The Outer Planets
The Outer Planets
Can You Answer the Following Questions?
1. The two basic elements from which the planet Jupiter is composed
are _______________ and
2. When observing Jupiter and its colorful markings with a telescope,
or simply viewing the planet
3. Jupiter has zebra-like markings over much of its "surface."
Lighter stripes are called
4. The darker bands in the Jovian clouds represent areas where the
5. The colors which are observed on Jupiter may represent phase changes
or chemical reactions
6. The brown belts of Jupiter are COOLER/WARMER (circle one) than the white zones.
7. Major wind patterns experienced on a planet are a function of that
planet's heat budget and
8. On Jupiter, Saturn, and Neptune, areas of atmospheric motion in
opposite directions are often
9. Jupiter contains hurricanes of all sizes in the form of ovals,
large and small. The largest of these
10. The Great Red Spot lies in a zonal region south of the Jovian
equator. The atmosphere in this
11. Since air at the base of the Great Red Spot is converging and
rising, this feature can be
12. The Red Spot changes it position in longitude, but does not change
it location in latitude. This
13. Jupiter's meteorology is driven externally by the absorption
of radiation from the sun,
14. Jupiter would be expected to radiate MORE/LESS (circle one) energy
than it receives from
15. Jupiter is not to be considered a star in the making because its
mass is about
16. Describe two characteristics about the Jovian world which are
star-like in nature.
17. Jupiter is considered to be a liquid planet because it has an
extensive atmosphere and no solid
19. Jupiter is characterized by a strong magnetic field because it
_______________ very rapidly,
21. Jupiter possesses a ring which is VISIBLE/INVISIBLE (circle one)
from earth. Saturn,
22. This ring is composed of DUST/ICE (circle one) as compared to
Saturn's rings which are
23. The material which populates Jupiter's ring comes from particles
which are "sandblasted" from
24. State two ways in which the inner and outer Galilean satellites
imitate the terrestrial and Jovian
25. Because there is a relationship between the inner and outer planets,
and the inner and outer
26. Each successive moon of the Galilean group is about twice as far from the planet as the preceding satellite. The gravitational tugs and pulls of Jupiter on these satellites and the satellites' gravitational attractions for each other have produced geological activity of a wide variety. The Galilean moons, given below, are listed in order of increasing distance from Jupiter. State what modifications have taken place or are taking place to the surfaces of these bodies.
Satellite Geological Activity
a. Io : _____________________________________________________
27. There IS/IS NOT (circle one) a relationship between the distances of the Galilean moons from Jupiter and the geological activity present on their surfaces.
28. One key concept in understanding the extreme differences in the surface ages of Io and Callisto is attributable to the number of ____________________ each satellite possesses. Io's surface is considered to be NEW/OLD (circle one) while Callisto's surface is _______________ because _____________________________________.
29. The lack of high features, such as mountains or even hills on Europa, indicates that this satellite has a fairly active crust which may periodically _______________. This is probably why Europa has such few impact craters on its surface.
30. The grooved terrain which is characteristic of Callisto may indicate that this satellite went through a period of ____________________ before the surface froze.
31. The differences in the brightness of various features on Ganymede and Callisto may also give an indication of the age of the terrain. It is considered that the older regions of these satellites possess a HIGHER/LOWER (circle one) albedo because they have had much more time to sweep up dust.
32. State three similarities between the planets Jupiter and Saturn.
33. If placed in a bathtub filled with water and large enough to accommodate
its volume, Saturn
34. One would not infer a substantial core of nickel-iron or even
silicates at the center of the planet Saturn
because its ____________________________________________________
35. Saturn, because of its smaller size is internally WARMER/COOLER (circle one) than Jupiter. However, it radiates about 2.5 times more energy than it receives from the sun. This appears to be more energy than Jupiter, but remember Saturn is twice the distance of Jupiter from the sun and therefore only receives about one quarter the energy that reaches Jupiter.
36. An additional source of Saturn's internal heat supply could be the result of _______________ condensing in its atmosphere. This could be a major factor influencing why Saturn's weather is EXTERNALLY/INTERNALLY (circle one) induced.
37. Saturn shows the same zone and belt structure as seen on Jupiter. However, on Saturn, the belts and zones are less easily distinguished because the upper atmosphere is slightly colder, causing the planet to be immersed in a frozen ammonia _______________.
38. Because the "surface" gravity on Saturn is much weaker than Jupiter's "surface" gravity, the Saturnian atmosphere is DEEPER/MORE COMPRESSED (circle one) than the Jovian atmosphere. This would make it MORE/LESS (circle one) difficult to view features below the cloud tops.
39. Saturn generates its own magnetic field which is second only to Jupiter's in intensity. This indicates that structurally, Saturn probably possess a layer of ____________________ similar to Jupiter. Another reason which would support a strong magnetic field lies in Saturn's ____________________.
40. Saturn's magnetosphere does not contain the quantity of charged
particles which are part of the Jovian field.
State two reasons why this phenomenon is explainable.
