Pre-Final Quiz Answers

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The Andromeda Galaxy is a “spiral galaxy” probably not very different from our own ... 3. Spin-orbit resonance. (Points: 1). Which among the following planetary, ...

CREATED  BY:  Brandon  Brisbois  &  Devin  Healy   1. The Andromeda Galaxy (Points: 1)

The Andromeda Galaxy is a “spiral galaxy” probably not very different from our own Milky Way. What is our current best estimate of the number of stars in the Andromeda Galaxy? About 400 billion. 2. Earth's magnetic field (Points: 1)

The Earth's global magnetic field is maintained by A geodynamo that produces a field through a process closely tied to the circulation of fluid iron in the liquid layer of Earth's core.

3. Spin-orbit resonance (Points: 1)

Which among the following planetary, solar-planet or planet-moon pairs does not show spin-orbit resonant coupling? Neptune and Uranus in orbit about the Sun. 4. Moon's recession (Points: 1)

We have, since the Apollo astronauts installed laser retro-reflecting mirrors on the surface of the Moon, measured the increasing distance between Earth and the Moon and (hence) the lengthening orbital period . The fact that the Moon is slowly retreating from the Earth at about 3.8 cm/yr is a consequence of: a transfer of angular momentum from the Earth’s rotation to the moon’s orbital revolution as a consequence of tidal friction on the Earth. 5. Mar's atmospheric pressure (Points: 1)

The pressure of Mars' atmosphere at its surface (complete sentence) is about 0.01 (1- one hundredth) that of the Earth's atmospheric pressure. 6. Earthquake distribution (Points: 1)

About 70% of all earthquakes occur along the subduction zones. About 10% occur within the interior of tectonic plates well away from plate margins. Most of the remainder occur? Where lithospheric plates are either separating or slipping past each other.

7. On shield volcanoes in the Solar System (Points: 1)

Which of the following volcanoes is not a shield volcano? Mt. Fuji on Earth. 8. Cosmological models.. (Points: 1)

The "Big Bang" cosmological model essentially replaced the previously accepted "Steadystate" model when "quasars" were discovered in the early 1960s. Since then, Alan Guth has elaborated the model to the "Inflationary Big Bang" model which has been further refined by a host of astrophysicists into the current "Concordance model" which integrates all cosmological data so-far obtained. Who is credited with the proposal of the"Big Bang" model? Georges LeMaitre 9. Elements formed in Big Bang (Points: 1)

The original "Big Bang" explosion of the universe (choose one completion of the sentence) Produced vast quantities of only hydrogen (1H, 2H) and helium (3He, 4He) along with very small traces of lithium (7Li) and beryllium (6Be,7Be) within the first few seconds. 10. Expansion (Points: 1)

We see the Universe to be expanding from every interior point and in all directions. When we reverse this expansion by mathematical-physical modelling, we find that Time and space of our Universe seem to have originated 13.7 billion years ago. 11. Jack Hills zircons (Points: 1)

Which of the following radiogenic dating methods have determined the age of the oldest of the Jack Hills detrital zircons? Uranium-lead sequence using 238U → 206Pb, 235U → 207Pb concordia methods. 12. On age of meteorites... (Points: 1)

The oldest meteorites that are found to have fallen onto Earth have "ages" that cluster up against what age? Note that we take this to define the "age of Earth". 4.567 billion years.

13. On galactic rotation (Points: 1)

In the mid-1970s, Vera Rubin discovered that stars orbiting around galaxies did not show orbital speeds that corresponded to the expectation of a Newtonian gravitational rule. Her work confirmed what new understanding of the character of galaxies? Galaxies contain more interior mass than we can see; hence the quantitative measurement of the amount of Dark Matter. 14. On the concept of half life... (Points: 1)

If we were to start with N radiogenic nuclei of a given half life, how many would we expect to have after a period of 3 half lives? N/8 15. Acasta Gneiss... (Points: 1)

Not withstanding the possibility that older rocks have been found at Porpoise Cove, the oldest rocks that we, so-far, know of on Earth are from the Acasta Gneiss complex in the Northwest Territories of Canada. Zircons within these rocks have been dated to what age? Between 3.96 and 4.03 billion years 16. Big Bang age... (Points: 1)

Our current best estimate for the time of the "Big Bang" moment is (Recall 1 billion years = 109 years in scientific numerical measure.): 13.73 ± 0.12 billion years ago.

