Jupiter was the first giant planet formed.
According to the Nice theory where did the Kuiper belt objects and Oort cloud objects come from?
Kuiper belt objects come from the out edge of Solar System where huge spheres made of rock and ice that circle around Pluto’s orbit. The objects took their name from Gerard Kuiper who suggested that comets may come from the Kuiper belt. This group of planetoids is called Kuiper belt objects (KBO). The first KBO named “1991 QB1” was discovered in 1992. The plant Pluto also belongs to the group of KBO. Some comets also come from KBO (Arnett para 5).
Oort Cloud objects (OCO) seem to be formed nearer to the Sun than KBO. Gravitational encounters would likely disturb forming small objects in immediate proximity to giant planets. Those objects that did not manage to escape formed Oort Clouds. In 1950, Jan Oort suggested that comets come from interstellar space because he did not observe any comets with an orbit. Oort proposed that comets reside in a cloud at the periphery of Solar System (Arnett para 6).
List the layers of Earth's atmosphere.
There are six layers of Earth’s atmosphere, namely: troposphere, stratosphere, mesosphere, thermosphere, exosphere, and ionosphere. Troposphere is lowest layer of atmosphere that is positioned at a distance of 11 kilometers from Earth. Weather on the Earth is formed in this layer. Troposphere is thinner at the poles (8 km average) and thicker at the equator (approximately 16 km). The temperature in the layer decreases with altitude (“Layers of the Atmosphere” para 1).
The next layer - stratosphere – takes the space of 11-48 above the Earth. Ozone layer which absorbs injurious ultra-violet rays emitted by Sun is in stratosphere. The temperature inside the stratosphere increases with altitude. The highest temperature is 0 degrees Celsius (“Layers of the Atmosphere” para 2).
Mesosphere is situated above stratosphere. The air is rarefies in mesosphere. The temperature in this layer decreases with altitude equaling -90 by Celsius (“Layers of the Atmosphere” para 3).
Thermosphere is characterized by hot temperature reaching thousands of degree by Celsius. The motion of rarefied gases is very active in this layer. Exosphere lies beyond the thermosphere (“Layers of the Atmosphere” para 4).
The next layer is ionosphere where the air is ionized by the ultra-violet rays. Ionosphere contains D, E, and F regions. The ionized air affects the process of reflectance and transmittance of radio ways (“Layers of the Atmosphere” para 5).
What is a tidal force? How do tidal forces produce tides in Earth's oceans?
Tidal force is a secondary effect produced by gravitational forces between orbiting objects. Tidal force emerges on the Earth due to presence of Moon. Tidal force is the reason of tide fluctuations and synchronous rotation of some moons that occur. Thus, tides are the result of gravity processes between two massive objects. On the Earth tides can be observed as a phenomenon in the sea. Tides can be semidiurnal and diurnal. Semidiurnal tides are observed at the places where there are two high and low tides each day. Diurnal tides are observed at the locations where there is one high and one low tide each day. All parts of the Earth are affected by the Moon’s gravitational force. There are nearest and farthest places that are affected by the Moon defining tides intensity. The difference in distance is responsible for tidal force distorting the shape of the Earth and water in World Ocean (Simanek n.p.).
Which pair of planets have atmospheres with the most similar chemical compositions?
a. Earth and Venus, b. Earth and Mars, c. Venus and Mars, d. Mercury and Mars,
e. Mercury and Venus
Venus’s and Earth’s atmospheres are quite different because Venus’s atmosphere contains carbon dioxide mostly. The atmosphere of Venus’s is 93 times heavier than the Earth’s due to the sulfur dioxide clouds and high ground temperatures. Mars has the same atmosphere as Venus. Therefore, the atmospheres of the Earth and Mars are not similar as well. The atmospheres of Mercury and Mars are not similar, because Mercury’s atmosphere contains oxygen, hydrogen, potassium, and water vapor on the contrary to Mars’s atmosphere containing mainly carbon dioxide. As the atmospheres of Mars and Venus contain similar chemical compositions, the atmospheres of Mercury and Venus are quite different. Atmospheres of Venus and Mars have similar chemical compositions. Carbon dioxide is the primary component of both atmospheres (Chaisson 98).
Compare the surfaces of Mercury and our Moon. How are they similar? How are they different?
The surfaces of Mercury and Moon have many craters because both planets have neither atmospheres nor water in liquid state. Both planets are subject to geologic activity - there are many volcanos there. The presence of a large quantity of volcanos conditioned significant temperature fluctuations on both planets. It is very cold at night and extremely hot during the day (Chaisson and McMillan 77).
Despite of many similarities, there are differences in surfaces of Moon and Mercury. On the contrary to Moon surface, the surface of Mercury has less smooth plains formed by basaltic lava. Cratering at Mercury is less heavy than on the Moon because surface gravity on Mercury is higher than on the Moon. Small craters on Mercury are concentrated around big craters unlike on the Moon. Erosion on the Moon is slower than on Mercury. The surface of Mercury is characterized by many wrinkles and scarps formed due to the gravity between the Sun and Mercury. The Moon does not have such surface characteristics because it is not subject to high gravity (Chaisson and McMillan 81).
Compare Venus's continents with those on Earth. What do they have in common? How are they different?
On the contrary to the Earth surface, the surface of Venus is smoother than that of the Earth. Highlands and lowlands are more smoothed than those on the Earth. The Earth has six continents, but Venus has only two continents called Aphrodite Terra and Ishtar Terra. However, Venus’s continents have mountains that are comparable in height to the mountains on the Earth. The continents of the Earth occupy much more space than those of Venus: total area occupied by the continents makes up 25% on the Earth and 8% on Venus (“The Surface of Venus” para 3).
