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Instructions: 1. ON THIS PAGE: Fill in your UTorID (e.g. smithm1) and circle your tutorial section. 2. ON THE NEXT PAGE: Fill in your name (as it appears on ROSI), your student number, and your UTorID (e.g. smithm1). 3. ON THE SCANTRON CARD: Fill in your last name, first initial, and student number in the spaces given and, using pencil, darkly shade in the corresponding bubbles. Then sign the card. 4. For each multiple choice question, mark your answer in pencil on the Scantron card by darkly shading the appropriate bubble. All answers to multiple choice questions must be transferred to the Scantron card. Under no circumstances will answers to multiple choice questions written on this paper be accepted. 5. Answer short answer questions in the spaces provided. Answers written in pencil will not be remarked. 6. Mark values are indicated with each question. 7. Make sure that your midterm has 9 pages.

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


NAME: __________________________________

UTORID: ________________________________

STUDENT NUMBER: _____________________

Question A1-A20 (MC) B1 B2 B3 B4 Total

Marks /20 /4 /1 /5 /5 /35

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


PART A: Multiple choice questions. CIRCLE THE MOST CORRECT ANSWER (1 mark each) 1. One hundred light-minutes is approximately: (a) The distance between the Sun and the nearest star. (b) The diameter of the Earth. (c) The distance between the Earth and the Moon. (d) The distance between the Sun and Jupiter. (e) The time it takes light to go from the Sun to the Earth. 2. Seen from outside the solar system, the arrangement of the planets in our solar system most closely resembles: (a) a straight line (b) a sphere (c) a cylinder (d) a disk (e) a cube 3. In addition to having orbits filled with many small bodies, dwarf planets often have: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Orbits which are tilted relative to those of the rest of the planets. Very thick atmospheres. Bumps and bulges, like potatoes. Orbits which pass very close to the Sun. Dozens of moons.

4. Let's say we look at two distant galaxies, Galaxy A and Galaxy B. Galaxy B is twice as far away as Galaxy A. In that case, we see: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Galaxy B looking twice as young as Galaxy A Galaxy B at an earlier time in the history of the universe than Galaxy A Galaxy B looking twice as old as Galaxy A Galaxy B looking two times dimmer than Galaxy A. None of the above.

5. Which of the following is NOT a falsifiable hypothesis: (a) The number of stars in the Galaxy is more than the number of grains of sand on an average beach volleyball court. (b) Most people would say that they enjoy eating pizza. (c) 70% of people injected with the influenza virus will become ill. (d) Stars are made of hydrogen gas. (e) The Milky Way galaxy is very large.

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


6. Which of the following is NOT part of a good scientific theory? (a) A scientific theory cannot be accepted until it has been proven true beyond all doubt. (b) A scientific theory must make testable predictions that, if found to be incorrect, could lead to its own modification or demise. (c) A scientific theory must explain a wide variety of phenomena observed in the natural world. (d) A scientific theory should be based on natural processes and should not invoke the supernatural or divine. 7. Earth's distance from the Sun varies slightly as it completes its orbit. Earth is farthest from the Sun in July and closest to the Sun in January. During which Northern Hemisphere season is Earth moving fastest in its orbit? (a) (b) (c) (d) Spring Summer Fall Winter

8. Suppose a comet orbits the Sun in an elliptical (i.e. eccentric) orbit at an average distance of 1 AU. How long does it take to complete each orbit, and how do we know? (a) (b) (c) (d) Each orbit takes about 1 year, which we know from Kepler's third law. It depends on the eccentricity of the orbit, as described by Kepler's second law. It depends on the eccentricity of the orbit, as described by Kepler's first law. Each orbit should take about 2 years, because the eccentricity is so large.

9. What makes the North Star, Polaris, special? (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) It is the brightest star in the sky. It is the star straight overhead. It appears very near the north celestial pole. It is the star directly on your northern horizon. It can be used to determine your longitude on Earth.

