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Astronomy 2e

Review Questions

Astronomy 2eReview Questions

Review Questions


Why are asteroids and comets important to our understanding of solar system history?


Give a brief description of the asteroid belt.


Describe the main differences between C-type and S-type asteroids.


In addition to the ones mentioned in Exercise 13.3, what is the third, rarer class of asteroids?


Vesta is unusual as it contains what mineral on its surface? What does the presence of this material indicate?


Compare asteroids of the asteroid belt with Earth-approaching asteroids. What is the main difference between the two groups?


Briefly describe NASA’s Spaceguard Survey. How many objects have been found in this survey?


Who first calculated the orbits of comets based on historical records dating back to antiquity?


Describe the nucleus of a typical comet and compare it with an asteroid of similar size.


Describe the two types of comet tails and how each are formed.


What classification is given to objects such as Pluto and Eris, which are large enough to be round, and whose orbits lie beyond that of Neptune?


Describe the origin and eventual fate of the comets we see from Earth.


What evidence do we have for the existence of the Kuiper belt? What kind of objects are found there?


Give brief descriptions of both the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud.

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