17. Henriette Leavitt's discovery (Points: 1)

Until 1928, what we now know to be the Andromeda Galaxy was thought to be a swirling "nebular cloud" that might be another Solar System in the early stages of formation. Henriette Leavitt and Edwin Hubble discovered a particular type of star and showed that such stars existed within the nebula. This proved that Andromeda was actually a gigantic galaxy at great distance. What kind of star did they discover and then use to show the great distance of Andromeda? The Cepheid variable. 18. Hertzsprung-Russell (Points: 1)

A star like our Sun sits on the "main-sequence" of the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram which plots a star's absolute magnitude against its colour class. A "main-sequence" star (complete the sentence) is one that is presently in its hydrogen-to-helium (H → He) fusion stage.

19. Number of galaxies (Points: 1)

Our Universe is vast. By counting the number of galaxies we can see over very small sample areas of the sky and then extrapolating to cover the whole celestial sphere, we come to an estimate of the total number of galaxies in our Universe. How many? At least 200-400 billion. 20. Oldest minerals (Points: 1)

The oldest minerals on Earth (i.e. apart from those that have been brought to Earth by meteorites) are zircons found in sediments in Australia. The oldest of them have been dated by uranium-lead methods to what age? about 4.4 billion years 21. Oldest rocks from Moon (Points: 1)

The oldest rocks returned from the Moon by the astronauts of the Apollo Mission have been dated using various radioactive decay series to what age? About 4.44 billion years 22. Proxima Centauri (Points: 1)

Among the stars we know, the one closest to the Sun is called Proxima Centauri. It is invisible to the naked (unaided) eye. Why? It is a very small, dim red dwarf star with an apparent magnitude of only 11.5. 23. Radioactive decay of potassium-40 into argon-40 and calcium-40 (Points: 1) 40

K (potassium-40) decays to 40Ar (argon-40) through nuclear capture of an electron and to 40Ca (calcium-40) through emission of a β particle. The decay half-life is approximately 1.26 billion years. The oldest rocks on Earth show ages of about 4 billion years. If a zircon crystal in these rocks formed 4 billion years ago with 1000 atoms of 40K and no 40Ar or 40Ca, what would we expect the ratio (40Ar + 40Ca)/40K to be within it today if it had not been since melted or otherwise damaged? about 7/1 (ie., 7X as much 40Ar + 40Ca as 40K) 24. Sun spectral type (Points: 1)

Our Sun is classified as (complete sentence) G2 yellow dwarf star.

25. The Baby Picture (Points: 1)

We can see back in time (and far away) with optical, infrared and radio telescopes to the time, following the "Big Bang" when the Universe first became transparent to light (electromagnetic radiation). We can't see farther or earlier! The Universe at that time is "seen" as the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) radiation which, now, has cooled to an average temperature of 2.72 K. How long after the apparent moment of the "Big Bang" did our Universe become transparent to light? Our current best estimate is: about 380 000 years.

26. Following the "Big Bang" (Points: 1)

Within about 1 second of the explosion of the "Big Bang", (complete sentence) leptons and quarks condensed from the pure energy field produced in the explosion. 27. Nucleosynthesis... (Points: 1)

While the "Big Bang" directly only produced the simplest of the atomic elements, nucleosynthetic processes in stars have since built the complex and rich chemistry that we now have on Earth. These nucleosynthetic processes that are responsible for the fires of stars are thought to begin, first and in all stars, with one that synthesizes what element and isotope? 1

H (hydrogen) is first synthesized into 4He (helium). This is the hydrogen-fusion process.

