Review Sheet for Astronomy 2/23

Midterm Exam Fall 2004

Topics covered up until the midterm include solar system formation and age, laws of motion and orbits, Mercury, Venus, and Earth. See the schedule if you are in doubt. In this list “body”or “planet” refers only to the planets & Moon we’ve discussed so far. This list is just a list of suggested questions for study; I suggest you survey your notes.

  What is the age of the solar system, and how do we know?
  What factors influence the composition of the atmosphere of a planet or Moon?
  Compare the atmosphere of Earth with that of Venus, and explain why they are different.
  In what ways are Venusian volcanoes different from those on other planets, and why?
  What are coronae, and on what planet(s) are they found?
  On which planet are there densely fractured plains? fractured and ridged plains?
  What is eccentricity, and why is it important?
  What is a magnetosphere, and how does its presence affect the surface of a planet?
  What are the three types of plate boundaries on Earth?
  What is the significance of the greenhouse effect to Earth and Venus?
  "Heavy bombardment" refers to what time period during the formation of the solar system?
  Explain the difference between the distribution of impact craters on Venus vs. Earth vs. Mercury?
  What is inclination?
  How does the interior of Mercury differ from Earth and Venus, and why?
  What is the difference between P waves and S waves?
  Know and be able to explain and give the significance of each of Kepler’s Laws .
  What are lobate plains ?
  What are lobate scarps?
  What is an antipode, and how doe sit relate to impact cratering?
  How much did Mercury shrink after it was formed, and why?
  Why do we only have radar images of the surface of Venus?
  What causes a body to have a magnetic field?
  Compare the compositions of the atmospheres of the outer planets to those of the terrestrial planets, and explain why this is so.
  Explain Newton’s Laws.
  What are pancake domes, and what do they tell us about the planet on which they are found?
  How did the solar system form?
  What lines of evidence would be used to confirm the presence of life on a planet from a satellite?
  On what planet do we find streaks, and why?
  Sketch a diagram of the interior of the Earth, and label the curst, upper mantle, transition zone, lower mantle, outer core, inner core, asthenosphere, and lithosphere.
  Describe the interior of the Sun.
  What are tessera?
  What is unusual about craters on Mercury?
  What are wrinkle ridge plains?
  What aspects of Venusian impact craters are unusual?
  What factors cause radar images to appear bright vs. dark?
  Mercury is so geologically inactive that it should not have a liquid core, and thus no magnetic field. Why does it have a magnetic field?
  On which planets that we've studied so far might we find ice?
  What is albedo?
  Why is Mercury locked in 3:2 orbital resonance with the Sun?
  What is obliquity?
  Draw a diagram illustrating the difference between opposition and conjuction.
  Draw a diagram illustrating the difference between perihelion and aphelion.
  What is the universal law of gravitation, and why is it useful?
  Explain the difference between synodic period and rotation period?
  What are yardangs?


This page was created by Darby Dyar and is maintained by Darby Dyar and Rebekah Robson-May.
Last updated on 22 October, 2004 .