41. Saturn's axial tilt is _______________ from the perpendicular to its orbital plane. As the planet revolves around the sun the axis always points in the same _______________. The rings of Saturn are found in the _______________ plane of the planet.
42. When Saturn's axis is tipped towards or away from the earth, we see the ring system _________________________. When we observe the rings in their own plane they ____________________.
43. The last statement is an indication that the rings of Saturn ________________________.
44. All of the major rings of Saturn, lie within the _______________ limit. A satellite which approaches to within 2.44 times the radius of its primary will ______________________.
45. State two mechanisms which could have created the rings of Saturn.
46. Give one reason to support the fact that the rings around Saturn
are not solid like the disk of a CD or record.
Hint: Consider what happens to the orbital speeds and periods of revolution
as planets get farther from the sun. This is
called Keplerian motion. Then consider the same situation
with respect to the rotational velocities of positions at increasing
distances from the center of a rotating disk.
47. There are three classical rings which were observed by earthbound observers and later confirmed by the _______________ and _______________ spacecraft which flew past the planet in 1979 (P11), 1980 (V1), and 1981 (V2).
48. These classical rings are called the _______________-ring, the _______________-ring, and the _______________-ring. An 1800 mile gap separates the _______________-ring from the _______________-ring, and is known as the _______________ division.
49. Flyby missions to Saturn established the D-ring, E-ring, F-ring, and the G-ring. Indicate their approximate locations with respect to the classical rings which were discovered with earthbound telescopes.
SATURN C B A
50. Orbital periods which are in certain whole number ratios to each other are called _______________ orbits.
51. The gravitational attraction of a moon for a band of ring particles
which have orbits which are in certain whole
number ratios to each other will tend to ________________________
52. Normally, photography of the planets involves creating an image from sunlight which has been _______________ from an object. However, if the sun is in back of very small, micron-sized dust or ice particles, this material can be photographed in _________________ light. There are 1000 microns in a millimeter and 25.4 millimeters per inch.
53. Using both techniques of photography, as mentioned in the last
statement, has allowed NASA scientists to interpret
the s_______________ and d_______________ of the ring particles. Below,
please capsulize this information with regard to Saturn's rings.
54. The rings of a planet over time should disperse outward and inward from their original boundaries. The objects which stabilize the narrow F-ring and keep the A-ring from widening are called _______________ satellites.
55. In the case of the F-ring where there are two moons, the satellite on the outside of the ring causes the ring particles to GAIN/LOSE (circle one) energy. This forces the ring material to move CLOSER/FARTHER (circle one) to/from the planet. Just the opposite is true for the inner moon of this duo.
56. Dust in the Saturnian ring system may become electrostatically charged from the plasma whirling inside the planet's magnetosphere. This dust is lifted several tens of meters above the ring plane to form the famous _______________ discovered by the Voyager probes. The period of revolution of the spokes is the same as the period of rotation of Saturn's ____________________. This gives another indication that this feature is magnetically influenced.
57. Saturn officially contains _______________ satellites although more are suspected. To be officially listed as a moon, the _______________ of the satellite must be known well enough to accurately predict the satellite's position at some future time.
58. Most of the satellites of Saturn have bulk densities of approximately 1.3 gm/cm3. This would lead one to suspect that these moons have compositions of varying quantities of _______________ and _______________. (Hint: Think general here. You are not looking for specific chemical compounds.)
59. The most interesting satellite of Saturn is planet-sized _______________ which possesses an _______________ substantially thicker than our own. It is composed primarily of _______________.
60. On this large satellite, mentioned in the previous problem, NH3, called _______________, is photodissociated by the _______________ radiation (specific type) from the sun. The hydrogen diffuses into space because the gravity of this satellite is too weak to retain this gas. This produces the mostly _______________ atmosphere of the satellite. The atmospheric pressure at Titan's surface is about twice that of the earth's air pressure at sea level.
61. The interaction of sunlight with CH4, _______________ (name of gas) induces chemical reactions that produce a variety of carbon hydrogen compounds called _______________. *These include ethane (C2H6), acetylene (C2H2), ethylene (C2H4), and propane (C3H8), which as aerosols gradually fall to the surface and coat the satellite. There will never be an "oil" crisis on this moon!
62. The temperature of Titan is also very cold, about -290° F (-180° C). This is near at the triple point of methane which means that this compound can exist simultaneously as a _______________, a _______________, and a _______________. What very important substance is near its triple point on the earth? _______________
*63. This satellite of Saturn looks like the Death Star because of a large meteorite crater which nearly broke the moon apart. The name of this moon is _______________.
*64. _______________ is the moon responsible for the Cassini Division
which divides Saturn's
*65. This moon, named _______________, may have geysers on its surface which spurt water into space to form the torus of ice particles which are known as the _______________-ring.
*66. _______________ has a light and a dark side to it. The leading hemisphere is almost black and may have become coated when it swept up dark carbonaceous material during Saturn's capture of its most distant satellite, Phoebe, which was probably an asteroid. Phoebe moves in a retrograde orbit.
