Jupiter must have migrated inward a bit in our own system, due to conservation of energy.

15) Why do other systems have planetary types that don't fall neatly into the terrestrial and jovian categories that we identify in our solar system?

Answer: There are several possible explanations. Hydrogen rich planets will vary greatly in density which is attributable to increases in temperature caused by their proximity to their host stars. Water worlds may be similar to our ice giants, but instead be dependent on when a star clears its nebular gas.

13.4 Mastering Astronomy Reading Quiz

1) What is an extrasolar planet?

A) a planet that orbits a star that is not our own Sun

B) a planet that is larger than the Sun

C) a planet that is extra large compared to what we'd expect

D) a planet that is considered an "extra," in that it was not needed for the formation of its solar system

Answer: A

2) About how many extrasolar planets have been discovered (as of 2008)?

A) tens

B) hundreds

C) thousands

D) tens of thousands

Answer: C

3) As of 2008, most known extrasolar planets have been discovered by

A) the astrometric technique.

B) the Doppler technique.

C) the transit technique.

D) the Hubble Space Telescope.

Answer: C

4) What information does the Doppler technique give about an extrasolar planet?

A) the planet's radius

B) the planet's density

C) the planet's minimum mass

D) all of the above

Answer: C

5) Why do we say that the Doppler technique gives the planet's "minimum mass"?

A) The size of the Doppler shift that we detect depends on whether the planet's orbit is tilted.

B) The size of the Doppler shift that we detect depends on knowing the star's mass, which can be very uncertain.

C) Extrasolar planets are always increasing in mass.

D) Doppler measurements are very difficult, producing noisy data that often cause astronomers to underestimate a planet's mass.

Answer: A

6) Which detection techniques can find the planet's orbital distance (assuming we know the mass of the star)?

A) only the Doppler technique

B) only the transit technique

C) only the astrometric technique

D) all of these techniques

Answer: D

7) Which of the following statements is not true about the planets so far discovered around other stars?

A) Most of them are much more massive than Earth.

B) Photographs reveal that most of them have atmospheres much like that of Jupiter.

C) Many of them orbit closer to their star than Jupiter orbits the Sun.

D) Many of them have been discovered by observing Doppler shifts in the spectra of the stars they orbit.

Answer: B

8) What is the closest that extrasolar planets have been found to their stars?

A) nearer to their stars than Earth to the Sun

B) nearer to their stars than Saturn to the Sun

C) nearer to their stars than Mercury to our Sun

D) unknown: we do not know the distance with enough accuracy to say

Answer: C

9) Based on available data, what kind of objects in our solar system do most of the known extrasolar planets resemble?

A) jovian planets

B) terrestrial planets

C) Kuiper belt objects

D) None of the above: most extrasolar planets apparently belong to some new category of object.

Answer: A

10) How are the orbits of extrasolar planets different from the orbits of planets in our solar system?

A) Many extrasolar planets orbit their stars backward.

B) Many extrasolar planets are on very tilted orbits compared to what we'd expect.

C) Many extrasolar planets do not travel on elliptical orbits.

D) Many extrasolar planets travel on very eccentric orbits.

Answer: D

11) Which new idea has been added into our theory of solar system formation as a result of the discoveries of extrasolar planets?

A) In addition to the categories of terrestrial and jovian, there must be an "in-between" category of planet that has the mass of a jovian planet but the composition of a terrestrial planet.

B) Jovian planets can migrate from the orbits in which they are born.

C) In some star systems, it is possible for jovian planets to form in the inner solar system and terrestrial planets to form in the outer solar system.

D) Some of the "exceptions to the rules" in our own solar system are likely to have been the result of giant impacts.

Answer: B

12) How will the Kepler mission (scheduled for 2008 launch) look for planets around other stars?

A) It will look for Doppler shifts in stellar spectra.

B) It will be sufficiently powerful to take low-resolution photographs of planets orbiting nearby stars.

C) It will look for slight back and forth shifts in a star's position in our sky.

D) It will look for slight changes in a star's brightness that repeat at regular intervals.

Answer: D

13) How do we expect that the first Earth-sized extrasolar planets will be discovered (if they exist)?

