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The Moon and the Sun Practice Problems

based on 2 ratings
By McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 16, 2011

Review the following concepts if needed:

The Moon and the Sun Practice Problems

A good score is 8 correct. Answers are provided at the end.

1. The rotational period of the Sun

(a) is synchronized with the orbit of Earth.

(b) is shorter at the equator than at the poles.

(c) varies in an 11-year cycle.

(d) is not defined; the Sun does not rotate at all.

2. Which of the following theories concerning the Moon’s formation is most popular?

(a) The Moon condensed from the ejecta of thousands of earthly volcanoes many millions of years ago.

(b) The Moon spun off Earth because of centrifugal force when Earth was in its early, molten state.

(c) The Moon and Earth formed as a double planet.

(d) All three of the preceding theories have been disproven conclusively.

3. Eclipses would be more common if the Moon’s orbit

(a) were more tilted with respect to the plane of the ecliptic.

(b) were in the plane of the ecliptic.

(d) were more elongated.

4. The northern lights owe their existence to

(a) Earth’s magnetic field.

(b) charged particles ejected from the Sun.

(c) solar flares.

(d) more than one of the above.

5. On a particular day, the Moon sets around high noon. What phase is the Moon in or near?

(a) New

(b) First quarter

(c) Full

(d) Last quarter

6. The composite tidal pull of the Sun and Moon is greatest when

(a) Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are at the vertices of an equilateral triangle.

(b) Earth, the Sun, and the Moon all lie along the same straight line.

(c) Earth, the Sun, and the Moon are at the vertices of a right triangle.

(d) This question is irrelevant; the composite tidal pull of the Sun and the Moon never varies.

7. Earth is

(a) about 81 times more massive than the Moon.

(b) about 10 times the diameter of the Moon.

(c) always in full phase as seen from the Moon.

(d) the same angular diameter as the Sun, as seen from the Moon.

8. In an annular eclipse of the Sun,

(a) the path of totality is narrow.

(b) the Sun’s disk is totally covered for only a few minutes.

(c) the Sun’s disk is never totally covered.

(d) the Moon takes on a copper-colored glow.

9. Suppose that a small stone with a mass of 10 grams and a large boulder with a mass of 10,000 kilograms are both put into circular orbits 15,000 kilometers above Earth’s surface. Which of the following statements is true?

(a) The stone will take longer to orbit Earth than the boulder.

(b) The boulder will take longer to orbit Earth than the stone.

(c) The stone and the boulder will take the same amount of time to orbit Earth.

(d) The relative orbital periods will depend on how close together the stone and the boulder are placed.

10. The sidereal lunar orbital period (around Earth) is

(a) longer than the synodic lunar orbital period.

(b) the same as the synodic lunar orbital period.

(c) shorter than the synodic lunar orbital period.

(d) sometimes longer than and sometimes shorter than the synodic lunar orbital period.

1. A

2. D

3. D

4. B

5. C

6. B

7. D

8. A

9. C

10. D

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