The Outer Planets Practice Problems

By — McGraw-Hill Professional
Updated on Sep 16, 2011

Review the following concepts if needed:

The Outer Planets Practice Problems

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

1. Which of the following planets generates the least amount of internal heat?

(a) Jupiter

(b) Saturn

(c) Uranus

(d) Neptune


2. The Pluto-Charon system is unique in that

(a) they always keep the same sides facing each other.

(b) they are the smallest of the gas giants.

(c) they have atmospheres consisting entirely of helium.

(d) they actually orbit Neptune, not the Sun.


3. The dark side of Uranus is much colder than the sunlit side because

(a) the axis of Uranus is so greatly tilted.

(b) the atmosphere is so thin.

(c) there are no winds on Uranus.

(d) No! The dark side of Uranus is just as warm as the sunlit side.


4. Most astronomers believe that the surfaces of the gas giant planets

(a) are liquid water.

(b) are liquid methane.

(c) do not exist as definable boundaries.

(d) are peppered with craters.


5. The tops of the highest clouds on Jupiter

(a) reflect sunlight very well.

(b) are red or brown.

(c) spin counterclockwise because they are high-pressure systems.

(d) are actually smoke from volcanic eruptions.


6. An Earthly analog of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot might be

(a) a tornado.

(b) a hurricane.

(c) a high-pressure system.

(d) a volcano.


7. Saturn appears in its crescent phase, as seen from Earth, when it is at

(a) conjunction.

(b) quadrature.

(c) opposition.

(d) No! Saturn never appears as a crescent to Earth-bound observers.


8. The magnetosphere of Jupiter is distorted by

(a) the solar wind.

(b) Jupiter’s gravitation.

(c) Jupiter’s rings.

(d) Jupiter’s moons.


9. The most oblate planet is

(a) Jupiter.

(b) Saturn.

(c) Uranus.

(d) Neptune.


10. An astronomical unit is

(a) the mean distance of Earth from the Sun.

(b) 299,792 kilometers (one light-second).

(c) the mean distance of the Moon from Earth.

(d) the radius of the Solar System.



1. C

2. A

3. D

4. C

5. A

6. C

7. D

8. A

9. B

10. A

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