10. Earth's rotation axis is tilted at an angle of about 23.5 degrees. If Earth's axis were tilted twice as much as it is, then: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) days in Toronto would be twice as longabout 48 hours in total. magnets would no longer work on Earth we would never see the Moon from Toronto it would snow in July in Toronto summers would be hotter and winters would be colder in Toronto

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


11. When someone on Earth observes the Moon in its new phase, someone on the Moon facing Earth observes Earth in the (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) new Earth phase. first-quarter Earth phase. crescent Earth phase. third-quarter Earth phase. full Earth phase.

12. When the Moon rises at sunrise, the phase of the Moon must be: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) third quarter first quarter full waxing crescent new

13. Why does the Moon rise and set every day? (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Because the Moon is orbiting the Earth. Because Earth is rotating on its axis. Because Earth is orbiting the Sun. Because the Moon is rotating on its axis. Because Earth and the Moon orbit the Sun together.

14. Which of the following statements about the Moon is true? (a) The Moon goes through a cycle of phases because it always has the same side facing Earth. (b) If you see a full Moon from North America, someone in South America would see a new moon. (c) The Moon's distance from Earth varies during its orbit. (d) The Moon is visible only at night. (e) The side of the Moon facing away from Earth is in perpetual darkness. 15. Which of the following best describes the origin of ocean tides on Earth? (a) Tides are caused by the difference in the force of gravity exerted by the Moon across the sphere of the Earth. (b) The Moon's gravity pulls harder on water than on land, because water is less dense than rock. (c) Tides are caused by the 23.5-degree tilt of the Earth's rotational axis to the ecliptic plane. (d) Tides are caused on the side of the Earth nearest the Moon because the Moon's gravity attracts the water.

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


16. What part(s) of Earth do the Moon's tides effect? (a) (b) (c) (d) The atmosphere and the oceans. The oceans only. The crust and the oceans. They affect all parts of the Earth, crust, oceans, and atmosphere included.

17. Newton showed that Kepler's laws are ________. (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) natural consequences of the law of universal gravitation seriously in error actually only three of seven distinct laws of planetary motion the key to proving that Earth orbits our Sun inconsistent with the teachings of Aristotle

18. Suppose that the Sun were suddenly to shrink in size but that its mass remained the same. What would happen to the Sun? (a) (b) (c) (d) The Sun would rotate faster than it does now. The Sun's rate of rotation would slow. The appearance of the Sun in our sky would stay the same. The Sun's angular momentum would increase.

19. Again, suppose that the Sun were suddenly to shrink in size but that its mass remained the same. What would happen to the orbit of the Earth? (a) (b) (c) (d) Earth's orbit would be unaffected. The size of Earth's orbit would shrink, and it would take less than one year to orbit the Sun. Earth's orbit would expand, and it would take more than one year to orbit the Sun. Earth would change from a bound orbit to an unbound orbit and fly off into interstellar space.

20. The astronauts feel weightless in the International Space Station, which orbits the Earth once every 90 minutes. Why? (a) (b) (c) (d) Because there is no gravity in space. Because they are moving so fast. Because the gravity from the Moon cancels out the gravity from Earth. Because they are in free-fall around the Earth.

