Final Exam Review

Here are some questions that you should be able to answer, to help prepare you for the final exam.

  1. A light year is a unit of ____?
  2. You write your home address in the order of street, town, state, and so on.  How would you write your cosmic address in a similar manner.  (All the way up to supercluster!)
  3. What kinds of astronomical systems are held together by gravity?
  4. Most of the matter in our solar system (about 99.8%) is found in _______.
  5. What is the scientific method?
  6. What is the celestial sphere?
  7. What do we call a specific pattern of stars in the sky, often named for an animal?  Give two examples.
  8. What is the celestial equator?
  9. What do we call the line that the Sun traces across the celestial sphere?
  10. What causes the change of the constellations with the seasons?
  11. Where on the celestial sphere would you look for the planets?
  12. The moon takes approximately    ?   . to go through a cycle of phases.
  13. What do we call it when a planet moves backward through the stars?
  14. Where will a planet in retrograde motion rise (N/E/S/W)?
  15. If you see a bright “star” in the sky, how could you tell whether it is a star or a planet?
  16. What is meant by the phrase “angular size”?
  17. If you triple your distance from an object, what happens to its angular size?
  18. What contributions did Eratosthenes make to the study of astronomy?
  19. What contributions did Kepler make to the study of astronomy?
  20. What contributions did Gallileo make to the study of astronomy?
  21. What do we call the tendency of a body at rest to remain at rest or a body in motion to remain in motion?
  22. If you see a body in space that is not moving in a straight line at a constant speed, what can you say about it?
  23. What does it mean for an object to be accelerating (three possibilities)?
  24. How can we mathematically express Newton's law of gravity?
  25. If the distance between two masses (r) is tripled, the gravitational force between them is ____?
  26. If an object's mass (M) is doubled, the gravitational force between it and other objects will be ____?
  27. The gravitational force exerted by the Sun on the Earth is ____ the gravitational force exerted by the Earth on the Sun. (Think about Newton's Third Law.) 
  28. What is Newton's first law of motion?
  29. What is Newton's second law of motion?
  30. What is Newton's third law of motion?
  31. What does surface gravity measure?
  32. How are mass and weight different?
  33. If your mass is 60 kilograms on Earth, what is it on the Moon?
  34. If a barbell weighs 10 pounds on the Moon, what would it weight on Earth?
  35. What does escape velocity measure?
  36. What is light?
  37. Assuming that light could curve around the Earth, about how long would it take for one trip?
  38. What is the approximate wavelength of red light?  Of blue light?
  39. List the six electromagnetic radiations from short to long wavelengths.  From lowest to highest energy.
  40. According to Wien's law, a hotter object will __ a cooler object.
  41. What is the difference between emission and absorption in an atom?  (What does the electron do?)
  42. What is the relationship between wavelength (λ) and frequency (f)?
  43. What is the Doppler shift?
  44. Which gases in the Earth's atmosphere strongly absorbs infrared radiation?
  45. Which gases in the Earth's atmosphere strongly absorb ultraviolet radiation?
  46. What type of spectrum is emitted by a heated solid object (such as the filament of an incandescent bulb)?
  47. What type of spectrum is observed when the light from a hot, dense body is seen through a cooler, tenuous gas?
  48. What type of spectrum is emitted by a hot, tenuous gas?
  49. What are some of the things astronomers can learn about astronomical objects from their spectra?
  50. How do astronomers calculate a telescope's light collecting area?
  51. Telescope A has a mirror twice the diameter of telescope B’s mirror. How does A's light-gathering power compare to B's?
  52. A telescope's resolving power measures its ability to see ____?
  53. How can you increase the resolving power of a telescope?
  54. What causes the image of a star to “twinkle” or scintillate?
  55. What process limits a telescope's resolving power?
  56. What is the difference between a reflecting and a refracting telescope?
  57. Light travels __ in water than in air
  58. What is the advantage of using mirrors rather than lenses in telescopes?
  59. What is an interferometer?  What are the advantages of using one?
  60. How do astronomers study X-rays?  What kind of observatories are required for this?
  61. Why does the useful resolving power of a ground-based telescope not match it's theoretical value?
  62. On some telescopes, actuators on the mirror change its shape to match distortions in the atmosphere. What is this technique called?
  63. What is the advantage of having your observatory in space, rather than on the ground? 
  64. The shifting of large blocks of the Earth’s surface is usually referred to today as what?
  65. What are the most common elements composing the Earth’s crust and mantle?
  66. Scientists think the Earth’s core is composed mainly of
  67. The interior of the Earth is very hot because of _______.
  68. Why isn’t the Earth a perfect sphere?
  69. What does the Greenhouse Effect cause?
  70. What are the main constituents of the Earth's atmosphere?
  71. The ozone layer protects us from ____?
  72. The slow shifts of our planet’s crust are believed to arise from ____?
  73. What evidence indicates that part of the Earth’s interior is liquid? 
  74. Why is the inner core solid even though it is hotter than the outer liquid core?
  75. Currents in the Earth's molten iron core create the planet’s magnetic field. These current are probably caused by?  (Two things.)
