• List the inner planets.
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars
2. List the outer planets.
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune & Pluto
3. a. Which planets are terrestrial?
b. What does terrestrial mean?
Made of rock or land.
4. What planets are Jovian? Why?
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
All are made of gas.
5. Which planet is neither terrestrial or Jovian?
6. How does Mercury’s period of rotation compare to its
period of revolution?
It takes less time for Mercury to pass through a year
than it does to go through 2 days.
1 year = 88 Earth days; 1 day = 59 Earth days
7. Why is it difficult to observe Mercury’s surface from Earth?
Because it is too close to the sun (sun too bright).
8. Which body in the solar system is Mercury’s surface and
atmosphere similar to?
9. Why do scientists believe that Venus has tectonic activity?
Because of radar images of Venus’s surface.
10. Describe what happens to Venus as a result of its thick
carbon dioxide layer.
The Greenhouse Effect
11. When is Mercury visible?
As the morning star at sunrise or the evening star at
12. When Venus is visible as the morning star, where is it located
in relationship to the sun?
West of the Sun
13. How are Earth and Mars alike?
They both have a similarly tilted axis, seasons and polar ice
14. Why do scientists think Mars once had water?
The Valles Marineris (canyon) looks like it was created by
15. What type of structure are Jovian planets thought to have?
Three-layered (rock core, liquid mantle, and outer layer of
hydrogen & helium gas)
16. What do all Jovian planets have in common?
Made of H and He
Larger than terrestrial
17. What characteristic do the Jovian ring systems have?
Particles orbit independently.
They are closer to the planets than any major moons.
They are centered over the planets equator.
18. How much heat does Jupiter radiate?
More than it absorbs from the sun.
19. What causes Jupiter’s auroras?
The interaction between its magnetic field and the solar
20. How are Saturn’s colored bands oriented?
They are parallel to Saturn’s equator.
21. Compare Jupiter and Saturn by the following traits:
Traits Jupiter Saturn
Magnetic Field Stronger Weaker
Winds Speeds Weaker Stronger
Light received More Less
Colored Bands More Less
22. How do the daytime and nighttime temperatures
compare on Uranus?
They are about the same.
23. How is Uranus’s axis oriented?
The axis is horizontal so south pole points toward Sun.
24. Why can scientists accurately measure the rotation rate
Its magnetic field & rotational axis points in different
25. Describe Pluto’s orbit.
The distance from the sun varies more than any other
26. What are satellites?
Any object (natural or artificial) that orbits another body.
27. List and describe the moons of Mars.
Phobos and Deimos are irregularly
shaped and marked with impact craters.
28. Which planets lack satellites?
Mercury and Venus.
29. What do geologists believe caused the grooves
on the lighter areas of Jupiter’s moon, Ganymede?
Movement of crystal plates of ice.
30. Describe Jupiter’s moon, Io.
The surface varies in color from yellow to orange-red;
The atmosphere contains sulfur dioxide (SO2)
Io has erupting volcanoes.
31. What is the most abundant gas in Titan’s
90 to 100% nitrogen
32. How is Saturn’s moon, Titan, different from all other
moons in our solar system?
Titan has an atmosphere.
33. Which of Uranus’s moons has huge, faulted valleys?
34. Which of Uranus’s moons has an unusual dark
35. Uranus’s moon with the partly flooded craters.
36. Which of Uranus’s moons has a cratered surface with
crisscrossed with valleys and faults?
37. The moon of Uranus with the V-shaped grooves and parallel
ridges over the surface.
38. What is the name of Pluto’s moon?
39. How did Fred Whipple describe the nucleus of a comet after
observing Comet Halley in 1986?
A dirty snowdrift (prior to this described them as dirty
40. Why was a comet named after
He correctly predicted its return.
41. When does a comet develop
When it comes close to the sun.
42. Where is a comet’s tail relative to the sun?
It always points away from the sun.
The solar wind blows it away from the sun.
42. Where is the densest part of a comet?
At the center.
43. What is Ceres? When was Ceres discovered?
The largest asteroid. This spherical asteroid was discovered in
45. In what way are asteroids like planets?
They are similar in their direction of revolution around the sun.
46. Why does Earth regularly experience meteor showers?
In the Earth’s path around the sun, it regularly enters meteor
47. Put the following terms in the correct order of development:
Meteor, meteorite, meteoroid.
Meteoroid, meteor, meteorite.
48. List the meteorite types in order from most common to least
Stones, irons, stony-irons.
49. On which continent have most meteorites
been found since 1969?
50. How was the Barringer Meteorite crater believed to have
The Earth was struck by an iron meteorite.
51. Why are impact craters common surface features on
Mercury and many moons in the solar system?
Mercury and most moons have little or no atmosphere and
are geologically inactive (no volcanoes, etc.)
The Barringer Meteorite Crater (also known as
"Meteor Crater") is a gigantic hole in the
middle of the arid sandstone of the Arizona
desert. A rim of smashed and jumbled
boulders, some of them the size of small
houses, rises 150 feet above the level of the
surrounding plain. The crater itself is nearly a
http://www.barringercrater.com/science/ mile wide, and 570 feet deep.