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


PART B: Short answer questions. Answer ALL of the following questions in the spaces provided. Point form is acceptable where appropriate. Marks may be deducted for lack of clarity or concision. 1. [4 marks] The diagram below shows one quarter of the solar system as seen from above. The features drawn are the Sun (black dot at the center, not to scale), the orbit of the Earth (dashed line), and the orbit of Jupiter (dashed line). The orbits of Earth and Jupiter are shown at the correct relative scale. On the diagram, fill in and CLEARLY LABEL the following features: (a) (b) (c) (d) the orbits of the remaining planets, approximately to scale. the orbit of at least one known dwarf planet, approximately to scale. a label indicating the planet which takes the longest time to complete an orbit. a label indicating the planet which takes the shortest time to complete an orbit. FOR THIS QUESTION, WE WERE LOOKING FOR A DIAGRAM WHICH CONTAINED THE SAME INFORMATION AS THE DIAGRAM ON PAGE 16 OF THE NOTES FROM SEPTEMBER 15, SHOWING THE ORDER OF THE PLANETS FROM THE SUN AND THE SIZES OF THEIR ORBITS. FOR A DWARF PLANET, WE WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED CERES, ORBITING BETWEEN MARS AND JUPITER, OR ONE OF THE MANY DWARF PLANETS WHICH ORBIT BEYOND THE ORBIT OF NEPTUNE (E.G. PLUTO, ERIS, ETC.) THE PLANET WHICH TAKES THE LONGEST TIME TO COMPLETE AN ORBIT IS NEPTUNE. THE PLANET WHICH TAKES THE SHORTEST TIME TO COMPLETE AN ORBIT IS MERCURY. THE MARKERS TRIED TO BE GENEROUS IF YOU HADN'T MEMORIZED THE EXACT ORDER OF THE PLANETS, AS LONG AS YOU DIDN'T MAKE A GLARING ERROR, SUCH AS MAKING EARTH THE OUTERMOST PLANET, OR HAVING THE ORDER COMPLETELY INCORRECT.

AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


2. [1 mark] State the main characteristic which distinguishes stars from planets. THE MAIN CHARACTERISTIC WHICH DISTINGUISHES STARS FROM PLANETS IS THAT STARS ARE PRODUCING ENERGY IN THEIR CORES VIA NUCLEAR FUSION. WE ACCEPTED MANY VARIATIONS OF THIS BASIC IDEA. WE ACCEPTED FOR HALF MARKS THAT STARS ARE GENERALLY BIGGER THAN PLANETS OR MORE MASSIVE THAN PLANETS. 3. [5 marks] The diagram below shows the Earth as seen from one side. The large circle is the Earth and the dashed line represents the plane of its orbit around the Sun, as seen from the side (i.e. edge-on). The arrows indicate the direction from which sunlight is approaching the Earth. The diagram shows Earth on JUNE 21. Draw and CLEARLY LABEL each of the following features: (a) (b) (c) (d) (e) Earth's north pole Earth's rotation axis Earth's equator The line separating night from day (indicate which side is in darkness) The portion of the Earth where the Sun will not set during the entire day of June 21. Hint: if you're having trouble with this question, think about what season it is at the time this diagram illustrates. north pole day/night line rotation axis sun doesn't rise or set within this region on June 21

direction of sunlight


AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


4. Orbits (a) Imagine you are in a spaceship approaching the star Epsilon Eridani. Assume that your course will take you close to the star, but not so close that you collide with it. Sketch your trajectory around the star (i.e your path or your orbit) assuming you approach the star at each of the following speeds: i. just a bit above the escape speed of the star. [2 marks] FOR THIS DIAGRAM, YOU SHOULD SHOW THE SPACESHIP IN A HYPERBOLIC (UNBOUND) ORBIT AROUND THE STAR.


(b) Consider each of your sketches from part (a). Are there any points on either trajectory where your speed is identical to the one you started with? If so, indicate those points on your sketch(es). [1 mark] IN PART (i) THE SHIP SHOULD LEAVE THE SYSTEM WITH THE SAME SPEED AT WHICH IT ENTERED. IN PART (ii) THE SHIP IS ON AN ELLIPTICAL ORBIT IN WHICH ITS SPEED AS IT APPROACHES THE STAR REPRESENTS THE FASTEST SPEED IT WILL ACHIEVE DURING ITS ORBIT SO, BY KEPLER'S SECOND LAW, THERE IS NO OTHER POINT IN ITS ORBIT AT WHICH IT WILL HAVE THIS SPEED AGAIN.


AST 101 MIDTERM 1, FALL 2011


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