  76. How are the auroras related to the Earth's magnetic field?
  77. How is the age of the Earth measured?
  78. Earth wobbles on its axis, causing the North Pole to point at different stars over the course of 26,000 years.  What is this process called?
  79. What is the difference between a solar day and a sidereal day?
  80. What causes us to have a leap year?
  81. How does the changing number of daylight hours (over the course of a year) relate to the tilt of the Earth's axis? 
  82. Why is February the shortest month?
  83. If on a given date the night is 24 hours long at the North Pole, how many hours long is the night at the South Pole?
  84. On what day(s) of the year are nights the longest at the equator?
  85. How do the Moon's diameter and mass compare to the Earth's?
  86. What are the large dark areas on the Moon that form the face of the “Man in the Moon” called?
  87. How do craters form?
  88. What we call the Moon’s surface layer?
  89. What are rays?
  90. Why do lunar highlands have more craters than the maria?  
  91. How were the maria formed?
  92. Why doesn’t the Moon have an atmosphere?
  93. Why is the Moon's surface cratered but the Earth's not?
  94. How do most astronomers today believe the Moon formed?
  95. How many high and low tides occur each day?  How many hours apart are they?
  96. What causes a solar eclipse?  A lunar eclipse?
  97. Why aren't there eclipses each month?
  98. Why does the eclipsed Moon sometimes appear a ruddy red color?
  99. How do we define the "Solar System"?
  100. Name the planets in order of increasing distance from the Sun.
  101. All planets spin in the same direction except for ____?
  102. Name the inner planets.  The outer planets.
  103. What is a dwarf planet?  Name two.
  104. What properties do the inner planets share?  The outer planets? 
  105. How do you find a planet's average density?
  106. What do we call the swarm of comet nuclei in a huge shell surrounding the Sun and planets?
  107. Approximately how old is the Solar System?  How do we know?
  108. What is the solar nebula theory?
  109. What features of the Solar System does the solar nebula hypothesis explain?
  110. Give a reason why the inner planets are so different from the outer planets.
  111. How do we know the interior composition of Jupiter?
  112. What are planetesimals?
  113. How did the planetary moons form?
  114. How do astronomers discover planets orbiting stars beyond the Sun?
  115. List the planets in order from largest to smallest.  Separate this into two groups: inner and outer planets. 
  116. Does Mercury have an atmosphere? Why or why not?
  117. Describe the surface of Mercury.  What other body is it similar to?
  118. How do astronomers observe the surface of Venus?
  119. What is the dominant gas in Venus's atmosphere?  What are its clouds composed of?
  120. Why is Venus's surface hotter than Mercury's?
  121. Describe the surface of Mars.  What gives it a reddish color?  What are tis ice caps made of?
  122. What evidence do we have that Mars once had running water on its surface?
  123. What are the major gaseous substances that make up the outer planets?
  124. How does Jupiter's mass compare with that of the other planets?
  125. What is the Great Red Spot?
  126. Will astronauts ever set foot on any of the Giant Planets?  Why or why not?
  127. Why is the moon Io volcanically active with a hot interior?
  128. On which of Jupiter’s Moons do scientists think there may exist an ocean covered with ice?
  129. What are the rings of Saturn made of?
  130. What is the Roche limit?
  131. What is peculiar about Uranus' orbit?
  132. Why are Uranus and Neptune so blue?  (In terms of color, not emotional state.)
  133. Pluto's orbit crosses the orbit of another outer planet? Which is it?  Why do they not collide?
  134. What is a meteor?  A meteoroid?  A meteorite? 
  135. What are asteroids are made of?  How do we know?
  136. What is the asteroid belt?  Where is it?
  137. What are Apollo asteroids?  Trojan asteroids?
  138. How is Ceres different from most asteroids?  Why is it like this?
  139. How does the existence of asteroids support the solar nebula hypothesis?
  140. What are the three broad categories of meteorites?
  141. What causes annual meteor showers such as the Perseids in August.
  142. What is the Kuiper Belt?  The Oort Cloud?
  143. What forms a comet's tail?  Why do some comets have two?
  144. What is Chicxulub?  What is its significance in the history of the Earth?
  145. What is the Sun made of?  How much of each component? 
  146. How far is the Earth from the Sun in AU?  What is this in miles?  In kilometers? 
  147. What holds the Sun together?
  148. Describe the layers of the Sun, including what happens in each layer and its temperature.
  149. How does the Sun produces energy?
  150. Describe the proton-proton chain.  How does this provide energy for the Sun?
  151. What are sunspots, prominences, and solar flares?  How do these relate to the Sun's magnetic field?
  152. What are solar neutrinos?  Why are they important?
  153. What is solar seismology?
  154. Explain the solar cycle.  What evidence is there that solar activity affects the Earth's climate?
  155. A star’s parallax can reveal its distance. Stars with larger parallaxes are _______ .
  156. What is the Inverse-Square Law?
  157. What are the stellar classes?  Which is hottest?  Which is coolest?
  158. What is the basis for separating stars into spectral classes?
  159. What are binary stars?  What is the difference between a visual binary and a spectroscopic binary?
  160. What is an H-R diagram?  What is on each axis?  What does it tell us about stars in our galaxy?

It is also a good idea to go over your notes, past quizzes, and the review materials at the end of each chapter in your text.