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56 Cards in this Set

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___________ is the spinning of an object on its axis.
Rotation. The rotation of a planet causes day and night.
Earth takes _______ to complete a full rotation.
24 hours. Our days are approximately equal to one full rotation of the Earth.
Most planets and moons rotate from ___________.
West to east. Most planets in our solar system rotate in the same direction as their solar orbit.
An east-to-west rotation is considered _________.
Retrograde. This is the opposite of most planetary rotation.
_______, Uranus, and Pluto have anomolous rotations.
Venus. Venus and the dwarf planet Pluto rotate east to west (in retrograde) and Uranus rotates perpendicular to its orbit.
In 2006, Pluto was classified as a ____________.
Dwarf planet. The presence of other large, non-planetary bodies in our solar system resulted in the reclassification of Pluto.
The dwarf, or minor planets of our solar system include Pluto, _______ and Ceres.
Eris. Eris is the largest known dwarf planet in the solar system.
______ is the smallest known dwarf planet in our solar system.
Ceres. Although smaller than the other dwarf planets, Ceres is the largest object in the Asteroid Belt.
The orbitary movement of one object around another is a ____________.
Revolution. Earth takes approximately 365 days to revolve around the sun.
______ are caused by a tilt in a planet's axis in relation to its orbit.
Seasons. On Earth, seasonal variation is opposite in the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
_______ occurs when a hemisphere is tilted away from the sun.
Winter. Summer occurs when a hemisphere is tilted toward the sun during a planet's orbit.
The path of one object around another in space is it's ________.
Orbit. An orbit is the path an object follows as it completes a revolution.
A ________ is an object that orbits another in space.
Satellite. Although normally synonymous with "moon" or a man-made object, a satellite can include any body that orbits another. For example, Earth is a satellite of our sun.
A satellite's _________ orbit matches Earth's rotation.
Geosynchronous. For an observer at a fixed location on earth, a satellite in a geosynchronous orbit returns to exactly the same place in the sky at exactly the same time each day.
The special case of a geosynchronous orbit that is circular and directly above the equator is called a _____________ orbit.
Geostationary. Satellite-based communications depend on objects in geostationary orbit.
Our solar system contains two types of planets: ________ and Jovian.
Terrestrial. The terrestrial, or rocky planets, include Earth, Mercury, Venus, and Mars. The dwarf planet Ceres is also a rocky world.
Jovian planets are primarily ________.
Gaseous. These "gas giants" include Jupiter, from which they draw their name, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.
The center of the solar system is our _____.
Sun. Our sun, Sol, is a Yellow Dwarf that is larger and brighter than similar stars in our galaxy.
The Sun's interior density is high enough to sustain ___________.
Nuclear fusion. The energy released from this process is radiated into space as electromagnetic radiation, including visible light.
Scientists believe the Sun is growing ________.
Brighter. As it ages, the Sun will become larger, brighter, and redder.
The Sun is about ________ through its life cycle.
Halfway. The Sun will continue to expand over the next five billion years.
The primary elements in the Sun are __________.
Hydrogen and helium. Hydrogen is the fuel for the Sun's nuclear fusion and helium is the product.
A ________ surrounds the Sun.
Corona. The corona is part of the heliosphere and is partly responsible for the creation of space weather.
________ is the planet nearest the sun.
Mercury. This rocky planet orbits the sun in about 88 Earth days.
_________ is the smallest planet in the solar system.
Mercury. Since the reclassification of Pluto, Mercury, which has no known moons, is the smallest planet in the solar system.
_________ is the planet closest in size to Earth.
Venus. The second planet from the sun resembles Earth, but, as the hottest planet, would be inhospitable to humans.
_______ has no magnetic field to protect its atmosphere.
Venus. The Venusian atmosphere is a blanket of greenhouse gases that are believed to be regularly replenished by volcanic erruptions.
_______ is the "third rock from the sun."
Earth. Earth is the largest and densest of the inner planets.
________ is the only planet in our solar system known to have plate-tectonics.
Earth. Earth is the only planet where plate tectonics have been observed and the only planet - but not the only solar body - where geological activity has been observed.
The atmosphere of _______ is radically different from other known planets.
Earth. The atmosphere on Earth contains 21% free oxygen, an anomoly in this solar system. Our hydrosphere also appears to be unique to our world.