Aphrodite Terra is similar to Africa. Like Africa, it is also located on Venus equator and is comparable in size to Africa. There is a suggestion that Aphrodite Terra was formed similarly to the Earth Mid-Atlantic Ridge as a result of clash of two tectonic plates. However, any tectonic activity was detected in the region of Aphrodite Terra (“The Surface of Venus” para 4).
Which of the following planets does not have rings?
Choose only one. a. Mars, b. Uranus, c. Neptune, d. Saturn, e. Jupiter.
The rings around the planets are likely to be formed around gas giants. There are two types of the rings the planets can have. The first type of ring is the one made of ice similar to those Saturn and Jupiter have. The rings formed when gravity of the planets interrupted the process of forming icy moons. Icy moons that stopped forming turned into the rings around the planets, such as Uranus, Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter. The second way of forming rings is crash of asteroids. In this case the debris starts to orbit a planet forming a ring until the ring crashes down (Chaisson 214).
Mars does not have rings because it was formed close to the Sun. The warmth radiated by the Sun does not allow Mars to have icy rings. However, it is likely that it will have in the future. If Phobos would crash into Mars then forming a ring according to the second type is quite possible.
What is liquid metallic hydrogen? Which planets contain this substance?'What produces this form of hydrogen?
Liquid metallic hydrogen is a phase of material that transforms to molecular solid under certain conditions. Liquid metallic hydrogen is hydrogen that experienced the impact of extreme pressure and temperature. Liquid metallic hydrogen appears when the temperature reaches about 10,000 degrees and the pressure increases thousands of times comparatively to the pressure at sea level. Normally, hydrogen is a gas. Extremely high pressure makes electrons move from one atom to another like in normal metals because atoms are very close to each other (Liquid Metallic Hydrogen n.p.).
Jupiter and Saturn contain this substance. This kind of substance is absent on the Earth because the conditions of the production of liquid metallic hydrogen cannot be duplicated at the Earth. Some of the researchers suggest that this kind of substance can be formed from the element Mercury. This element is a metallic liquid at surface pressure and at room temperature (Liquid Metallic Hydrogen n.p.).
Why are Uranus and Neptune distinctly bluer than Jupiter and Saturn?
Interestingly, Uranus and Neptune have dense clouds in their atmospheres similar to those of Saturn and Jupiter. This discovery was made due to spectroscopic studies examining sunlight reflections produced by these planets. The atmospheres contain molecular hydrogen (84%), helium (14%), and methane (2%). Methane is more abundant at Neptune and Uranus atmospheres. Ammonia presents in insignificant quantity unlike to the atmospheres of Jupiter and Saturn where it plays crucial role (“The Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune para 1).
Uranus and Neptune have atmospheres containing methane while Jupiter’s and Saturn’s atmospheres primarily contain hydrogen. Methane absorbs long-waved red light radiated by the Sun. The planets’ atmospheres reflect blue or blue-green light back into space. Blue coloration is due to the large quantity of methane in the atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune. The reflection appears bluer when the concentration of methane increases. The atmosphere of Uranus contains less methane than the atmosphere of Neptune. This is the reason why Uranus looks blue-green while Neptune looks more blue (“The Atmospheres of Uranus and Neptune para 2).
Space debris that is a roughly equal mix of rock and ice is called a (n): a. Asteroid, b. Comet, c. Meteoroid, d. Meteorite, e. Meteor.
Comet is space debris that contains equal mix of rock and ice.
Describe the different chemistries of the two tails of a comet.
Almost all comets have either ion or dust tail. Ion tail contains ionized atoms that emerge as a result of vaporizing ices. These particles are swept into a comet tail as a result of interaction with magnetic field. The tail of a comet points away from the Sun regardless of the direction a gases is affected by the solar wind in greater extent than the dust tail (Chaisson 214).
The major component of another tail of a comet is dust. Dust particles are mixing with other debris and ice vapor blown by the magnetic field are unleashed from the nucleus when ice vaporizes. Dust is left in the orbit of a comet being blown by the pressure of the light of the Sun. The dust tail forms a diffused trail of a comet. Occasionally, antitail of a comet can be seen. Antital is small tail pointing the opposite direction to that of ion and dust tail. It is considered the end of the dust tail.
Why do astronomers believe that the debris that creates many isolated meteors comes from asteroids, whereas the debris that creates meteor showers is related to comets?
Comets are made of dust and ice. During the life of a comet ice vaporizes from the comet surface. The movement of the comet provokes dust liberation. The dust and the comet have approximately the same speed. When dust liberates, it continues the same orbit with the comet. The spread out is very slowly in this case. Meteor shower appears when the Earth is moving through the cloud of dust that was formed (Chaisson 156).
Collisions that occur between celestial bodies are sometimes resulting in creation of isolated meteors. For example, the clashes of planetesimals and asteroids create isolated meteors. After such clashes, debris is scattering in different directions without forming any fragments.
Anonymous. “The Surface of Venus.” WedNet.edu. n.d. Web. 26 May 2013.
Arnett, Bill. “The Kuiper Belt and The Oort Cloud”. DNAAncestryProject. 18 March, 2007. Web. 26 May 2013.
Chaisson, Eric, and McMillan, Steve. Astronomy Today. 7th ed. New York: Addison-Wesley.
“Layers of the Atmosphere.” Living with a Star, 2002. Web. 26 May 2013.
Simanek, Donald E. “A Descriptive Explanation of Ocean Tides.” Donald Semanek website. n.d. Web. 26 May 2013.