A) by the transit technique from an observatory in space

B) with photographs from a new generation of large, ground-based observatories

C) by NASA's Terrestrial Planet Finder mission

D) by the Doppler technique

Answer: A

13.5 Mastering Astronomy Concept Quiz

1) In essence, most of the extrasolar planets discovered to date have been found by

A) closely examining very high-resolution photographs of other star systems.

B) observing a star carefully enough to notice that it is experiencing a gravitational tug caused by an unseen planet.

C) identifying spectral lines that look like what we expect to see from a planet rather than a star.

D) observing mini-eclipses of a star as an unseen planet passes in front of it.

Answer: B

2) Why is it so difficult to take pictures of extrasolar planets?

A) Extrasolar planets give off light at different wavelengths than planets in our solar system.

B) No telescope is powerful enough to detect the faint light from a distant planet.

C) Their light is overwhelmed by the light from their star.

D) Telescopes are too busy with other projects.

Answer: C

3) The astrometric technique looks for planets with careful measurements of a star's

A) brightness.

B) velocity towards or away from us.

C) position in the sky.

D) all of the above

Answer: C

4) Suppose you are using the Doppler technique to look for planets around another star. What must you do?

A) Compare many spectra of an orbiting planet taken over a period of many months or years.

B) Compare the brightness of the star over a period of many months or years.

C) Carefully examine a single spectrum of an orbiting planet.

D) Compare many spectra of the star taken over a period of many months or years.

Answer: D

5) In general, which type of planet would you expect to cause the largest Doppler shift in the spectrum of its star?

A) a massive planet that is close to its star

B) a massive planet that is far from its star

C) a low-mass planet that is close to its star

D) a low-mass planet that is far from its star

Answer: A

6) Suppose a planet is discovered by the Doppler technique and is then discovered to have transits. In that case, we can determine all the following about the planet except

A) its precise mass.

B) its density.

C) its physical size (radius).

D) its rotation period.

E) its orbital period.

Answer: D

7) You observe a star very similar to our own Sun in size and mass. This star moves very slightly back and forth in the sky once every four months, and you attribute this motion to the effect of an orbiting planet. What can you conclude about the orbiting planet?

A) The planet must have a mass about the same as the mass of Jupiter.

B) The planet must be closer to the star than Earth is to the Sun.

C) The planet must be farther from the star than Neptune is from the Sun.

D) You do not have enough information to say anything at all about the planet.

Answer: B

8) All the following statements about known extrasolar planets are true. Which one came as a surprise to scientists who expected other solar systems to be like ours?

A) Some of the planets orbit their star more closely than Mercury orbits the Sun.

B) Most of the planets are quite massive—much more like Jupiter than like Earth.

C) Most of the planets orbit stars that are quite nearby compared to the scale of the entire Milky Way Galaxy.

D) In some cases, we've found more than one planet orbiting the same star.

Answer: A

9) Which of the following is not expected for a "hot Jupiter" that orbits 0.05 AU from its star?

A) cloudtop temperatures over 1000 K

B) intense volcanism

C) clouds made of rock dust

D) density similar to or lower than Jupiter's

Answer: B

10) Based on everything you have learned about the formation of our solar system, which of the following statements is probably not true?

A) Only a tiny percentage of stars are surrounded by spinning disks of gas during their formation.

B) Planets always tend to orbit their star in the same direction and approximately the same plane.

C) Other solar systems will also have planets in the two basic categories of terrestrial and jovian.

D) Other planetary systems will have far more numerous asteroids and comets than actual planets.

Answer: A

11) Current evidence suggests that many massive jovian planets orbit at very close orbital distances to their stars. How do we think these planets ended up on these close orbits?

A) These planets are jovian in nature and were able to form close to their stars because their solar nebulas were very cold in temperature.

B) These planets migrated inward after being born on orbits much farther from their stars.

C) Despite their large masses, these planets are terrestrial in nature and therefore could form in their inner solar systems.

D) These planets were captured from other solar systems.

Answer: B

12) Assuming that our ideas about how "hot Jupiters" ended up on their current orbits are correct, why didn't our own solar system end up with any hot Jupiters?

A) Our solar nebula must have been blown into space shortly after the formation of the jovian planets.

B) Our jovian planets must have migrated outward from inside the orbit of Mercury.

C) Our solar nebula must have stuck around for an unusually long time after the formation of jovian planets.