_______'s moon is unusually large, relative to the planet.
Earth. Our moon, Luna, is the fifth-largest natural satellite in the solar system and the largest to orbit a terrestrial body.
_____, the Red Planet, takes its color from its iron-rich soil.
Mars. Mars shows evidence of past geologic activity, including large volcanoes like Olympus Mons.
_____ satellite(s) orbit(s) Mars.
Two. The moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos, are believed to be captured asteroids.
An _______________ lies between the inner and outer planets
Asteroid Belt. The Asteroid Belt orbits between Mars and Jupiter. The largest body of the Asteroid Belt is the dwarf planet Ceres.
The nearest of the outer planets is _______.
Jupiter. The gas giant Jupiter is often visible from earth due to its proximity and its massive size.
__________ is the largest planet in the solar system.
Jupiter. At 2.5 times the mass of the seven remaining planets put together, Jupiter's gravitational attraction can have a tremendous effect on other objects in the system.
The __________ is perhaps the best-known feature of Jupiter's atmosphere.
Great Red Spot. This shifting, massive storm has been raging on Jupiter for at least 178 years, although some estimates place the storms age at greater than 343 Earth years.
Jupiter's four largest moons were discovered by _________.
Galileo. The largest moon, Ganymede, exceeds Mercury in diameter.
________ is known for its rings.
Saturn. Although not the only ringed planet in our system, Saturn is the planet most identified with its rings. The largest of Saturn's rings were first observed from Earth in 1610.
Saturn has ______ known satellites.
Sixty. Two of Saturn's moons, Titan and Enceladas, show signs of geologic activity, while many of the smaller moons act as "shepherds" to keep the matter in the rings in place.
The only moon in the solar system with a substantial atmosphere is __________.
Titan. This icy satellite, larger than Mercury but smaller than Jupiter's Ganymede, orbits Saturn approximately every 16 days.
Stable bodies of surface liquid have been observed on Earth and on _____.
Titan. Liquid hydrocarbon lakes have been observed in the polar regions of this Saturnian satellite.
_______ orbits the Sun on its side.
Uranus. Its axial tilt is over ninety degrees relative to its solar orbit.
Uranus has ____ known satellites.
27. Of these, the largest are Titania, Oberon, Umbriel, Ariel, and Miranda.
_________ is the outer-most planet in the solar system.
Neptune. Slightly smaller than Uranus but more dense, Neptune is sometimes called Uranus' "twin."
____ known satellites orbit Neptune.
Thirteen. The largest, Triton, exhibits a retrograde orbit. Triton is a geologically active moon; its crust is dotted with nitrogen-spewing geysers.
There are _______ ringed planets in our solar system.
Four. While Saturn's are the most famous, the other gas giants also possess planetary rings. Saturn's moon, Rhea, may have rings of its own, making it unique among satellites in this system.
The __________ lies beyond Neptune.
Kuiper Belt. This ring of debris lies in the largely unexplored trans-Neptunian region.
The largest known object in the Kuiper Belt is _________.
Pluto. Other large Kuiper Belt objects may be reclassified as dwarf planets.
Pluto's moon, ________, may not be a moon at all.
Charon. Pluto and Charon appear to be a binary system orbiting a barycenter of gravity between them. Two smaller moons, Nix and Hydra, orbit these larger bodies.
A ___________ overlaps the Kuiper Belt.
Scattered disc. This region is thought to be the source of short-period comets.
The largest known object in the scattered disc, ________, caused the debate over what constitutes a planet.
Eris. At 5% larger than Pluto, Eris is the largest of the known dwarf planets. It exhibits an orbit similar to Pluto's and is orbited by one known moon, Dysnomia.
The range of the Sun's gravitational influence extends up to ________ times its distance from Pluto.
1,000. The Sun's gravitational influence, or Roche Sphere, extends much farther into space than the effects of its solar wind, which are believed to end around four times the distance between Pluto and the Sun.
The hypothetical _______ is believed to be the source of all long-period comets in the solar system.
Oort cloud. This great mass of trillions of icy bodies lies between 1 and 1.87 light years away from Earth.
_______ is believed to be the largest Oort Cloud object.
Sedna. A red, Pluto-like body, Sedna may be part of the "inner Oort Cloud."
The boundaries of our solar system are ______.
Unknown. The regions between the Kuiper Belt and the Oort Cloud are largely uncharted. There is also great scientific interest in the region between Mercury and the Sun.