28. On geological clock - 1 (Points: 1)

The earliest "era" designated by the "Geological Clock" is determined as that time in Earth's history preceding the earliest rock record. While we have zircons that crystallized during this era we only have a rock record as far back as, possibly, 4.28 billion years. That would, then, place the recent boundary of what "era" (by name) at somewhere preceding this date? The Hadean 29. Dense atmospheres... (Points: 1)

Indicate all the planets or moons in this list that have atmospheres thicker or denser than that of Earth. A. Mars B. Jupiter C. Uranus D. Mercury E. Titan B, C, E

30. Diameters of the planets... (Points: 1)

Order from largest (indicated by 1) to smallest (indicated by 5), the diameters of the terrestrial planets and Earth's moon. Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, Earth’s Moon

31. Magnesium - iron ratio (Points: 1)

93% of the chemical elements that comprise the Earth could be modelled by the mineral olivine with a 1:1 magnesium-iron ratio. What is the Mg:Feratio of the olivine xenoliths that are brought to the surface in basaltic lava flows? Mg:Fe = 9:1 32. Mercury's spin-orbit coupling... (Points: 1)

Mercury takes 88 days to complete one orbit of the Sun. It's rotation (spin on its axis) is coupled to this orbital period. How? Mercury spins 3x on its axis during the period of 2 of its revolutions about the Sun. 33. Polar craters on Mercury... (Points: 1)

Scans of Mercury made by Earth-based radar indicate that craters at Mercury's poles (complete the sentence or paragraph) contain water ice. This is possible because the floors of the craters are permanently shielded from sunlight, so the temperature never gets high enough to melt the ice.

34. So much oxygen... (Points: 1)

Among the relatively light elements, O (oxygen) with atomic mass about 16amu is much more abundant within Earth and the other terrestrial planets than are other light elements such as N (nitrogen), C (carbon) and Ne (neon). The latter elements are relatively abundant in the Sun. How is it that the terrestrial planets preferentially accumulated so much oxygen? Oxygen was combined into mineral silicates and oxides that comprised a large proportion of the dusts in the inner region of the early solar nebula. 35. Andrea Ghez' discovery... (Points: 1)

In the September 21, 2000 issue of Nature, Andrea Ghez et al. announced a discovery based, essentially, on Newton's Law of Gravity. What was that discovery? At the centre of the Milky Way galaxy, there is a supermassive black hole having a mass of more than 3 million Suns.

36. Composition of Earth's outer core (Points: 1)

We know that the Earth's outer core is less dense than pure iron at the temperatures and pressures that exist in the core. This suggests that the outer core has other, lighter elements dissolved into the molten iron. What are the best candidates for these light elements? Choose the correct group of 3. Note: This question counts for 2 marks. S (sulphur), Si (silicon) and O (oxygen) 37. Lunar tides.... (Points: 1)

As this quiz begins, Sunday midnight here in Montreal, the Moon is just about to rise. What is the lunar contribution to the body tide of the Earth, here, just as the Moon is rising? It contributes to a lowering of the body tide. 38. Widminstatten pattern... (Points: 1)

Widminstatten patterning seen in many meteorites is due to what condition? The Widminstatten pattern is due to very slow cooling and crystallization deep within insulating bodies. 39. Adiabatic gradient... (Points: 1)

Which of the following statements best describes the concept of adiabatic gradient in Earth's mantle? The adiabatic temperature gradient is that variation in temperature with depth in the mantle that is determined by the increasing pressure with depth. 40. Continental drift (Points: 1)

We now know that the continental crust of the Earth has been in motion, laterally, over Earth's surface for eons. Why is the crust in lateral motion? Convective circulation of the Earth's mantle forced by the transport of heat from the deeper regions to the cool surface of the planet moves the continents about on relatively rigid tectonic plates. 41. Galiean moons ... (Points: 1)

In 1610, Galileo observed 4 moons in orbit about Jupiter. It may be that Marius also observed these moons in the same year but they are now known as the Galiean moons of Jupiter. Which of the following are among these moons? Are: Calisto, Io Are not: Triton, Titan, Enceladus

42. If a planet were hollow... (Points: 1)

If a planet were hollow, what would be its axial Moment of Inertia (i.e., referenced to its rotation axis)? I = 0.66...mpap2, where mp is the mass of the planet and ap is the planet's radius. 43. Largest "megathrust earthquakes" (Points: 1)