D) The existence of Earth and the other terrestrial planets prevented the jovian planets from migrating inward.

Answer: A

13) When should we know if any extra-solar planetary systems are like ours?

A) in just a few years

B) any day now, thanks to new, large, ground-based telescopes

C) in a decade or two, through our current space missions

D) We have already discovered several systems just like ours, through the Kepler mission.

Answer: C

14) How will TESS build upon the Kepler mission?

A) It will zoom in on the best planet candidates and allow us to confirm whether or not they are actually planets.

B) It will use the same strategy but will cover the whole sky.

C) It will allow us to detect extrasolar planets from the Southern hemisphere instead of just the Northern hemisphere.

D) It will allow us to observe in a different wavelength.

Answer: B

15) What is the purpose of the European CHEOPS mission?

A) to precisely measure the properties of known extrasolar planets

B) to discover new types of extrasolar planets unobservable with current instruments

C) to search for signals from alien civilizations

D) to search for new extrasolar planets throughout the entire sky

Answer: A

The Cosmic Perspective, 8e (Bennett)

Chapter 14 Our Star

14.1 Multiple-Choice Questions

1) In the late 1800s, Kelvin and Helmholtz suggested that the Sun stayed hot thanks to gravitational contraction. What was the major drawback of this idea?

A) It predicted that the Sun could last only about 25 million years, which is far less than the age of Earth.

B) It predicted that the Sun would shrink noticeably as we watched it, and the Sun appears to be stable in size.

C) It is physically impossible to generate heat simply by making a star shrink in size.

D) It predicted that Earth would also shrink, which would make it impossible to have stable geology on our planet.

E) It was proposed before Einstein's theory of general relativity and was therefore incorrect.

Answer: A

2) When is/was gravitational contraction an important energy-generation mechanism for the Sun?

A) only during solar minimum

B) only during solar maximum

C) when the Sun was being formed from a collapsing cloud of gas

D) right after the Sun began fusing hydrogen in its core

E) when the Sun transports radiation through the convection zone

Answer: C

3) What do we mean when we say that the Sun is in gravitational equilibrium?

A) The hydrogen gas in the Sun is balanced so that it never rises upward or falls downward.

B) The Sun maintains a steady temperature.

C) This is another way of stating that the Sun generates energy by nuclear fusion.

D) There is a balance within the Sun between the outward push of pressure and the inward pull of gravity.

E) The Sun always has the same amount of mass, creating the same gravitational force.

Answer: D

4) What two forces are balanced in what we call gravitational equilibrium?

A) the electromagnetic force and gravity

B) outward pressure and the strong force

C) outward pressure and inward gravity

D) the strong force and gravity

E) the strong force and kinetic energy

Answer: C

5) What is the Sun made of?

A) 100 percent hydrogen and helium

B) 50 percent hydrogen, 25 percent helium, 25 percent other elements

C) 70 percent helium, 28 percent hydrogen, 2 percent other elements

D) 70 percent hydrogen, 28 percent helium, 2 percent other elements

E) 98 percent hydrogen, 2 percent helium and other elements

Answer: D

6) The phase of matter in the Sun is

A) gas.

B) plasma.

C) liquid.

D) solid.

E) a mixture of all of the above

Answer: B

7) What are the appropriate units for the Sun's luminosity?

A) watts

B) joules

C) meters

D) Newtons

E) kilograms

Answer: A

8) What is the average temperature of the surface of the Sun?

A) 1 million K

B) 100,000 K

C) 10,000 K

D) 6,000 K

E) 1,000 K

Answer: D

9) Which is closest to the temperature of the core of the Sun?

A) 10,000 K

B) 100,000 K

C) 1 million K

D) 10 million K

E) 100 million K

Answer: D

10) From the center outward, which of the following lists the "layers" of the Sun in the correct order?

A) core, radiation zone, convection zone, corona, chromosphere, photosphere

B) core, corona, radiation zone, convection zone, photosphere, chromosphere

C) core, radiation zone, convection zone, photosphere, chromosphere, corona

D) core, convection zone, radiation zone, corona, chromosphere, photosphere

E) core, convection zone, radiation zone, photosphere, chromosphere, corona

Answer: C

11) Which layer of the Sun do we normally see?

A) photosphere

B) corona

C) chromosphere