Astronomy Study Guide: Solar System

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30 Questions

What stage of a star's life cycle does nuclear fusion occur?

Main sequence stage

What is the primary composition of terrestrial planets?

Silicate rocks and metals

What is the result of a star moving away from an observer?

Red shifting of the spectrum

What is the primary characteristic of a planet that differentiates it from other celestial bodies?

It has enough mass to form a roughly spherical shape

What type of asteroids are primarily composed of nickel and iron?

M-type asteroids

How long after the Big Bang did stable atoms begin to form?

300,000 years

What is unique about the planet Earth?

It has a unique atmosphere that supports life

What is the significance of comets in the formation of planets?

They seeded planets with water and organic matter

When did the first galaxies begin to form in the universe?

1 billion years after the Big Bang

What is the shape of the Milky Way galaxy?


What is the primary process that occurs at the core of a star?

Nuclear Fusion

What are the two main elements that make up a star?

Hydrogen and Helium

What is the main characteristic of main sequence stars?

They are fusing hydrogen to helium in their core.

Where are white dwarfs located on an H-R diagram?

Lower left side of the diagram.

What happens to a star when it becomes a red giant?

It expands as hydrogen ignites in its core.

What is the final stage of a star's life cycle for a massive star?

Black hole or neutron star.

What is a supernova?

The explosion of a very large star that temporarily gives off enormous energy.

What is a black hole?

A region of spacetime where gravity is so strong that nothing can escape.

What is the composition of Martian soil?

Rocks high in iron

Where is water found on Mars?

Trapped in polar ice caps below Mars' surface

What is the main characteristic of Jovian planets?

They are gassy, big, and cold

What is unique about the Great Red Spot on Jupiter?

It is a storm that is twice as big as Earth

Why do people on Earth not observe the 'dark side of the moon'?

The moon rotates at the same rate as its revolution around Earth

How was the moon formed?

Mars-sized objects crashed into Earth and blasted material into space

What is a meteor?

A rock that has entered the Earth's atmosphere

What is the term for the rocks that reach the surface of the Earth?


What occurs when magnetic energy is released from sunspots?

A solar flare occurs

What is the phase of the moon when the left side is visible and more than half of the light is visible?


What is the term for a large, bowl-shaped cavity in the ground or on a planet's surface?


What is the term for a collection of gas that has collapsed from a giant molecular cloud?


This quiz covers the basics of our solar system, including the number of planets, traits of a planet, types of asteroids, and the importance of comets. Test your knowledge of the solar system!

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