67. The planet Uranus was discovered by the German-English astronomer William ________________, on March 13, 1781 while conducting a survey of the nighttime sky visible from England.
68. The axial tilt of Uranus is such that its poles almost lie in the _______________ plane of the solar system. The poles always point in the same _______________. Therefore, as Uranus revolves around the sun in its 84 year period, each pole and the equator is alternately exposed to seasons of high sun lasting _______________ years.
69. The masses of Jupiter and Saturn are significantly HIGHER/LOWER (circle one) than Uranus and Neptune, yet the densities of the two largest planets are MORE/LESS (circle one). This indicates that Uranus and Neptune are composed of materials which are HEAVIER/LIGHTER (circle one) than Jupiter and Saturn.
70. Images returned from the spacecraft _______________ showed that Uranus possessed A LARGE NUMBER OF/VIRTUALLY NO (circle one) features in its clouds. This served as an indicator that the atmosphere of Uranus is probably VERY DEEP/SHALLOW (circle one).
71. A method of measuring the internal rotational period of a planet, such as Uranus, is to determine the period of rotation of that planet's ____________________. This was accomplished for Uranus, and it was discovered that the rotational spin axis does not point in the same _______________ as the magnetic spin axis. Uranus' magnetic field is tilted some 60 degrees from its rotational axis and offset from the center of the planet by about 30 percent.
72. This discrepancy has lead some astronomers to surmise that early
in the history of Uranus, it was probably ___________________________________________________________
73. The density of Uranus' five "classical" satellites are approximately 1.5 gm/cm3 indicating that they are composed of a mixture of _______________ and _______________. This IS/IS NOT (circle one) consistent with what one would expect at this distance from the sun.
74. Probably the most interesting satellite of Uranus is _______________
which appears to have light and dark surface
features ?emented' together in a rather weird angular pattern. This
can be explained by the fact that this moon
was probably broken ________________
75. The Uranian ring system was discovered by EARTH-BASED OBSERVATIONS/VOYAGER 2 (circle one) in 1977.
76. Uranus' 11 rings are composed of _______________ materials which have a HIGH/LOW albedo (circle one).
77. Neptune possesses a DEEP/SHALLOW (circle one) atmosphere which
is probably divided into several layers.
78. The layering of Neptune's atmosphere was revealed by clouds in the methane level which cast _______________ onto the lower level.
79. The composition of Neptune's atmosphere is about three quarters _______________ and about one quarter _______________. Methane contributes about one percent of this total.
80. Neptune possesses an anticyclonic (high pressure) feature known as the _______________. This region, as well as a small dark spot, and the Scooter are made visible by _______________ clouds which form when this gas cools and condenses as it is forced over these weather systems.
81. Just like Uranus, Neptune's ____________________ is tilted at a steep angle (48 degrees) to its rotational axis, and it is offset from the planet's _______________ by about 55 percent of Neptune's radius.
82. The four tenuous rings which Neptune possesses are all composed
83. Neptune possesses _______________ satellites. Two of these were
discovered many years before Voyager 2 flew
past the planet. Of importance are:
84. Triton, one of the major satellites of the solar system, is similar in size to _______________. It probably has a thin 100 mile (160 km) water-ice crust, a similarly thick slushy magma layer of water, methane, and ammonia, followed by a 1500 mile (2400 km) rocky core.
85. Triton is the only large body in the solar system with a retrograde orbit. It was probably a former small _______________ captured by Neptune.
86. In the south polar region of Triton, volcanic activity in the form of _______________ has been photographed. Sunlight may warm the transparent nitrogen ice in this region at depths of tens of feet (5-10 meters), causing pockets of liquid nitrogen and nitrogen gas to form under great pressure. These break through weak zones in the ice to spray jets of gas and ice skyward to heights of five miles (8 km). The thin atmosphere which is 70,000 times less dense than on earth, is created by the activity mentioned above.
87. Pluto was discovered in 1930 by the American astronomer Clyde W. _______________, who at 90 (1996) still pursues his professional interests on the lecture circuit and from his home observatory in Mesilla Park, New Mexico.
88. State two reasons why Pluto does not fit into the category of
an inner or an outer planet.
89. Compositionally, Pluto best represents some of the PLANETS/SATELLITES (circle one) of the outer solar system. However, based upon eccentricity of orbit (0.25) and orbital inclination (17 degrees), it appears as if Pluto could be a larger and more distant _______________
90. Formally, Pluto was considered to have been an escaped satellite of _______________; but the discovery of Pluto's moon, _______________, and the half dozen new satellites of Neptune which orbit in its equatorial plane, have made this theory more difficult to accept.
91. The Pluto-Charon system represents the _______________ ratio of
primary to secondary bodies in the solar system.
The earth-moon system comes in second.
92. The rotation of Pluto and the revolution of Charon are _______________, occurring once in every 6.39 days.
93. Pluto's possesses a very tenuous _______________ (composition) atmosphere, about 100 times less dense than Triton.