ASTR 1P01/02: Introduction to Astronomy I/II
Practice Questions

Please solve the following questions. This is not an assignment, it will not be graded, and you do not need to submit your solutions to anyone. The questions are simply intended to help you practice for the exam.

These questions will not appear in the exam itself. Students who don't genuinely attempt to solve the questions on their own, and only memorize the solutions, will have a very hard time in the actual exam!

These questions are not multiple-choice, to encourage you to think of the answers on your own, but the questions in the actual exam will be multiple-choice.

If you need any clarifications for these questions, you can ask for them on the course Teams channel.

Question 1

What are the components of the solar system?

Question 2

Where in the solar system have human beings landed so far?

Question 3

What do all the planets' orbits have in common?

Question 4

Which are the terrestrial planets?

Question 5

What is an AU (astronomical unit)?

Question 6

How big is Saturn?

Question 7

What is the least dense planet in the solar system?

Question 8

What is the least massive planet in the solar system?

Question 9

Which planet's distance from the Sun is about half the distance of Saturn?

Question 10

How do asteroids differ in composition from comets?

Question 11

What is the difference between a meteor and a meteorite?

Question 12

What is differentiation, in the context of planets?

Question 13

Is it possible to build a house on Jupiter?

Question 14

What can we find by counting impact craters on a celestial object, and what is the disadvantage of this technique?

Question 15

What can we predict about the emission of radiation from atomic nuclei? What can't we predict?

Question 16

I have 1 kg of radioactive atoms with a half-life of 2 years. How much of these atoms do I have left after 8 years?

Question 17

I have a 4 kg sample. 1 kg of the atoms are radioactive, with a half-life of 20 years. The other 3 kg are decay products of these radioactive atoms. How long ago was the sample created?

Question 18

Which decay product of Potassium-40 is used for radioactive dating of rocks?

Question 19

Could I use Uranium-238 to date a sample that I know to be less than 1000 years old?

Question 20

What is a solar nebula?

Question 21

What are planetesimals?

Question 22

Which planet's surface was mapped by the Magellan mission?

Question 23

When was the first landing of a human-made probe in the outer solar system?

Question 24

Which two planets in the solar system are the least explored, and why?

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