The largest "megathrust earthquakes" occur (where?) at various places along zones of convergence (subduction zones) between tectonic plates. 44. Plate margins... (Points: 1)

Match the plate margin with the type of tectonics occurring on that margin. Column preview Cascadia subduction zone oceanic-continental convergent margin Tonga trench

oceanic-oceanic convergent margin

Aleutian arc

oceanic-oceanic convergent margin

Mid-Atlantic ridge

oceanic divergent margin

East African rift valleys

continental divergent zone

45. San Andreas - Anatollian faults (Points: 1)

The San Andreas and North Anatollian fault zones arise on what type of tectonic margins Transform 46. Titan's atmosphere... (Points: 1)

Which among the following gases are important constituents of the Titanian atmosphere? H2 (molecular hydrogen) No N2 (molecular nitrogen)


SO2 (sulphur dioxide)


O2 (molecular oxygen)


CH4 (methane)


47. Widening Atlantic basin (Points: 1)

We now know that the Atlantic Ocean basin is widening at a rate of about 2.5 to 3.5 cm/year. Why is the Atlantic Ocean widening? Upwelling magmas due to the convective circulation of the Earth's mantle forced by the transport of heat from the deeper regions of the planet continually opens and freezes into the oceanic lithosphere along the mid-Atlantic ridge. 48. Crustal composition (Points: 1)

The most abundant element in Earth's crust is (choose element) Oxygen (O) 49. Earthquake distribution... (Points: 1)

About 70% of all earthquakes occur along the subduction zones. About 10% occur within the interior of tectonic plates well away from plate margins. Most of the remainder occur? Where lithospheric plates are either separating or slipping past each other. 50. On tangential orbital velocities... (Points: 1)

The tangential orbital velocity of a planet in orbit about a star or Sun at a given radial distance depends upon the mass of the attracting central body. How? The cube of the tangential velocity is proportional to the square of the central mass. 51. San Francisco 1906 (Points: 1)

Complete the following sentence: The great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 took place along a transform margin between two tectonic plates. 52. Spin-orbit resonance... (Points: 1)

Which among the following planetary, solar-planet or planet-moon pairs does not show spin-orbit resonant coupling? Neptune and Uranus in orbit about the Sun.

53. Volcanism on other bodies... (Points: 1)

Match the body (planet or moon) with the statement concerning volcanism on that body.

Column preview Mercury

shows no current or recent volcanic activity


shows current or very recent volcanic activity


shows current or very recent volcanic activity


shows no current or recent volcanic activity

Enceladus shows current or very recent volcanic activity 54. At 10 pC distance... (Points: 1)

Which of the following objects or groups would be seen to have the lowest magnitude (i.e. most negative magnitude) if it were to be located at 10 pC (parsecs) distance. The full grouping of stars of the Andromeda Galaxy.

55. Bolometric magnitude... (Points: 1)

The visual magnitude scale is determined by the light emitted by a star at wavelengths between about 400nm and 700nm, the human visual color range. What determines the bolometric magnitude scale? The bolometric magnitude measures the total brightness across all wavelengths of light emitted by stars. 56. Early models and myths (Points: 1)

The Epic of Gilgamesh is, perhaps, the oldest written story of humankind. What culture or civilization was responsible for this first story? The Sumerians of Ur whose civilization was established in what is present day Iraq 57. Oceans (Points: 1)

The total mass of the waters of Earth's oceans is substantially less than the total mass of Earth's atmosphere. False

58. On measurement of the distances to the farthest galaxies (Points: 1)

Our confirmations of the distances to the farthest-away galaxies in the Universe are "calibrated" by what exceptional means? Type Ia supernovae are used as the "standard candle" to confirm the distances to the most distant galaxies because we have a very good understanding of just how bright these supernovae are. 59. On temperature in the Solar System (Points: 1)

One measure of temperature is that determined by the equilibrium influx and outflux of radiation from a black body. This black-body temperature within the Solar System varies with distance from the Sun. How does it vary? The black-body temperature decreases as the square-root of distance from the Sun. 60. Red Giant... (Points: 1)

Only one of the following stars is classified as a Red Giant. Which one? Betelgeuse


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