Worksheet: The Structure of the Solar System

In this worksheet, we will practice describing the different types of objects that are found in the solar system and the formation of the solar system.

Q1:

Which of the following is the correct definition of a moon?

  • AA moon is a naturally occurring object that orbits a planet. Moons usually have almost circular orbits.
  • BA moon is a man-made object that orbits a planet. Moons usually have almost circular orbits.
  • CA moon is a man-made object that orbits the Sun within the asteroid belt.
  • DA moon is a naturally occurring object that orbits the Sun. Moons usually have almost circular orbits.
  • EA moon is a naturally occurring object that orbits the Sun with a highly elliptical orbit.

Q2:

Which of the following correctly describes a protostar?

  • AA protostar is a type of star which emits no light but a very high number of protons.
  • BA protostar is a hot dense cloud of gas that has not yet begun nuclear fusion in its core.
  • CA protostar is a type of star that only appears close to the galactic center.
  • DA protostar is a newly-formed star.
  • EA protostar is a type of star that only appeared in the early universe.

Q3:

Which of the following is the correct definition of a comet?

  • AA comet is a mass of metal that orbits the Sun. Comets usually have highly elliptical orbits.
  • BA comet is a mass of ice and dust that orbits the Sun with a perfectly circular orbit.
  • CA comet is a mass of ice and dust that orbits the Sun. Comets usually have highly elliptical orbits.
  • DA comet is a mass of rock and metal that orbits the Sun with a perfectly circular orbit.
  • EA comet is a mass of ice and rock that orbits a planet. Comets usually have highly elliptical orbits.

Q4:

A protostar is formed when a cloud of dust and gas is pulled inward due to the force of . The of the dust and gas is converted into kinetic energy. As the particles collide, the kinetic energy is converted into .

  • Agravitational attraction, potential energy, heat
  • Belectrostatic attraction, potential energy, potential energy
  • Cgravitational attraction, chemical energy, potential energy
  • Delectrostatic attraction, heat, potential energy
  • Egravitational attraction, heat, potential energy

Q5:

A protostar becomes a star when the becomes hot enough to initiate .

  • Acore, nuclear fission
  • Bouter layers, nuclear fission
  • Couter layers, nuclear fusion
  • Dcore, oxidization
  • Ecore, nuclear fusion

Q6:

Approximately, how many years ago did the Sun form?

  • A40 million years ago
  • B 4,000 years ago
  • C4 million years ago
  • D4 billion years ago
  • E14 billion years ago

Q7:

Which of the following are requirements for liquid water to form on the surface of a planet?

  1. The planet must have a radius larger than 5,000 km.
  2. The surface temperature of the planet must be between 0C and 100C.
  3. The planet must have a dense atmosphere.
  4. The planet must have an atmosphere comprising mainly oxygen.
  5. The planet must have a perfectly circular orbit.
  • Ab and c
  • Be and d
  • Ca and e
  • Db and a
  • Ed and b

Q8:

Which of the following correctly describes what is meant by the “habitable zone” around a star?

  • AA range of possible orbits around a star where rocky planets can form
  • BA range of possible orbits around a star where ultraviolet radiation is below a certain level
  • CA range of possible orbits around a star where liquid water can easily form on the surfaces of planets
  • DA range of possible orbits around a star where planets can have atmospheres
  • EA range of possible orbits around a star where planets are shielded from asteroids

Q9:

In our solar system, what type of planets are found closest to the Sun?

  • ASuper-Earths
  • BGas dwarfs
  • CGas giants
  • DRocky planets
  • EIce giants

Q10:

What type of planet is Uranus?

  • AA rocky planet
  • BAn ice giant
  • CA gas giant
  • DA brown dwarf

Q11:

What type of planet is Venus?

  • AA gas giant
  • BA brown dwarf
  • CAn ice giant
  • DA rocky planet

Q12:

Which planet in the solar system is closest to the Sun?

  • AEarth
  • BMars
  • CUranus
  • DMercury
  • EVenus

Q13:

What type of planet is Saturn?

  • AAn ice giant
  • BA rocky planet
  • CA gas giant

Q14:

What is the largest planet in the solar system?

  • ASaturn
  • BMercury
  • CJupiter
  • DMars
  • EVenus

Q15:

An astronomer sees a bright object in the sky using her telescope. She sees that there are jets of dust and steam coming from the side of the object that is facing away from the Sun. She also sees that the object has a highly elliptical orbit. What kind of object is she looking at?

  • AA comet
  • BA planet
  • CA moon
  • DAn asteroid

Q16:

Which of the following is the correct definition of an asteroid?

  • AAn asteroid is a mass of rock and metal that orbits the Sun. Asteroids are usually found in the asteroid belt.
  • BAn asteroid is a large object that orbits the Sun, which is mostly made of hydrogen and helium.
  • CAn asteroid is a man-made object that orbits a planet in a circular orbit.
  • DAn asteroid is a mass of ice and dust that orbits the Sun. Asteroids usually have highly elliptical orbits.
  • EAn asteroid is a naturally occurring object that orbits a planet. Asteroids usually have almost circular orbits.

Q17:

Which of the following is not a moon in our solar system?

  • AGanymede
  • BTitan
  • CUranus
  • DEuropa
  • ECallisto

Q18:

Which of the following is a moon in our solar system?

  • AUranus
  • BPluto
  • CIo
  • DMars
  • EJupiter

Q19:

The diagram shows three objects orbiting a star.

What type of orbit do objects A and C have?

  • AParabolic
  • BElliptical
  • CHelical
  • DHyperbolic
  • ECircular

What type of orbit does object B have?

  • AHyperbolic
  • BCircular
  • CHelical
  • DElliptical
  • EParabolic

Object B is approximately spherical, with a radius of 5 km. It is made of ice and rock. What kind of object is it?

  • AA comet
  • BA planet
  • CA dwarf planet
  • DAn asteroid
  • EA meteor

Q20:

The diagram shows the orbits of the four inner rocky planets of the solar system (not to scale). What name is given to the region that is shaded blue?

  • AThe habitable zone
  • BZone 1
  • CZone 3
  • DThe asteroid belt

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