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Exploring the Solar System Practice Questions

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Updated on Sep 25, 2011

Review these concepts at: Exploring the Solar System Study Guide

Practice Questions

1. The sun spins around on its own axis once in approximately the length of time that we call

a. a day.

b. a week.

c. a month.

d. a year.

2. If the diameter of a clay model Earth were about the same diameter as a U.S. quarter (about an inch), how big would the diameter of a model sun have to be to maintain the same scale?

a. 10 inches

b. 8 feet

c. 80 feet

d.

3. How old is the sun?

a. 450 million years

b. 4.5 billion years

c. 1,400 million years

d. 14 billion years

4. Which of the following is true?

a. The sun's core, which is where nuclear fusion reactions take place, is hotter than its surface.

b. The sun's surface, which is where nuclear fusion reactions take place, is cooler than its core.

c. The sun's core, which is where nuclear fission reactions take place, is hotter than its surface.

d. The sun's surface, which is where nuclear fission reactions take place, is cooler than its core.

5. Which of the following pairs both occur as storm events on the sun's surface?

a. coronas and prominences

b. sunspots and glowing gases

c. prominences and glowing gases

d. sunspots and prominences

6. Who first formulated a working law of gravity?

a. Newton

b. Einstein

c. Kepler

d. Galileo

7. Consider the force of gravity between two masses. If the masses of both of them double, the force of gravity between them does which of the following?

a. increases by 2 times

b. increases by 4 times

c. decreases to

d. decreases to

8. The mass of the planet Venus is about 80% that of Earth's mass. The distance from Venus to the sun is about 70% that of the Earth to the sun. Therefore, the force of gravity between Venus and the sun, compared to the force of gravity between Earth and sun, is which one of the following?

a. between 5 and 6 times greater

b. between 1 and 2 times greater

c. smaller, between and d. smaller, between to 1

9. What is the shape of the orbit of a planet around the sun?

a. a circle

b. a hyperbola

c. an ellipse

d. a parabola

10. The speed of the earth as it orbits around the sun is slightly greatest during which month?

a. January

b. March

c. July

d. September 

11. The four rocky planets are which of the following?

a. Uranus, Venus, Neptune, Earth

b. Earth, Uranus, Mercury, Mars

c. Neptune, Venus, Earth, Uranus

d. Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury

12. Which planet is farther away from the sun than Saturn?

a. Jupiter

b. Uranus

c. Mars

d. Venus

13. Which is the correct statement?

a. The closer a planet is to the sun, the greater its number of moons.

b. The farther a planet is from the sun, the longer its "year."

c. The farther a planet is from the sun, the greater its mass.

d. The closer a planet is to the sun, the smaller its diameter.

14. In which pair of planets is the density of the first definitely greater than the density of the second? Use your overall knowledge about the solar system to figure out the answer.

a. Uranus compared to Mercury

b. Earth compared to Jupiter

c. Saturn compared to Venus

d. Neptune compared to Mars

15. This planet is currently being explored by robotic rovers, searching for the possibility that water, and therefore the possibility of life, once existed.

a. Venus

b. Earth

c. Mercury

d. Mars

16. The moon was born when which of the following happened?

a. A large body smashed into the early earth.

b. It condensed from the cosmic gas cloud that formed the solar system.

c. It was captured by the sun's gravity in the same orbit as the early earth.

d. The early earth split up from internal instability.

17. For a solar eclipse to occur, the moon must be which in one of the following positions?

a. new, between the earth and sun

b. new, opposite the sun

c. full, between the earth and sun

d. full, opposite the earth and sun

18. You are told that a lunar eclipse will occur tomorrow night. That tells you that the moon will then be in which phase?

a. right half

b. full

c. left half

d. new

19. This is a tough one. You see the moon in the sky as the left half (like looking at the left side of half a coin). The moon will next be full in about how many days?

a. 29 to 30 days

b. 7 to 8 days

c. 21 to 22 days

d. 14 to 15 days

20. You are enjoying yourself on a beach and remark that the ocean level on the sand was highest about 3 hours ago. That means that the low tide will be in how many hours?

a. 18 hours

b. 12 hours

c. 9 hours

d. 3 hours

 Answers

1. c. a month

2. b. 8 feet

3. b. 4.5 billion years

4. a. The sun's core, which is where nuclear fusion reactions take place, is hotter than its surface.

5. d. sunspots and prominences

6. a. Newton

7. b. increases by 4 times

8. d. smaller, between to 1

9. c. an ellipse

10. a. January

11. d. Earth, Mars, Venus, Mercury

12. b. Uranus

13. b. The farther a planet is from the sun, the longer its "year."

14. b. Earth compared to Jupiter

15. d. Mars

16. a. A large body smashed into the early Earth.

17. a. new, between the earth and sun

18. b. full

19. c. 21 to 22 days

20. d. 3 hours

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